(Washington, DC – December 14, 2016) – The Foundation for the Augmentation for African-Americans in Film (FAAF) has announced the nominees for the 17th Annual Black Reel Awards. The winners will be revealed live in Washington, DC, at the Black Reel Awards, on Thursday, February 16th at 8PM ET/ 5PM PT.

Moonlight leads all films this year with 13 nominations including Outstanding Picture, Mahershala Ali, Andre Holland and Ashton Sanders and for Outstanding Supporting Actor, Naomie Harris and Janelle Monae for Outstanding Supporting Actress, Barry Jenkins for Outstanding Director and Outstanding Screenplay. The film was also nominated for Outstanding Ensemble, Outstanding Breakthrough Performance, Male for the three actors playing the film’s protagonist, Chiron “Black” Little through various time periods, Alex Hibbert, Trevante Rhodes, Sanders and Outstanding Score for Nicholas Britell.

Fences also shined garnering ten nominations, including Outstanding Picture, Denzel Washington for Outstanding Actor, Viola Davis for Outstanding Supporting Actress, Jovan Adepo and Stephen McKinley Henderson for Outstanding Supporting Actor, Washington for Outstanding Director, among others. The Birth of A Nation and Hidden Figures earned six nominations, followed by Miles Ahead with four, and “13th,” American Honey, indie favorites, Lamb, and The Land, as well as the Disney drama, Queen of Katwe all with three.

The year featured several notable nomination achievements including Denzel Washington increasing his record-setting total of Black Reel Awards nominations with four, including two Outstanding Actor nods for Fences and The Magnificent Seven, in addition to directing and producing. Both Don Cheadle and Nate Parker each earning three nominations for acting, directing and writing for Miles Ahead! and The Birth of the Nation, Also, Idris Elba made history as the first actor to receive three nominations in a single category, for Outstanding Voice Performance in Finding Dory, The Jungle Book and “Zootopia, respectively.

“This year featured an extraordinary number of films that spanned the entire experience of the African diaspora,” said Black Reel Awards founder and FAAAF Executive Director Tim Gordon. “We couldn’t be prouder of the incredible work of a diverse group of talented filmmakers as well as both the sustained quality of many notable veterans performers as well as the emergence of so many gifted newcomers that we think will continue to make their mark over time.”

The nominations were announced by FAAAF via BlackReelAwards.com.


On the television side, The People v. OJ Simpson: American Crime Story paced the field with nine nominations, including Outstanding TV Movie or Limited Series, Outstanding Actor for both Cuba Gooding, Jr. and Courtney B. Vance, Outstanding Supporting Actor for Sterling K. Brown, Outstanding Supporting Actress for Keesha Sharp, Outstanding Director for both Anthony Hemingway and John Singleton and two Outstanding Screenplay/Writing nominations for Joe Robert Cole.

Roots displayed it’s staying power earning six nominations, including Outstanding TV Movie or Limited Series, Malachi Kirby for Outstanding Actor, Tip “T.I.” Harris for Outstanding Supporting Actor, Emayatzy Corinealdi and Anika Noni Rose for Outstanding Supporting Actress, Thomas Carter for Outstanding Director, among others. “American Crime” received five nominations, followed by Confirmation and Love Under New Management: The Miki Howard Storyboth with three.

A24 lead all film studios with an impressive 18 nominations, with Paramount also earning 10 nods. On the TV side, FX paced the field with 11 nods, followed by ABC, HBO and the History Channel with six nominations apiece.

The Black Reel Awards are presented annually by FAAAF to honor and celebrate African-American and the African diaspora achievement in feature, independent, world cinema and television movies. Currently, The Black Reel Awards remains the oldest and only primary film award devoted to honoring African-American film. The organization’s Voting Academy is comprised of four branches, which include, film, television, independent and music, representing over 110 members, which includes film critics, filmmakers, actors and music industry professionals. Historically, The Black Reel Awards remains the most factual journal of African-American film achievement for the 21st century.

