Articles: “It’s been an exceptional year for blacks in film,” says AAFCA President Gil Robertson




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Samantha Ofole-Prince

There have been numerous films released this year with a predominately black cast

AAFCA, the largest black film critics’ organization in the world, has proclaimed 2016 the best year ever for black film.

With several films that include "The Birth of a Nation," “Ride Along 2,” “Barbershop 3,” “Central Intelligence,” "Fences,” “Hidden Figures,” "Loving" and "Moonlight," which recently won best feature at the 26th annual Gotham Independent Award to worthwhile documentaries; "Olympic Pride, American Prejudice"  "I am Bolt," "Miss Sharon Jones," and “13th," numerous films have been released this year with a predominately black cast, subject material or a black director at the helm.

“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.”

Gil Robertson - president-of-AAFCA

Based on box office numbers, black films of all spectrums have been lucrative this year and the success of Tyler Perry’s “Boo! A Madea Halloween,” which garnered about $56.4M after only two weeks in release, further points to why 2016 has been so extraordinary.

“The amount of quality feature films, documentaries and TV shows released in 2016 about the black experience easily make it the best year ever," adds AAFCA co-founder, Shawn Edwards. "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.”

Representing television, radio, print, and online critic, the African American Film Critics Association (AAFCA), which started in 2003, not only applauds the increased volume of films representing the Black experience released in 2016, but also the range of diverse storylines.

“The coming award nominations are going to definitely put a pause on #OscarsSoWhite this year,” continues 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. 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.”

AAFCA honors excellence in cinema by creating awareness for films with universal appeal to black communities and will hold its 8th annual AAFCA awards on Wednesday, Feb. 8, 2017, at the Taglyan Complex in Hollywood.  Special Achievement Awards will be given to directors Lee Daniels (“Empire”), Anthony Hemingway (“Underground”), film critic Mike Phillips, animator Floyd Norman (“Mulan”) and president of Fox Animation Vanessa Morrison.

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