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Martin Lawrence parties with the Cast of BET’s ‘Boomerang’ [PHOTOS]

Last night, BET Networks celebrated the season two premiere of its Lena Waithe and Halle Berry executive produced show BOOMERANG, at Paramount Studios. Show cast members Tequan RichmondTetona JacksonLala MilanDime DavisLeland B. Martin, Brittany Inge and RJ Walker were in attendance along with BET President Scott Mills.

Following the success of Waithe’s BOOMERANG first season, the half-hour subversive, smart, serialized comedy that is fielded by romance, friendship, gender politics and more returns for season two.

The original cast are back to deal with the ramifications of Simone and Bryson’s breakup and how it effects the group’s friendship.  Throughout the season, each of our main characters: Simone (Tetona Jackson), Bryson (Tequan Richmond), Crystal (Brittany Inge), Ari (Leland Martin), Tia (Lala Milan) and David (RJ Walker) look inward to find out who they truly are while discovering that together, they’re growing apart.

Guest stars for season two will include Jaleel WhiteJoey Bada$$, Walter Emmanuel Jones and Kim Wayans

Special guests in attendance included: Terrence JMartin LawrenceTerrence J, Lance GrossKellee Stewart, Lauren Lott, Cameron Hamilton and Lauren Speed and more.

BOOMERANG season 2 premieres TONIGHT at 10PM EST on BET.

See more pics below and watch the trailer:

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Watch Trailer for ‘Uncorked’ with Mamoudou Athie, Courtney B. Vance, and Niecy Nash (VIDEO)

Netflix has released the official trailer for it’s newest dramedy Uncorked starring Mamoudou Athie, Courtney B. Vance and Niecy Nash. It premieres on March 27.

Fueled by his love for wine, Elijah (Athie) enrolls in a course to become a master sommelier, an elite designation given only to a handful who are able to pass its notoriously difficult exam. It’s a dream that upends the expectations of his father, Louis (Vance), who insists Elijah take over the popular Memphis BBQ joint that’s been passed down from father to son since its inception. Elijah struggles with the demands of school and a new relationship, while Louis wrestles with the feelings of his son rejecting the family business until a tragedy forces both of them to slow things down.

Uncorked is written and directed by Prentice Penny, executive producer, director and writer of HBO’s Insecure.

Photo Credit: Netflix

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Nia Long, Anthony Mackie and Samuel L. Jackson attend premiere of ‘The Banker’ [PHOTOS]

The stars aligned last night in Memphis, TN for the Red Carpet Premiere of Apple TV +’s The Banker. The film’s stars Nia Long, Samuel L. Jackson and Anthony Mackie were all in attendance along with Apple TV+ execs and more. The dazzling event took place at the National Civil Rights Museum.

As previously mentioned, The Banker centers on revolutionary businessmen Bernard Garrett (Mackie) and Joe Morris (Jackson), who devise an audacious and risky plan to take on the racially oppressive establishment of the 1960s by helping other African Americans pursue the American dream. Along with Garrett’s wife Eunice (Long), they train a working class white man, Matt Steiner (Nicholas Hoult), to pose as the rich and privileged face of their burgeoning real estate and banking empire – while Garrett and Morris pose as a janitor and a chauffeur. Their success ultimately draws the attention of the federal government, which threatens everything the four have built.

The Banker opens in theaters on March 6 and the Apple TV+ platform on March 20.

Watch the trailer and see more premiere pics below:

Photo Credits: Le Studio Photography

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Watch Official Trailer for ‘Self Made’ featuring Octavia Spencer (VIDEO)

Check out the official trailer for Netflix’s four-part limited series Self Made starring Academy Award® winning actress Octavia Spencer.

As previously reported, Self Made: Inspired by the Life of Madam C.J. Walker debuts on March 20, and features Spencer stars as the trailblazing African American haircare entrepreneur who was America’s first female self-made millionaire.

The project is inspired by the book, On Her Own Ground: The Life and Times of Madam C. J. Walker, which was written by Walker’s great-great-granddaughter A’Lelia Bundles. The Netflix original series is the first time Walker’s story has been showcased on the big screen.

Against all odds, Walker overcame post-slavery racial and gender biases, personal betrayals, and business rivalries to build a ground-breaking brand that revolutionized black haircare, as she simultaneously fought for social change.

