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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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‘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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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.

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Disney & Pixar present ‘SOUL’ (VIDEO)

Disney & Pixar have released the trailer for their newest animated feature titled SOUL. It opens in theaters on June 19, 2020 and includes the voices of comedic actors Jamie Fox and Tina Fey.

SOUL introduces Joe Gardner (Fox), a middle-school band teacher whose true passion is playing jazz. But just when Joe thinks his dream might be in reach, a single unexpected step sends him to a fantastical place where he’s is forced to think again about what it truly means to have soul. That’s where he meets and ultimately teams up with 22 (Fey), a soul who doesn’t think life on Earth is all it’s cracked up to be.

“I think Joe is having that crisis that all artists have,” says co-director Kemp Powers. “He’s increasingly feeling like his lifelong dream of being a jazz musician is not going to pan out and he’s asking himself ‘Why am I here? What am I meant to be doing?’ Joe personifies those questions.”

SOUL is directed by two-time Academy Award®-winner Pete Docter and says that the idea for the story is 23 years in the making.

“It started with my son—he’s 23 now—but the instant he was born, he already had a personality,” says Docter. “Where did that come from? I thought your personality developed through your interaction with the world. And yet, it was pretty clear that we’re all born with a very unique, specific sense of who we are.”

The film is set in New York City and features original jazz music written by Jon Batiste and an original score written by Trent Reznor and Atticus Ross.

“I grew up with Peanuts cartoons and the Vince Guaraldi music,” says Docter. “I feel like it’s coursing through my veins and this is our version of that. Jon Batiste is a fantastic musician—he’s a historian yet is able to push the music forward, bringing all these different influences to the work. I sincerely hope that the jazz music in ‘Soul’ will inspire a whole new generation.” 

SOUL also features the voices of Phylicia RashadAhmir Questlove Thompson and Daveed Diggs.

Take a look below:

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Watch Official Trailer for #JustMercy (VIDEO)

From the looks of just the trailer alone, I’d say Jamie Foxx and Michael B. Jordan are definitely contenders for Oscars next year. The two are starring in the new drama Just Mercy based on the amazing life’s work of Bryan Stevenson.

The film follows Stevenson (Jordan) and his history-making battle for justice.  After graduating from Harvard, Bryan had his pick of lucrative jobs.  Instead, he heads to Alabama to defend those wrongly condemned or who were not afforded proper representation, with the support of local advocate Eva Ansley (Brie Larson).  One of his first, and most incendiary, cases is that of Walter McMillian (Foxx), who, in 1987, was sentenced to die for the notorious murder of an 18-year-old girl, despite a preponderance of evidence proving his innocence and the fact that the only testimony against him came from a criminal with a motive to lie.  In the years that follow, Bryan becomes embroiled in a labyrinth of legal and political maneuverings and overt and unabashed racism as he fights for Walter, and others like him, with the odds—and the system—stacked against them.  

Just Mercy also stars O’Shea Jackson Jr., Rafe SpallTim Blake Nelson, Rob Morgan and my friend Karan Kendrick.

Watch it below:

JUST MERCY arrives in theaters on January 10, 2020

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First Look Images of Jamie Foxx + Michael B. Jordan in ‘JUST MERCY’ [PHOTOS]

Warner Bros. has released new “first look” images from Michael B. Jordan and Jamie Foxx‘s upcoming drama JUST MERCY. It opens in theaters on January 10, 2020.

As previously recorded, JUST MERCY follows young lawyer Bryan Stevenson (Jordan) and his history-making battle for justice.  After graduating from Harvard, Bryan had his pick of lucrative jobs.  Instead, he heads to Alabama to defend those wrongly condemned or who were not afforded proper representation, with the support of local advocate Eva Ansley (Brie Larson).  One of his first, and most incendiary, cases is that of Walter McMillian (Foxx), who, in 1987, was sentenced to die for the notorious murder of an 18-year-old girl, despite a preponderance of evidence proving his innocence and the fact that the only testimony against him came from a criminal with a motive to lie.  In the years that follow, Bryan becomes embroiled in a labyrinth of legal and political maneuverings and overt and unabashed racism as he fights for Walter, and others like him, with the odds—and the system—stacked against them.  

JUST MERCY also stars O’Shea Jackson Jr., Rafe Spall, Tim Blake Nelson and Rob Morgan.

PHOTO CREDITS: Warner Bros.

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Michael B. Jordan attends MVAAFF Screening of ‘Just Mercy’ [PHOTOS]

Black Panther star Michael B. Jordan recently attended a special screening of his upcoming movie Just Mercy at the 17th Annual Martha’s Vineyard African American Film Festival.

