The American Black Film Festival announced the Movie of the Year award nominees for the organization's American Black Film Festival Honors event, which will take place on February 23, 2020, in Los Angeles. The event will be hosted by Deon Cole. American Airlines, Prudential Financial, Cadillac, Hilton and Sony Pictures Entertainment are sponsors.
The nominees include Black and Blue, Dolemite Is My Name, Harriet, Just Mercy, The Last Black Man in San Francisco, Queen & Slim and Us. According to the release, here are the synopses of each film nominated.
BLACK & BLUE – An action-thriller film about a rookie cop (Naomie Harris) who inadvertently captures the murder of a young drug dealer on her body cam. After realizing that the murder was committed by corrupt cops, she teams up with the one person from her community who is willing to help her (Tyrese Gibson) as she tries to escape both the criminals out for revenge and the police who are desperate to destroy the incriminating footage.
DOLEMITE IS MY NAME – Eddie Murphy portrays real-life legend Rudy Ray Moore, a comedian and rap pioneer who proved naysayers wrong when his hilarious, obscene, kung-fu fighting alter ego, Dolemite, became a 1970s Blaxploitation phenomenon.
HARRIET – Based on the thrilling and inspirational life of an iconic American freedom fighter, Harriet tells the extraordinary tale of Harriet Tubman's (Cynthia Erivo) escape from slavery and transformation into one of America's greatest heroes. Her courage, ingenuity and tenacity freed hundreds of slaves and changed the course of history.
JUST MERCY – After graduating from Harvard, Bryan Stevenson (Michael B. Jordan) might have had his pick of lucrative jobs. Instead, he heads to Alabama to defend those wrongly condemned, with the support of local advocate Eva Ansley (Brie Larson). One of his first, and most incendiary, cases is that of Walter McMillian (Jamie Foxx), who, in 1987, was sentenced to die for the notorious murder of an 18-year-old girl, despite a preponderance of evidence proving his innocence and the fact that the only testimony against him came from a criminal with a motive to lie. In the years that follow, Bryan becomes embroiled in a labyrinth of legal and political maneuverings and overt and unabashed racism as he fights for Walter, and others like him, with the odds and the system stacked against them.
THE LAST BLACK MAN IN SAN FRANCISCO – A young man (Jimmie Fails) searches for home in the changing city that seems to have left him behind.
QUEEN & SLIM – Slim (Daniel Kaluuya) and Queen's (Jodie Turner-Smith) first date takes an unexpected turn when a policeman pulls them over for a minor traffic violation. When the situation escalates, Slim takes the officer's gun and shoots him in self-defense. Now labeled cop killers in the media, Slim and Queen feel that they have no choice but to go on the run and evade the law. When a video of the incident goes viral, the unwitting outlaws soon become a symbol of trauma, terror, grief and pain for people all across the country.
US - In order to get away from their busy lives, the Wilson family takes a vacation to Santa Cruz, California with the plan of spending time with their friends, the Tyler family. On a day at the beach, their young son Jason (Evan Alex) almost wanders off, causing his mother Adelaide (Lupita Nyong'o) to become protective of her family. That night, four mysterious people break into Adelaide's childhood home where they're staying. The family is shocked to find out that the intruders look like them, only with grotesque appearances.
“These films collectively represent the diversity and complexity of the African American experience in America,” said Jeff Friday, ABFF Ventures CEO. “This has been a phenomenal year for Black content and we are excited to celebrate its universal appeal and the community of creators behind it.”
The films will be judged by a jury from ABFF's Entertainment Journalist Committee, who will vote along with national consumers to determine the ABFF's film of the year. Moviegoers can vote at ABFFHonors.com starting December 28, 2019. The voting ends January 15, 2020.
Along with allowing moviegoers to vote, one special moviegoer will be chosen to win the ABFF Honors VIP Fan Experience. One voter from the general public will be randomly selected by the ABFF organization to win two tickets to the ABFF Honors ceremony, as well as two round trip domestic economy-class American Airlines tickets, hotel accommodations and the opportunity to walk the event's red carpet. The winner will be announced on January 20, 2020.
Photo credit: Universal, Warner Bros.
From Harlem to Hollywood, get the Black entertainment news you need in your inbox daily.