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Straight Outta Compton Top Film of 2015

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Will Smith, Teyonah Parris and Ryan Coogler Also Receive Wins from the Nation’s Premiere African American Critics Group

The Danish Girl and Mad Max: Fury Road also take key honors


Los Angeles, CA (December 7, 2015) – Movies that reflect the revolutionary undercurrent running through society dominated this year’s voting for the 7th AAFCA Awards. Straight Outta Compton, the surprise summer box office hit centered on the 90’s rap group N.W.A., captured an overwhelming majority of the votes cast by members of the association. The Universal Pictures film earned multiple awards for Best Picture, Best Ensemble and Best Supporting Actor for Jason Mitchell, who portrayed the group’s founder, Eazy E. Awards were also given to Creed in the category of Best Director for Ryan Coogler; Michael B. Jordan for Breakout Performance and Tessa Thompson for Best Supporting Actress. The top acting honors went to Will Smith and Teyonah Parris for their roles in Concussion and Chi-Raq. AAFCA will hold its 7th annual awards ceremony on Wednesday, February 10, 2016 at the Taglyan Complex in Hollywood, CA.

“Our members found an interesting theme in many of the films released this year, giving a voice to communities who have generally been underserved and marginalized in society,” says AAFCA president Gil Robertson. “With movies like Straight Outta Compton, Chi-Raq, 3 1/2 Minutes and Dope, filmmakers brought to life many storylines that are a reflection of what’s happening in our world today, including the #BlackLivesMatter movement. Pictures like Carol and The Danish Girl, give voice to another community that is too often ridiculed and ignored by the status-quo. With Creed, the members of AAFCA found an opportunity to celebrate a film with “a” universal message of hope, honor and perseverance – something that everyone can embrace. Overall, it was a transformative year in cinema.”


The following is a complete list of 2015 AAFCA Awards winners.

Best Picture: “Straight Outta Compton” (Universal Pictures)

Best Director: Ryan Coogler –“Creed” (Warner Bros.)

Best Ensemble: “Straight Outta Compton” (Universal Pictures)

Best Actor: Will Smith “Concussion” (Sony)

Best Actress: Teyonah Parris “Chi-Raq” (Roadside Attractions)

Best Supporting Actor: Jason Mitchell “Straight Outta Compton” (Universal Pictures)

Best Supporting Actress: Tessa Thompson “Creed” (Warner Bros.)

Best Independent Film: “Chi-Raq” (Roadside Attractions)

Best Screenplay: Rick Famuyiwa, “Dope” (Open Road Films)

Breakout Performance: Michael B. Jordan “Creed” (Warner Bros.)

Best Animation: “The Peanuts Movie” (20th Century Fox)

Best Documentary: “A Ballerina’s Tale” (Sundance Selects)

Best Song: “See You Again” Furious 7 (Atlantic Records)

Best TV Comedy: “Black-ish” (ABC)

Best TV Drama: “How to Get Away with Murder” (ABC)

Best Cable/New Media TV Show: “Survivor’s Remorse” (Starz)


AAFCA Top Ten Films of 2015 are as follows in order of distinction:

1. Straight Outta Compton (Universal Pictures)

2. Creed (Warner Bros.)

3. Mad Max: Fury Road (Warner Bros.)

4. Beasts of No Nation (Netflix)

5. The Martian (20th Century Fox)

6. 3-1/2 Minutes/Dope (HBO/Open Road Films)

7. Chi-Raq (Roadside Attractions)

8. Carol (Weinstein Co.)

9. The Big Short (Paramount Pictures)

10. The Danish Girl (Focus Features)

As previously announced, AAFCA’s Special Achievement honors will be awarded to Codeblack Entertainment CEO, Jeff Clanagan; director John Singleton; Maverick Carter and LeBron James’ SpringHill Entertainment. New York Times film critic, Manohla Dargis will receive the organization’s Roger Ebert Award and HBO will receive the group’s Cinema Vanguard Award.


The African-American Film Critics Association (AAFCA) is the premiere organization of African-American film media professionals. Founded in 2003, AAFCA’s members represent a geographically diverse cross-section of media covering the cinematic arts. The organization honors excellence in cinema by creating awareness for films with universal appeal to black communities, while emphasizing film about the black experience and those produced written, directed and starring performers of African descent. The association actively reviews the quality and standard of black talent, content and media coverage. AAFCA also supports the development of future black film critics and filmmakers. AAFCA is based in Los Angeles.

CONTACT: Jeaunine Askew 323-878-2399 | info@aafca.com

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I've saw Max Max, and that was because my kid borrowed it from the Library.  I did not particularly care for the film and was surprised by the critical acclaim.

I also saw was Beasts of No Nation, a very moving film.  I'm surprised the kid who played the character, Agu, Abraham Attah, has not been given more acclaim.  His performance was as good if not superior to the Quvenzhané Wallis' (Hushpuppy in Beast of the Southern Wild).  