Following is the list of nominees:

Motion Picture Categories


Outstanding Motion Picture
13th | Howard Barish, Ava DuVernay & Spencer Averick; producers (Netflix)
Fences | Denzel Washington, Todd Black & Scott Rudin; producers (Paramount)
Loving | Colin Firth, Peter Saraf, Marc Turtletaub, Nancy Buirski, Sarah Green & Ged Doherty; producers (Focus Features)
Manchester by the Sea | Matt Damon, Kimberly Stewart, Lauren Beck, Chris Moore & Kevin J. Walsh; producers (Roadside Attractions/ Amazon Studios)
Moonlight | Dede Gardner, Adele Romanski & Jeremy Kleiner; producers (A24)

Outstanding Actor, Motion Picture
Don Cheadle | Miles Ahead! (Sony Picture Classics)
Nate Parker | The Birth of a Nation (Fox Searchlight)
Parker Sawyers | Southside With You (Roadside Attractions/ Miramax)
Denzel Washington | Fences (Paramount)
Denzel Washington | The Magnificent Seven (MGM/Columbia Pictures)

Outstanding Actress, Motion Picture
Taraji P. Henson | Hidden Figures (20th Century Fox)
Royalty Hightower | The Fits (Oscilloscope Laboratories)
Sasha Lane | American Honey (A24)
Ruth Negga | Loving (Focus Features)
Madina Nwalanga | Queen of Katwe (Walt Disney)

Outstanding Director, Motion Picture
Don Cheadle | Miles Ahead! (Sony Picture Classics)
Antoine Fuqua | The Magnificent Seven (MGM/Columbia Pictures)
Barry Jenkins | Moonlight (A24)
Nate Parker | The Birth of a Nation (Fox Searchlight)
Denzel Washington | Fences (Paramount)

Outstanding Supporting Actor, Motion Picture
Jovan Adepo | Fences (Paramount)
Mahershala Ali | Moonlight (A24)
Stephen McKinley Henderson | Fences (Paramount)
Andre Holland | Moonlight (A24)
Ashton Sanders | Moonlight (A24)

Outstanding Supporting Actress, Motion Picture
Viola Davis | Fences (Paramount)
Naomie Harris | Moonlight (A24)
Janelle Monae | Hidden Figures (20th Century Fox)
Janelle Monae | Moonlight (A24)
Lupita Nyong’o | Queen of Katwe (Walt Disney)

Outstanding Screenplay, Motion Picture
The Birth of a Nation | Nate Parker (Fox Searchlight)
Fences | August Wilson (Paramount)
Keanu | Jordan Peele & Alex Rubens (Warner Bros. Pictures)
Miles Ahead! | Don Cheadle & Steven Baigelman (Sony Picture Classics)
Moonlight | Barry Jenkins (A24)

Outstanding Documentary Feature
13th | Ava Duvernay; director (Netflix)
I Am Not Your Negro | Raoul Peck; director (Magnolia Pictures)
Life, Animated | Roger Ross Williams; director (The Orchard)
Miss Sharon Jones! | Barbara Kopple; director (Starz Digital Media)
O.J.: Made in America | Ezra Edelman; director (ESPN)

Outstanding Foreign Language Film
Aisha (Tanzania) | Chande Omar; director
Divines (France) | Uda Benyamina; director (Netflix)
Eye of the Storm (Burkina Faso) | Sekou Traore; director
Lamb (Ethiopia) | Yared Zeleke; director (Kimstim Films)
Rain the Color of Blue with a Little Red in It (Niger) | Christopher Kirley; director

Outstanding Ensemble
The Birth of a Nation | Andrea Craven, Craig Fincannon, Lisa Mae Fincannon, Mary Vernieu, Michelle Wade Byrd; casting directors (Fox Searchlight)
Fences | Victoria Thomas (Paramount)
Hidden Figures | (20th Century Fox)
Keanu | Nicole Abellera & Jeanne McCarthy; casting directors (Warner Bros.)
Moonlight | Yesi Ramirez; casting director (A24)

