Posted by | Ray Cornelius
The African American Film Critics Association (AAFCA) released a bold statement on Monday proclaiming “2016 as the best year ever” for African Americans in films and feels quite confident that a record number of Black actors will be nominated in the forthcoming award season.
“The studios and major film distributors really gave it to us this year,” says Gil Robertson, AAFCA co-founder/president. “By any measurement, it’s been an exceptional year for Blacks in film. From comedies to high-quality dramas and documentaries, 2016 will forever represent a bonanza year for Black cinema and all cinema really.”
AAFCA not only acknowledged the box office success of such films as “Ride Along 2,” “Barbershop 3, ” “Central Intelligence” and “Boo! A Madea Halloween” but they also recognized the diverse rage of characters and storylines that were presented on the silver screen this year including the critically acclaimed LGBT drama “Moonlight” and the racially charged “Loving.” AAFCA also predicts that the highly anticipated December releases of “Fences” and “Hidden Figures” are sure to reap Oscar nominations and hopefully put an end to the infamous hashtag: #OscarSoWhite.
“The amount of quality feature films, documentaries and TV shows released in 2016 about the black experience easily make it the best year ever. It has truly been an unapologetically black year in the industry as filmmakers brought to life some of the cultures most fascinating stories and subjects with bold storytelling perspective,” says AAFCA co-founder, Shawn Edwards.
“The coming award nominations are going to definitely put a pause on #OscarsSoWhite this year,” says Robertson. “But what we wonder is for how long? It’s undeniable that the studios have responded admirably to the tremendous outcry from the African American community through its delivery of the films that we’ve seen this year. But what about next year and the year after that? Unfortunately the question that we must ask with every watershed year is ‘how long will it last?’ Were the past 12 months an anomaly or does it signal the beginning of Hollywood being more committed to supporting a diverse lineup of Black films? And what about films about the Asian, Hispanic, Native American and LGBT communities? “Moonlight” has been a bright spot in representing both the Black and LGBT communities but we need more. So we at AAFCA are extremely hopeful that these 2016 Black films will have a domino effect in providing platform opportunities for films that represent other communities as well.”