The African American Film Critics Association Chooses Black Panther as 2018 Film of the Year

Actor Michael B. Jordan, Lupita Nyong’o, and Chadwick Boseman(Left to Right) arrive at the red carpet of the Seoul premiere of ‘Black Panther’ on February 5, 2018 in Seoul, South Korea.
Photo: Han Myung-Gu (Getty Images for Disney)

The African American Film Critics Association (AAFCA) have chosen this year’s award winners and their top 10 movie list, and the big winner is Wakanda, with Black Panther winning 2018 Best Film. Ryan Coogler was named Best Director and the Grammy-nominated “All The Stars” won Best Song.

Said Shawn Edwards, co-founder of AAFCA, in a press release:

Selecting Disney’s Black Panther as the year’s best film was a no-brainer. Beyond its tremendous reviews and historic box office performance, the film changed the culture and became a defining moment for Black America. Finally, after years of painfully negative and blatantly harmful depictions of blacks on screen there was a movie full of positive images and characters that blacks could rally around. For many blacks the film’s release was like a national holiday. The movie sparked a sense of pride and inspired Afro-futurism-theme parties, academic panel discussions, scholarship funds, vacation plans to Africa and thousands of black kids dressing-up like their favorite characters on Halloween. Many have waited a lifetime for a moment like this and Black Panther delivered with a multi-generational appeal never before seen.

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The “Reginas” are setting a dominating trend this awards season, snatching both nominations and wins this year. Regina Hall won the Best Actress category for Support the Girls, while Regina King obtained the win for Best Supporting Actress for If Beale Street Could Talk.

The best black male performances of the year were John David Washington (BlacKkKlansman) and Russell Hornsby (The Hate U Give), who took the Best Actor and Best Supporting Actor awards, respectively.

The impactful heist thriller Widows, the much-discussed adaptation The Hate U Give, the eccentric Sorry To Bother You and the rousing Netflix documentary Quincy also land spots on the association’s top ten list.

“It’s been a breakthrough year in cinema on a number of fronts,” stated Gil Robertson, co-president of AAFCA. “Most significantly, the tremendous success of Black Panther and Crazy Rich Asians clearly demonstrates that films populated by people of color can perform well overseas. AAFCA’s Top 10 marks the first time so many films by or about black identity have made our list, presenting storylines that reflect the diversity that lives within the black community. It was also good to see Roma and The Favourite make our TOP 10 because these films, as well, shine light on themes and storylines representing popular culture.”

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The top notables in television are HBO’s Insecure (Best TV Comedy) and OWN’s Queen Sugar (Best TV Drama). The popular Facebook sit-down, Red Table Talk, wins Best New Media.

In coming weeks, the critics’ organization will also be announcing special achievement awards such as the Cinema Vanguard Award, the ICON Award, AAFCA’s Stanley Kramer Award and the its inaugural Pioneer Award.

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The complete winner list is below.

AAFCA Awards Winners:

Best Film: Black Panther

Best Director: Ryan Coogler (Black Panther)

Best Screenplay: Charlie Wachtel & David Rabinowitz and Kevin Willmott & Spike Lee (BlacKkKlansman)

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Best Actor: John David Washington (BlacKkKlansman)

Best Actress: Regina Hall (Support the Girls)

Best Supporting Actor: Russell Hornsby (The Hate U Give)

Best Supporting Actress: Regina King (If Beale Street Could Talk)

Best Breakout Performance: Amandla Stenberg (The Hate U Give)

Best Animated Film: Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse

Best Independent Film: If Beale Street Could Talk

Best Foreign Film: Roma

Best Documentary: Quincy

Best Song: “All The Stars” (Black Panther)

Best New Media: Red Table Talk

Best TV Drama: Queen Sugar

Best TV Comedy: Insecure

AAFCA’s Top Ten List:

Black Panther (Walt Disney Studios)

If Beale Street Could Talk (Annapurna Pictures)

The Hate U Give (20th Century Fox)

A Star is Born (Warner Bros. Studios)

Quincy (Netflix)

Roma (Netflix)

Blindspotting (Lionsgate)

The Favourite (Fox Searchlight Pictures)

Sorry to Bother You (Annapurna Pictures)

Widows (20th Century Fox)

The AAFCA Awards ceremony will be held on February 6, 2019 at the Taglyan Complex in Los Angeles.

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Tonja Renée Stidhum

Staff Writer, Entertainment at The Root. Sugar, spice & everything rice. Equipped with the uncanny ability to make a Disney reference and a double entendre in the same sentence.