Just Mercy is a film based on the true life death row exoneration of Walter McMillian (played by Oscar Winning actor Jamie Foxx), who was falsely accused of murder and subsequently sentenced to death row in in Alabama in 1987.  The film follows attorney Bryan Stevenson (played by Michael B. Jordan) and his journey to exonerating Walter.  It also stars O’Shea Jackson Jr. from Straight Outta Compton.

Both Michael and Bryan sat down with Dr. Michael Eric Dyson following the screening to discuss the film and its importance to the African-American community as it pertains to equality in the justice system and cinema in general. 

See more photos below:

Just Mercy arrives in theaters on January 10, 2020

PHOTO CREDITS: BERNARD FAIRCLOUGH @ AB PHOTOS

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Watch the Trailer for ‘The Black Godfather’ (VIDEO)

Posted by | Ray Cornelius

Netflix is putting a spotlight on entertainment icon Clarence Avant in the upcoming documentary The Black Godfather. It arrives on June 7 and will also play in select theaters.

The film, which is directed by Reginald Hudlin, chronicles the life of Avant and his influence over some of the biggest names in entertainment and sports. From Muhammad Ali to Bill Withers to Snoop Dogg and Quincy Jones, Clarence Avant has seen and done it all.

I remember attending Black Enterprise’s 100 Anniversary Celebration & Awards Dinner during the 2015 Entrepreneurs Summit, where Avant was honored for outstanding achievement in entertainment.

Ambassador Andrew Young talked about Avant’s indelible imprint on his career and that of sports icon Hank Aaron. Avant would later talked about working with the “King of Pop” Michael Jackson and his now legendary Bad Tour of 1987.

In addition to music and sports figures, Avant has also influenced presidents like Bill Clinton and Barack Obama as well as former First Lady and Presidential nominee Hillary Clinton and Congresswoman Maxine Waters.

Watch the trailer below and get inspired by Clarence Avant…

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UPDATE: Jamie Foxx added to ‘Just Mercy’ with Michael B. Jordan

Posted by | Ray Cornelius

Oscar winning actor Jamie Foxx is reportedly joining Black Panther star Michael B. Jordan in the upcoming drama, Just Mercy.

The film is based on the book, Just Mercy: A Story of Justice and Redemption and follows the life of civil rights defense attorney and Equal Justice Initiative founder—Bryan Stevenson. His legal practices have been dedicated to defending the poor, the wrongly condemned, women and children.  Foxx would play the death row inmate Jordan is defending.

Just Mercy is directed by Destin Daniel Creeto and co-written by Andrew Lanham.

Jordan will also serve as a producer.

Stay tuned…

Photo Credit: Wegow.com

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Anita Baker to receive Lifetime Achievement honor during ‘BET Awards’ (VIDEO)

Posted by | Ray Cornelius 

If you were waiting to find out who would be honored at this weekend’s “BET Awards” then wait no more. Grammy-winning songstress and R&B icon ANITA BAKER will be recognized with this year’s Lifetime Achievement Award.

According to the press release, Baker will be honored for her four decade career as a singer, songwriter, music trailblazer and all around diva! She is best known for burning up the R&B charts during the 80s and 90s with such classic smooth R&B ballads as “Sweet Love,” “Giving You the Best that I Got,” “Same Ole Love,” “Just Because,” “Good Love,” and “Body & Soul.” She was also one of leading music artists who defined the “Quiet Storm” radio format along with Sade, Luther Vandross, Babyface and Patti LaBelle to name a few.

Baker is currently living her best life and is performing around the country as part of a farewell concert series.

In addition to Ms. Baker, BET will recognize six individuals with the Humanitarian Heroes award:  James Shaw Jr. (disarmed Waffle House shooter), Naomi Wadler (11yr old speaker at March For Our Lives), Mamoudou Gassama (Climbed outside of building to save dangling 4-year-old), Justin Blackman (only student to walk out of his High School on National Student Walk-Out Day), Shaun King (journalist who has been instrumental in covering untold stories in the black community), Anthony Borges (Parkland Victim/Hero who threw himself in line of fire – shot 5 times). The bravery and strength of the highlighted 2018 honorees is truly exceptional.

This year’s show is hosted by Oscar winning actor and singer Jamie Foxx.

The  “BET Awards” 2018 will air LIVE on Sunday, June 24 at 8 pm ET from the Microsoft Theater in Los Angeles, CA.

