Unsurprisingly, 'Selma' Shines as African American Film Critics Association Top Pick
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Unsurprisingly, 'Selma' Shines as African American Film Critics Association Top Pick

nullA concern I’ve long had with specifically competitive award lists like this, that champion black accomplishment in cinema every year, is that there, frankly, just isn’t enough work to choose from, which, in effect, renders the list somewhat inadequate. But I suppose there’s reason to acknowledge and cheer on achievement. 

Thus, as one would expect, "Selma" cleaned up nicely in the majors (Picture, Actor, Director). After all, what else would’ve trumped it? It’s the most obvious choice to win in those categories, not because it’s not deserving of acclaim, but, repeating what I said previously, it doesn’t really have any competition. That’s a problem that I think we’re all hoping will change in years to come; although, I could’ve said the same thing 20 years ago.

Alas, c’est la vie…

Others receiving recognition include Gugu Mbatha-Raw (Best Actress for "Belle"), Octavia Spencer (Best Supporting Actress for "Black or White"), Tyler Perry (Best Supporting Actor for "Gone Girl"), Gina Prince-Bythewood (Best Screenplay for "Beyond the Lights"), "Dear White People" (Best Independent Film), and others. You’ll find the full list of award winners below.

Also, the 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.  

Meanwhile, 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) will hold its annual award ceremony on Wednesday, February 4, 2015 at 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,” said 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 complete list of 2014 AAFCA Awards winners below:

Best Actor                       David Oyelowo, Selma (Paramount)

Best Actress                   Gugu Mbatha-Raw, Belle (Fox Searchlight)

Best Supporting Actress          Octavia Spencer, Black and 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 and White

Shadow and Act is a website dedicated to cinema, television and web content of Africa and its global Diaspora. With daily news, interviews, in-depth investigations into the audiovisual industry, and more, Shadow and Act promotes content created by and about people of African descent throughout the world.

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