Drum Roll! African American Film Critics Association Announces Special Honors

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In the heat of the run up to the Oscar awards (taking place March 2 of next year), African Americans in the film industry will turn their attention to the African American Film Critics Association special award winners. On November 2, the association revealed the winners of its 2014 Special Achievement Awards. The list of recipients includes a number of people who work behind the scenes to bring us the best in black entertainment.

The Weinstein Co.’s Bob and Harvey Weinstein are the recipients of the Cinema Vanguard Award. The film company just released Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom, starring Idris Elba and Naomie Harris. As we reported, that film was number one at the box office in South Africa this past weekend.

Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences President Cheryl Boone Isaacs, the first African-American woman to run the organization, has won the Horizon Award.

Directors Guild of America President Paris Barclay, the first African-American to run the guild, is the winner of the Legacy Award. And Fox Searchlight senior vice president of production Zola Mashariki has taken home the Ashley Boone Award.

Lastly, Variety magazine film critic Justin Chang is the winner of the inaugural Roger Ebert Award, named for the famed film critic.

“A lot is being said about 2013 being a spectacular year in terms of the diversity of cinema released this year, but attention needs to be also given to equal strides made in terms of the industry populating its executive ranks with very talented individuals who represents all shades of America,” said Gil Robertson, the president and founder of the AAFCA in a statement.

The AAFCA is the nation’s premiere film critic’s group dedicated to reviewing cinema at-large, with a particular emphasis on films produced, written, directed and starring African Americans. The association, which was founded in 2003,  will present the awards at a ceremony on January 31 in Hollywood.

[via The Los Angeles Times]

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