Articles: Anthony Hemingway Takes Top AAFCA Honor




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By Samantha Ofole-Prince

Director Anthony Hemingway.jpg

Anthony Hemingway, the director of the racy drama “Underground” took home AAFCA’s top trophy at the African American Film Critics Association’s 2nd Special Achievement Awards luncheon on Saturday.

Hemingway who is well known for his work on films “Red Tails,” “Changing Lanes,” and television dramas “CSI:NY” “True Blood”  and “Shameless,” received the organization’s Horizon Award, given to individuals to celebrate their achievements in filmmaking.

Chicago Tribune’s film critic Michael Phillips, president of Fox Animation, Vanessa Morrison, and Disney’s first African-American animator Floyd Norman, were among those honored at the event held at the California Yacht Club in Marina del Rey.

Anthony.Hemingway.African American Film Critics Association’
2nd Special Achievement Awards luncheon

Phillips, received the Roger Ebert Award, which recognizes critics who follow in the tradition of the award-winning film critic. Morrison received AAFCA’s Ashley Boone Award and the AAFCA Legacy Award was given to Norman.

In accepting his award, Norman shared with the audience, who included Chaz Ebert and A.M.P.A.S. president Cheryl Boone Isaac, his humble Hollywood beginnings.

Chaz Ebert (middle) pictured with AAFCA Co-founde
Shawn Edwards (left) and Gil Robertson

The 81-year-old animator, despite a 60-year career animating such classics “Sleeping Beauty,” “The Jungle Book” still works for Disney, where he became the studio’s first African-American animator in the 1950s and admitted that it’s still a learning process for him especially with the advancements made with digital animation.

AAFCA’s Special Achievement Awards luncheon celebrates and acknowledges individuals who have met the highest bar of excellence and occurs a few days before the organization’s annual awards ceremony where awards are handed out for the best films and TV dramas of 2016.

Underground director Anthony Hemingway and actor Aldis Hodge

“Moonlight” dominated this year’s voting and earned multiple awards including Best Picture, Best Director, Best Ensemble and Best Supporting Actor.  The top acting honors went to Denzel Washington and Ruth Negga for their roles in “Fences” and “Loving.” In the TV categories, OWN’s “Queen Sugar” was tapped as best drama, while FX’s “Atlanta” was chosen as best comedy. WGN’s "Underground "was named best cable/new media series, while HBO’s “Lemonade” won for best special/limited series.

The 8th annual AAFCA Awards will take place Feb. 8, 2017 at the Taglyan Complex in Hollywood.

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