Black Film Critics Circle: 'Ma Rainey's Black Bottom' Named Best Film of Year (Exclusive)

Viola Davis
David Lee / Netflix

Ma Rainey's Black Bottom was the big winner in voting for the 10th annual Black Film Critics Circle Awards, The Hollywood Reporter has learned.

George Wolfe's film, which was adapted from August Wilson's 1984 play and is streaming on Netflix, won best film, best actor (the late Chadwick Boseman), best actress (Viola Davis) and best adapted screenplay (Ruben Santiago-Hudson's script).

Other big winners included One Night in Miami's Regina King (best director, in a tie), Leslie Odom, Jr. (best supporting actor) and cast (best ensemble); Nomadland's Chloe Zhao (best director, in a tie); Minari's Yuh-Jung Youn (best supporting actress) and script (best original screenplay); Tenet (best cinematography); Time (best documentary); Soul (best animated film); and Ivory Coast's Night of the Kings (best foreign film).

"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," BFCC co-president Mike Sargent tells THR. "The continued and ever expanding 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."

BFCC also announced three signature awards. Sam Pollard, the veteran documentarian whose latest work is MLK/FBI, was chosen for the Pioneer Award. The Forty-Year-Old Version breakout Radha Blank was tapped for the Rising Star Award. And Steve McQueen was recognized with a special mention for his Small Axe anthology series comprised of five feature-length films.

BFCC's 25 members, who are all "film critics of color from daily newspapers, weekly newspapers, magazines, radio, television and qualifying online publications," also voted to determine a year-end top 10 list. Their picks? After Ma Rainey in the top spot: (2) Minari, (3) Nomadland, (4) One Night in Miami, (5) Soul, (6) Judas and the Black Messiah, (7) Da 5 Bloods, (8) The Trial of the Chicago 7, (9) Sound of Metal and (10) The 40-Year-Old Version and Sylvie's Love, in a tie.