Outstanding Breakthrough Performance, Male
Jovan Adepo | Fences (Paramount)
Markees Christmas | Morris From America (A24)
Alex Hibbert | Moonlight (A24)
Trevante Rhodes | Moonlight (A24)
Ashton Sanders | Moonlight (A24)

Outstanding Breakthrough Performance, Female
Royalty Hightower | The Fits (Oscilloscope Laboratories)
Leslie Jones | Ghostbusters (Columbia Pictures)
Aja Naomi King | The Birth of a Nation (Fox Searchlight)
Sasha Lane | American Honey (A24)
Janelle Monae | Hidden Figures (20th Century Fox)

Outstanding Voice Performance
Idris Elba | Finding Dory (Walt Disney)
Idris Elba | The Jungle Book (Walt Disney)
Idris Elba | Zootopia (Walt Disney)
Dwayne Johnson | Moana (Walt Disney)
Lupita Nyong’o | The Jungle Book (Walt Disney)

Outstanding Score
The Birth of a Nation | Henry Jackman; composer (Fox Searchlight)
Fences | Marcelo Zarvos; composer (Paramount)
Hidden Figures | Benjamin Wallfisch, Pharrell Williams & Hans Zimmer; composers (20th Century Fox)
Miles Ahead! | Robert Glasper; composer (Sony Picture Classics)
Moonlight | Nicholas Britell; composer (A24)

Outstanding Original Song
“A Letter to the Free” from 13th | Performed by: Common & Bilal; Written by: Common (Netflix)
“Back to Life” from Queen of Katwe | Performed by: Alicia Keys; Written by: Alicia Keys, Illangelo & Billy Walsh (Walt Disney)
“I’m Still Here” from Miss Sharon Jones! | Written & Performed by: Sharon Jones & the Dap-Kings (Starz Digital Media)
“Start” from Southside With You | Written & Performed by: John Legend (Roadside Attractions/ Miramax)
“Surrender” from Hidden Figures | Performed by: Lalah Hathaway & Pharrell Williams; Written by: Pharrell Williams (20th Century Fox)

Independent Categories


Outstanding Independent Feature
American Honey | Andrea Arnold; director (A24)
How to Tell You’re a Douchebag | Tahir Jetter; director
Hunter Gatherer | Joshua Locy; director (The Orchard)
The Land | Steven Caple, Jr.; director (IFC Films)
Morris From America | Chad Hartigan; director (A24)

Outstanding World Cinema Motion Picture
Ayanda (South Africa) | Sara Blecher; director
The Cursed Ones (Ghana) | Nana Obiri-Yeboah & Maximilian Claussen; director
Where the Road Runs Out (Equatorial Guinea) | Rudolf Buitendach; director (Netflix)

Outstanding Independent Short
#Whereisbeauty | Angela McCrae; director
2 Fists Up | Spike Lee; director (ESPN)
$15 Kicks | Jenn Shaw; director (ESPN)
86-32 | Randy Wilkins; director (ESPN)
Black Card | Pete Chatmon; director

Outstanding Emerging Filmmaker
Steven Caple, Jr. | The Land (IFC Films)
Ezra Edelman | O.J.: Made in America (ESPN Films)
Tahir Jetter | How to Tell You’re a Douchebag
Rita Coburn Whack | Maya Angelou and Still I Rise
Yared Zeleke | Lamb (Kimstim Films)

Outstanding First Screenplay
Lamb | Yared Zeleke (Kimstim Films)
The Land | Steven Caple, Jr. (IFC Films)
Price of Love | Hermon Hailay

Television Categories


Outstanding TV Doc or Special
Beyonce: Lemonade | Beyonce Knowles & Khalil Joseph; directors (HBO)
Black America Since MLK: Still I Rise | Talleah Bridges; director (PBS)
Hamilton’s America | Alex Horowitz; director (PBS)
“Jackie Robinson” | Ken Burns; director (PBS)
“Streets of Compton” | Mark Ford; director (A&E)

