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The African American Film Critics Association, the premier organization of film media professionals, set a goal last year to expand its industry presence during awards season with a collection of distinctive events. With awards season now coming to a close, by all accounts AAFCA has succeeded on all levels in honoring and presenting some of the most prominent names in front of the camera and behind the scenes in entertainment.

While each event was presented under the AAFCA banner, they were all unique. Starting with a community-centric panel discussion that focused on career sustainability in the entertainment industry, in collaboration with One United Bank; to an intimate dinner at the home of Emmy Award-winning casting agent, Robi Reed, leading up to the association’s premiere event, its annual awards show that showcased some of the biggest names in the industry – Oprah Winfrey, Tyler Perry, J.K. Simmons, Kathryn Bigelow, David Oyelowo, Gugu Mbatha-Raw, Ava DuVernay, Chadwick Boseman, RZA, Gina Prince-Bythewood and Mike Epps, among others in attendance.

AAFCA celebrated the end of awards season with a lavish Academy Awards Viewing Party with Mercedes-Benz USA (MBUSA) that attracted a diverse group of celebrities and industry executives. “Award season never gets old and once again provided a whirlwind of activities that allowed the professionals who work so hard in this industry an opportunity to connect with their peers,” says AAFCA President, Gil Robertson. “AAFCA feels very privileged to participate in this tradition and add our distinctive flavor into the mix.”

The AAFCA/MBUSA Academy Awards Viewing Party was a high-voltage affair held in the Grand Ballroom of the Four Seasons Hotel. Notable talent enjoying the affair included Natalie Cole, Beverly Johnson, David Oyelowo, Tracee Ellis Ross,Thandie Newton, Lance Gross, Andrea Navedo, Sheryl Lee Ralph, Omar Dorsey, Star Jones, Vanessa Bell Callaway and Lynn Whitfield among others.

(Photos by Getty Images and Michael Melendy for Steed Media Service)

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LOS ANGELES, CA - FEBRUARY 22: Actress Niecy Nash attends Mercedes-Benz USA and African American Film Critics Association Academy Awards viewing party on February 22, 2015 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Chelsea Lauren/Getty Images for Mercedes-Benz USA)

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LOS ANGELES, CA - FEBRUARY 22: Actor Lance Gross attends Mercedes-Benz USA and African American Film Critics Association Academy Awards viewing party on February 22, 2015 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Chelsea Lauren/Getty Images for Mercedes-Benz USA)

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LOS ANGELES, CA - FEBRUARY 22: Actress Tracee Ellis Ross arrives at Mercedes-Benz USA and African American Film Critics Association Academy Awards viewing party on February 22, 2015 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Chelsea Lauren/Getty Images for Mercedes-Benz USA)

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LOS ANGELES, CA - FEBRUARY 22: Actress Raven Goodwin attends Mercedes-Benz USA and African American Film Critics Association Academy Awards viewing party on February 22, 2015 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Chelsea Lauren/Getty Images for Mercedes-Benz USA)

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LOS ANGELES, CA - FEBRUARY 22: Actors John Lavelle (L) and Omar Dorsey attend Mercedes-Benz USA and African American Film Critics Association Academy Awards viewing party on February 22, 2015 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Chelsea Lauren/Getty Images for Mercedes-Benz USA)

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LOS ANGELES, CA - FEBRUARY 22: Actress Amanda Fuller attends Mercedes-Benz USA and African American Film Critics Association Academy Awards viewing party on February 22, 2015 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Chelsea Lauren/Getty Images for Mercedes-Benz USA)

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LOS ANGELES, CA - FEBRUARY 22: Actress Vanessa Bell Calloway attends Mercedes-Benz USA and African American Film Critics Association Academy Awards viewing party on February 22, 2015 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Chelsea Lauren/Getty Images for Mercedes-Benz USA)

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LOS ANGELES, CA - FEBRUARY 22: Ximena Duque (L) and actor Carlos Ponce attend Mercedes-Benz USA and African American Film Critics Association Academy Awards viewing party on February 22, 2015 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Chelsea Lauren/Getty Images for Mercedes-Benz USA)

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LOS ANGELES, CA - FEBRUARY 22: (L-R) Actress Niecy Nash, Jay Tucker, actor John Lavelle, actor Omar Dorsey, Selma executive producer Paul Garnes, Tammy Garnes and actor Keith Stanfield attend Mercedes-Benz USA and African American Film Critics Association Academy Awards viewing party on February 22, 2015 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Chelsea Lauren/Getty Images for Mercedes-Benz USA)

