Jennifer Hudson, Halle Berry, Barry Jenkins and Anthony Anderson are among this year’s honorees for the Critics Choice Association’s Celebration of Black Cinema & Television. Inaugurated in 2014, the annual event has honored standout achievements in Black filmmaking, and this year will be the first to incorporate excellence in television as well. It will take place on Monday, December 6, at the Fairmont Century Plaza Hotel and will feature 20 award categories.
Academy Award-winning actress Berry will receive the Career Achievement Award as a tribute to her extraordinary roles over the years, as well as her upcoming directorial debut Bruised, in which she also stars as the disgraced MMA fighter Jackie Justice. It opens November 17 in theaters and hits Netflix on November 24. Berry’s career has spanned three decades, including performances in Die Another Day, Jungle Fever, Losing Isaiah, Bulworth, Swordfish, John Wick and as legendary actress in Introducing Dorothy Dandridge, for which she won an Emmy. She is the first and only Black woman to win the Best Actress Oscar, for her performance in Monster’s Ball in 2002.
“Berry’s iconic performances throughout her career have showcased her brilliance as an actor and blazed the trail for Black performers who have come after her,” said Shawn Edwards, a CCA board member and executive producer of Celebration of Black Cinema & Television. “She has become the personification of excellence as she transitions from being in front of the camera to sitting in the director’s chair.”
Multiple Emmy nominee Anderson will receive the Producer Award for Television for his work on the ABC series black-ish, grown-ish and mixed-ish. Anderson, who serves as an executive producer on all three shows, has become a major force in Hollywood in front of and behind the camera. He also hosts and is executive producer of the network’s To Tell the Truth.
Hudson will be honored with the Actress Award for Film for her performance in the Aretha Franklin biopic, Respect. The CCA notes Hudson’s unique combination of singing and acting talents perfectly captured the essence of the “Queen of Soul.” She is a Grammy and Oscar winner, the latter a 2006 Supporting Actress nod in Dreamgirls.
Moonlight Academy Award winner Jenkins will receive the Director Award for Television for his critically acclaimed Amazon series The Underground Railroad. Based on the Pulitzer Prize-winning novel by Colson Whitehead, the series was a transformative work of art that explored the perilous journey of an enslaved woman, Cora Randall (Thuso Mbedu), during her desperate bid for freedom in the antebellum South as she hopes to realize a life she never thought possible.
“2021 was an incredible year of creativity and growth in film and television, and we’re thrilled to be able to honor the changemakers who are making a difference,” said Critics Choice Association CEO Joey Berlin. “Jennifer both starred in and executive produced Respect, giving the performance of a lifetime. Barry transformed the small screen with his innovative and thought-provoking series The Underground Railroad, which he wrote, executive produced and directed, and Anthony has become one of the most prolific and admired producers on television with black-ish, grown-ish and mixed-ish,” Berlin added.
All Celebration of Black Cinema & Television honorees will be introduced by a prestigious group of presenters who will celebrate their work and their ongoing commitment to telling Black stories.
A portion of the proceeds will be designated to provide scholarships to students from underrepresented communities participating in the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences’ Gold Rising program, an industry talent development, diversity and inclusion initiative that provides individuals access and resources to achieve their career pathways in filmmaking.
Celebration of Black Cinema & Television will be produced by Madelyn Hammond and Javier Infante of Madelyn Hammond & Associates and Swisher Productions, an event production agency specializing in live events.
A full list of honorees will be announced in the coming weeks.
Subscribe to Deadline Breaking News Alerts and keep your inbox happy.