The African American Film Critics Association revealed the victors of the 15th annual AAFCA Awards, along with the organization’s selections for the top 10 films of the year.
Colman Domingo was honored with the best actor award for his portrayal of the civil rights activist Bayard Rustin in Netflix’s Rustin. Rustin was a mentor to Martin Luther King Jr. and a key figure in organizing the August 1963 march on Washington, where King delivered his iconic “I Have a Dream” speech. Lily Gladstone received the best breakthrough performance award for her role in Apple’s Killers of the Flower Moon.
The Color Purple swept the awards for best musical, best ensemble, and best music. Danielle Brooks earned the title of best supporting actress for her performance in the second adaptation of Alice Walker’s Pulitzer Prize-winning novel. Brooks reprised her role as Sofia, a character she originally played in the 2015 Broadway revival of the stage musical. In a tie for the category, Da’Vine Joy Randolph also claimed the best supporting actress award for her role as a grieving mother in Focus Features’ The Holdovers, directed by two-time Oscar winner Alexander Payne.
“It’s become a tradition to announce our winners on MLK Day,” said African American Film Critics Awards president and co-founder Gil Robertson in a statement. “And what a great year for cinema showcasing the vibrant tapestry of Black storytelling, where diversity is not a trend, but an imperative. This year’s winners have inspired, challenged and moved us and we are delighted to celebrate them and their cultural impact.”
Following is the list of winners.
Best Drama: Origin
Best Comedy: American Fiction
Best Musical: The Color Purple
Best Director: Ava DuVernay, Origin
Best Screenplay: American Fiction
Best Actor: Colman Domingo, Rustin
Best Actress: Aunjanue Ellis-Taylor, Origin
Best Supporting Actor: Sterling K. Brown, American Fiction
Best Supporting Actress: TIE Danielle Brooks, The Color Purple; Da’Vine Joy Randolph, The Holdovers
Best Ensemble: The Color Purple
Breakout Performance: Lily Gladstone, Killers of the Flower Moon
Emerging Filmmaker: Cord Jefferson, American Fiction
Best Independent Feature: A Thousand and One
Best Animated Feature: Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse
Best Documentary: Stamped from the Beginning
Best Music: The Color Purple
Best International Film: Io Capitano
Best Short Film: The After