Entertainment Movies West Edition

‘Black Panther’ to headline black film awards program

LOS ANGELES – “Black Panther,” the blockbuster film that burst onto movie screens last year, is carrying that momentum into this year’s award season.

The superhero film will accept three awards at the 8th annual African American Film Critics Association (AAFCA) awards program Feb. 6 at the Taglyan Cultural Complex in L.A.

Known as “the Black Oscars,” the awards program recognizes narratives in film and television that reflect the richness of black culture.

The association’s award for Best Film will go to “Black Panther,” the Disney film that sparked a worldwide phenomenon and grossed more than $1.3 billion at the box office.

“Selecting Disney’s ‘Black Panther’ as the year’s best film was a no-brainer,” AAFCA co-founder Shawn Edwards said in a statement. “Beyond its tremendous reviews and historic box office performance, the film changed the culture and became a defining moment for black America.

“Finally, after years of painfully negative and blatantly harmful depictions of blacks on screen, there was a movie full of positive images and characters that blacks could rally around,” she added.

“For many blacks, the film’s release was like a national holiday.”

The announcement comes days after the “Black Panther” cast won the Screen Actors Guild award for Outstanding Performance by a Cast in a Motion Picture.

The awards bode well for the Marvel film to win the Best Picture award at the 91st Oscars on Feb. 24. The film that wins the top award at the SAG Awards usually wins Best Picture.

“If Beale Street Could Talk,” “The Hate U Give” and “BlacKKKlansman” all tied with two AAFCA awards. “If Beale Street Could Talk,” the romantic drama based on a novel by James Baldwin directed by Barry Jenkins, will receive Best Screenplay and Best Independent Film.

Actors Amandla Stenberg and Russell Hornsby won Best Breakout Performance and Supporting Actor, respectively, for their roles in the George Tillman Jr. directed film, “The Hate U Give,” based on the Angie Thomas novel.

“Black Panther,” “If Beale Street Could Talk” and “The Hate U Give” were the top three films of 2018, according to the AAFCA. Their list for the top 10 includes “A Star is Born,” “Quincy,” “Roma,” “Blindspotting,” “The Favourite,” “Sorry to Bother You” and “Widows.”

“AAFCA’s Top 10 marks the first time so many films by or about black identity have made our list, presenting storylines that reflect the diversity that lives within the black community,” AAFCA co-president Gil Robertson said in a statement.

The complete list of winners:

Best Film: “Black Panther”

Best Director: Ryan Coogler (“Black Panther”)

Best Screenplay:  Charlie Wachtel & David Rabinowitz and Kevin Willmott & Spike Lee (“BlacKkKlansman”)

Best Actor: John David Washington (“BlacKkKlansman”)

Best Actress: Regina Hall (“Support the Girls)”

Best Supporting Actor: Russell Hornsby (“The Hate U Give”)

Best Supporting Actress: Regina King (“If Beale Street Could Talk”)

Best Breakout Performance: Amandla Stenberg (“The Hate U Give”)

Best Animated Film: “Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse”

Best Independent Film: “If Beale Street Could Talk”

Best Foreign Film: “Roma”

Best Documentary: “Quincy”

Best Song: “All The Stars” (“Black Panther”)

Best New Media: “Red Table Talk”

Best TV Drama:  “Queen Sugar”

Best TV Comedy:  “Insecure”