Photo Credit: YouTube/Anita Baker Body & Soul

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Watch New ‘Robin Hood’ Teaser Trailer feat. Jamie Foxx + Taron Egerton (VIDEO)

Posted by | Ray Cornelius

British heartthrob Taron Egerton is teaming up with Oscar winning actor Jamie Foxx for a brand new version of the classic tale—Robin Hood. The film arrives in theaters nationwide on November 21.

A war-hardened Crusader and his Moorish commander mount an audacious revolt against the corrupt English crown in a thrilling action-adventure packed with gritty battlefield exploits, mind-blowing fight choreography, and a timeless romance.

Robin Hood also stars Jamie Dornan, Eve Hewson, Ben Mendelsohn and Paul Anderson.

Take a look at the teaser trailer below and tell us what you think.

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Jamie Foxx to host digital series ‘Off Script’

Posted by | Ray Cornelius

Academy Award-winning actor Jamie Foxx is gearing up to interview some of the biggest names in Hollywood for a new eight-part digital series titled Off Script.

According to DEADLINE, Foxx will get “up close and personal” with some pretty big A-listers regarding the iconic moments that shaped their careers. He will talk to them in a luxury built trailer and dish about the movies they love, the films that influenced them and what drove them to become actors.

Jeremy Renner, Sarah Silverman, Benicio del Toro, Vince Vaughn, and Denzel Washington have already confirmed to be guests on the show.

Off Script is produced by Grey Goose, JASH and The Sunshine Company.

RC will keep you posted as this project continues to develop.

Go Jamie!!!

Photo Credit: RayCornelius.com

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Casting BUZZ!

Posted by | Ray Cornelius 

Award-winning actress, director and producer Regina King has been added to Barry Jenkins’ film adaptation of James Baldwin‘s “If Beale Street Could Talk.” King will reportedly a “key” role in the project that also includes Stephan James, Teyonah Parris and Kiki Layne. “If Beale Street Could Talk” follows Fonny and Tish, a young couple who are in the midst of a whirlwind romance until Fonny is falsely accused of rape. After his imprisonment, Tish finds out she is pregnant and she, her family, and her lawyer race against the clock to find evidence that frees Fonny before the baby is born. [DEADLINE]

Oscar-winning actor, comedian and TV host Jamie Foxx is set to play Black Panther Party Leader Geronimo Pratt in the new film tentatively titled “Signal Hill.” The movie follows famed attorney Johnnie Cochran (played by Anthony Mackie) as he helps to overturn a murder conviction that sent Pratt to prison for 27 years for the allegedly kidnapping and murdering Caroline Olsen. Cochran also helped the family of Ron Settles win a civil suit against Los Angeles County police after it was discovered that the sports star was killed while in police custody and didn’t commit suicide as had been documented. [SHADOW&ACT]

Versatile actress Erica Ash (pictured above) will star as the lead in a new legal drama for BET titled “In Contempt.” The show reportedly follows Gwen Sullivan (Ash), an opinionated New York City attorney whose passion for her job and clients make her arguably the most talented public defender in her district. It also features Christian Keyes, Richard Lawson and Tobias Truvillion. Ash most recently starred in the NBA drama “Survivor’s Remorse” which aired on STARZ for four seasons. [TheHollywoodReporter]

Photo Credit: RayCornelius.com

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‘BET Awards’ announces first round of presenters + performers

Posted by | Ray Cornelius 

Bruno Mars, Future, Migos, Trey Songz and Tamar Braxton are just a few of the big named stars set to perform at this year’s “BET Awards.” The show airs live on Sunday, June 25 at 8 p.m. EST from the Microsoft Theater in Los Angeles, CA.  According to the press release, the above mentioned names are just the first round of performers and more acts are to be announced in the coming weeks.

The evening will also feature a number of television, film, sports, comedy and music stars who will serve as presenters including “black-ish” star Yara Shahidi, Cardi B, Issa Rae, Jamie Foxx, La La Anthony, the cast of Universal Pictures’ “Girls Trip” (Regina Hall, Tiffany HaddishJada Pinkett Smith and Queen Latifah), Trevor Noah, Robin Thede, Cari Champion and “All Eyez on Me” star—Demetrius Shipp Jr.

Previously announced nominees this year include Mars and Migos plus Beyoncé, Chance the Rapper and many more. This year’s show is also hosted by comedienne and actress Leslie Jones.

Click here to see the rest of the nominees!

Hey RC fans! Whose performance are you looking forward to seeing the most?

Photo Credit: RayCornelius.com