The African American Film Critics Association (AAFCA), the world’s largest group of Black film critics, will hold its twelfth annual awards ceremony virtually on Wednesday, April 7th, sponsored by Nissan and Morgan Stanley. “Judas and the Black Messiah” was named the year’s Best Film, in addition to winning Best Supporting Actor for Daniel Kaluuya and Best Supporting Actress for Dominique Fishback.
“It is an honor to help present an award to ‘Judas and the Black Messiah’ because I am from Chicago where we have a tradition of community advocacy,” said RogerEbert.com publisher Chaz Ebert. “Emmett Till and his mother, Mamie Till Mobley, lived here; the Rev. Jesse Jackson lives here; and former president Barack Obama was a community advocate here. I lived on the West Side of Chicago, and I met Fred Hampton, and I know he aspired to be a lawyer. After his death, his brother contacted me as the head of the Black American Law Student Association to help establish the Fred Hampton Scholarship at DePaul Law School for African-American students. So this film was particularly meaningful to me.”
“Serving alongside an all-Black producing team, “Judas and the Black Messiah" director Shaka King created a project that permanently enshrines pivotal Black Panther leader Fred Hampton as an American hero. Released against the backdrop of the present-day Black Lives Matter movement, the film's message of commitment and sacrifice to social justice is empowering,” says AAFCA President/Co-Founder Gil Robertson. "Daniel Kaluuya as Hampton is literally on fire and is supported well by Dominique Fishback who increasingly has become an actress to watch. Our members are thrilled to award the film with our highest honor.”
Andra Day won Best Actress for her harrowing portrayal of the title role in "The United States vs. Billie Holiday," while Chadwick Boseman posthumously won Best Actor for his stunning performance in "Ma Rainey's Black Bottom."
“Our Best Actress winner Andra Day was phenomenal as Billie Holiday,” continues Robertson. "Director Lee Daniels has a terrific knack for bringing out the very best from his actors and Day is no exception as she delivered a performance that serves as an impressive launch to an acting career we feel has great promise. The members of AAFCA are excited to see even more of her range in the future. In 'Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom,' Chadwick Boseman again showcased a great understanding and execution of the acting craft. In what is the final performance of his career, he confirmed why he will forever be considered one of the best actors of his generation. AAFCA is tremendously pleased to honor him for this extraordinary performance.”
Here is the complete list of winners:
Best Picture: "Judas and the Black Messiah" (Warner Bros.)
Best Director: Regina King, "One Night In Miami" (Amazon Studios)
Best Actor: Chadwick Boseman, "Ma Rainey's Black Bottom" (Netflix)
Best Actress: Andra Day, "The United States vs. Billie Holiday" (Hulu)
Best Supporting Actor: Daniel Kaluuya, "Judas and the Black Messiah" (Warner Bros.)
Best Supporting Actress: Dominique Fishback, "Judas and the Black Messiah" (Warner Bros.)
Best Screenplay: Kemp Powers, "One Night in Miami" (Amazon Studios)
Best Ensemble: "One Night In Miami" (Amazon Studios)
Best Foreign Film: "Night of the Kings" (Neon)
Best Documentary: "All In: The Fight For Democracy" (Amazon Studios)
Best Animation: "Soul" (Pixar/Disney)
Best Short Film: "Two Distant Strangers"
Breakout Performance: Radha Blank (Netflix)
Breakout Director: Shaka King (Warner Bros.)
The organization, whose membership spans the U.S., the Caribbean, Europe and Africa and is the largest of its kind, also announced its Top 10 films of the year (listed here in ranked order): "Judas And The Black Messiah," "One Night In Miami," "Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom," "Nomadland," "Night Of The Kings," "American Skin," "Da 5 Bloods," "Minari," "Miss Juneteenth" and "The United States Vs. Billie Holiday."
“The common theme with all of our Top 10 Films this year is the grace of humanity. All of these films spotlighted different circumstances that put the human spirit to a test. During a year when COVID-19 forced everyone on this planet to unite against a common threat to our health and well-being, these films spoke to the resilience and courage we all possess to overcome challenging odds. The AAFCA members were deeply heartened and inspired by these amazing stories as we also look forward to a return to “going to the movies” with our family and friends,” said Robertson.
The public airing for the 12th Annual AAFCA Awards virtual ceremony will take place at 8pm CT on Saturday, April 17th. For updates on how to stream the ceremony, follow AAFCA on Twitter and Instagram. For more information, visit the official site of AAFCA.