It has A-list Hollywood star power and a roster of nominees that often go on to become Oscar winners, but the Hollywood Foreign Press Association does not have the same name recognition as the awards ceremony they’re in charge of deciding: the Golden Globes.
"For some people it's like we're an invisible group," said Hollywood Foreign Press Association member Ruben Nepales.
Nepales has been a member in good standing since 2004, and he is one of the 82 voting members.
"Majority of that, they do represent the biggest newspapers and magazines in their respective homes," Nepales said.
Nepales represents the Philippines Daily Inquirer, which serves nearly 1 million readers. Now, more than ever before, he said what his readers overseas think about U.S. movies and television shows matter.
"Hollywood is increasingly becoming global," Nepales said.
And that especially goes for box office receipts. Studio execs often anticipate bigger foreign revenues than domestic, and that can drive what gets made and released.
When Nepales and the other HFPA members receive their ballots on Christmas Eve, Nepales said they take their jobs very seriously. Often their award picks often fall in line right behind Oscar.
"Our tastes are more eclectic," Nepales said, "and I think that reflects, also, in our choices."