The only other film on the list that I saw was Martian.  It is available on Netflix or one of the streaming services.  It was an excellent film. 

Chi-raq generally elicits un favorable remarks from anyone I ask you has seen it.  I will see Straight Outta Compton and a few of the others when they are available for for free streaming. 

I never heard of the The Danish Girl or Carol.  I looked them up and I see why.

I did not see any of them films in the theater, but I see less than a handful of moves a year in the theater nowadays.

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I actually liked Mad Max Fury Road... but I was always a big fan of the series. I don't get to see the movies in theaters unless they have a family theme because of the kids. I tend to wait until they are streaming as well. When I see any of the films you mentioned i will definitely write about them.

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The mission statement of AAFCA does a very good job of expressing the goals of this organization altho it could've been summed up in 4 words: "Fuck The Academy Awards". 

The young African actor who played in "Beasts of No Nation" was given a standing ovation at the NAACP Image awards televised last week but lost. (He was also nominated for best supporting actor by SAG and lost out to another actor.)  An NAACP Image award for best movie was awarded to "Straight Outta Compton", the art-imitating-life film that glorified misogyny and violence, - one more reason why the name of this award needs to be changed to something with more credibility.  Too often what it rewards does not exemplify positive images, but simply boosts ratings for the televised ceremony.

And the inclusion of  "Carol" and The Danish Girl" in AAFCA's nominations once again demonstrates how the LGBT community rides the coattails of Blacks when, actually, these 2 minorities aren't that comparable..  IMO.  

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While I'm glad the kid in Beasts got some recognition during the image awards that is not enough for me to lift my boycott of the NAACP Image awards.

GIven the critical acclaim of the film Straight Outta Compton I can't help but feel manipulated in wanting to see it.  Could it really be the best film made last year?  

I guess 2015 was a relatively weak year for Black film.


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  • 3 weeks later...

Well I finally saw Straight Outta Compton It actually was a decent movie as far as films go, and I enjoyed it.  But it's basis in reality was pretty thin. As far as best picture, I dunno.  

They really need to make a film about Suge Knight, that Brother....

I also watched Black Mass last night and I thought Johnny Depp deserved an academy award nomination and I enjoyed that film more than I did Straight Outta Compton.

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If we if we always wait for our films to stream them they will never be important and impactful enough economically to be taken seriously critically artistically or otherwise.  We have to make our films stand out my overwhelming an outstanding support that will show all audiences that we are important enough to watch this is why many of our films never make it to the big screen.


we have many films that are independent flooding Netflix never making it to the big screen.

 Support, that is all.

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Hi Chastie, I hear you Sis, and I appreciate you many not be speaking about me specifically, and are addressing people in general.

But I will tell you something about my support of Black film.  For well over 15 years I have paid reviewers to review 100's of Black films.  I have published interviews of actors, producers and other film industry professionals.  When people like Ava Duvernay ask for support I jump through hoops to support their efforts.  This is far more valuable than the purchase of one ticket to watch a film in the theater.  

So while I did not go see SOC in the theater I did pay for a film review.  Even this conversation I posted sharing the AAFCA press release announcing that SOC was the best film for 2015 promotes and supports the film.

It is also worth mentioning that I do this despite any form or reciprocation, acknowledgement or gratitude from those who benefit.  Writers are much more gracious in this regard :-)

As far as borrowing films from the library.  For people like me going to see a film is a luxury in both time and expense, so I will only go to see a film I think is worth seeing on the big screen.  Nowadays, not many films fit the bill.  Straight Outta Compton, does not come close to meeting my criteria to a film I would want to see on the big screen.  

Cinematographically there was nothing about SOC that would compel me to see it on the big screen.  I would go see Mad Max in the theater given a choice between the two films.

Finally, the notion that Blacks failing to go to the theater to see every Black film made, is the only thing preventing more Black films from being made ignores so many other factors from racism, to ownership, and the economic conditions of our demographic.

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@Troy  My comment was not personal at all. Most of my points have this theme.  Not everyone is like you, not everyone has a website or gives that kind of energy to our work. Many of our films do flatline at the theater, some arguably so, others are diamonds in the rough. I just want to see us support...that is all.

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I assumed it was not personal and said as much @Chasitie.  My rant was not directed solely at you.  Sorry if it came across that way.  

At the end of the day, I see us going, en mass to see SOC, as the antithesis of what we need to do as Black people to support Black film.  I think we really need to support indie filmmakers much more.  But if we are gonna support Hollywood, lets pick a better film, or at least a movie that does not glorify and sanitize a crew of misogynistic gangster rappers--despite what the AAFCA thinks.

If anyone asks me should they go to see SOC in the theater I would still say, "no."  


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