*(Los Angeles) – In keeping with its ongoing mission of “using the power of cinema to bring communities together,” the African American Film Critics Association (AAFCA) is powering forward during the global pandemic with a diverse summer slate of virtual programming. AAFCA has partnered with such powerhouse entertainment institutions as the British Academy of Film and Television (BAFTA) and Producers Guild of America (PGA) to present “AAFCA Strong Summer 2020. “
Featured AAFCA Strong Summer 2020 programming includes a discussion with British actor Toby Kebbell and American musician/actor Christopher “Ludacris” Bridges about their roles in the 2008 film, RocknRolla, from British filmmaker, Guy Ritchie, presented in conjunction with BAFTA; PGA + AAFCA Black Music Month Salute, AAFCA Celebrates LGBTQ Month, the AAFCA Summer Screening Series and more. The AAFCA Strong Summer 2020 schedule includes:
AAFCA + BAFTA Present A Discussion with RocknRolla Stars Toby Kebbell and Christopher “Ludacris” Bridges, May 26, 10 AM PT/1 PM ET
In their first collaboration, AAFCA and BAFTA revisit British director Guy Ritchie’s 2008 film, RocknRolla, set and shot in London showcasing leading UK talent that includes Idris Elba, Gerard Butler, Thandie Newton, Thomas Wilkinson and Tom Hardy. Co-stars Toby Kebbell and Christopher “Ludacris” Bridges will discuss their respective roles and experience making the film. “There has long been a strong, fruitful, creative relationship between the US and UK entertainment communities,” BAFTA Los Angeles CEO Matthew Wiseman shared. “During these times, when maintaining connections and networks are as vital as ever, we are delighted to collaborate with AAFCA by bringing two talented colleagues together to share insights and expertise.”
AAFCA Virtual Table Read Series, May 28
With the global pandemic putting a halt to traditional avenues of testing and assessing unproduced work, AAFCA has launched its innovative AAFCA Virtual Table Read Series where creatives of color preside over table reads of selected scenes from their own work in half-hour sessions presented live on YouTube. Beginning May 28, the series will be presented monthly throughout the summer. Confirmed participants include Ali LeRoi (Everybody Hates Chris co-creator), producer Datari Turner (Uncorked, Growing Up Hip Hop), producer/director DeMane Davis (Self Made, Queen Sugar) and writer/producer Michelle Amor (Of Boys and Men, Tupac Shakur: Before I Wake).
PGA + AAFCA Black Music Month Salute Kick-Off Industry Panel: “Black Music Artists on Switching Hats….The Cross-Over Skills from the Front of the Stage to Behind the Lens,” June 1
Moderated by People music editor Janine Rubenstein and AAFCA President Gil Robertson, this PGA + AAFCA initiative explores how music artists like John Legend, Queen Latifah, Jay-Z and Curtis “50 Cent” Jackson have successfully used their success in the music industry as a springboard to success, not just in front of the lens as Queen Latifah and more, but also behind the camera as producers. Participants are TBD. Rounding out Black Music Month programming, AAFCA and PGA will also offer exclusive workshops for AAFCA and PGA members.
AAFCA Celebrates LGBTQ Month, June 28
From Moonlight to Pose, and in between, the enormous impact of the LGBTQ community of color has never been more center stage. Removed from the shadows, there is no denying or downplaying the LGBTQ community of color’s contributions to the contemporary pop culture landscape. With COVID-19 as the driving theme of this year’s salute to LGBTQ creatives of color, the half-day program features an AAFCA-curated short film series exploring the pandemic from the perspective of LGBTQ creatives of color. In addition, the panel discussion with acclaimed LGBTQ creatives (to be announced) will address the pandemic as well as explore the growing impact of the LGBTQ community of color’s overall impact on film and TV.
AAFCA Summer Screening Series Year Three Virtual Edition
Continuing its tradition of showcasing timeless films illuminating the African American experience, AAFCA proudly presents the virtual edition of its third annual AAFCA Summer Screening Series. In partnership with libraries in Los Angeles, New York City, Chicago and Atlanta, AAFCA celebrates the 20th anniversaries of Patrik-Ian Polk’s groundbreaking feature film Punks spotlighting gay men of color looking for love in Los Angeles and Gina Prince-Bythewood’s debut feature Love & Basketball placing a Black woman at the center of a trailblazing sports-powered love story, as well as the 30th anniversary of Reginald “Reggie” Hudlin’s game-changing hip-hop teen comedy, House Party. Each installment, presented in June (Punks), July (House Party) and August (Love & Basketball), with dates to be announced, will be followed by conversations with each film’s director.
“So far AAFCA has received extremely positive reactions to the virtual content we’re creating in response to the global pandemic,” shared AAFCA President Gil Robertson. “Through our AAFCA Virtual Roundtable Series, creatives of color have been able to promote their upcoming projects via interviews with various AAFCA members later archived on the AAFCA YouTube channel. Confirmed upcoming participants include Issa Rae, Tracey Ellis Ross, Deon Taylor, the cast of OWN’s Greenleaf and more.”
Robertson continues, “As the largest body of Black film critics of its kind, as well as recognized champions of diversity and inclusion throughout the industry, we, at AAFCA, are committed to providing a space to creatives of color and connecting them to wider audiences, as they continue to demonstrate the power and influence this industry has. We are thankful to our team of experts, including industry veteran Lana Walker and respected talent booker Deborah Byrd, who have worked tirelessly to ensure the participation of the many talented creatives of color who demonstrate the value of diversity and inclusion.”
To stay in the loop with AAFCA’s ongoing programming efforts, please visit aafca.com, and follow us on YouTube (The AAFCA Channel), Facebook (African American Film Critics Association), Instagram (@aafca) and Twitter (@theaafca).
Established in 2003, AAFCA is the premiere body of Black film critics in the world, actively reviewing film and television, with a particular emphasis on entertainment that includes the Black experience and storytellers from the African Diaspora. The organization’s primary mission is to cultivate understanding, appreciation and advancement of the contributions of African descended talent to cinematic and television culture – from the artistic and technical legends of the past to the still unimagined breakthroughs of future generations. AAFCA members are a geographically diverse cross-section of journalists, covering all genres of the cinematic arts, while representing multiple mediums – including print, TV, radio broadcast and online. Collectively, they reach a worldwide audience in excess of 100 million. As a non-profit organization, AAFCA is committed to numerous educational and philanthropic efforts, particularly those that foster and celebrate diversity and inclusion. For more information on AAFCA and its programs visit www.aafca.com