The Woman King that edged out all of the competition at The Black Reel Awards this year. With six wins out of the fourteen nominations, The Woman King nabbed wins for outstanding film, outstanding director, outstanding ensemble, breakthrough actress, outstanding score and outstanding editing.
Gina Prince-Bythewood’s sweeping epic that focused on the women warriors of Dahomey, narrowly overtook Marvel’s superhero film, Black Panther: Wakanda Forever which garnered 5 Black Reel wins of its own. Going into the night, Wakanda Forever was tied with The Woman King with fourteen award nominations. With her third Black Reel Award win for Outstanding Costume Design for Black Panther: Wakanda Forever, the fantastic Ruth E. Carter became the most decorated technical award winner in Black Reel history.
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Actress Angela Bassett also made Black Reel history, becoming the first woman ever to win an acting and honorary award in the same year. Ms. Bassett won outstanding supporting actress for her work in Black Panther: Wakanda Forever and also received the prestigious Sidney Poitier Trailblazer Award recognizing her career of acting excellence. Bassett joins Jamie Foxx, the only other person to be honored, claiming the Vanguard award and the outstanding actor award for Ray in 2005.
Independent studio A24, received 10 nominations for The Inspection and cashed in four wins, thanks to Jeremy Pope receiving two awards (outstanding actor and breakthrough Actor). Not to be outdone by the Pope, writer-director Elegance Bratton also took home two awards for outstanding independent film & first screenplay.
Presenters included: Courtney B. Vance, Ruth E. Carter, Colman Domingo, Tasha Smith, Kasi Lemmons, Salli Richardson-Whitfield, Quvenzhané Wallis, Jasmine Cephas Jones, Cory Hardrict, Cassie Freeman, Cheryl Dunye, Quintessa Swindell, Saddiq Saunderson, and Jahi Winston just to name a few.
23rd Black Reel Award Winners:
The Woman King | Viola Davis, Maria Bello, Cathy Schulman & Julius Tennon, producers
Jeremy Pope | The Inspection
Danielle Deadwyler | Till
Gina Prince-Bythewood | The Woman King
OUTSTANDING SUPPORTING ACTOR
Brian Tyree Henry | Causeway
OUTSTANDING SUPPORTING ACTRESS
Angela Bassett | Black Panther: Wakanda Forever
Till | Chinonye Chukwu, Michael Reilly & Keith Beauchamp, writers
OUTSTANDING DOCUMENTARY FEATURE
Sidney | Reginald Hudlin, director
OUTSTANDING INTERNATIONAL FILM
Saint Omer (France) | Alice Diop
The Woman King | Aisha Coley, casting director
OUTSTANDING VOICE PERFORMANCE
Zoe Saldana | Avatar: The Way of Water
The Woman King | Terence Blanchard, composer
OUTSTANDING ORIGINAL SONG
“Lift Me Up” (Black Panther: Wakanda Forever) | Rihanna (performer/writer), Ryan Coogler (writer), Ludwig Gorannson (writer),
Black Panther: Wakanda Forever
OUTSTANDING INDEPENDENT FILM
The Inspection | Elegance Bratton, director
OUTSTANDING SHORT FILM
NORTH STAR | P.J. Palmer, director
OUTSTANDING EMERGING DIRECTOR
Nikyatu Jusu | Nanny
OUTSTANDING BREAKTHROUGH ACTOR
Jeremy Pope | The Inspection
OUTSTANDING BREAKTHROUGH ACTRESS
Thuso Mbedu | The Woman King
OUTSTANDING FIRST SCREENPLAY
The Inspection | Elegance Bratton, writer
NOPE | Hoyte van Hoytema, cinematographer
OUTSTANDING COSTUME DESIGN
Black Panther: Wakanda Forever | Ruth E. Carter, costume designer
The Woman King | Terilyn A. Shropshire, editor
OUTSTANDING PRODUCTION DESIGN
Black Panther: Wakanda Forever | Hannah Beachler, production designer
Follow the 23rd Annual Black Reel Awards on Twitter and Instagram @BlackReelAwards and on Facebook at TheBlackReelAwards.
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