Self Made also features Blair Underwood as her husband C.J. Walker, Tiffany Haddish as her daughter Lelia, Carmen Ejogo as Walker’s business rival Addie Munroe, Garrett Morris as Walker’s father-in-law, Kevin Carroll as her longtime lawyer Freeman Ransom and Bill Bellamy as Ransom’s cousin Sweetness.

Photo Credit: Netflix

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‘Lexus UPTOWN Honors Hollywood’ recognizes Robin Thede, Marsai Martin + more [PHOTOS]

Uptown Ventures Group, the parent company of Uptown Magazine, kicked off Oscar week with their annual event, Lexus Uptown Honors Hollywood, at NeueHouse Hollywood Wednesday evening. Celebrity guests gathered to honor Power Player Women within the film industry. The evening honorees included writer, producer and creator of “Power (Starz),” Courtney A. Kemp, Executive Vice President of Film Production at Warner Bros. Pictures Niija Kuykendall, writer, performer, producer and show runner Robin Thede, along with creative, young power player, award-winning actress and executive producer Marsai Martin. The night of excellence was hosted by Tai Beauchamp and Chris Spencer


As a prelude to the Academy Awards® the star-studded event was lavishly decorated with beautiful white rose centerpieces, a 5-course dinner was served, followed by a private after-party. Highlights from the evening included the cast of “Power,” Naturi Naughton, Larenz Tate and Jospeh Sikora presenting writer, producer, and creator Courtney A. Kemp with her award. Honoree Robin Thede delivered a belly-aching hilarious speech as she accepted her award, Honoree Niija Kuykendall spoke about breaking barriers and being fearless in the industry and mini-mogul and Hollywood starlet Marsai Martin delivered an empowering speech and let the crowd know that being a teenager was much harder than being the youngest executive producer working in Hollywood.

“Tonight is about celebrating exceptional talent leading the way and contributing to the industry in front and behind the camera,” says Len Burnett co-CEO and chief revenue office, of UPTOWN Ventures Group.


Celebrity guests and VIP’s in attendance included Naturi Naughton, Larenz Tate, Joseph Sikora, Malinda Williams, Curtis Hamilton, Affion Crockett, Miss J. Alexander, Gabrielle Dennis, Tai Beauchamp, TJ Jackson,Kenny Lattimore, Terrence J, Bresha Webb, Sheryl Lee Ralph, Mike Hill, Cynthia Bailey & more.


For almost a decade, LexusUptown Honors Hollywood is made possible by the generous support of Lexus as the returning title sponsor. 

Check out a photo gallery below:

Photo Credits: Earl Gibson & Darius L. Carter

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Jamie Foxx, Da’Vine Joy Randolph, Lena Waithe and more honored at ‘AAFCA Awards’ [PHOTOS]

Check out photos from Wednesday night’s 11th Annual AAFCA Awards.

The evening was hosted by actor and comedian Lil Rel Howery with honors going to Jamie Foxx for his role in Just Mercy, Eddie Murphy for the Netflix movie Dolemite Is My Name, Jordan Peele for Us, Lena Waithe and Melina Matsoukas for Queen & Slim and Kasi Lemmons for Harriet.

The event was sponsored by Nissan, Morgan Stanley and Deadline and took place at the Taglyan Complex in Hollywood, CA.

See the full list of winners below:

Best Film: “Us” (Universal Pictures)

Best Director: Jordan Peele (“Us,” Universal Pictures)

Best Actor: Eddie Murphy (“Dolemite Is My Name,” Netflix)

Best Actress: Lupita Nyong’o (“Us,” Universal Pictures)

Best Supporting Actor: Jamie Foxx (“Just Mercy,” Warner Bros. Pictures) 

Best Supporting Actress: Da’Vine Joy Randolph (“Dolemite Is My Name,” Netflix)

Best Breakout Performance: Kelvin Harrison, Jr. (“Waves,” A24)

Best Animated Film: “Abominable” (Universal Pictures)

Best Documentary: “The Black Godfather” (Netflix)

Best Foreign Film: “Parasite” (Neon)

Best Independent Film: “The Last Black Man in San Francisco” (A24)

Best Screenplay Presented with The Black List: Bong Joon-ho, “Parasite” (Neon)

Impact Award: “Queen & Slim” (Universal Pictures)

