Rolling Out

Top films of 2016 highlighting Black actors

Courtesy of Universal
Universal Pictures

In anticipation of its annual Best Of list, the African American Film Critics Association (AAFCA) has already proclaimed 2016 the best ever for Blacks in cinema. “The studios and major film distributors really gave it to us this year,” said Gil Robertson, AAFCA co-founder/president. “By any measurement, it’s been an exceptional year for Blacks in film. From comedies to high-quality dramas and documentaries, 2016 will forever represent a bonanza year for Black cinema and all cinema really.”

Anchored by the successful box office comedies, “Ride Along 2” and “Barbershop 3,” to name a few, “The coming award nominations are going to definitely put a pause on #OscarsSoWhite this year,” Robertson continued.

In fact, Black films this year have performed particularly well, both financially and/or critically with others, says AAFCA co-founder Shawn Edwards. “I am going to go out on a limb and predict that we will see a black actor nominated in every acting category and that at least four black-themed films will be nominated for Best Picture,” says Edwards.

“Regardless of the final tally,” Robertson says more cautiously, “we are both confident that we’ll see a record number of black nominees when Awards Season kicks into high gear.”

“But what we wonder is for how long? It’s undeniable that the studios have responded admirably to the tremendous outcry from the African American community through its delivery of the films that we’ve seen this year. But what about next year and the year after that? Unfortunately, the question that we must ask with every watershed year is ‘how long will it last?’ Were the past 12 months an anomaly or does it signal the beginning of Hollywood being more committed to supporting a diverse lineup of Black films? And what about films about the Asian, Hispanic, Native American and LGBT communities? Moonlight has been a bright spot in representing both the Black and LGBT communities but we need more. So we at AAFCA are extremely hopeful that these 2016 Black films will have a domino effect in providing platform opportunities for films that represent other communities as well.”

So which films are responsible for launching Black actors to super fame in 2016? Hit the flip for a breakdown of this year’s top films highlighting Black Hollywood.

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