If it's Sunday, it must be the Baftas

Showbusiness awards ceremonies used to be as rare and as eagerly anticipated as Christmas. Now scarcely a week goes by without a batch of gongs being handed out to the mega and minor stars of cinema and pop. Has the currency been devalued? With the Baftas, Brits and Oscars all imminent, 'Independent' critics Nicholas Barber (film) and Fiona Sturges (music) pick the prizes that count
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The Independent Culture


When: 29 February.

Where: Kodak Theater in Los Angeles' Hollywood/Highland shopping mall.

Pedigree: Now in their 76th year.

Who awards them?: The 5,700 members of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences.

Who's going? The makers and stars of The Lord Of The Rings: The Return Of The King and Master And Commander: The Far Side Of The World, and, to a lesser extent, Lost In Translation and Mystic River. And, of course, everyone who's anyone.

Who isn't? Tom Cruise, who'd hoped to get a nomination for The Last Samurai; his ex-wife Nicole, who'd hoped to get a nomination for Cold Mountain.

Top tips: Peter Jackson - not for directing The Lord Of The Rings: The Return Of The King, but for directing the whole trilogy.

Notorious for: Disqualifying The Jazz Singer from the first ever ceremony - for being a talkie; Marlon Brando deputising a native American actress to accept his award for The Godfather in 1972; Tom Hanks's incomprehensible acceptance speeches; Gwyneth Paltrow sobbing; Cher's dress sense; James Cameron yelling, "I'm the king of the world!"; Michael Moore's catcalled "Shame on you Mr Bush" speech last year; not giving a Best Director award to Martin Scorsese or Alfred Hitchcock

Red carpet factor: 10/10.


When: 25 January.

Where: Beverly Hilton, Beverly Hills, California.

Pedigree: This year's ceremony was the 61st.

Who awards them? 97 foreign film journalists resident in Hollywood.

Who won? Charlize Theron won Best Actress for transforming herself in Monster (the smart money's on her for the Oscar, too). Sofia Coppola won Best Screenplay for Lost In Translation - never mind that the screenplay is the film's weakest ingredient. And, of course, Ricky Gervais and The Office won in two of the TV categories.

Who didn't? Cold Mountain left the evening with just one award from eight nominations.

Notorious for: Jack Nicholson mooning the crowd in 1999 (moments after notifying the audience that Christine Lahti was late for her award because she was "taking a number two"); Ving Rhames passing on his trophy to Jack Lemmon in 1998; Vikram Jayanti's withering film, The Golden Globes: Hollywood's Dirty Little Secret.

Red carpet factor: 8/10.


When: Tomorrow.

Where: Odeon Leicester Square, then the Grosvenor House hotel for the after-show party.

Pedigree: Started in 1947. The "T" of the Bafta acronym stands for "television", but it's since become a movies-only event.

Who awards them?: Bafta members - some 4,000 "creative professionals working in the film, television and interactive industries".

Who's going? The stars and makers of Big Fish, which has been ignored by other awards bodies; Cold Mountain, which has sneaked into the Best British Film category; Sean Penn and Scarlett Johansson, who have two nominations each.

Who isn't? Calendar Girls - a Brit hit that has for some reason been snubbed.

Top tips: Lost In Translation is a favourite in several categories - but don't bet against Lord Of The Rings.

Notorious for: The rain, which turned the red carpet into a frothing death trap 2002; Stephen Fry, the MC, declaring that movies played an important role in the fight against terrorism, also in 2002; Russell Crowe threatening to batter a producer after his reading of a poem in his acceptance speech was cut short in 2002.

Red carpet factor: 7/10.


When: 28 February - the day before the Oscars.

Where: In a tent on Santa Monica's California beach.

Pedigree: This year's are the 19th

Who awards them?: Members of the Independent Feature Project West, a body that exists to encourage independent US and foreign films.

Who's going? Sofia Coppola, Jim Sheridan, and lots of people who weren't nominated for Oscars.

Who isn't? Lots of people who were nominated for Oscars.

Top tips: Jim Sheridan's In America.

Notorious for: Rewarding films that haven't benefited from multimillion- dollar booster campaigns; being hosted by John Waters; being held in a tent

Red carpet factor: 6/10.


When: 22 February.

Where: Los Angeles Shrine Exposition Center.

Pedigree: This year's are the 10th.

Who awards them? "Two randomly selected panels [of actors], totalling 4,200 SAG members from across the United States" chose the nominees. Every guild member then votes for the winners.

Who's going? Peter Dinklage and Patricia Clarkson, stars of The Station Agent, have been nominated. Otherwise it's the usual suspects: Sean Penn, Bill Murray, Charlize Theron, Diane Keaton etc.

Who isn't? Tom and Nicole; Jude Law.

Top tips: Everyone loves Bill Murray.

Notorious for: Offering ordinary fans a good chance to get close to the stars.

Red carpet factor: 3/10.


