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Silent film is talk of the town at gongs night

'The Artist' followed its Golden Globe win by taking top honours at the Producers Guild Awards (PGA) on Saturday, as the silent film continues its run towards Oscar night.

Producer Thomas Langmann received the award handed out at the Beverly Hilton by the Producers Guild of America, as 'The Artist' beat George Clooney's family drama and other Oscar favourite, 'The Descendants'.

'The Artist' won best musical or comedy at the Golden Globes and 'The Descendants' won best drama, along with a best actor nod for Mr Clooney, making the movies likely rivals for best picture at the Academy Awards.

The other nominees in the movie category were 'War Horse', 'The Help', 'Bridesmaids', 'Hugo', 'The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo', 'Midnight in Paris', 'Moneyball' and another Clooney movie, 'The Ides of March'.

Along with honours from other Hollywood professional groups, such as actors', directors' and writers' guilds, the producer prizes have become part of the pre-season sorting-out of contenders for the Oscars, whose nominations come out tomorrow.

HBO's saga of mobsters in Prohibition-era Atlantic City, 'Boardwalk Empire', won the producers' award for television drama series.

Other winners at the PGA awards included 'Downton Abbey' for long-form television, 'The Adventures of Tintin' for animated film, and 'Beats, Rhymes & Life' for movie documentary.

Irish Independent