The African-American Film Critics Association will honor the special achievements of iconic actors Richard Roundtree and Hattie Winston, legendary filmmaker George Lucas and Sony Pictures Entertainment during the AAFCA Awards ceremony on Sunday, Jan. 8, 2012, at Light Space Studios in Culver City, Calif. Veteran entertainment journalist Kevin Frazier will host the red-carpet ceremony.
Roundtree will receive the 2011 Legacy Award for helping expand the way men of color are represented in film through his iconic role as John Shaft in Shaft (1971) and the groundbreaking television miniseries Roots (1977). Roundtree, who has appeared in numerous television and film roles, will be joined by Hattie Winston, the first African-American woman to appear in a national commercial.
Winston, a member of the famed Negro Ensemble, rose to fame as a prominent member of the cast of the children's television show Electric Company. Winston will be honored with the 2011 Horizon Award for her diverse body of work in film, theater and music, which paved the way for African-American actresses in all three genres.
Legendary filmmaker George Lucas will receive the 2011 Cinema Vanguard Award for his innovation and creativity in film. Lucas' Star Wars franchise featured seminal actors James Earl Jones, Billy Dee Williams and Samuel L. Jackson. His upcoming film Red Tails (2012) is the story of the world-renowned Tuskegee Airmen.
AAFCA's first Special Achievement Award in the studio category will be presented to Sony Pictures Entertainment, whose film library includes black cinema gems like A Raisin in the Sun, Guess Who's Coming to Dinner, Boys in the Hood, Ali and The Pursuit of Happyness, wil be honored as an industry leader in creativity and diversity.
"AAFCA is thrilled and honored to bestow recognition to an incredible group of honorees this year," says Gil Robertson IV, founder and president of the organization. "These individuals and institutions have transformed the face of the cinematic arts."
The AAFCA will announce the complete list of winners during a press conference at the Universal Hilton on Monday, Dec. 12. Other categories will include best actor and actress, best supporting actor and actress, best film, best director and best screenplay.
Read more at AAFC.com.