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Last Updated: Sunday, 21 January 2007, 10:56 GMT
Sunshine scoops surprise film win
Little Miss Sunshine
Toni Collette (left) and Steve Carell (right) star in Little Miss Sunshine

Low-budget film Little Miss Sunshine has won a key movie award that is one of the main pointers to Oscars success.

In a surprise decision, the quirky family comedy was named best picture by the Producers Guild of America (PGA).

Little Miss Sunshine had been seen as an Oscars outsider - but beat fancied contenders Babel, The Departed, The Queen and Dreamgirls to the PGA award.

The winner of best picture at the Oscars has matched the PGA's choice in 11 of the last 17 years.

Little Miss Sunshine, which stars Toni Collette and Steve Carell, follows a dysfunctional family determined to get their seven-year-old daughter into the finals of a beauty pageant.

Box office success

It was made by an independent film company for $8m (4m) - very low by Hollywood standards - and has taken $60m (30m) at US box offices so far.

But the PGA has not agreed with Oscars voters for the past two years. Last year, Brokeback Mountain won the PGA award but the Oscar for best picture went to Crash.

Dreamgirls is expected to feature in the Oscar nominations on Tuesday

And in 2005, the PGA picked Aviator while the Oscars chose Million Dollar Baby.

The film world is now gearing up for this year's Oscar nominations on Tuesday.

Multi-stranded, multi-national drama Babel and Motown musical Dreamgirls are expected to be among the main contenders.

In other PGA categories, Dame Helen Mirren's Elizabeth I, made by Channel 4 and HBO, was named best television film.

Cars scooped best animated film, Grey's Anatomy won best TV drama and The Office was named best TV comedy.

The non-fiction TV award went to CBS's 60 Minutes and the best variety TV prize was given to HBO's Real Time with Bill Maher.


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