Events may be postponed and schedules reshuffled, but awards are still being handed out. Variety reports, the African American Film Critics Association announced its best films and performances of the year, and while there were a couple of surprises, we got a lot of familiar names.
Star-studded Netflix western The Harder They Fall picked up top honors for best picture, as well as best director for Jeymes Samuel, best music for Jay-Z and Kid Cudi’s title song and best ensemble.
Will Smith nabbed another best actor honor for King Richard, co-star Aunjanue Ellis won for best supporting actress, Saniyya Sidney won best breakout actor for her role as Venus and Reinaldo Marcus Green was named best emerging director.
Jennifer Hudson received the best actress award for her pitch perfect Aretha Franklin in Respect, Corey Hawkins won best supporting actor for The Tragedy of Macbeth, while Summer of Soul continued its award season domination with best documentary honors.
King Richard has been an awards favorite, garnering SAG Award nominations for Will Smith for outstanding performance by a male actor in a leading role and for outstanding performance by a cast. Jennifer Hudson is up for outstanding performance by a female actor in a leading role, and both projects are pretty much guaranteed to receive multiple NAACP Image Award nominations.
Smith is also looking like one of the frontrunners for an Oscar nomination, with Hudson also among the top names.
“It’s been a fantastic year for film,” said AAFCA president and co-founder Gil Robertson. “Just having passed the two-year mark of a global pandemic, great entertainment means more to all of us than ever before. This year’s AAFCA winners not only entertained us, but educated and inspired us and we’re looking forward to celebrating them at the AAFCA Awards.”
The African American Film Critics Association awards ceremony honoring winners takes place with limited capacity March 2 at the SLS Hotel in Los Angeles.
The complete list of winners:
Best Picture: The Harder They Fall
Best Director: Jeymes Samuel (The Harder They Fall)
Best Screenplay: Don’t Look Up (Adam McKay)
Best Actor: Will Smith (King Richard)
Best Actress: Jennifer Hudson (Respect)
Best Supporting Actor: Corey Hawkins (The Tragedy of Macbeth)
Best Supporting Actress: Aunjanue Ellis (King Richard)
Breakout Actor: Saniyya Sidney (King Richard)
Best Ensemble: The Harder They Fall
Emerging Director: Reinaldo Marcus Green (King Richard)
Best Music: “The Harder They Fall” (Jeymes Samuel, Kid Cudi, Jay-Z)
Best Independent Feature: Who We Are
Best Documentary: Summer of Soul (…Or, When the Revolution Could Not Be Televised)