Ava DuVernay to Receive Melvin Van Peebles Trailblazer Award at CCA’s Celebration of Black Cinema and TV

Image: Taylor Hill/WireImage

Ava DuVernay will receive the inaugural Melvin Van Peebles Trailblazer Award at the Critics Choice Association’s fourth annual Celebration of Black Cinema & Television, Variety reports.

The award will be presented by Van Peebles’ son, noted director Mario Van Peebles.

DuVernay is receiving the honor for her achievements as “an award-winning writer, director, producer, and film distributor.”

“We are truly honored to name our prestigious Trailblazer Award after Melvin Van Peebles. Van Peebles inspired a generation of filmmakers. He was a true maverick and a visionary cinematic genius,” Shawn Edwards, CCA board member and executive producer of the Celebration of Black Cinema & Television, said in a statement announcing that award.

In the acting category, two-time Academy Award-nominee Will Smith will receive the actor award for his portrayal of Richard Williams, father of Venus and Serena Williams in King Richard. Also, Jennifer Hudson will receive the actress award in film, for her depiction of Aretha Franklin in Respect.

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As EBONY previously reported, other honorees include Academy Award-winning actress Halle Berry, who will receive the “Career Achievement” Award for her illustrious film career, and Anthony Anderson, who will receive the Producer Award for Television for his work on the ABC series black-ish, grown-ish, and mixed-ish.

Emmy-winning actress and producer Niecy Nash, will be the host of the ceremony which will take place on Dec. 6 at the Fairmont Century Plaza Hotel.

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