'Moonlight' Named Best Picture by the African American Film Critics Association

Moonlight Still - Publicity - H 2016
David Bornfriend

In the TV categories, 'Queen Sugar' and 'Atlanta' were named best drama and comedy series, respectively.

The African American Film Critics Association on Monday unveiled its picks for the top films and TV series of the year, bestowing Moonlight with the award for best picture of 2016.

The movie — which earned six Golden Globe nominations Monday morning — also was named best independent film, while Barry Jenkins won best director. Star Mahershala Ali was named best supporting actor, while his co-star Janelle Monae was chosen for breakout performance for Moonlight and Hidden Figures. The cast of Hidden Figures also was named best ensemble. Meanwhile, Fences was named best screenplay and also won best actor honors for Denzel Washington.

In the TV categories, OWN's Queen Sugar was tapped as best drama, while FX's Atlanta was chosen as best comedy. WGN's Underground was named best cable/new media series, while HBO's Lemonade won for best special/limited series.

 “Our members had a plethora of outstanding movies, documentaries and TV shows to choose from this year," said AAFCA co-founder Shawn Edwards. "It was an exceptional year in terms of the quantity and quality of films about the black experience. And while this by no means solves the diversity issue in the film industry, it was definitely refreshing to have such a wide-range of exceptional work to choose from to honor and celebrate with our approval."

The awards ceremony will take place Feb. 9 at the Taglyan Complex in Los Angeles.

"2016 provided our membership with many great films to choose from," said AAFCA president and co-founder Gil Robertson. "Every movie and TV show on our top 10 lists could have easily been No. 1. The number of incredible performances by black actors and actresses added to a very competitive field of performances and represents a step towards inclusion that our membership warmly embraces."

A complete list of 2016 AAFCA Awards winners follows.


Best Picture

Best Director
Barry Jenkins, Moonlight

Best Actor
Denzel Washington, Fences

Best Actress
Ruth Negga, Loving

Best Supporting Actor
Mahershala Ali, Moonlight

Best Supporting Actress
Viola Davis, Fences

Best Ensemble
The cast of Hidden Figures

Breakout Performance 2017
Janelle Monae, Moonlight and Hidden Figures

Best Independent Film

Best Animation Film

Best Song
"Victory," Hidden Figures

Best Documentary

Best Foreign Film

Best Screenplay
August Wilson, Fences


Best TV Show, Drama
Queen Sugar

Best TV Show, Comedy

Best TV Show, Cable/New Media

Best TV Show, Special/Limited Series

AAFCA Top 10 Films of 2016 in Order of Distinction

1. Moonlight
2. Fences
3. Hidden Figures
4. Lion
5. La La Land
6. The Birth of a Nation
7. Loving
8. Manchester by the Sea
9. Hell or High Water
10. Queen of Katwe

AAFCA Top 10 TV Shows of 2016 in Order of Distinction

1. Queen Sugar
2. Underground
3. Atlanta
4. Insecure
5. Luke Cage
6. This Is Us
7. Black-ish
8. The Get Down
9. Westworld
10. Survivor's Remorse