The African American Film Critics Association (AAFCA) has selected “The Harder They Fall” as the No. 1 film on their annual top 10 list.
Written and directed by Jeymes Samuel and produced by Jay-Z, the big-budget Netflix western sees Idris Elba, Regina King, Jonathan Majors, Zazie Beetz and LaKeith Stanfield portray historical Black figures Rufus Buck, Nat Love, Trudy Smith, Stagecoach Mary and Cherokee Bill, respectively.
“Although our top film, ‘The Harder They Fall’ from Netflix is a fictionalized Western,” said AAFCA president and co-founder Gil Robertson. “It introduced the world to an incredible array of real-life Black cowboys and cowgirls who helped to transform the West, prompting many to discover the prominent role Black people played in that storied chapter of American history that has been a Hollywood go-to genre.”
In chronological order, the other nine movies on AAFCA’s top ten list are “King Richard,” “Respect,” “The Tragedy of Macbeth,” “Passing,” “Belfast,” “Who We Are,” “House of Gucci,” “The Power of the Dog” and “West Side Story.”
AAFCA will reveal the winners of the 13th annual AAFCA Awards honoring outstanding achievement in film in 15 competitive categories on Jan. 17, with the in-person celebration to follow on March. 2 in L.A.
Costume Designers Guild Awards Reveals Awards Timeline
The 24th annual Costume Designers Guild Awards (CDGA) announced the awards timeline, with the annual ceremony taking place on March 9 and nominations being revealed on Jan. 26.
The timeline kicked off on Sept. 27, with CGDA submissions becoming accessible on the CDG website, with the entries closing on Nov. 29.
Next year, on Jan. 5, the nominations for ballot voting opens online at 6 a.m., with the ballots closing on Jan. 19 at 5 p.m.
On Jan. 16, the CGDA will officially announce the nominees, with the final ballot voting opening online at 6 a.m.
Feb. 28 will mark the closing of the final ballot voting at 5 p.m., with the winners announced at the awards ceremony on March 9.
Blue Mountain Village Launches Film Festival
Blue Mountain Village announced the launch of their new film festival, Blue Mountain Film Festival (BMFF), led by veteran film executive Helen du Toit, with the festival running from June 1-5 at the Village Conference Center.
Inspired by du Toit, who is a member of both the Academy of Motion Pictures Arts and Sciences and the Academy of Canadian Cinema and TV, BMFF will program up to 25 feature films — with a spotlight on Ontario productions — and welcoming international and Canadian filmmakers. Additionally, the festival will also offer international and domestic film industry professionals the opportunity to share ideas during its creative forum, taking place June 1-3.
du Toit will serve as executive/creative director.
Gravitas Ventures Acquires Rights to ‘American Gadfly’ Documentary
Gravitas Ventures has acquired the North American rights to distribute Skye Wallin’s debut feature “American Gadfly” premiering on VOD on Jan. 4.
“American Gadfly” is a documentary that follows the late Senator Mike Gravel and teenagers Henry Williams, David Oks, Elijah Emery and Henry Magowan as they embark on one of the most unique presidential campaigns in history.
Additionally, the film includes interviews with national political correspondent for The Washington Post, Dave Weigel and contributing writer at The New York Times, Jamie Keiles. Presidential candidates Bernie Sanders, Andrew Yang, Tulsi Gabbard and Marianne Williamson are also featured in the film.
John Baker, Dennis Aig and Martin C. Jones serve as executive producers. The film is produced by Jeff Hammer of Wisconation Productions.
Watch the documentary’s trailer here.