Outstanding TV Movie or Limited Series
“American Crime” | Lori-Etta Taub; producer (ABC)
Confirmation | Darren M. Demetre ; producer (HBO)
Love Under New Management: The Miki Howard Story | Carl Craig, Teyonah Parris, Ron Robinson & Eric Tomosunas; producers (TV One)
“The People v. OJ Simpson: American Crime Story” | Chip Vucelich, Alexis Martin Woodall & John Travolta; producers (FX)
“Roots” | Ann Kindberg & Alissa M. Kantrow; producers (History Channel)

Outstanding Actor, TV Movie or Limited Series
Michael Ealy | “Secrets & Lies” (ABC)
Cuba Gooding Jr. | “The People v. OJ Simpson: American Crime Story” (FX)
Malachi Kirby | “Roots” (History Channel)
Wendell Pierce | Confirmation (HBO)
Courtney B. Vance | “The People v. OJ Simpson: American Crime Story” (FX)

Outstanding Actress, TV Movie or Limited Series
Rhyon Nicole Brown | Surviving Compton: Dre, Suge & Michel’le (Lifetime)
Audra McDonald | Lady Day at Emerson’s Bar & Grill (HBO)
Sophie Okonedo | “The Hollow Crown: The War of Roses” (PBS)
Teyonah Parris | Love Under New Management: The Miki Howard Story (TV One)
Kerry Washington | Confirmation (HBO)

Outstanding Director, TV Movie or Limited Series
Angela Bassett | “American Horror Story: Roanoke” : Season 6, Episode 6 (FX)
Thomas Carter | “Roots” : Night 3 (History Channel)
Anthony Hemingway | “The People v. OJ Simpson: American Crime Story” : “The Dream Team” (FX)
John Ridley | “American Crime”: Season 2, Episode 1 (ABC)
John Singleton | “The People v. OJ Simpson: American Crime Story”: The Race Card (FX)

Outstanding Supporting Actor, TV Movie or Limited Series
Andre Benjamin | “American Crime” (ABC)
Sterling K. Brown | “The People v. OJ Simpson: American Crime Story” (FX)
Curtis Hamilton | Surviving Compton: Dre, Suge, Michel’le (Lifetime)
Tip “T.I.” Harris | “Roots” (History Channel)
Michael K. Williams | “The Night Of… ” (HBO)

Outstanding Supporting Actress, TV Movie or Limited Series
Angela Bassett | “American Horror Story: Roanoke” (FX)
Emayatzy Corinealdi | “Roots” (History Channel)
Regina King | “American Crime” (ABC)
Anika Noni Rose | “Roots” (History Channel)
Keesha Sharp | “The People v. OJ Simpson: American Crime Story” (FX)

Outstanding Screenplay/Writing, TV Movie or Limited Series
“American Crime” (Season Two, Episode One) | Written by: John Ridley (ABC)
Jean of the Joneses | Written by: Stella Meghie (TV One)
Love Under New Management: The Miki Howard Story | Written by: Christine Swanson & Rhonda Baraka (TV One)
“The People v. OJ Simpson: American Crime Story” (“The Race Card”) | Written by: Joe Robert Cole (FX)
“The People v. OJ Simpson: American Crime Story” (“A Jury in Jail”) | Written by: Joe Robert Cole (FX)


Nominations by Film
Moonlight (13)
Fences (10)
The Birth of a Nation (6)
Hidden Figures (6)
Miles Ahead! (4)
13th  (3)
American Honey (3)
Lamb (3)
The Land (3)
Queen of Katwe (3)
The Fits (2)
How to Tell You’re a Douchebag (2)
The Jungle Book  (2)
Keanu (2)
Loving (2)
The Magnificent Seven  (2)
Miss Sharon Jones (2)
Morris From America (2)
O.J.: Made in America (2)
Southside With You (2)
#whereisbeauty (1)
2 Fists Up (1)
$15 Kicks (1)
86-32 (1)
Aisha (1)
Ayanda (1)
Black Card (1)
The Cursed Ones (1)
Divines (1)
Eye of the Storm (1)
Fifty (1)
Finding Dory (1)
Ghostbusters (1)
Hunter Gatherer (1)
I Am Not Your Negro (1)
Life, Animated (1)
Manchester by the Sea (1)
Maya Angelou and Still I Rise (1)
Moana (1)
Price of Love (1)
Rain the Color of Blue With a Little Red In It (1)
Where the Road Runs Out (1)
Zootopia (1)


