African-American Film Critics Association Lauds 'Selma'

Atsushi Nishijima

The Martin Luther King Jr. biopic led the list of the year's best movies and claimed awards for its director, lead actor and song

Selma, which recounts Martin Luther King Jr.’s involvement in the civil rights struggle, dominated the awards announced Monday by the African-American Film Critics Association. The Paramount release, which opens in limited release Dec. 25, topped the group’s list of 2014’s best films and also earned the best director prize for Ava DuVernay, best actor for David Oyelowo, who plays King, and best song for the John Legend-Common track “Glory.”

The group gave its best actress prize to Gugu Mbatha-Raw for Belle. Its supporting actor award resulted in a tie between Tyler Perry for Gone Girl and J.K. Simmons for Whiplash. AAFCA will hold its annual awards ceremony and dinner Feb. 4 at the Taglyan Complex in Hollywood.

“Our members found the output of cinema released this year to be a truly insightful mix of titles that reflect the world we live in. The members of AAFCA were especially pleased with this range of storytelling supported by the studios that gave voice to the many sides of the experience of black people in America and around the world," AAFCA president Gil Robertson said. “We had a lot to pick from this year from Belle, Dear White People, Top Five, Timbuktu and Selma and hope the industry will continue to provide a platform for diversity on the big screen.”

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A complete list of 2014 AAFCA Awards winners follows:

Actor: David Oyelowo, Selma (Paramount)

Actress: Gugu Mbatha-Raw, Belle (Fox Searchlight)

Supporting Actress: Octavia Spencer, Black ot White (Relativity)

Supporting Actor: Tyler Perry, Gone Girl (Fox) J.K. Simmons, Whiplash (SPC)

World Cinema: Timbuktu (Les Films du Worso)

Breakout Performance: Tessa Thompson, Dear White People (Roadside Attractions)

Director: Ava Duvernay, Selma (Paramount)

Screenplay: Gina Prince-Bythewood, Beyond the Lights (Relativity)

Music: John Legend, Common, “Glory” (Selma soundtrack)

Ensemble: Get On Up (Universal)

Independent Film: Dear White People (Roadside Attractions)

Animation: The Boxtrolls (Focus)

Documentary: Life Itself (Magnolia)


AAFCA Top Ten Films of 2014 in order of distinction:

1. Selma

2. The Imitation Game

3. Theory of Everything

4. Birdman

5. Belle

6. Top Five

7. Unbroken

8. Dear White People

9. Get On Up

10. Black or White