We See You Award: Taylor Russell (“Waves,” A24)

The AAFCA 2019 Top Ten Films

  1. “Us” (Universal Pictures)
  2.  “Dolemite Is My Name” (Netflix)
  3. “Just Mercy” (Warner Bros. Pictures)
  4. “Clemency” (Neon)
  5. “The Irishman” (Netflix)
  6. “Queen & Slim” (Universal Pictures)
  7. “Waves” (A24)
  8. TIE “Parasite” (Neon) and “Atlantics” (Netflix)
  9. The Farewell (A24)
  10.  “Harriet” (Focus Features)

Photo Credits: AAFCA

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OWN hosts ‘Cherish The Day’ Launch Party [PHOTOS]

All eyes were on the A-T-L Thursday night for OWN’s swanky launch party for its newest dramatic series, Cherish the Day. The highly anticipated two-night premiere begins on February 11.

The invite-only soiree took place at the Stave Room in the Midtown district of the city and was hosted by OWN president and CEO Tina Perry along with the show’s creator and executive producer Ava DuVernay.

Chapter One of the “anthology series” chronicles the stirring relationship of the two star-crossed lovers, with each episode spanning a single day. The narrative will unfold to reveal significant moments in their relationship that compel us to hold true to the ones we love.

Cherish the Day cast members in attendance included the show’s leads—Alano Miller and Xosha Roquemore as well as Kellee Stewart, Michael Beach and Anne-Marie Johnson. Not present but also included in the show are Dorien Wilson, Loren Lott, Bryan Terrell Clark and the queen mum—CICELY TYSON.

Other notables in attendance included the hosts of TV One’s Sister CircleRashan Ali, Syleena Johnson and Trina Braxton plus actresses DeWanda Wise, Jasmine Guy and Terri J. Vaughn. Other famous faces spotted in the crowd were actors Joel Rush, Karon Riley, André Holland, Omar Dorsey, celebrity makeup artist Derrick Rutledge and Exonerated Five member Raymond Santana and his fiancé Delicious.

The evening included a sneak peek of three different scenes along with commentary and a Q&A session featuring the cast and DuVernay. We also listened to some dope sounds from DJ Princess Cut and enjoyed some refreshing cocktails, food and much more.

See the picture gallery below including a few of my selfies:

CHERISH THE DAY premieres on February 11 and 12 on OWN.

Photo Credits: Paras Griffin Getty Images/ OWN + RayCornelius.com

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Watch a Sneak Peek of STARZ new series ‘P-Valley’ (VIDEO)

STARZ has released a sneak peek of its upcoming new drama series P-Valley.

The show is based on Katori Hall’s play Pussy Valley and is being described as an unapologetic look at the lives of strip club dancers. Deep down in the Mississippi Delta lies an oasis of grit and glitter in a rough patch of human existence where beauty can be hard to find. This southern-fried, hour-long drama tells the kaleidoscopic story of a little-strip-club-that-could and the big characters who come through its doors—the hopeful, the lost, the broken, the ballers, the beautiful, and the damned.

As previously reported, P-Valley stars Brandee Evans as Mercedes and Nicco Annan as Uncle Clifford while Shannon Thornton and J. Alphonse Nicholson are series regulars.

Joining Hall behind-the-scenes are Khaliah Neal as consulting producer, Patrik-Ian Polk as co-executive producer and award-winning music video director Karena Evans, who will direct the premiere episode.

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‘Essence’ to honor Niecy Nash, Melina Matsoukas, Lashana Lynch + ‘POSE’ Series

Essence will recognize CLAWS star Niecy Nash plus Queen & Slim director Melina Matsoukas during this year’s Essence Black Women in Hollywood Awards. It’s all going down on February 6 at the Beverly Wilshire in Beverly Hills, CA.

The annual highly-anticipated celebration will shine a deserving spotlight on several Black women in Hollywood who are owning their narrative and transforming the art of storytelling.

Other honorees include 007 actress Lashana Lynch and the divas of POSE: Janet Mock, Mj Rodriguez, Indya Moore, Dominique Jackson, Angelica Ross and Hailie Sahar.

