Monday, December 8, 2014


Today, the African-American Film Critics Association (of which I'm a member) announced its picks for the Best of 2014. Unsurprisingly, Ava Duvernay's "Selma" emerged on top. The film won awards for Best Picture, Best Director, Best Actor and Best Song. Here's the full press release:

Los Angeles, CA (December 8, 2014)Selma, the first studio film to center around Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., is the big winner among the critics representing the African-American Film Critics Association (AAFCA). The Paramount film earned multiple awards from AAFCA for Best Director, (Ava DuVernay); Best Actor for Oyelowo and Best Song for its John Legend/Common theme song, “Glory”. AAFCA will hold its annual award ceremony and dinner on Wednesday, February 4, 2015 at 7:00pm the Taglyan Complex in Hollywood, CA.

“Our members found the output of cinema released this year to be a truly insightful mix of titles that reflect the world we live in. The members of AAFCA were especially pleased with this range of storytelling supported by the studios that gave voice to the many sides of the experience of black people in America and around the world,” says AAFCA president Gil Robertson. “We had a lot to pick from this year from Belle, Dear White People, Top Five, Timbuktu and Selma and hope the industry will continue to provide a platform for diversity on the big screen.”

The following is a complete list of 2014 AAFCA Awards winners.

Best Actor – David Oyelowo, Selma (Paramount)
Best Actress – Gugu Mbatha-Raw, Belle (Fox Searchlight)
Best Supporting Actress – Octavia Spencer, Black or White (Rela.)
Best Supporting Actor – Tyler Perry, Gone Girl (Fox) /J.K. Simmons, Whiplash (SPC)
Best World Cinema – Timbuktu (Les Films du Worso)
Breakout Performance – Tessa Thompson, Dear White People (RAtt.)
Best Director – Ava Duvernay, Selma (Paramount)
Best Screenplay – Gina Prince-Bythewood, Beyond the Lights (Rela)
Best Music – John Legend/Common, “Glory” (Selma soundtrack)
Best Ensemble – Get On Up (Universal)
Best Independent Film – Dear White People (Roadside Attractions)
Best Animation – The Boxtrolls (Focus)
Best Documentary – Life Itself (Magnolia)

AAFCA Top Ten Films of 2014 are as follows in order of distinction:

1. Selma
2. The Imitation Game
3. Theory of Everything
4. Birdman
5. Belle
6. Top Five
7. Unbroken
8. Dear White People
9. Get On Up
10. Black or White

As previously announced, AAFCA’s Special Achievement honors will be awarded to Universal Pictures, Chair, Donna Langley; LA Film Festival Director & Producer, Stephanie Allain and Blacklist Co-Founder, Franklin Leonard. Motion Picture & Television Producer Debra Martin-Chase will receive the organization’s Ashley Boone Award and Los Angeles Times Entertainment Reporter, Susan King will receive the group’s Roger Ebert Award.

The African-American Film Critics Association (AAFCA) is the premiere organization of African-American film media professionals. Founded in 2003, AAFCA’s members represent a geographically diverse cross-section of media covering the cinematic arts. The organization honors excellence in cinema by creating awareness for films with universal appeal to black communities, while emphasizing film about the black experience and those produced written, directed and starring performers of African descent. The association actively reviews the quality and standard of black talent, content and media coverage. AAFCA also supports the development of future black film critics and filmmakers. AAFCA is based in Los Angeles.

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