Written by | Ray Cornelius 

The African American Film Critics Association (AAFCA) held it’s 8th Annual AAFCA Awards Ceremony recently in Los Angeles and the event was nothing short of spectacular. A number of 2016’s top films were honored including “Moonlight,” “Fences,” “Loving,” and “Hidden Figures.” TV series like OWN’s “Queen Sugar” and FX’s “Atlanta” were also recognized as Top programs.

This year’s awards ceremony took place at the Taglyan Complex in Hollywood, CA and was attended by a number of the honorees including Janelle Monáe (Breakout Performance, “Moonlight” “Hidden Fences”), Barry Jenkins (Best Director, “Moonlight”) and Lee Daniels (Cinema Vanguard Award). Screen legend Sidney Poitier was also recognized for the 50th Anniversary of his groundbreaking film, “Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner.”

A list of who’s who in film and television were also present including Nischelle Turner, John Singleton, Sanaa Lathan, Sheryl Lee Ralph, Jovan Adepo, Joe Morton, Tommy DavidsonAnna Marie HorsfordDemetrius Shipp Jr., Laz Alonso, Wendy Raquel Robinson, Salli Richardson-Whitfield, Eva Marcille, Rhyon Nicole, Marcus Scribner, Kendrick Sampson, Neil Brown Jr., Lou Diamond Phillips, Karen Sharpe and Kat Kramer.

“Queen Sugar” cast members Dawn Lyen-Gardner, Timon Kyle Durrett, Omar J. Dorsey, Tina Lifford and Dondre Whitfield were also present to pick up their “Best TV Show Award” along with the cast of “Underground” Alano Miller, Aisha Hinds and show creator Misha Green.

“Our members had a plethora of outstanding movies, documentaries and TV shows to choose from this year,” says AAFCA Co-founder Shawn Edwards. “It was an exceptional year in terms of the quantity and quality of films about the black experience. And while this by no means solves the diversity issue in the film industry it was definitely refreshing to have such a wide-range of exceptional work to choose from to honor and celebrate with our approval.”

“2016 provided our membership with many great films to choose from,” says AAFCA President and Co-founder, Gil Robertson. “Every movie and TV show on our Top 10 Lists could have easily been number one. The number of incredible performances by black actors and actresses added to a very competitive field of performances and represents a step towards inclusion that our membership warmly embraces. We look forward to what 2017 has in store.”

See more pictures and a full list of winners below:

Lee Daniels 

Janelle Monáe

Barry Jenkins 

See the full list of winners below:

FILM
BEST PICTURE : MOONLIGHT – (A24)
BEST DIRECTOR: BARRY JENKINS, MOONLIGHT – (A24)
BEST ACTOR: DENZEL WASHINGTON, FENCES– (Paramount)
BEST ACTRESS: RUTH NEGA, LOVING – (Focus Features)
BEST SUPPORTING ACTOR: MAHERSHALA ALI, MOONLIGHT – (A24)
BEST ENSEMBLE: THE Cast of HIDDEN FIGURES (20TH Century Fox)
BREAKOUT PERFORMANCE 2017 – Janelle Monae for MOONLIGHT AND HIDDEN FIGURES
BEST INDEPENEDENT FILM: “MOONLIGHT” (A24)
BEST ANIMATION FILM; ZOOTOPIA (Disney)
BEST SONG – “VICTORY” from HIDDEN FIGURES (20th Century Fox)
BEST DOCUMENTARY – 13 (Netflix)
BEST FOREIGN FILM – TANNA (Lightyear Entertainment)
BEST SCREENPLAY – AUGUST WILSON, FENCES – (Paramount)

TV
BEST TV SHOW (Drama) – QUEEN SUGAR – OWN
BEST TV SHOW (Comedy) – ATLANTA – FX
BEST TV SHOW (CABLE/NEW MEDIA – UNDERGROUND – WGN America
BEST TV SHOW (Special/Limited Series) – LEMONADE – HBO

AAFCA Top Ten Films of 2016 are as follows in order of distinction:

1.      MOONLIGHT – A24
2.     FENCES – Paramount
3.     HIDDEN FIGURES – 20th Century Fox
4.     LION – The Weinstein Company
5.     LALA LAND – Lionsgate
6.     BIRTH OF A NATION – Fox Searchlight
7.     LOVING – Focus Features
8.     MANCHESTER BY THE SEA – Amazon Studios / Roadside Attractions
9.     HELL OR HIGH WATER – CBS Films
10.  QUEEN OF KATWE – Disney

AAFCA Top Ten TV shows of 2016 are as follows in order of distinction:

1.      QUEEN SUGAR – OWN
2.     UNDERGROUND – WGN America
3.     ATLANTA – FX
4.     INSECURE – HBO
5.     LUKE CAGE – NETFLIX
6.     THIS IS US – NBC
7.     BLACKISH – ABC
8.     THE GET DOWN – NETFLIX
9.     WESTWORLD – HBO
10.  SURVIVOR’S REMORSE – STARZ

Photo Credits: AAFCA

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