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The Defining Stops On The Road To The Oscars

Depending on whom you ask, we're either in the middle of awards season, or it just started. Either way, table those Oscar bets until mid-January.

By Lexie Hammesfahr | November 2, 2015

The Hollywood Film Awards aired Sunday night, which is the self-proclaimed "official start of the awards season."

This year's award ceremony honored Hollywood heavyweights like Will Smith, Carey Mulligan, Benicio Del Toro, Alicia Vikander and Ridley Scott.

And yes, this might technically be the first award show of the year dedicated to the Hollywood film industry, but it isn't considered the real start of the season or a serious Oscar indicator.

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Between now and the Academy Awards in February, so many awards are dished out that it's hard to know which ones are actually good Oscar predictors.

But to many in the industry, the start of the season is considered to be a trio of film festivals that take place in early September: The Venice, Toronto and Telluride festivals.

We read about the films that win festival awardsstudy the fashionable outfits of our favorite celebs and talk about the fab after-parties with our friends.

That buzz — the buzz about movies that haven't yet been released but are "early Oscar contenders" — is what kicks off this six-month road to the Academy Awards.

But if you think it's odd that a set of film festivals kicks off the awards show season, then we'd direct you to the Gotham Awards in late November.

The Gotham Awards showcase the best indie flicks of the year but actually have a pretty wish-washy track record of guessing who will show up at the Oscars.

Last year, the show gave three of its top awards to the same winners that would go on to win an Oscar in the same categories. 

But from 2000 to 2009, The Hollywood Reporter notes the award show only predicted 11 percent of the Oscar nominees: "The Gothams kick off the red-carpet parade, but its winners rarely find themselves invited to the Academy's party."

In case you're wondering which has the best track record, it's the Critics' Choice Awards, with an outstanding Oscar prediction rate of 93 percent during that same nine-year period. The show also picked the Oscar winner for Best Picture 80 percent of the time.

So depending on whom you ask, we either just started awards season or are in the heat of it. But we should probably hold off on placing Oscar bets until next year during the Critics' Choice Awards on Jan. 17.

This video includes images from Getty Images.

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