“For fifty years, ESSENCE has remained committed to portraying and highlighting the triumphs, aspirations and dynamic lives of Black women,” said Michelle Ebanks, CEO of ESSENCE Communications, Inc. “The ESSENCE Black Women in Hollywood luncheon has become an amazing platform to recognize and honor the unparalleled talents of Black women in an industry that often hasn’t. We celebrate all of our honorees this year for their fearlessness and strength as they boldly continue to own their narratives and share our stories.”

Click here for more information.

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The Women of ‘HARRIET’ to Receive ‘2020 Stanley Kramer Social Justice Award’

The African American Film Critics Association (AAFCA) and the family of legendary director Stanley Kramer will be honoring the women of Harriet with this year’s AAFCA Stanley Kramer Award for Social Justice.

The first-ever big screen film on the iconic Harriet Tubman, who not only escaped her own enslavement, but traveled back frequently to free others, recently crossed $40 million at the box office. Starring Cynthia Erivo as the revered freedom fighter, Harriet, whose other esteemed cast members include Vanessa Bell Calloway, Janelle Monáe, Leslie Odom Jr., Omar Dorsey, Clarke Peters and Vondie Curtis Hall, has defied the odds by proving that films about strong women, particularly those of color, can and do resonate widely.

For her performance, Erivo recently received two Golden Globe® nominations including Best Actress in a Motion Picture – Drama and Best Original Song “Stand Up,” which she co-wrote with songwriter Joshuah Brian Campbell.  Most recently, she was nominated for a Screen Actors Guild Award® for Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a Leading Role.

In addition to Erivo, her co-honorees include acclaimed Harriet director/co-writer Kasi Lemmons, who enthralled the film world with her searing 1997 debut Eve’s Bayou, as well as producers Debra Martin Chase and Daniela Taplin Lundberg. Both producers have a strong body of work which include The Princess Diaries franchise and Beast of No Nations respectively.

Now, in its fourth year, the AAFCA Stanley Kramer Award for Social Justice recognizes filmmakers who work in the vein of Kramer who left a robust film legacy of such socially conscious films as Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner, The Defiant Ones, Inherit the Wind and Judgment at Nuremberg challenging the critical social issues of the day. 

Previous winners include Quincy Jones, Rob Reiner and Sidney Poitier. Similarly, Harriet star Cynthia Erivo, director/co-writer Kasi Lemmons and producers Debra Martin Chase and Daniela Taplin Lundberg created a film that embodies that.

“This is the year of the woman – and no one epitomizes that more than the true story of Harriet Tubman. Her escape from slavery and transformation into one of America’s most renowned freedom fighters shows her fierce passion and courage,” shared Kramer’s widow Karen via statement. “The prestigious Stanley Kramer Social Justice Award is presented to Cynthia Erivo and the remarkable director/co-writer Kasi Lemmons and producers Debra Martin Chase and Daniela Taplin Lundberg who brought Harriet to life. Thanks to their collective efforts, Erivo’s riveting performance leaves no doubt that Tubman’s contributions go beyond gender and ensure that she will be forever hailed as one of our nation’s MOST important “sheroes.”

The award will be presented on January 22, 2020 during the 11th AAFCA Awards at the Taglyn Complex in Hollywood.

CONGRATS!!

Photo Credit: AAFCA

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Brandy, Deborah Cox and more appear at ‘Divas Simply Singing’

Check out photos from the Sheryl Lee Ralph‘s recent DIVAS Simply Singing! It took place at the Taglyan Cultural Center in Hollywood, CA and is the longest consecutive running musical AIDS benefit in the United States.

Created and produced by the Tony Award-nominated actress and benefitting Project Angel Food, the evening of song and entertainment spotlights the talents of D.I.V.A. (acronym for Divinely Inspired, Victoriously Aware) individuals from all walks of show business. The foundation stems from Sheryl’s deep concern for the lack of attention given to AIDS in the early years of its discovery and its potential to become a health risk not only for men but women and children.

Continuing to serve as a loving tribute for those diagnosed with and affected by HIV/AIDs, the goal of DIVAS Simply Singing! is to erase stigma, raise awareness and promote HIV/AIDS prevention through arts and education. The D.I.V.A. Foundation uniquely uses the transformational power of the arts as a vehicle to raise funds, awareness, erase the stigma still connected to HIV/AIDS, mental wellness, and educate people about STDs, including HIV, Hepatitis C, and other life-threatening diseases. 

