*New York, NY – The Black Film Critics Circle (BFCC) has voted “MA RAINEY’S BLACK BOTTOM” Best Film of 2020, VIOLA DAVIS Best Actress and CHADWICK BOSEMAN Best Actor both for their work in “MA RAINEY’S BLACK BOTTOM” And for the second time in the organizations 10-year history a tie for Best Director CHLOE ZHAO for “NOMADLAND” and REGINA KING for “ONE NIGHT IN MIAMI”
The announcement was made today by Mike Sargent, co-president, BFCC. Votes were cast and tabulated in NY at the organization’s annual meeting on January 15, 2021.
Recognizing achievements in theatrical motion pictures, the BFCC awarded prizes in 13 categories including best picture, best director, original and adapted screenplay, best actor, best actress, best supporting actor, best-supporting actress, best-animated feature, best independent film, best documentary feature, best foreign film and best ensemble. Special Signature awards are also given to industry pioneers and rising stars.
“In one of the most tumultuous years in history, we have seen Breadth and scope of stories about people of color that is literally unparalleled in cinema history. The continued and ever-expanding of the diversity of films that tell the collective stories of people of color is astonishing. The world has continued to declare unequivocally that Black Stories Matter.” says Sargent. “In the past year as we have quarantined audiences have turned to filmed entertainment more than ever, and the interest fueled by the images of racial injustice we have all witnessed has made the telling of those stories all the more significant”. Co-president Wilson Morales adds “Historical films like Regina King and Kemp Powers’ ONE NIGHT IN MIAMI’ and Shaka Kings’ JUDAS AND THE BLACK MESSIAH” are a testament to the increasing importance of Black Americans being able to tell their stories and give a deeper context to understanding the times we live in today.” “Congratulations to all of the winners.”
The complete list of award winners:
Best Picture: Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom
Best Director: (Tie) Chloe Zhao (Nomadland) and Regina King (One Night In Miami) Best Actor: Chadwick Boseman for Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom
Best Actress: Viola Davis for Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom
Best Supporting Actor: Leslie Odom Jr. for One Night In Miami Best Supporting Actress: Yuh-Jung Youn for Minari
Best Original Screenplay: Minari
Best Adapted Screenplay: Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom Best Cinematography: Tenet
Best Documentary: Time Best Animated Film: Soul
Best Foreign Film: Night OfThe Kings (Ivory Coast) Best Ensemble: One Night In Miami
BFCC Signature Awards:
Pioneer – Sam Pollard
This year’s BFCC Pioneer Award is given to Oscar-nominated, Peabody and multiple Emmy Award-winning, Sam Pollard for his immense contributions in the area of film editing, production and documentary filmmaking. Sam Pollard is an accomplished feature film and television video editor, and documentary producer/director whose work spans well over thirty years. From editing Spike Lee’s films: “Mo’ Better Blues”, “Jungle Fever”, “Girl 6”, “Clockers”, and “Bamboozled” to the recent “MLK/FBI” Mr. Pollard began his journey in film 1972 as an apprentice in a WNET-sponsored film-training workshop and continues to ‘pay it forward’ as a professor of film at NYU/Tisch. As a producer on feature-length documentary
films like “Four Little Girls”, to documentary series like ” Eyes On The Prize” Sam consistently makes films of massive social and cultural significance on both the large and small screen. Sam Pollard embodies the very essence of the word Pioneer.
Rising Star – Radha Blank
This year’s BFCC Rising star Award Radha Blank for producing, writing, directing, and acting in her directorial debut The Forty-Year-Old Version. Rahda is a Helen Merrill Playwriting Award recipient, an NEA New Play Development Award recipient (for SEED), and an NYFA Fellow. Radha’s TV writing work includes The Get Down (Netflix), Empire (FOX) and She’s Gotta Have It (Netflix), where she’s worked as Producer/Writer for two seasons. She co-wrote the screen adaptation of Walter Dean Myer’s best-selling novel Monster. The vivid authenticity, of her work shows why she will truly be a force to be reckoned with in the years ahead.
SPECIAL MENTION – Steve McQueen
Special Mention this year goes to Steve McQueen for five feature-length films (Small Axe) in one year, directed and co-writer. A major achievement has never been done before. Incredible, historic and a revealing glimpse at West Indian culture and racism in London. McQueen is truly an artist we felt needs special recognition.
BLACK FILM CRITICS CIRCLE TOP TEN FILMS OF 2020
1. Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom
4. One Night In Miami
6. Judas and the Black Messiah
7. Da 5 Bloods
8. The Trial of the Chicago 7
9. Sound of Metal
10. (tie) The 40-Year-Old Version and Sylvie’s Love
Founded in 2010, the Black Film Critics Circle is a membership organization comprised of film critics of color from daily newspapers, weekly newspapers, magazines, radio, television and qualifying on-line publications. The organization is dedicated to honoring the excellence of professionals in the theatrical motion picture industry in the U.S. and World Cinema. Its mission is to celebrate contributions and achievements in film by people of the black Diaspora who work in front of and behind the camera, maintain the integrity of a true Critics organization and advance a collective vision of journalists of the black Diaspora. BFCC assists in the development of new talent in the field of entertainment journalism through educational opportunities, mentoring and strategic partnerships and raises awareness of the significance of black film and black film history as a critical part of film culture and preservation. The organization meets annually in December to vote on the year’s films. BFCC’s Founding Members and co-Presidents are journalists Mike Sargent (WBAI-FM NY), Wilson Morales (Blackfilm&TV.com).