When: 4 February

Where: The Dorchester Hotel, London

Pedigree: This year's were the ninth.

Who awards them? The UK film magazine's readers.

Who won? Martine McCutcheon, strangely enough, who was voted best British newcomer. Love Actually also won Best British actress (Emma Thompson) and Best British film.

Who didn't? Anyone too arty.

Notorious for: Worshipping Steven Spielberg and George Lucas; Dustin Hoffman's acceptance speech last year, during which he kissed Johnny Vegas and called Hugh Grant a prick.

Red carpet factor: 5/10.


When: From 12-23 May.

Where: Cannes, France.

Pedigree: Began in 1947.

Who awards them? There are two official juries of "artists, directors, actors and auteurs": the Feature Films Jury and the Short Films and Cinefondation Jury. Voting is by secret ballot. Jurors (who last year included Steven Soderbergh and Meg Ryan) cannot have a film in competition.

Who's going? Too early to say.

Notorious for: Winners that Oscar wouldn't approve of, including Pulp Fiction and Gus van Sant's Elephant; Lars von Trier tossing his lesser awards into the orchestra pit when he didn't win the Palme D'Or in 1999; the audience booing any victors they don't like, notably Sous le soleil de Satan in 1987.

Red carpet factor: 8/10.


When: 11 February.

Where: The Dorchester Hotel, London.

Pedigree: The first ceremony was in 1981.

Who awards them? Between 70 and 100 London film critics.

Who won? Peter Mullan, Best British Director. His film, The Magdelene Sisters, also took the Attenborough Award for Best British Film. Master and Commander got almost everything else.

Who didn't? Both Lord Of The Rings: Return Of The King and Cold Mountain went away empty-handed.

Notorious for: Critics and film makers actually being nice to each other.

Red carpet factor: 4/10.


When: 21 February.

Where: Bombay.

Pedigree: The Bollywood Oscars were founded in 1953 by Filmfare Magazine.

They were originally called the Clares, in honour of the Times Of India's

film critic, Clare Mendonca, but the name didn't catch on.

Who awards them? Filmfare readers and online voters.

Who's going? Shah Rukh Khan, Bollywood's Tom Cruise, is up against Amitabh Bachchan, Bollywood's Clint Eastwood.

Who isn't? Aamir Khan, the star of Lagaan, always refuses to turn up.

Top tips: Kal Ho Naa Ho ("Tomorrow May Never Come") starring Shah Rukh Khan, a film set in New York's Asian community. And Koi... Mil Gaya could get the vote for its Close Encounters-style special effects.

Notorious for: All the speeches and entertainment of the Oscars - and more.

Vani Ganpathi and Kamal Haasan attended the 25th Filmfare Awards on their wedding day, still wearing their marriage garlands. The marriage didn't last. A rival show, the Bollywood Awards, is competing for glitz in May by holding its ceremony in the Trump Taj Mahal Casino Resort, Atlantic City, with Sharon Stone co-presenting.

Red carpet factor: 10/10 (in India).


When: 21 February.

Where: Theatre du Chatelet, rue Edouard Colonne, Paris.

Pedigree: Now in their 29th year.

Who awards them? The French film academy. (Not to be confused with the hotel awards.)

Who's going? Omar Sharif, Charlotte Rampling and Julie Depardieu all have nominations; Clint Eastwood and Martin Scorsese are both up for Best Foreign Film; Fanny Ardant will preside.

Who isn't? Lord Of The Rings: Return Of The King and Cold Mountain.

Top tips: Jean-Paul Rappeneau's Bon Voyage is bound to win something.

Notorious for: Banning English language films in 1993: only two awards (Best European Film and Best Foreign Film) honour non-French films. Also: being trashed by the newspaper Liberation as a "public session of collective catharsis, in which a crisis-ridden professional sector exorcises its fears".

Red carpet factor: 4/10.


When: 8 February.

Where: Staples Centre, Los Angeles.

Pedigree: This was their 46th year.

Who awards them: 18,000 elected representatives of the music industry

Who went: Justin Timberlake took away two awards and used his acceptance speech to apologise for exposing Janet Jackson's breast at the Super Bowl; Chris Martin dedicated Coldplay's award to "John Kerry, who hopefully will be your president some day". Also present: Outkast, Beyoncé and Christina Aguilera.

Who didn't: Janet Jackson, fearing another "wardrobe malfunction".

Notorious for: obscure categories (best polka album, anyone?); but the Grammys don't "do" scandal, especially with the new five-minute delay on broadcasting.

Red carpet factor: 9/10


When: 17 February.

Where: Earls Court, London.

Pedigree: Began life in 1977 and were reborn as an annual event in 1982. On both occasions, Cliff Richard won Best Male Solo Artist.

Who awards them: Radio 1 listeners and music industry employees.

Who's going: Jamie Cullum, Annie Lennox, Gareth Gates, Busted, the Darkness, Will Young.

