Black stories highlighted in AFI 2021 film honors

Chadwick Boseman's last movie "Ma Rainey's Black Bottom" was named one of the American Film Institute's movies of the year.
REUTERS/Monica Almeida/File Photo

The American Film Institute (AFI) announced its movies of the year, with five of the 10 honorees featuring predominantly non-white casts and stories.

The annual list, released ahead of the major 2021 award shows, is not ranked but is one of the first indications of the films expected to do well at the Oscars and Golden Globes.

It includes Spike Lee’s Vietnam drama “Da 5 Bloods,” Chadwick Boseman’s last movie “Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom,” “One Night in Miami” about a meeting in 1964 between Black icons Cassius Clay, Sam Cooke, Malcolm X and Jim Brown, and Black Panther story “Judas and the Black Messiah.”

“Minari,” the story of a Korean immigrant family in search of the American dream in 1980s, was also on the list, along with animated movie “Soul”, starring Jamie Foxx, “The Trial of the Chicago 7,” “Nomadland,” and “Mank.”

Spike Lee’s Vietnam drama “Da 5 Bloods” was recognized by the AFI. REUTERS/Mike Blake

The movie version of the hip-hop musical “Hamilton,” about the founding fathers of the United States, was given a special award.

The AFI Awards, chosen by a jury of filmmakers, critics, and academics, annually honors the entire creative teams of the 10 films and television shows of the past year that it deems most culturally and artistically representative.

The 10 television shows honored were; “Better Call Saul,” “Bridgerton,” “The Crown,” “The Good Lord Bird,” “Lovecraft Country,” “The Mandalorian,” “Mrs. America,” “The Queen’s Gambit,” “Ted Lasso” and “Unorthodox.”

The nominations for the Golden Globes are due to be announced next week, with Oscar nominations scheduled for March 15.


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