EXCLUSIVE: The Black Film Critics Circle (BFCC) has voted American Fiction Best Film of 2023, Aunjanue Ellie-Taylor Best Actress and Jefferey Wright Best Actor for their work in Origin and American Fiction respectively. And for Best Director Cord Jefferson for American Fiction. The announcement was made today by Mike Sargent, co-president, BFCC. Votes were cast and tabulated in New York City at the organization’s annual meeting on December 18, 2023.
Recognizing achievements in theatrical motion pictures, the BFCC awarded prizes in 13 categories including best picture, best director, original and adapted screenplay, best actor, best actress, best supporting actor, best supporting actress, best animated feature, best independent film, best documentary feature, best foreign film, and best ensemble. Special Signature awards are also given to industry pioneers and rising stars.
“There are certain narratives we live by as individuals, as families, as cultures, and those are the narratives that help define us. The latter part of the late 20th century, the third golden age of Black film, there was a ghettoization of black film. A limit on the kinds of stories we were able to tell“ says Mike Sargent, President of BFCC. “Now, not only do we have a multitude of different genres and stories from historical to speculative fiction we have a record number of first time feature film directors. So these are new voices telling a wide variety of stories.”
Co-president Wilson Morales adds ‘First time feature film directors like A.V. Rockwell director of A Thousand and One, Cord Jefferson director of American Fiction, and Juel Taylor director of They Cloned Tyrone have done exceptional work’. says Morales ‘2023 was truly a banner year for Black film and filmmakers.’
Best Film – American Fiction
Best Director – Christopher Nolan
Best Actor – Jeffrey Wright, American Fiction
Best Actress – Aunjanue Ellis-Taylor, Origin
Best Supporting Actor – Sterling K. Brown, American Fiction
Best Supporting Actress – Danielle Brooks, The Color Purple
Best Original Screenplay – Past Lives
Best Adapted Screenplay – (Tie) Oppenheimer, American Fiction
Best Cinematography – Poor Things
Best Documentary – American Symphony
Best Animated – Spider-Man: Across The Spider-Verse
Best Ensemble – American Fiction
BFCC Signature Awards:
PIONEER – Lisa Cortés
This year’s BFCC Pioneer Award is given to Lisa Cortés. Lisa is an Academy Award® nominated and Emmy-winning Producer and Director. She is renowned for creating challenging, visionary stories and has been distinguished by her commitment to inclusivity and empowering diverse voices. Her contributions like this year’s Little Richard: I Am Everything about the life and career of Little Richard, the one-of-a-kind rock ‘n’ roll icon who shaped the world of music and Lisa’s ongoing dedication to her craft embodies the very essence of the word Pioneer.”
RISING STAR/ BEST NEWCOMER – (tie) A.V. Rockwell & Tia Nomore
A.V. Rockwell, director of Sundance Film Festival 2023 Grand Jury Prize winning film A Thousand and One.
And Tia Nomore for feature film acting her debut in the film Earth Mama where she, to quote BFCC Member Anthony Holden (Blak Cinephile) ‘delivers a terrific, soul-baring performance’.
SPECIAL MENTION – Colman Domingo
Special Mention this year goes to Colman Domingo who, to quote BFCC Member Harrison Martin (FLIXFROG) is ‘The embodiment of the word thespian. Domingo is a domineering versatile actor whether he’s on stage, television, or on the silver screen. Domingo pulled off two great performances this year as the openly gay civil rights activist Bayard Rustin in Rustin and the charismatic yet abusive Albert “Mister” Johnson in The Color Purple (2023).’
1. American Fiction
3. The Color Purple
4. Spider-Man: Across The Spider-Verse
6. Past Lives
7. Poor Things
10. Anatomy of a Fall