The cast and crew of The Artist received the inaugural "Made in Hollywood" Award Tuesday, honoring it as the only Academy Award best picture nominee shot exclusively in Los Angeles.
Jean Dujardin and Berenice Bejo, the Academy Award-nominated stars of the mostly silent, black-and-white homage to the golden age of Hollywood, were joined by fellow cast members — including Missi Pyle, James Cromwell, Penelope Ann Miller, Beth Grant and Uggie the Dog — along with writer-director Michel Hazanavicius and about 50 crew members in receiving the award from Councilman Tom LaBonge on the soundstage at RED Studios, where the final scene was filmed.
"We want to recognize and honor productions that are made right here in the cradle of the movie business, Hollywood," said LaBonge, who hopes the city will present the award annually to each best picture nominee shot exclusively in Los Angeles.
"When films shoot in Los Angeles, we all benefit from the jobs and economic activity the industry brings. Every movie shot here in Los Angeles bring jobs and revenue to our city, utilizing the best film professionals in the world — from the grips to the caterers, actors to post-production houses."
Copies of the award went to all the members of the cast and crew. Of the 68-member cast, only Dujardin and Bejo are French, while Hazanavicius and cinematographer Guillaume Schiffman were the only non-Hollywood crew members.
The RED Studios on Cahuenga Boulevard, which opened in 1915 as Metro Pictures Back Lot #3, was also used in the movie as the fictional Kinograph Studios.
Other Los Angeles locations used for the film included downtown's Bradbury Building, The Orpheum Theatre, The Los Angeles Theater, the American Film Institute, the Wilshire Ebell Theater, Cicada restaurant and a Fremont Place home that once belonged to silent film star Mary Pickford.
"It's exciting that The Artist — basically a French film — looked no further than Hollywood for its setting," said LaBonge, whose district includes a portion of Hollywood and who is considered the City Council's top expert on L.A.'s history.
The Artist cemented its status as the favorite to win the best picture Oscar when Hazanavicius won the Directors Guild Award for feature film directing on Saturday.
Since it was first presented for movies made in 1949, there have only been only six times that the winner of the DGA Award for feature film directing has not gone on to win the Academy Award for best director. During that span, the film with the best director Oscar has won for best picture all but 11 times.
The Artist won the Golden Globe award for best comedy or musical and the Critics Choice Award for best picture, and Dujardin won the Screen Actors Guild Award for best actor and the Golden Globe for best actor in a comedy or musical.