The African American Film Critics Association released a statement Monday morning, praising 2016 as the best year for the black community in cinema with its diversity in both casting and storylines.
“The studios and major film distributors really gave it to us this year,” stated AAFCA co-founder and president Gil Robertson. “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 really.”
The org championed films like Denzel Washington’s “Fences,” “Hidden Figures” and “Moonlight” for paving the way, along with box office hits such as “Ride Along 2” and “Central Intelligence.”
“The amount of quality feature films, documentaries and TV shows released in 2016 about the black experience easily make it the best year ever,” AAFCA’s other co-founder Shawn Edwards said. “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.”
Regardless of the success African-American actors and filmmakers have seen in 2016, Robertson is weary if the inclusivity will stick. However, he does predict a pause on the “Oscars So White” phenomenon seen within the Academy, at least for this year.
“The coming award nominations are going to definitely put a pause on #OscarsSoWhite this year,” Robertson continued. “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. But what about next year and the year after that?”
Robertson also hopes that this year’s diversity in film will also have a last effect on Asian, Hispanic, Native American and LGBT communities.
“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,” ended Robertson.