Who isn't: Dido who, despite being favourite to win Best Female Artist, is too busy "being creative" to attend; Daniel Bedingfield, nominated for Best Album, still in traction after a car accident in New Zealand last month.

Notorious for: John Prescott being doused with a bucket of iced water by

Chumbawamba and Jarvis Cocker wiggling his bum at Michael Jackson though, alas, those were the old days. Now the Brits are about exciting and edgy as a night at the bingo. Last year the organisers introduced a ban on alcohol, lending the proceedings a distinctly funereal atmosphere.

Red carpet factor: 8/10


When: 7 September.

Where: Grosvenor House, London.

Pedigree: Started in 1992, the Mercurys remain the most credible of British

music awards.

Who awards them: An independent panel of judges decide on the winner minutes before the final announcement.

Who's going: Too early to say, but strong contenders include Amy Winehouse and Jamie Cullum.

Who isn't: The likes of Beyoncé and Timberlake are just too glitzy for this ultra-serious bash.

Notorious for: Ungrateful nominees. Three years ago Gorillaz, the "virtual"

band created by Blur's Damon Albarn, turned down their nomination, writing it off as a "dead albatross".

Red carpet factor: 4/10


When: 4 March

Where: Grosvenor House, London.

Pedigree: Strictly for industry movers and shakers; categories include Manager of the Year and Best Distributor.

Who awards them: Music Week readers.

Who's going: Executives in suits.

Who isn't: Anybody worth mentioning. Notorious for: The record industry indulging in copious amounts of corporate back-slapping.

Red carpet factor: 0/10 (unless you're actually there).


When: September.

Where: Albert Hall.

Pedigree: Launched in 1996 to celebrate the music of black artists.

Who awards them: An independent panel of DJs, musicians and record company executives.

Who's going: Too early to say, although Dizzee Rascal, who won last year's Mercury Prize, is hotly tipped.

Notorious for: Occasional outbreaks of violence; A-list celebrities; huge quantities of champagne.

Red carpet factor: 8/10.


When: 12 February.

Where: Hammersmith Palais.

Pedigree: Begun in 1994 and billed as the anti-Brits. Categories include the

Rock'n'Roll Woman of the Year, the Living Legend Award and the Award for

Godlike Genius. Winners are awarded a statuette with a raised middle finger.

Who awards them: NME readers.

Who went: Kelly Osbourne (collecting her father's award), Kings of Leon, Har Mar Superstar and Franz Ferdinand. The Darkness also attended but left empty-handed.

Who didn't: Timberlake, Beyoncé, Kylie Minogue, Aguilera.

Notorious for: Drinking, swearing and generally making merry; but may now be in danger of becoming too slick.

Red carpet factor: 6/10


When: 26 May

Where: Mandalay Hotel, Las Vegas.

Pedigree: This year's, hosted by Reba McEntire, will be the 39th. Ignored in this country, but these awards are the biggest and, in sales terms, the most important in the US.

Who awards them: Elected members of the Academy of Country Music.

Who's going: Nominees have yet to be announced. Previous winners have included Alan Jackson, Kenny Chesney and Martina McBride.

Notorious for: Big frocks, big hair, big lungs. The most left-field prizewinner in recent year was the soundtrack to the Coen brothers' film O Brother, Where Art Thou?

Red carpet factor: 4/10.


When: 27 May.

Where: Grosvenor House, London

Pedigree: This year will be the 49th.

Who awards them: Members of the British Academy of Songwriters, Composers and Authors.

Who's going: Nominations yet to be announced. Last year's winners included David Gray, Noel Gallagher, Ms Dynamite, the poet Simon Armitage and the composer David Arnold.

Notorious for: Nothing. These are by far the most serious and scandal-free of the year's awards.

Red carpet factor: 5/10.


When: August.

Where: New York Radio City Music Hall.

Pedigree: The king of all award ceremonies. David Bowie won Best Male Artist and Cyndi Lauper Best Female when the MTV Awards began in 1984.

Who awards them: MTV viewers.

Who's going: Too early to say - but few A-listers stay at home for this one.

Notorious for: That kiss: yes, Madge and Britney may be suffering from falling sales but their on-screen snog at last year's awards got them back in the headlines. Also renowned for extravagant stage sets and live acts.

Red carpet factor: 10/10


When: August.

Where: Royal Lancaster Hotel.

Pedigree: Now in its 11th year.

Who awards them: Readers of the rock weekly Kerrang!

Who's going: Liquor-loving heavy metal bands with names like Murderdoll and Death Cult Armageddon

Who isn't: Will Young

Notorious for: Total carnage. What began as an excuse for heavy metal scribes to pay tribute to their favourite bands in an alcoholic stupor has turned into a heavily sponsored event complete with celebrity presenters and rivers of alcohol. With a complimentary bottle of Jack Daniels at the centre of each table, guests would be wise to line their stomachs with lead before attending.

Red carpet factor: 4/10.