The African-American Film Critics Association (AAFCA) will honor the special achievements of iconic filmmaker Melvin Van Peebles, film legend Lena Horne and veteran film journalist Roger Ebert, with 2010 AAFCA Awards at its second live ceremony on Monday, December 13, 2010, at the legendary Ebony Repertory Theatre in Los Angeles. AAFCA is the film industry’s premier African-American film critics group.
“It’s such a privilege and an honor to bestow AAFCA Awards to these three great talents,” says AAFCA founder and president, Gil Robertson IV. “Each of our special award honorees has demonstrated great contributions to their respective crafts, while also paving the way for African American talent in this business.”
Melvin Van Peebles, recipient of the 2010 Cinema Vanguard Award, is widely credited as the “Godfather of Modern, African-American Cinema.” Best-known for his seminal film, Sweet Sweetback’s Baadasssss Song his artistic contributions and independent spirit, have elevated the craft of filmmaking and the presence of African-Americans in all aspects of feature film.
Similarly, actress Lena Horne, who died earlier this year, captivated audiences worldwide with her breakthrough roles in classic films like Cabin in the Sky and Stormy Weather. As the 2010 Legacy Award honoree, Horne’s diverse body of work across film, theatre and music, paved the way for African-American actresses at-large. Even more, Ms. Horne’s tireless support of Civil Rights emboldened celebrities to leverage their notoriety for worthy causes.
Lastly, film critic Roger Ebert, internationally-known for his wildly popular TV show, “At the Movies…” and break-through catch phrase “Two Thumbs Up!” assured both critical acclaim and cultural relevance for the art of film criticism. Recipient of the 2010 Horizon Award, Ebert continues to serve as the ambassador for film critics around the globe, and is the first film critic to receive the Pulitzer Prize.
The 2010 AAFCA AWARDS show will be executive produced Robertson, who has assembled an A-list production team including versatile director, Jonathan X (NAACP Image Awards, Independent Spirit Awards, Jimmy Kimmel Live! and The Wanda Sykes Show), with co-hosting duties handled by veteran entertainment journalists, Kevin Frazier (Entertainment Tonight) and Tanika Ray (EXTRA). In addition to the special achievement awards, the ceremony will also reveal AAFCA’s Top Ten List and celeb presenters will hand out awards from several categories, including Best Actor/Actress, Best Supporting Actor/Actress, Best Film, Best Director, Best Screenplay and more!
“Cinema is the visual landscape of our past, present and future. So it’s truly an honor to produce a project that not only rewards quality in filmmaking in general, but also recognizes the valuable contributions made by African Americans to the art form,” said Robertson.
AAFCA is comprised of vetted journalists, academic scholars and industry professionals, who screen, review and provide commentary on film at-large, while highlighting films that are inclusive of the Black experience – in-front of and behind-the-camera. Philanthropically, the organization presents bi-monthly media workshops and professional development seminars, and lends its’ collective voice to film festivals and college campuses across the country.