By Anne Thompson | Thompson on Hollywood January 2, 2014 at 7:32PM
There's a new Oscar kingpin in town. The biggest rival to the likes of Harvey Weinstein and Scott Rudin is now 27-year-old Megan Ellison, who scored not one but two Producers Guild of America feature nominations on Thursday. After a run of five Best Picture Oscar nominations in a row (and two back-to-back wins), Weinstein struck out with the PGA, and may not land a Best Picture nomination on January 16 either. Rudin landed just one PGA nomination, for "Captain Phillips," as "Inside Llewyn Davis" was ignored.
Ellison's Annapurna backed Spike Jonze's "Her" and David O. Russell's "American Hustle," which are both likely to land Oscar Best Picture nods as well. And she has a third film shortlisted for the foreign Oscar, Wong kar-wai's gorgeous "The Grandmaster."
The scion of Oracle billionaire Larry Ellison finances as well as producing such films as last year's Oscar-nominated "The Master" and Best Picture candidate "Zero Dark Thirty." You know everyone is knocking on her door, but she has chosen well so far, and now she's teamed up with Sony, which is committed to partnering with Annapurna on such upcoming pictures as Seth Rogen and Evan Goldberg's "Sausage Party" and Bennett Miller's "Foxcatcher," which Sony Pictures Classics is releasing.
Here's Annapurna's mission statement:
Annapurna Pictures is a film production and finance company founded with the goal of creating sophisticated, high-quality films that might otherwise be deemed risky by contemporary Hollywood studios. The company, which many consider to be a one-stop shop for filmmakers, has provided the industry with a critical boost of mature, adult dramas in recent years.