The African American Film Critics Association Calls 2016 the ‘Best Year for African Americans in Cinema’

In a statement that was released Monday (Nov. 28, 2016), the African American Film Critics Association (AAFCA) said that 2016 has been the best year for the black community in terms of their on-screen visibility in cinema.

“The studios and major film distributors really gave it to us this year,” said Gil Robertson, AAFCA co-founder/president, in the statement. “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.”

AAFCA’s other co-founder Shawn Edwards added, “The amount of quality feature films, documentaries and TV shows released in 2016 about the black experience easily make it the best year ever. It has truly been an unapologetically black year in the industry as filmmakers brought to life some of the cultures most fascinating stories and subjects with bold storytelling perspective.”

Robertson added that the recognition of films that narrate stories of Black culture, like Fences and Moonlight, will “definitely put a pause on #OscarsSoWhite this year,” but he wonders if this surge in diversity is temporary service from film studios that seek to remedy outrage from last year’s awards season.

“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?”

Box office hits, like Ride Along 2 and Central Intelligencewere also praised by the organization, which was founded in 2003 due to the lack of the African diaspora found in cinema.

Listen to our first-ever Celebuzz’d podcast episode in which we discussed the lack of diversity in the praised productions of last years’ awards season.