15th Annual Black Reel Awards Nominate a Spate of Familiar Faces

Posted: December 17, 2014 in Black Reel Awards

OutstandingFilms.jpgThis morning, the Foundation for the Advancement of African-Americans in Film (FAAAF) announced its nominees for the 15th Annual Black Reel Awards, selecting Belle, Beyond the Lights, Dear White People, Selma and Top Five as its nominees for Outstanding Motion Picture. All of the nominees for Outstanding Motion Picture also garnered numerous other nominations, with Dear White People and Selma leading with ten nominations apiece — a sweep would break the current record for wins set just last year by 12 Years a Slave, with eight.

Outstanding Actor nods went to Chadwick Boseman for his portrayal of musician James Brown in Get on Up; David Oyelowo for his depiction of civil rights icon Martin Luther King Jr. in Selma; comedian Chris Rock for Top Five, about a comedian striving to be taken seriously; Nate Parker as a police officer in love with a superstar singer in Beyond the Lights; and Denzel Washington for his role as a man taking the law into his own hands in The Equalizer.

Rosario Dawson was nominated in the Outstanding Actress category for Top Five; Tessa Thompson for the Ivy League comedy Dear White People; Quvenzhané Wallis for her lead role in the remake of Annie; and Gugu Mbatha-Raw, nominated twice in the same category, for Beyond the Lights and Belle, about a mixed race woman making her way in 18th century England. Mbatha-Raw is the first actress to earn two acting nominations in the same category; Washington is the only actor to achieve this feat.

Outstanding Supporting Actor nominations include David Oyelowo for the 80s period piece, A Most Violent Year; Wendell Pierce for Selma; Michael K. Williams for The Gambler; Nelsan Ellis for Get on Up; and Tyler Perry for Gone Girl. This is Perry’s ninth nomination; he is currently the most nominated performer without a win. Oyelowo joins Washington, Jamie Foxx, Terrence Howard, and Nate Parker as the fifth actor to earn nominations in both Lead and Supporting Actor categories.

Outstanding Supporting Actress nominations went to Carmen Ejogo for Selma; Teyonah Parris (who is also nominated for Outstanding Breakthrough Performance, Female) for Dear White People; Zoe Saldana for the Marvel blockbuster Guardians of the Galaxy; Viola Davis for the relationship drama, The Disappearance of Eleanor Rigby; and Octavia Spencer for the lauded sci-fi drama, Snowpiercer. Octavia Spencer holds the record for the most consecutive nominations in this category (The Help in 2011, Smashed in 2012, and Frutivale Station in 2013). Saldana becomes the first woman to earn four nominations in a single year; she is also nominated in Voice Performance (The Book of Life), Outstanding Actress in a TV Movie (Rosemary’s Baby), and as producer for Outstanding TV Movie (Rosemary’s Baby).

TheDirectors.jpgOutstanding Director nods went to Amma Asante for Belle, Gina Prince-Bythewood for Beyond the Lights, Ava DuVernay for Selma, Chris Rock for Top Five, and Justin Simien for Dear White People. Prince-Bythewood, Rock and Simien are also nominated for Outstanding Screenplay. This marks the first time that three female directors (Gina Prince-Bythewood, Amma Astante and Ava DuVernay) have been nominated in the Best Director category.

The Black Reel Awards also pay tribute to the very best in African American television. The nominees for Outstanding TV Movie or Mini-Series went to A Day Late and a Dollar Short (eight nominations in all), Gun Hill (five nominations in all), Seasons of Love, The Trip to Bountiful (each with four nominations), and Rosemary’s Baby (two nominations).

Outstanding Actors and Actresses included Charles S. Dutton (Comeback Dad), David Alan Grier (An En Vogue Christmas), Ving Rhames (A Day Late and a Dollar Short), Keith Robinson (Lyfe’s Journey), Larenz Tate (Gun Hill), as well as Whoopi Goldberg (A Day Late and a Dollar Short), Imani Hakim (The Gabby Douglas Story), Letoya Luckett (Seasons of Love), Zoe Saldana (Rosemary’s Baby), and Cicely Tyson (The Trip to Bountiful).