DIVAS 2019 honored Grammy, Golden Globe, Emmy winning, and 10-time Oscar nominee, legendary songwriter Diane Warren with the DIVAS Legacy Award at the 29th Annual DIVAS Simply Singing. A tribute of her many hits was featured in the evening filled with spectacular performances, including Sheryl Lee Ralph singing “Because You Loved Me”; Emmy, two-time Grammy and Tony Award-nominated actor/producer Brandon Victor Dixon sang the iconic “I Don’t Want To Miss A Thing” and “Stand Up For Something” from the film Marshall.

Drag performer Shangela opened the evening with a rendition of “Rhythm of the Night,” with additional performances by multi-platinum recording artist & Grammy nominee Deborah Cox; singer, songwriter, speaker and actress Rhonda Ross, Shanice (Grammy Nominated Singer & Songwriter), Kathy Sledge (Grammy Nominated Recording Artist & International Entertainer), Terrell Carter (Singer and Actor from FOX’s Empire).

The show also included appearances by Brandy, LisaRaye McCoy, William Allen Young, Flame Monroe, Erica Ash, Deborah Joy Winans, Frankie Grande, Parnell Damone Marcano and many more! 

Photo Credits: Faye Sadou & James Anthony Photography

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‘Urban One Honors’ salute Jamie Foxx, Missy Elliott, Chance the Rapper + more [PHOTOS]

Some of the biggest names in film, television, and music gathered recently for a star-studded affair at the annual Urban One Honors at MGM National Harbor in Oxon Hill, Maryland. The event was hosted by Urban One Founder and Chairwoman Cathy Hughes and actor Chris Tucker and commemorated the 40-year legacy of Radio One. The show will premiere on January 20, 2020, the Martin Luther King, Jr. holiday, at 8P.M./7C on TV One.

This year’s honorees included: veteran music executive Sylvia Rhone (Lifetime Achievement Honor); Grammy Award-winning recording artist and producer Missy Elliott (Music Innovation Honor); Academy Award-winning actor Jamie Foxx (Entertainment Icon Honor); Grammy Award-winning artist Chance the Rapper (Represent Change Honor); and, actor/dancer and star of “Pose,” Ryan Jamaal Swain (Represent Pride Honor).

Special recognition went to music executive legend Clarence “The Black Godfather” Avant (Represent Opportunity), civil rights activist Rev. Al Sharpton (Represent Leadership), and Emmy Award-winning actor Billy Porter (Represent Excellence).

Highlights from the evening included:

A surprise performance by Grammy Award-winning icon Anita Baker, who not only serenaded Cathy Hughes with “Giving You the Best That I Got” but also had Lalah Hathaway, Billy Porter, and Jamie Foxx to join her on stage.

Actress Corinne Foxx presenting the Entertainment Icon Honor to her father Jamie Foxx, who, during his acceptance speech, remarked that his best role ever is being a father.

Rapper Lil’ Kim‘s heartfelt presentation of the Music Innovation Honor, which brought honoree Missy Elliott to tears.

A special musical tribute to the late, two-time Grammy Award-winning singer/songwriter, James Ingram, by Ne-Yo, Eric Benét, Chanté Moore, and Al B. Sure

Additional performances from Grammy Award-winning R&B superstar Brandy, Grammy-nominated rapper Wale and new artist Jac Ross brought the audience to its feet. Special appearances by Urban One CEO Alfred Liggins, III, veteran radio personality Tom Joyner, entrepreneur and TV personality Ray J, rapper/radio host Da Brat, TV host Egypt Sherrod, comedian George Wallace, and Reach Media/Radio One personalities Russ Parr, Willie Moore, Jr, Dyana Williams, Darlene McCoy, and Little Bacon Bear rounded out the show.

“It is with great humility and gratitude that I acknowledge our sponsors, staff and attendees at our second annual Urban One Honors at the MGM National Harbor. We are totally aware that our 40th anniversary would not be a reality without your love and support,” said Hughes. 

Ford Motor Company served as Presenting Sponsor of the event and presented a special backstage pass segment hosted by TV Personality Tai Beauchamp, featuring exclusive interviews with the show’s honorees, performers, and presenters. Ford also sponsored the Entertainment Icon Award.

Check out the gallery below:

Photo Credits: Urban One, Inc.

