The African American Film Critics Association will honor Mariah Carey, George C. Wolfe and Netflix with the 2021 AAFCA Special Awards, the organization announced on Tuesday.
The AAFCA, the world’s largest group of black film critics with 90 members, will also award a Special Achievement Award to the 2020 Amazon Voter Suppression Documentary “All In: The Fight For Democracy”, directed by Lisa Cortes and Liz Garbus, who also co-produced the film with activist Stacey Abrams. “All In” received the Stanley Kramer Prize for Social Justice.
“They all epitomize excellence in one way or another,” AAFCA CEO and President Gil Robertson told TheWrap. “The Special Achievement Award is meant to be a tribute to the body of work versus the particular performance.”
Carey is often recognized for her singing, said Robertson, but rarely celebrated for the visual storytelling of her music videos and TV specials. Wolfe, better known as a director, has also brought his directing skills to the screen, most recently as the director of the Netflix screen version of August Wilson’s play “Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom”, with Viola Davis and Chadwick Boseman.
According to an AAFCA statement, Netflix received its awards for encouraging a global tribe rooted in bringing all people of different languages and continents together through the power of cinema. “We couldn’t be happier to recognize Netflix during the pandemic,” said Robertson. “They really shone with a robust and diverse range of offerings that frankly saved a lot of people from having an outage when we just didn’t know what was going on.”
Previous Special Achievement winners include Channing Dungey, Carl Reiner, Quincy Jones, Edward James Olmos, George Lucas and Cicely Tyson, among others.
AAFCA recently partnered with Comcast NBCUniversal to launch Black Experience Channel on XFinity. The channel, a destination for black entertainment, movies and news, launched on February 1. Black Experience offers content from many of XFinity’s existing network partners at no additional cost. According to a statement, Black Experience is also investing millions of dollars in emerging black content creators and is the only such channel approved by the AAFCA.
The AAFCA celebrates Black History Month with “Breaking Barriers in Comedy: A Celebration of Black Television”, in partnership with the Television Academy, and “Black Identity Through Cinema” with American Cinematheque.
The 12th Annual AAFC Awards will take place on April 7th.