AAFCA Announces 2022 Special Achievement Honorees
Art and Experience:
The African American Film Critics Association (AAFCA) announced the recipients of their special achievement honors — “Attica” filmmakers Stanley Nelson and Traci A. Curry; producer and Hidden Empire Film Group co-founder Roxanne Avent-Taylor; Oscar-nominated and Grammy-winning composer Terence Blanchard; John Gibson, the Motion Picture Association’s VP of external and multicultural affairs; and Sony Motion Picture Group.
The honors will be presented at the 13th annual AAFCA Awards, held on March 2 at the SLS Hotel in Los Angeles, co-hosted by Charlamagne tha God and Alesha Reneé.
AAFCA’s Stanley & Karen Kramer Award for Social Justice will be awarded to “Attica” director Stanley Nelson and co-director Traci A. Curry for their work crafting the Oscar-nominated documentary. Established in 2016 in collaboration with the Stanley Kramer Library and Stanley Kramer Foundation, the honor recognizes a film, filmmaker or artist who honors the robust legacy of the late Kramer, spotlighting those who use the creative arts as a tool for social change.
“Most of us have read about what happened at Attica Prison in 1971, but until you see the film ‘Attica,’ by Stanley Nelson and Traci A. Curry, you’re not aware of the real tragedy, inhumane treatment, violence and racism that occurred,” stated Karen Sharpe-Kramer, who oversees both the foundation and the library. “It’s a heartbreaking social justice documentary. Impeccably researched, it makes a timely and riveting statement about prison reform in our country.”
The documentary, which is currently streaming on Showtime, is also a DGA Awards nominee and was included on the National Board of Review’s list of top documentaries this year.
Gil Robertson, president and CEO of AAFCA, added: “We are so proud to partner with Karen Sharpe-Kramer and the Stanley Kramer Library each year to recognize artists like Stanley Nelson and Traci A. Curry, who are using their abundant gifts to tell stories that matter and light up our collective consciousness with the power of seeing the world through a different lens.”
Past recipients of the Stanley Kramer Award include Kasi Lemmons’ “Harriet,” Quincy Jones, Rob Reiner, Lisa Cortés and Liz Garbus’ documentary “All In: The Fight for Democracy” and the late Sidney Poitier.
Additional special achievement honors to be presented include the Cinema Vanguard Award, presented to the Sony Motion Picture Group; the Building Change Award to Avent-Taylor; the Salute to Excellence Award to Gibson; and the Innovator Award to two-time Oscar-nominated and six-time Grammy-winning composer Blanchard.
“We are deeply honored and proud to recognize these outstanding individuals and groups for their work in the film industry and for their commitment to diversity and inclusion in all areas of entertainment,” Robertson added.
The five special achievement prizes will be presented alongside the 13 previously announced winners representing the best in film this year. Top acting honors will be awarded to “King Richard” stars Will Smith, Aunjanue Ellis and Saniyya Sidney, as well as Jennifer Hudson for her turn as Aretha Franklin in “Respect” and Corey Hawkins for “The Tragedy of Macbeth.” Those marquee names will be saluted alongside filmmakers and documentarians, along with the organization’s top 10 films of the year. The full list of winners and top 10 list are available on the AAFCA website.