Iraq war drama The Hurt Locker scooped top prize at the Producers Guild of America Awards in Hollywood, a key awards season event that offers clues of possible Oscars contenders.
Tightening up the Oscar race, the Producers Guild of America have surprisingly awarded, Darryl F Zanuck producer of the year prize, to the low-budget independent movie about a maverick US army bomb disposal expert won the at the awards, Contactmusic reported.
The PGA had nominated 10 films this year instead of the usual five, following the lead of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, in order to assure the inclusion of box-office hits in the list.
The film beat science fiction blockbuster Avatar, which had emerged as an early favorite following last week's Golden Globes, as well as other celebrated nominees including District 9, An Education, Inglourious Basterds, Invictus, Precious, Star Trek, Up and Up in the Air.
Directed by Kathryn Bigelow, The Hurt Locker was overlooked at the recent Golden Globes and the Screen Actors Guild Awards, but victory at the PGA Awards thrust the film firmly back into contention in the race for best picture prize at the Oscars.
Over the weekend, Quentin Tarantino's Inglourious Basterds won the top prize handed out by the Screen Actors Guild (best ensemble performance), while Jeff Bridges and Sandra Bullock received the top individual acting awards for Crazy Heart and The Blind Side, respectively.