The Black Reel Awards, comprised of more than 60 voters across the country, annually select and spotlight films and performances featuring African-Americans, as well as people of color throughout the African Diaspora. The 15th Annual Black Reel Awards winners will be announced on Thursday, February 22, 2015.

The full nominations for the 2015 Black Reel Awards are as follows:


Outstanding Motion Picture

  • Belle | Damian Jones (Fox Searchlight)
  • Beyond the Lights | Stephanie Allain, Amar’e Stoudamire, Reggie Rock Bythewood & Ryan Kavanaugh (Relativity Media)
  • Dear White People | Justin Simien, Angel Lopez, Lena Waithe, Ann Le, Effie Brown & Julia Lebedev (Lionsgate/ Roadside Attractions)
  • Selma | Oprah Winfrey, Dede Gardner, Jeremy Kleiner & Christian Colson (Paramount)
  • Top Five | Scott Rudin & Eli Bush (Paramount)

Outstanding Actor, Motion Picture

  • Chadwick Boseman | Get on Up (Universal Pictures)
  • David Oyelowo | Selma (Paramount)
  • Nate Parker | Beyond the Lights (Relativity Media)
  • Chris Rock | Top Five (Paramount)
  • Denzel Washington | The Equalizer (Columbia Pictures)

Outstanding Actress, Motion Picture

  • Rosario Dawson | Top Five (Paramount)
  • Gugu Mbatha-Raw | Belle (Fox Searchlight)
  • Gugu Mbatha-Raw | Beyond the Lights (Relativity Media)
  • Tessa Thompson | Dear White People (Lionsgate/ Roadside Attractions)
  • Quvenzhane Wallis | Annie (Columbia Pictures)

Outstanding Supporting Actor, Motion Picture

  • Nelsan Ellis | Get On Up (Universal)
  • David Oyelowo | A Most Violent Year (A24)
  • Tyler Perry | Gone Girl (20th Century Fox)
  • Wendell Pierce | Selma (Paramount)
  • Michael K. Williams | The Gambler (Paramount)

Outstanding Supporting Actress, Motion Picture

  • Viola Davis | The Disappearance of Eleanor Rigby (The Weinstein Company)
  • Carmen Ejogo | Selma (Paramount)
  • Teyonah Parris | Dear White People (Lionsgate / Roadside Attractions)
  • Zoe Saldana | Guardians of the Galaxy (Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures)
  • Octavia Spencer | Snowpiercer (The Weinstein Company)

Outstanding Director, Motion Picture

  • Amma Asante | Belle (Fox Searchlight)
  • Gina Prince-Bythewood | Beyond the Lights (Relativity Media)
  • Ava DuVernay | Selma (Paramount)
  • Chris Rock | Top Five (Paramount)
  • Justin Simien | Dear White People (Lionsgate / Roadside Attractions)

Outstanding Screenplay (Original or Adapted), Motion Picture

  • Gina Prince-Bythewood | Beyond the Lights (Relativity Media)
  • John Ridley | Jimi: All is by My Side (XLrator Media/ Open Road Films)
  • Chris Rock | Top Five (Paramount)
  • Misan Sagay | Belle (Fox Searchlight)
  • Justin Simien | Dear White People (Lionsgate / Roadside Attractions)

Outstanding Documentary

  • Anita: Speaking Truth to the Power | Freida Lee Mock (Samuel Goldwyn)
  • I Am Ali | Clare Lewins (Focus World)
  • Keep on Keepin’ On | Alan Hicks (Radius-TWC)
  • Time is Illmatic | One9 (Tribeca Film)
  • Virunga | Orlando von Einsiedel (Netflix)

