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Home / Gold Rush Gang Members 2016/2017

Gold Rush Gang Members 2016/2017

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It’s a new season for The Gold Rush Gang and with that means new members! This year we have a great split of five returning players from last season (myself included, of course), a former member back for glory and four BRAND NEW members including, for the first time ever, TWO women.

As usual, we’ll start our predictions out with the top 6 or 8 categories and then move into rest as the season continues. Be prepared for even more podcasts than before and more fun than ever.

Here are your Gold Rush Gang members for the 2016/2017 Oscar season:

erik-andersonErik Anderson

Erik blames his mother for his love of all things Oscar, having watched them together since he opened his eyes. They also watched Miss Universe religiously every year (the pageantry!) and Erik came to the conclusion that the combination of these two things ultimately led him down the path to obsessing about awards and ACTRESSING. He began at GoldDerby, led by Tom O’Neill and then migrated over to Oscarwatch (now AwardsDaily), headed up by Sasha Stone before breaking off to create AwardsWatch. He is a member of the International Cinephile Society, GALECA (Gay and Lesbian Entertainment Critics Association) and is the founder/editor of AwardsWatch.

bryan-bonafede-picBryan Bonafede

Bryan is an Orange County native who covers high school athletics around Southern California. His interest in following industry awards began back in 1997, initiated by Titanic‘s cultural takeover along with Boogie Nights being a formative cinematic experience for him. Beyond a love for film he’s always been fascinated by the process of awards season and how it’s evolved during the internet age. He also has an unhealthy obsession with roller coasters and have been on over 300 of them around the world. (worldofx in the forums)

Chris-PepperChris Pepper

Chris is a 22-year old history student from England. Even though he has only been a member of AwardsWatch since 2013, his interest in awards-watching began in 2008, with the race between No County for Old Men and There Will Be Blood not only being what introduced him to the idea of oscar-watching but was also what sparked his interest in classic film in general. His interest in television began even earlier than that, becoming instantly hooked on HBO shows like The Wire and The Sopranos. He is now an avid cinephile and television viewer however still loves analyzing film and television within the context of awards season. (chrispepper in the forums)

Evan150Evan Kost

For anyone that knows Evan, it’s no surprise that he was first introduced to the insanity known as Oscarwatching through his grandmother. He was instantly hooked, and they’ve closely followed each season since then – from Shakespeare in Love‘s shocking triumph to Spotlight’s history-defying win this year. He also serves as manager, and participant, of the infamous Gold Rush contest, where he ruled the roost once and has finished in the Top 5 every other year except the most recent, where he placed 7th. (Submerge in the forums)

james-narveyJames Narvey

James has been Oscar-obsessed since childhood. His love of the Oscars dates back to watching the telecast with maybe only seeing a handful of the nominees, normally all in best song or score. Now he attempts to see all the nominees, a goal that he has always failed to achieve. But hey, he won Gold Rush 2014/2015 so anything can happen. James lives in Vancouver, loves the arts and cycles to work. (James in the forums)

Kenneth Polishchuk

First and foremost, Kenneth likes awards because he loves movies, but he also loves the glamour and the pageantry of the shows themselves. The horse racing aspect of it all also appeals to him. He’s participated in the Gold Rush every season and has consistently placed in the top 10, mostly the top 5, and reached his highest peak, #2. Seems like someone is ready for that #1 spot. (Moviefreak in the forums)

Júlia Albuquerque

Júlia is currently stuck in academia surrounded by a lot of math, but her real love has always been the movies. She has been following the Oscar race since 2003, when her favorite movie of the year won all 11 awards it was nominated for (The Lord of the Rings: Return of the King). Júlia hasn’t had that much luck ever since, but the politics behind the awards show never fail to make this an entertaining hobby. Oh, and she’s also a rocket scientist. No, really. She has been a part of AW since 2009. (Julia in the forums)

monika-nivolicMonika Nikolić

Monika is a 22 year old college student from a little European country called Slovenia. She is studying history and spanish language and literature. Monika spends her free time watching too many TV shows and being passionate about film. The 77th Academy awards ceremony was the first time Monika watched the Oscars. Her favourite Oscar moment since she started watching Oscars is A Separation winning Best Foreign Language film. Winning the Oscar betting contest on the web page of Slovenian national television last year and loving the fun aspect of predicting has prompted her to join the Gold Rush contest for the first time which she ended at 8th place. (LanvinLacoste in the forums)

richard-anthonyRichard Anthony

Richard’s earliest Oscar memory was a traumatic one: Crash winning Best Picture over Brokeback Mountain. Despite this atrocity and the damage that it caused his psyche, he recognizes the beauty, humor, and fun of following the awards race. He maintains the forum’s film prediction polls for the top eight categories, the results of which appear on the AW front page. Most importantly, he would like to extend his deep appreciation to the Academy for acknowledging Saoirse Ronan’s luminous performance in Brooklyn. (with_one_voice in the forums)

robert-schirmerRobert Schirmer

Robert is an award-winning fiction writer and a freelance editor/”book doctor.” He’s also dabbled in screenplay writing, and once had a screenplay optioned by Mr. Important Hollywood Director. For years he’s strong-armed his friends into playing various Oscar prediction games with him, so his friends collectively thank AwardsWatch for giving Robert an Oscar playground in which to cavort. Robert’s proudest prediction moment remains when he called Laura Linney for a Best Actress nomination for The Savages back in 2007, despite her lack of buzz and precursors. His most embarrassing prediction moment happened this year on AW, when he predicted Mark Ruffalo would get a BAFTA Best Supporting Actor nomination…for Room. (Robert A. in the forums)