Black film critics announce 2011 awards
Hollywood by Choice
The African American Film Critics Association (AAFCA) recently announced their 2011 awards.
The Black critics organization will also honor the special achievements of iconic actors Richard Roundtree and Hattie Winston, legendary filmmaker George Lucas and Sony Pictures Entertainment, during its third live awards ceremony on Jan. 8, at Light Space Studios, located at the historic Helm Bakery in Culver City, Calif.
The Best Picture honor went to “The Tree of Life” which stars Brad Pitt and Sean Penn. The story centers on a family with three boys in the 1950s. The eldest son witnesses the loss of innocence.
The critics selected “The Tree of Life” from their top 10 nominated films, which were “Drive,” “Pariah,” “Rampart,” “Shame,” “Moneyball,” “The Descendants,” “A Better Life,” “My Week With Marilyn” and “The Help.”
It should come as no surprise that “The Help” stars were among the winners. Best Actress: Viola Davis, and Best Supporting Actress: Octavia Spencer.
In the category of Best Independent Film, the honors went to “Pariah,” the story of a Brooklyn teenager who juggles conflicting identities and risks friendship, heartbreak, and family in a desperate search for sexual expression. And to sweeten the victory, Adepero Oduye won Breakout Performance for her starring role as Alike in “Pariah.”
Best Foreign film was awarded to “Kinyarwanda.” During the Rwandan genocide, when neighbors killed neighbors and friends betrayed friends, some crossed lines of hatred to protect each other.
Best Screen Play went to “I Will Follow” written and directed by Ava DuVernay. The film chronicles a day in the life of a grieving woman, and the 12 visitors who help her move forward.
It’s a tender story of love, loss and finding ones self and stars Sali Richardson-Whitfield.
Best Documentary honors went to “The Black Power Mixtape.” The film features footage shot by a group of Swedish journalists documenting the Black Power Movement in the United States from 1967 to 1975.
Here is a list of the other winners: Best Director: Steve McQueen, “Shame’;” Best Actor: Woody Harrelson, “Rampart;” Best Supporting Actor: Albert Brooks, “Drive;” Best Song: “The Show” from “Moneyball."
Richard Roundtree, will receive the 2011 Legacy Award—he forever changed pop culture with his portrayal of private detective John Shaft in 1971. Roundtree helped to expand the way men of color are seen in contemporary cinema.
As the 2011 Horizon Award honoree, (Hattie) Winston’s diverse body of work in film, theater and music has paved the way for African American actresses in all three genres.
Filmmaker George Lucas is the recipient of the 2011 Cinema Vanguard. His upcoming film “Red Tails,” tells the story of the Tuskegee Airmen.
AAFCA’s first Special Achievement Award in the studio category will be presented to Sony Pictures Entertainment, an entertainment powerhouse that has been lighting up film screens around the world for nearly a century.
For more information about AAFCA or the 2011 AAFCA Awards, visit www.aafca.com.
Actress Octavia Spencer walked away with the Oscar for Best Actress in a Supporting Role at the 84th annual Academy Awards Show Sunday. Spencer’s character Minny Jackson in “The Help” aptly displayed her comedic as well as dramatic abilities and demonstrated how grounded an actress she is. Her grace and beauty warmed the audience and her sincere words touched the hearts of many. Spencer is the fifth Black actress to win in the Best Supporting Actress category.
Cross your fingers and hold your breath. It’s awards season, and Hollywood is already sizing up who is going to win the big prize—the coveted Oscar.
Unfortunately, the only African American contenders for an Oscar win in the actress categories are Viola Davis in the Best Actress category and Octavia Spencer in the Best Supporting Actress category for the Dreamworks film “The Help.”
Check your family history, and you just might find someone that was once referred to as “the help.” Black women, who cooked, cleaned and cared for the children of their employers, generally Whites.
Set in Mississippi, “The Help” is a rich, funny and at times disturbing look at Black women in the turbulent 1960s who made their living working in White households. It’s rich because the story of these women seems to have been swept under a rug, almost like a Black reality we don’t want to remember.
The 2012 Academy Award Nominations were announced Tuesday and as hoped for and expected, both Viola Davis and Octavia Spencer were nominated for the coveted award.
Here’s how it stands; in the category of Best Actress: Glenn Close, “Albert Nobbs”; Rooney Mara, “The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo”; Viola Davis, “The Help”; Meryl Streep, “The Iron Lady”; and Michelle Williams, “My Week With Marilyn.”
Yes, indeed we are at war—with Hollywood. It’s our call to arms. Make history at the box office on opening day and/or weekend for “Red Tails.” A major email campaign has been on the way since December, and honestly, any and everywhere Black folks are gathered, including church, they should be asked to go to the theaters to see and support it.