District 9 Beats Star Trek For Nebula Award + Round-up Of Upcoming Sci-Fi Awards

Last night at an event in Cocoa Beach Florida the Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America announced the Nebula Award Winners for 2009. Roberto Orci and Alex Kurtzman were nominated for their work on Star Trek, but lost out to the writers for District 9. More details below, plus a summary of Star Trek nominations at upcoming sci-fi awards.


District 9 beats Star Trek for Nebula Award

The Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America announced the winners of the 2009 Nebula Awards at a banquet held at the Hilton Cocoa Beach Oceanfront on Saturday night. The Star Trek  writing team of Alex Kurtzman and Roberto Orci were nominated for the Bradbury Award for Best Dramatic Production, going up against the writers of Avatar, Moon, District 9, Up and Coroline.  In the end the award went to Neill Blomkamp and Terri Tatchell for District 9.

Vonda N. McIntyre, who has six Star Trek novels in her extensive bibliography, was honored with the Nebula Service Award.

A complete list of winners can be found at sfwa.org.

District 9 prevails over Star Trek for Nebula Award

Trek up for more sci-fi awards

While the award season is mostly over for all the Hollywood industry type accolades (guilds, Oscars, etc), the Nebulas are the first of a sort of sci-fi awards season. The 2009 Star Trek film was nominated by a number of sci-fi societies, here is a breakdown of the upcoming sci-fi award events and Star Trek nominations.

Saturn Awards – 6 nominations + Orci & Kurtzman honored
(June 24)
Academy of Science Fiction, Fantasy & Horror Films

Nominations for "Star Trek" (2009):

  • Best Science Fiction Film
  • Best Director: J.J. Abrams
  • Best Writing: Alex Kurtzman, Roberto Orci
  • Best Make-Up: Barney Burman, Minday Hall, Joel Harlow
  • Best Production Design: Scott Chambliss
  • Best Special Effects: Roger Guyett, Russell Earl, Paul Kavanagh, Burt Dalton

In addition, Roberto Orci and Alex Kurtzman will be receiving the Goerge Pal Memorial Award 

Constellation Awards – 5 nominations
(July 17)
Canadian Awards for Science Fiction

Nominations for "Star Trek" (2009):

  • Best Science Fiction Film, TV Movie, or Mini-Series of 2009
  • Best Male Performance in a 2009 Science Fiction Film, TV Movie, or Mini-Series – Chris Pine & Karl Urban
  • Best Female Performance in a 2009 Science Fiction Film, TV Movie, or Mini-Series – Zoe Saldana
  • Outstanding Canadian Contribution to Science Fiction Film or Television in 2009 – Bruce Greenwood

Hugo Awards – 1 nomination
(September 5)
World Science Fiction Society

Nominations for "Star Trek" (2009):

  • Best Dramatic Presentation, Long Form


Inline Feedbacks
View all comments

District 9 was very good. As much as I enjoyed Trek and Moon, I think this is a fair call.

Totally fair call

As much as I enjoyed D9, I enjoyed Star Trek even more therefore Im a bit biased about it, so I wish they would have won. :} Either way great nod to Bob, Alex and the actors! Better luck next time.

good going for district 9 (it was original and good) unlike star trek xi a cash in

I second 1,2,4.

I don’t actually consider Star Trek to be a real science fiction film (the science was pretty much window dressing at best – and just bad science at worst) so I’m rather pleased by this. I’ll be disappointed (and surprised) if ST gets a Hugo.

I enjoyed Trek 2009 more than District 9, but I can totally understand how the “message” movie D9 won over the “popcorn” movie ST09. Popcorn movies are fun, but they don’t win many awards.

Last year was a pretty darn good year for sci-fi movies. “Star Trek”, “Moon”, “District 9”, and “Avatar” all being instant classics. “Terminator Salvation” and “Wolverine” were pretty good as well, though not classics like those above.

District 9 was a far superior movie. You can have entertaining “message” movies without being pretentious. Compared to other apartheid films, District 9 was pretty well-handled.

That said, three major things that bothered me about that film: the “gun’s-eye-view shots” (once was more than enough; it’s just a bad cinematographic choice, like lens flare tourette’s) and the fact that all the alien weapons blew people up in as gory a way possible. I dunno, it just seemed a tad excessive for a space-faring race that they would want their enemy’s body parts up in their faces :)

The final nitpick is the whole conceit of the movie: do you think the world would let *South Africa*, let alone any African country, be envoys of our world?

