The African American Film Critics Association (AAFCA), the premiere 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, were all in attendance.
AAFCA celebrated the end of awards season with a lavish Academy Awards Viewing Party with Mercedes-Benz USA 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/Mercedes-Benz US Academy Awards Viewing Party was a high-voltage affair held in the Grand Ballroom of the Four Seasons Hotel. Black-ish star Tracee Eliss Ross, Thandie Newton, Beverly Johnson, Star Jones, Vanessa Bell Calloway, the cast of Selma and cast members from The Have and the Have Nots noshed on a menu that featured sushi, arugula hummus, spicy beef empanadas and duck confit quesadillas, complemented with cocktails that were specifically crafted for the occasion.
The event was accented by special treats courtesy of luxury cosmetic brand Estée Lauder, prizes and other surprises intended to enhance attendees’ Oscar-viewing experience to the next level.
“Mercedes-Benz is proud to join with AAFCA to host this year’s Academy Awards Viewing Party,” said Drew Slaven, vice president of marketing at MBUSA. “We’re delighted to be a patron of AAFCA for the 2015 awards season.”
“Everyone had a blast as they celebrated the Oscars and what they mean to our industry,” adds Robertson. “Being able to team with Mercedes-Benz US for this event was a beautiful thing, and it’s an opportunity that we definitely plan to do again next year!”
For more information on events and programs that are produced year round by AAFCA, visit www.aafca.com.