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LOS ANGELES, CA - FEBRUARY 22: Actresses Lynn Whitfield (L) and Edwina Findley attend Mercedes-Benz USA and African American Film Critics Association Academy Awards viewing party on February 22, 2015 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Chelsea Lauren/Getty Images for Mercedes-Benz USA)

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LOS ANGELES, CA - FEBRUARY 22: Cast and crew of 'Selma' celebrate the 'Best Song' Oscar win at Mercedes-Benz USA and African American Film Critics Association Academy Awards viewing party on February 22, 2015 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Chelsea Lauren/Getty Images for Mercedes-Benz USA)

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LOS ANGELES, CA - FEBRUARY 22: Model Beverly Johnson attends Mercedes-Benz USA and African American Film Critics Association Academy Awards viewing party on February 22, 2015 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Chelsea Lauren/Getty Images for Mercedes-Benz USA)

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LOS ANGELES, CA - FEBRUARY 22: Cast and crew of 'Selma' celebrate the 'Best Song' Oscar win at Mercedes-Benz USA and African American Film Critics Association Academy Awards viewing party on February 22, 2015 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Chelsea Lauren/Getty Images for Mercedes-Benz USA)

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LOS ANGELES, CA - FEBRUARY 22: Actresses Lynn Whitfield (L) and Edwina Findley attend Mercedes-Benz USA and African American Film Critics Association Academy Awards viewing party on February 22, 2015 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Chelsea Lauren/Getty Images for Mercedes-Benz USA)

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LOS ANGELES, CA - FEBRUARY 22: Actress Sheryl Lee Ralph attends Mercedes-Benz USA and African American Film Critics Association Academy Awards viewing party on February 22, 2015 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Chelsea Lauren/Getty Images for Mercedes-Benz USA)

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LOS ANGELES, CA - FEBRUARY 22: Screenwriter Ol Parker (L) and actress Thandie Newton attend Mercedes-Benz USA and African American Film Critics Association Academy Awards viewing party on February 22, 2015 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Chelsea Lauren/Getty Images for Mercedes-Benz USA)

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LOS ANGELES, CA - FEBRUARY 22: Selma executive producer Paul Garnes (L) and Tammy Garnes attend Mercedes-Benz USA and African American Film Critics Association Academy Awards viewing party on February 22, 2015 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Chelsea Lauren/Getty Images for Mercedes-Benz USA)

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LOS ANGELES, CA - FEBRUARY 22: Actress Edwina Findley attends Mercedes-Benz USA and African American Film Critics Association Academy Awards viewing party on February 22, 2015 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Chelsea Lauren/Getty Images for Mercedes-Benz USA)

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LOS ANGELES, CA - FEBRUARY 22: Actors Tara Ochs (L) and David Oyelowo attend Mercedes-Benz USA and African American Film Critics Association Academy Awards viewing party on February 22, 2015 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Chelsea Lauren/Getty Images for Mercedes-Benz USA)

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LOS ANGELES, CA - FEBRUARY 22: Actor Stephan James (R) and brother attend Mercedes-Benz USA and African American Film Critics Association Academy Awards viewing party on February 22, 2015 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Chelsea Lauren/Getty Images for Mercedes-Benz USA)

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LOS ANGELES, CA - FEBRUARY 22: Actor David Oyelowo attends Mercedes-Benz USA and African American Film Critics Association Academy Awards viewing party on February 22, 2015 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Chelsea Lauren/Getty Images for Mercedes-Benz USA)

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LOS ANGELES, CA - FEBRUARY 22: (L-R) Actor Omar Dorsey, actress Erica Ash and Selma executive producer Paul Garnes attend Mercedes-Benz USA and African American Film Critics Association Academy Awards viewing party on February 22, 2015 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Chelsea Lauren/Getty Images for Mercedes-Benz USA)

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LOS ANGELES, CA - FEBRUARY 22: (L-R) VP of marketing for MBUSA Drew Slaven, actor David Oyelowo and AAFCA board member Gil Robertson attend Mercedes-Benz USA and African American Film Critics Association Academy Awards viewing party on February 22, 2015 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Chelsea Lauren/Getty Images for Mercedes-Benz USA)

Yvette Caslin

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