Outstanding Ensemble (Awarded to Casting Directors)

  • Belle | Toby Whale (Fox Searchlight)
  • Dear White People | Kim Coleman (Lionsgate/ Roadside Attractions)
  • Get On Up | Kerry Barden & Paul Schnee (Universal)
  • Selma | Aisha Coley (Paramount)
  • Top Five | Victoria Thomas (Paramount)

Outstanding Foreign Film

  • Difret (Ethiopia)| Zeresenay Mehari  (Moving Turtle)
  • The Double! (U.K.) | Richard Ayoade (Magnolia Films)
  • Fishing Without Nets (Kenya) | Cutter Hodierne  (Drafthouse Films)
  • Freedom Road (South Africa) | Shane Vermooten (Media Village Productions)
  • Half of a Yellow Sun (Nigeria) | Biyi Bandele (Monterey Media)

Outstanding Breakthrough Performance, Male

  • Brandon Bell | Dear White People (Lionsgate/ Roadside Attractions)
  • David Gyasi | Interstellar (Paramount)
  • Andre Holland | Selma (Paramount)
  • Stephan James | Selma (Paramount)
  • Tyler James Williams | Dear White People (Lionsgate/ Roadside Attractions

Outstanding Breakthrough Performance, Female

  • Jillian Estell| Black or White (Relativity Media)
  • Patina Miller | The Hunger Games: Mockingjay-Part 1 (Lionsgate)
  • Teyonah Parris | Dear White People (Lionsgate / Roadside Attractions)
  • Amber Stevens | 22 Jump Street (Columbia/ MGM)
  • Kuoth Wiel | The Good Lie (Warner Bros.)

Outstanding Voice Performance

  • Vin Diesel | Guardians of the Galaxy (Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures)
  • Morgan Freeman | The LEGO Movie (Warner Bros. Pictures)
  • Maya Rudolph | Big Hero 6 (Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures)
  • Zoe Saldana | The Book of Life (20th Century Fox)
  • Damon Wayans Jr. | Big Hero 6 (Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures)


Outstanding Score

  • Terence Blanchard | Black or White (Relativity Media)
  • Kathryn Bostic | Dear White People (Lionsgate/ Roadside Attractions)
  • Danny Bramson & Waddy Wachtel | Jimi: All is by My Side (XLrator Media/ Open Road Films)
  • Mask Isham | Beyond the Lights (Relativity Media)
  • Jason Moran | Selma (Paramount)

Outstanding Original Song

  • “It Ain’t Easy” from Top Five | Written & Performed by: Questlove & Elza Colby (Paramount)
  • “It’s On Again” from The Amazing Spider-Man 2| Performed by: Alicia Keys & Kendrick Lamar; Written by: Alicia Keys, Pharrell Williams, Hans Zimmer & Kendrick Lamar (Sony Pictures)
  • “Glory” from Selma | Performed by: John Legend & Common; Written by: John Legend, Common & Che Smith (Paramount)
  • “Grateful” from Beyond the Lights | Performed by: Rita Ora; Written by: Diane Warren (Relativity Media)
  • “What is Love” from Rio 2 | Performed by: Janelle Monae; Written by: Janelle Monae, Nathaniel Irvin III and Roman Irvin (20th Century Fox)


Outstanding Independent Feature

  • 1982 | Tommy Oliver
  • Christmas Wedding Baby | Kiara C. Jones
  • CRU | Alton Glass
  • The Retrieval | Chris Eska (Variance Films)
  • Una Vida: A Fable of Music and the Mind | Richie Adams

Outstanding Independent Documentary

  • 25 to Life | Mike Brown (AAFRM)
  • Evolution of a Criminal | Darius Clark Monroe
  • Let the Fire Burn | Jason Osder
  • Oscar Micheaux: The Czar of Black Hollywood | Bayer Mack
  • Through a Lens Darkly: Black Photographers and the Emergence of a People | Thomas Allen Harris

