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‘Moonlight’ Named Top Film by African American Film Critics

Coming-of-age drama “Moonlight” has won the top movie award from the African American Film Critics Association.

The A24 film also won awards for best director for Barry Jenkins and best supporting actor for Mahershala Ali. “Straight Outta Compton” won the group’s best picture award last year during an awards season that was criticized for its lack of recognition for African American actors and projects, particularly by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences.

“Our members had a plethora of outstanding movies, documentaries, and TV shows to choose from this year,” said AAFCA co-founder Shawn Edwards. “It was an exceptional year in terms of the quantity and quality of films about the black experience. And while this by no means solves the diversity issue in the film industry, it was definitely refreshing to have such a wide range of exceptional work to choose from to honor and celebrate with our approval.”

Awards were also given to singer Janelle Monae for breakout performance for her work in “Moonlight” and “Hidden Figures.”  The top acting honors went to Denzel Washington and Ruth Negga for their roles in “Fences” and “Loving,” respectively.

Viola Davis won the supporting actress award for “Fences” and the cast of “Hidden Figures” nabbed the ensemble award. OWN’s “Queen Sugar” grabbed the top TV award from the group.

AAFCA will hold its eight annual awards ceremony on Feb. 9 at the Taglyan Complex in Hollywood. The org’s special achievement honors, presented by Morgan Stanley, will be held on Feb. 4 at the California Yacht Club.

“2016 provided our membership with many great films to choose from,” said Gil Robertson, AAFCA president and Co-founder. “Every movie and TV show on our Top 10 Lists could have easily been number one. The number of incredible performances by black actors and actresses added to a very competitive field of performances and represents a step toward inclusion that our membership warmly embraces. We look forward to what 2017 has in store.”

Here’s a complete list of 2016 AAFCA Awards winners.

FILM

BEST PICTURE : MOONLIGHT – (A24)

BEST DIRECTOR: BARRY JENKINS, MOONLIGHT – (A24)

BEST ACTOR: DENZEL WASHINGTON, FENCES – (Paramount)

BEST ACTRESS: RUTH NEGA, LOVING – (Focus Features)

BEST SUPPORTING ACTOR: MAHERSHALA ALI, MOONLIGHT – (A24)

BEST SUPPORTING ACTRESS: VIOLA DAVIS, FENCES – (Paramount)

BEST ENSEMBLE: The cast of HIDDEN FIGURES – (20th Century Fox)

BREAKOUT PERFORMANCE 2017 – Janelle Monae for MOONLIGHT and HIDDEN FIGURES

BEST INDEPENDENT FILM: MOONLIGHT – (A24)

BEST ANIMATION FILM; ZOOTOPIA – (Disney)

BEST SONG – “VICTORY” from HIDDEN FIGURES – (20th Century Fox)

BEST DOCUMENTARY – 13th – (Netflix)

BEST FOREIGN FILM – TANNA – (Lightyear Entertainment)

BEST SCREENPLAY – AUGUST WILSON, FENCES – (Paramount)

TV

BEST TV SHOW (Drama) – QUEEN SUGAR – OWN

BEST TV SHOW (Comedy) – ATLANTA – FX

BEST TV SHOW (CABLE/NEW MEDIA – UNDERGROUND – WGN

BEST TV SHOW (Special/Limited Series) – LEMONADE – HBO

AAFCA’s Top 10 Films of 2016 are as follows, in order of distinction:

1. MOONLIGHT – A24

2. FENCES – Paramount

3. HIDDEN FIGURES – 20th Century Fox

4. LION – The Weinstein Company

5. LALA LAND – Lionsgate

6. BIRTH OF A NATION – Fox Searchlight

7. LOVING – Focus Features

8. MANCHESTER BY THE SEA – Roadside Attraction/Amazon Studios

9. HELL OR HIGH WATER – Liongsgate/CBS Films

10. QUEEN OF KATWE – Walt Disney Pictures/ESPN Films

AAFCA’s Top 10 TV shows of 2016 are as follows, in order of distinction:

1. QUEEN SUGAR – OWN

2. UNDERGROUND – WGN

3. ATLANTA – FX

4. INSECURE – HBO

5. LUKE CAGE – NETFLIX

6. THIS IS US – NBC

7. BLACKISH – ABC

8. THE GET DOWN – NETFLIX

9. WESTWORLD – HBO

10. SURVIVOR’S REMORSE – STARZ

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