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Watch a Sneak Peek of ‘Nick Cannon’s Hit Viral Videos’ #HolidayEdition (VIDEO)

Nick Cannon is getting into the Christmas spirit with a new Fox TV special Nick Cannon’s Hit Viral Videos #HolidayEdition. It airs this Monday, December 16 at 8 p.m.

The special features a showcase of the funniest and most unbelievable viral videos including comical holiday mishaps + adorable pets + mischievous kids and everything in between.

Also joining the party are Nick’s friends and TV personalities Kelly Osbourne and Jeannie Mai as well as comedian J.B. Smoove and more.

Watch below:

https://youtu.be/noQx0tokISk
Nick Cannon’s Hit Viral Videos airing Monday, December 16 at 8 p.m.
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Lupita Nyong’o, Eddie Murphy + more to receive ‘AAFCA AWARDS’

AND THE WINNER IS…

The African American Film Critics Association (AAFCA) has announced its winners for The AAFCA Awards and Jordan Peele‘s Us leads the pack. The dramatic thriller picked up three awards including “Best Film,” “Best Director” for Peele and “Best Actress” for Oscar winner Lupita Nyong’o. Other winners include Eddie Murphy for Dolemite Is My Name, Jamie Foxx for Just Mercy plus The Black Godfather and more.

Check out the full list below:

Best Film: “Us” (Universal Pictures)

Best Director: Jordan Peele (“Us,” Universal Pictures)

Best Actor: Eddie Murphy (“Dolemite Is My Name,” Netflix)

Best Actress: Lupita Nyong’o (“Us,” Universal Pictures)

Best Supporting Actor: Jamie Foxx (“Just Mercy,” Warner Bros. Pictures) 

Best Supporting Actress: Da’Vine Joy Randolph (“Dolemite Is My Name,” Netflix)

Best Breakout Performance: Kelvin Harrison, Jr. (“Waves,” A24)

Best Animated Film: “Abominable” (Universal Pictures)

Best Documentary: “The Black Godfather” (Netflix)

Best Foreign Film: “Parasite” (Neon)

Best Independent Film: “The Last Black Man in San Francisco” (A24)

Best Screenplay Presented with The Black List: Bong Joon-ho, “Parasite” (Neon)

Impact Award: “Queen & Slim” (Universal Pictures)

We See You Award: Taylor Russell (“Waves,” A24)
                                                                                                                               

“Jordan Peele continued to raise the bar in horror specifically and film overall” stated AAFCA President/Co-Founder Gil Robertson. “With ‘Us,’ he once again upended the horror genre. His centering of a black nuclear family determined to survive in a complex storyline in a genre where black family units have historically been unseen is extraordinary. He continues to push previously set boundaries with bold storylines that bring a refreshing perspective to cinema overall and the genre specifically. The film’s $255 million global gross is yet another example that inclusive filmmaking resonates big at the box office and it also resonated critically with our members who awarded the film with our highest honors.”

The organization, whose membership spans the U.S., the Caribbean, Europe and Africa and is the largest of its kind, also announced its ten best films of the year:

The AAFCA 2019 Top Ten Films

  1. “Us” (Universal Pictures)
  2.  “Dolemite Is My Name” (Netflix)
  3. “Just Mercy” (Warner Bros. Pictures)
  4. “Clemency” (Neon)
  5. “The Irishman” (Netflix)
  6. “Queen & Slim” (Universal Pictures)
  7. “Waves” (A24)
  8. TIE “Parasite” (Neon) and “Atlantics” (Netflix)
  9. The Farewell (A24)
  10.  “Harriet” (Focus Features)

“This year’s (eleven) best films reflect a wide spectrum of diversity and creativity.  Many of them tackle social injustice and challenge the criminal justice system in the United States specifically. AAFCA members, who put in their ballots from as far away as Australia and Jamaica, cast a wide net to recognize films made in the U.S. and beyond.Their choices truly reflect the best of cinema in 2019,” said Robertson.

The AAFCA Awards, sponsored by Nissan, Morgan Stanley and Deadline, takes place on Wednesday, January 22, 2020 at the Taglyan Complex. Due to the truncated awards season, the AAFCA Special Achievement Awards, as announced earlier in the year, will take place Saturday, April 11, 2020 at the Riviera Country Club in Pacific Palisades.