Outstanding Independent Short

  • #AmeriCan | Nate Parker
  • Muted | Rachel Goldberg
  • The Voodoo | Steven Alexander


Outstanding Television Documentary or Special

  • Finding the Funk | Nelson George (VH1)
  • Mr. Dynamite: The Rise of James Brown | Alex Gibney (HBO)
  • On the Run Tour: Jay-Z & Beyonce | Jonas Akerlund (HBO)
  • The Tanning of America: One Nation Under Hip-Hop | Billy Corben & Alfred Spellman (VH1)
  • Terror at the Mall | Dan Reed (HBO)

Outstanding TV Movie or Mini-Series

  • A Day Late and a Dollar Short | Tom Leonardis, Jeffrey M. Hayes, Bill Haber & Whoopi Goldberg (Lifetime)
  • Gun Hill | Reggie Rock Bythewood (BET)
  • Rosemary’s Baby | Zoe Saldana, Cisely Saldana, Mariel Saldana, Tom Patricia & Robert Bernacchi (NBC)
  • Seasons of Love | Joshua A. Green, Asger Hussain & Yaron Schwartzman (Lifetime)
  • The Trip to Bountiful | Bill Haber, Cicely Tyson, Hallie Foote & Jeff Hayes (Lifetime)

Outstanding Actor, TV Movie or Mini-Series

  • Charles S. Dutton | Comeback Dad (UP)
  • David Alan Grier | An En Vogue Christmas (Lifetime)
  • Ving Rhames | A Day Late and a Dollar Short (Lifetime)
  • Keith Robinson | Lyfe’s Journey (UP)
  • Larenz Tate | Gun Hill (BET)

Outstanding Actress, TV Movie or Mini-Series

  • Whoopi Goldberg | A Day Late and a Dollar Short (Lifetime)
  • Imani Hakim | The Gabby Douglas Story (Lifetime)
  • Letoya Luckett | Seasons of Love (Lifetime)
  • Zoe Saldana | “Rosemary’s Baby” (NBC)
  • Cicely Tyson | The Trip to Bountiful (Lifetime)

Outstanding Supporting Actor, TV Movie or Mini-Series

  • Richard T. Jones | Lyfe’s Journey (UP)
  • Harry Lennix | The Fright Night Files (TVOne)
  • Mekhi Phifer | A Day Late and a Dollar Short (Lifetime)
  • Blair Underwood | The Trip to Bountiful (Lifetime)
  • Bokeem Woodbine | The Fright Night Files (TVOne)

Outstanding Supporting Actress, TV Movie or Mini-Series

  • Tichina Arnold | A Day Late and a Dollar Short (Lifetime)
  • Kimberly Elise | A Day Late and a Dollar Short (Lifetime)
  • Aisha Hinds | Gun Hill (BET)
  • Anika Noni Rose | A Day Late and a Dollar Short (Lifetime)
  • Vanessa L. Williams | The Trip to Bountiful (Lifetime)

Outstanding Director, TV Movie or Mini-Series

  • Reggie Rock Bythewood | Gun Hill (BET)
  • Stan Foster | My Other Mother (UP)
  • Princess Monique | Seasons of Love (Lifetime)
  • Russ Parr & R.L. Scott | The Fright Night Files (TVOne)
  • Ryan Richmond | Lyfe’s Journey (UP)

Outstanding Writing, TV Movie or Mini-Series

  • Reggie Rock Bythewood | Gun Hill (BET)
  • Shernold Edwards | A Day Late and a Dollar Short (Lifetime)
  • Dayna Lynne North | An En Vogue Christmas (Lifetime)
  • Peres Owino & Sharon Brathwaite-Sanders | Seasons of Love (Lifetime)
  • Kimberly Walker | Comeback Dad (UP)
  1. Gina says:

    Go Jillian Estell!!!!

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