60 minutes, 2001
Arena, BBC2
Producer-Director: Amir Amirani  
Editor: Roy Deverell
Camera: Chris Morphet and Richard Numeroff
Series Editor: Anthony Wall.

This is a film about the culture of awards and prizes in modern western society. The film has no narration, and ranges over a wide spectrum of awards and explores different aspects of the prize culture. One of the contributors, Dr. Larry Tise, founder of the International Congress of Distinguished Awards, calls it a $2bn industry. There are well over 25000 awards in the world. Indeed, according to Prof. Jim English, author of the “Economy of Prestige”, there is a sense that the cultural universe has become super-saturated with prizes, that there are more prizes than our collective cultural achievements can possibly justify, and this is the great and recurring theme of prize punditry. Gore Vidal says that in the U.S. there are more literary prizes than there are writers.

The film includes contributions from the following:

Oscar winners: Glenda Jackson, Nick Park and David Sproxton of Aardman Animations, and composer Rachel Portman.

Bruce Davis, Executive Director of the Oscars, Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences

John Leverence, VP of the Academy of Television Arts and Science, which gives Emmy Awards.

Margery Fowler of Len Fowler trophies, whose awards have gone to the Beatles and the Royal Family amongst many others.

Nobel Prize Winners: Prof. Amartya Sen for Economics, and Prof. Sir Joseph Rotblat for Peace.

Michael Sohlman, Executive Director of the Nobel Foundation.

Peter Nobel, Great Nephew of Alfred Nobel.

Jakob Von Uexkull, founder of the Alternative Nobel Prize, also known as the Right Livelihood Award.

Theodore Zeldin, Oxford University historian and author.

Prof. Jim English, author of the ‘Economy of Prestige’.

David Bradley, the young actor from Ken Loach’s Kes, won BAFTA for best newcomer.

And we also meet Denis Napolitano, who plays musical stings at award ceremonies, get access to the R.S Owen factory in Chicago, where Oscars and Emmies are made, and attend the annual convention of the Awards and Recognition Association in Las Vegas, where awards for awards are presented.