District 9 was by far the better movie.

D9 and Moon were very good, any other year, the Trek movie might have been a winner, but competition was tough. They shoulda released it when they said they would in the first place. Good job delaying the release, guys.

District 9 is a great film. Congrats.

District 9 was an excellent film, although I do agree with 9 saying it was unnecessarily gory in places. To be fair it’s also about time a country other than the USA or the UK made a film where aliens come to them and nowhere else! Not all alien spaceships go straight to New York and London!

Agree with #6 and others – there was no ‘real’ science fiction in Star Trek – just some well-used plot devices. The great thing about the original series was that it used literary science fiction ideas and presented them in an accessible and entertaining way to audiences that wouldn’t necessarily read science fiction. I hope the next film returns to that tradition and stretches our imaginations a little.

WELL DESERVED for District 9! =)

ST09? …not really a Sci-Fi movie, so doesn’t even qualify, IMHO.

Zoe & Urban: bright spots that also deserve a nod, IMHO.

Best Production Design? Best Director? Best Writing?
…this ain’t the Grammies…

Let me get this straight.

Star Trek was robbed by District who?

Well deserved – District 9 was an excellent movie. As much as I’m a Star Trek fan, the 2009 movie was really just a popcorn movie.

I have to agree with everybody congratulating District 9.
I finally saw it last week (Japan is so tedious in distributing low budget films…grrr), and was completely captivated. I didn’t find the gore to be over the top though … perhaps the prawns had a reason to construct their weapons to be powerful enough to evaporate enemies. You never know! That’s what I love about science fiction… makes you stretch your imagination.

I think District 9 was original, but that’s all. It outdid lots of movies this past year in emotional appeal and “reality”-sense, but I think in terms of overall script, directing, dialogue, and a few other categories, Star Trek was definitely better.

Then again, this is coming from the girl whose dad hated D9 so much he claimed it to be worse than Star Trek: The Final Frontier. (No joke. Not that I share that opinion!)

I’m not going to complain about this one. “District 9” was an amazing film, especially given the small budget, and the lack of “big name movie stars” or Cameron’s hyper-advanced filming technology. It’s proof that even in today’s movie-making and movie-seeing world, you don’t need to have any of that to make a great and completely original film that will draw people in.

(Many non-Trekkie folks probably went to see ST:09 because they remembered that the franchise has such a big impact on popular culture and wanted to give the movie a try to learn more about it. D9, being a completely original story, didn’t even have *that* gimmick on its side, yet it became a major hit. That means somebody really did something right.)

Totally deserved win in my opinion.

District 9 winning over Star Trek? There’s actually competition there? That’s like 2001: A Space Odyssey going up against The Lost World: Jurassic Park. Both have scifi elements, but one is about science fiction while the other is just about action.

And I cannot stress this enough. This 30 million dollar movie delivered some of the most unique, photo-realistic aliens to ever grace the silver screen. Not only did they look realistic, but they looked revolting, didn’t speak english and committed some pretty sick acts. But the biggest triumph over all that? They made them believable characters that we can associate with.

Star Trek on the other hand? Their big “WOW! It’s an Alien!” moment came in the form of a very human looking person with very fake CGI big eyes. That is pretty lackluster. Say what you want about how the best aliens in Star Trek are the ones that look human, but what about the non-human looking aliens like the Horta? The Gorn? The Medusans? The Tholians? These were all cool looking aliens that were all from the original series. The one series that didn’t have CGI or big budgets, and they gave us all of those aliens. All we get here in a 150 million dollar movie are very human looking aliens that speak perfect english. That is “NOT” brilliant.

i didnt like district 9 fast forward thru it but i dont think star trek is in the same class of movie either

I’d say District 9 was a slightly better film. More importantly, it’s the kind of film one would expect to win the Nebula. Aside from the setting, Star Trek isn’t so much a science fiction film as an action film.

That’s okay, of course; a great deal of great science fiction films are more like action films with science fiction trappings.

I was not impressed with District 9 at all. Granted, it was a good movie, but not that great. I didn’t enjoy it as much as I did Star Trek. And even though I enjoyed Star Trek as a decent summer popcorn flick, JJA and his crew just don’t get Star Trek.

District 9 was an infinitely better and more original film than ‘star trek’. Now if you were referring to a real star trek film then I would say the complete opposite.