Outstanding Supporting Actors in a Motion Picture: Billy Dee Williams, Marla Gibbs

When helmer Jordan Walker-Pearlman witnessed the power of Kosmond Russell’s award-winning 1996 stage play, “The Visit”, he knew he had to write the screenplay and give it a life onscreen. Stacy Spikes, founder and CEO of Urbanworld Entertainment, an African American indie distribbery, remarks of “The Visit,” “I look at who’s taking risks. It makes a statement to the work and speaks volumes to what we see as a people. We can always get a “Rush Hour” on the screens, but that doesn’t mean we shouldn’t do a “Beloved.”

This year, the NAACP Image Awards honored “The Visit” with two nominations, one for Billy Dee Williams in the Outstanding Supporting Actor category and one for Marla Gibbs in and Actress in a Film categories. Although Marla Gibbs says, “the work is its own reward,” she regards the NAACP Image Awards as distinct from other award organizations, “It’s special because it’s coming from your peers, your family and culture to recognize your work. No matter what happens, you’ve already won.”

Urbanworld and Walker-Pearlman, responsible for the marketing strategy of “The Visit,” are introducing the film in small fests, while preparing to bow on March 9 in limited theaters. Unconcerned with the chance that other kudocasts may recognize “The Visit,” Walker-Pearlman responds, “the key is making the situations of Hollywood recognition and awareness irrelevant. My work is personal .The NAACP Image Awards is building a foundation for indie-based art and how it’s appreciated. Beyond any other award organization, it recognizes and celebrates the diversity of work that’s done by artists of color. There’s enough room for everyone here.”

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