Nominations by Television Film/Program
“The People v. OJ Simpson: American Crime Story” (9)
“Roots” (6)
“American Crime” (5)
Confirmation (3)
Love Under New Management: The Miki Howard Story (3)
“American Horror Story: Roanoke” (2)
Surviving Compton: Dre, Suge & Michel’le (2)
Beyonce: Lemonade (1)
Hamilton’s America (1)
“Jackie Robinson” (1)
Jean of the Joneses (1)
“The Hollow Crown: War of Roses” (1)
Lady Day at Emerson’s Bar & Grill (1)
“The Night Of….  (1)
“Secrets & Lies” (1)
“Streets of Compton” (1)


Nominations by Distributor
A24 (18)
Paramount (10)
Walt Disney (8)
20th Century Fox (6)
Fox Searchlight (6)
ESPN (5)
Netflix (5)
Sony Picture Classics (4)
IFC Films (3)
Kimstim Films (3)
Focus Features (2)
MGM/ Columbia (2)
The Orchard (2)
Oscilloscope Pictures (2)
Roadside Attractions / Miramax (2)
Starz Digital Media (2)
Warner Bros. Pictures (2)
Columbia Pictures (1)
Magnolia Pictures  (1)
Roadside Attractions/ Amazon Studios (1)


Nominations by Network
FX (11)
ABC (6)
HBO (6)
History Channel (6)
PBS (4)
TV One (4)
Lifetime (2)
A&E (1)


Individuals with Multiple Nominations:
Denzel Washington (4)
Steven Caple, Jr. (3)                                                                                                      
Don Cheadle (3)
Idris Elba (3)
Janelle Monae (3)
Nate Parker (3)
Yared Zeleke (3)
Angela Bassett (2)
Jovan Adepo (2)
Joe Robert Cole (2)
Ezra Edelman (2)
Ava DuVernay (2)
Royalty Hightower (2)
Barry Jenkins (2)
Tahir Jetter  (2)
Sasha Lane (2)
Lupita Nyong’o (2)
Teyonah Parris (2)
John Ridley (2)
Ashton Sanders (2)
Pharrell Williams (2)

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Clayton Davis
Clayton Davis--prolific writer and autism awareness advocate of Puerto Rican and Black descent, known for his relentless passion, dedication, and unique aptitude. Over the course of a decade, he has been criticizing both film and television extensively. To date, he has been either featured or quoted in an array of prominent outlets, including but not limited to The New York Times, CNN.com, Variety, Deadline, Los Angeles Times, FOX 5, Bloomberg Television, AOL, Huffington Post, Bloomberg Radio, The Wrap, Slash Film, and the Hollywood Reporter. Growing up in the Bronx, Clayton’s avid interest in the movie world began the moment he first watched "Dead Poets Society” at just five years of age. While he struggled in English class all throughout grade school, he dived head first into writing, ultimately taking those insufficiencies and transforming them into ardent writings pertaining to all things film, television, and most importantly, the Academy Awards. In addition to crafting a collection of short stories that give a voice to films that haven’t made it to the silver screen, Clayton currently serves as the Founding Editor of AwardsCircuit.com. He also holds active voting membership at various esteemed organizations, such as the Broadcast Film Critics Association, Broadcast Television Journalists Association, African-American Film Critics Association, New York Film Critics Online, Black Reel Awards, and International Press Academy. Furthermore, Clayton obtained his B.A. degree in American Studies and Communications.