Broadcast Film Critics Association to Celebrate Black Cinema and Stars

The group plans to fete the talent behind 2013 films such as "12 Years a Slave," "42," "The Butler," "Fruitvale Station" and "Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom."
Warner Bros.
Chadwick Boseman as Jackie Robinson in "42"

The Broadcast Film Critics Association, which presents the annual Critics' Choice Movie Awards, is partnering with the House of Blues to host "A Celebration of Black Cinema," an event highlighting 2013's unprecedented number of films about the black experience -- many of which have become crossover hits -- the organization announced on Wednesday. The event will take place on Jan. 7 -- nine days before the Critics' Choice Awards -- at the House of Blues in West Hollywood. The group expects that the principal talent from many of the films will be in attendance.

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"After watching 42, Mandela, 12 Years a Slave, The Butler, Fruitvale Station, Best Man Holiday and so many more [2013 films of this nature], we realized never has a single year featured such a wide range of movies with such memorable performances both in front of and behind the camera," Joey Berlin, the president of the BFCA, said in a statement. "Our membership, almost 300 of the top movie reviewers on television, radio and online, believes that this special level of accomplishment deserves to be acknowledged and saluted."

BFCA member Shawn Edwards, an African-American journalist who reviews films at Fox 4 Kansas City and founded the website "I Love Black Movies," came up with the initial idea for the event, the statement indicated. Edwards identified more than 40 notable films released this year primarily written, directed and/or produced by black men and women, along with so many others featuring notable lead and supporting performances by black actors and actresses.

Twitter: @ScottFeinberg