Octavia Spencer in Hidden Figures

Georgia Films at the Oscars

Win or lose, 2017 has already been the best-ever year for Georgia filmed projects. At the 89th Oscars, three Georgia-filmed productions were nominated in six categories, including:

  • "Hidden Figures" - Best Picture
  • Octavia Spencer for "Hidden Figures" - Supporting Actress
  • "Hidden Figures" - Adapted Screenplay
  • "Sully" - Sound Editing
  • "Passengers" - Production Design
  • "Passengers" - Original Score

Those films used backdrops around the state, including Monroe, Alpharetta, Atlanta, Covington, and the large-scale studios of Fayetteville’s Pinewood.

Oscar-Winning Georgia Films

Tom Hanks in Forrest Gump (1994)
Tom Hanks in Forrest Gump (1994)

But did you know that many more Georgia-filmed projects have been nominated and won Oscars? "Forrest Gump" is the most awarded with six wins and seven additional nominations, followed by "Driving Miss Daisy" with four wins and five additional nominations. Others to win the golden statue are "The Blind Side," "Glory," "Selma," and "My Cousin Vinny." Movies that received nominations but no wins include "Deliverance," "Smokey and the Bandit," "Prisoners," "The Longest Yard," "Fried Green Tomatoes," "Flight," and "The Big Chill."

Oscar-Winning Georgia Natives

Burt Reynolds and Sally Field in Smokey and the Bandit (1977)
Burt Reynolds and Sally Field in Smokey and the Bandit (1977)

In addition to the many films that were produced in Georgia, the state has a role as the home to a number of award-winning actors and directors. Julia Roberts, a native of Smyrna, won her first Oscar for 2000's "Erin Brockovich," but she has received an additional three nominations. Leading ladies Holly Hunter and Kim Basinger have also each won an award. Director Steven Soderbergh has won as best director, while Spike Lee claimed an honorary award in addition to his two nominations. We can't forget about past winners Joanne Woodward ("The Three Faces of Eve"), Charles Coburn ("The More the Merrier"), Melvyn Douglas ("Being There"), and Ray McKinnon ("The Accountant" short film). Laurence Fishburne, Burt Reynolds, Miriam Hopkins, Eric Roberts, and Diana Scarwid also were honored with nominations.

Georgia Film Trivia

Did you know…

Denzel Washington in Remember the Titans (2000)
Denzel Washington in Remember the Titans (2000)

Two of this year's Best Actor nominees, Denzel Washington and Ryan Gosling, performed together in Georgia-filmed "Remember the Titans"?

Supporting Actress nominee Octavia Spencer starred in "The Red Band Society," a show that was filmed around Atlanta?

Jennifer Lawrence and Chris Pratt, of "Passengers," have both previously filmed in Georgia: in the later "Hunger Games" installments and "Guardians of the Galaxy 2," respectively.

The film "Gone With the Wind" was not filmed in Georgia at all but hosted its premiere in downtown Atlanta, home of author Margaret Mitchell. This film awarded Hattie McDaniel with the Supporting Actress award, the first won by an African-American.

Production had to reverse the one-way traffic around Chippewa Square for the bus to pick up Forrest on the side with the bench in "Forrest Gump." The bench is now in the Savannah History Museum.

Jessica Tandy won the Best Actress title for "Driving Miss Daisy" at age 81, making her the oldest winner.

While it didn't win an Oscar, "The Longest Yard" was filmed at the active Georgia State Prison in Reidsville through the cooperation of then-governor Jimmy Carter.

Published: February 2017