Black Reel Awards

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Black Reel Awards
Awarded for Excellence in African-American and films of the African diaspora cinematic achievements
Country United States
Presented by Foundation for the Advancement of African-Americans in Film (FAAAF)
First awarded February 16, 2000; 16 years ago (2000-02-16)
Official website

The Black Reel Awards, or "BRAs", is an annual American awards ceremony hosted by the Foundation for the Augmentation of African-Americans in Film (FAAAF) to recognize excellence in African-American, as well as those of African diaspora's cinematic achievements in the around the world film industry as assessed by the Academy's voting membership. The various category winners are awarded a copy of a statuette, officially called the Black Reel Award. The awards, first presented in 2000 in Washington, DC, are overseen by FAAAF.

The awards ceremony was initially awarded online their first two years before the first live show in 2002. The awards have broadcast to radio since 2014. Currently, the Black Reel Awards is the oldest cinema-exclusive awards ceremony for African-Americans.

The 16th Annual Black Reel Awards ceremony was held on February 18, 2016. A total of 315 Black Reel Awards have been presented since the inception of the award through the 16th.


Founded by film critic, Tim Gordon and Sabrina McNeal in 2000,[1] the First Annual Black Reel Awards presentation was held on February 16, 2000, online courtesy of Reel Images Magazine. Two years later, the Third Annual Black Reel Awards held their first live presentation at a private dinner function at the Cada Vez in Washington, DC with an audience of about 150 people. Twenty statuettes were awarded, honoring African-American artists, directors and other participants in the filmmaking industry, for their works during 2001. The ceremony ran for 90 minutes.

In subsequent years, the Black Reel Awards have largely been presented in the Nation’s Capital, with the exception of one year when the awards were moved to New York. The awards have been presented live several times: the Fourth Annual Black Reel Awards presentation was held at H20 on the Southwest waterfront in Washington, DC with an audience of about 200 people; the Sixth Annual Black Reel Awards presentation was held at the French Embassy with an audience of about 350 people; and the Thirteenth Annual Black Reel Awards presentation was held at the MIST Harlem with an audience of about 200 people.

Initially, winners were announced online; since for every live awards presentation, the Foundation has used a sealed envelope to reveal the name of winners. The awards have been presented on radio since 2014.

The Black Reel Awards benefit The Foundation for the Advancement of African-Americans in Film (FAAAF), a non-profit arts organization whose mission is to provide educational opportunities to future minority film executives. Through the FAAAF programs "Reel Kids," and "Producer's Institute," scholarships are awarded to minority junior high, high school and college graduate students pursuing careers in the movie and television industries.

In 2015, the Foundation changed its name to The Foundation for the Augmentation of African-Americans in Film.[2]


The first Outstanding Actor awarded was Denzel Washington, for his performance in The Hurricane. He subsequently received the same honor the next two years, for his performances in Remember the Titans and Training Day.

At the 3rd Annual Black Reel Awards ceremony, held on February 16, 2002, the Outstanding Foreign Language Film category was introduced.

The 6th Annual Black Reel Awards, held in 2005, presented the first Vanguard Award, for entertainer of the year to Jamie Foxx for his performances in Collateral, Redemption: The Stan "Tookie" Williams Story, and Ray.

Each of the Black Reel Awards ceremonies has ended with the Black Reel Award for Outstanding Picture.

Black Reel Awards Statuette[edit]

Motion Picture Categories[edit]

Independent & Next Generation Categories[edit]

Television Categories[edit]

Discontinued Categories[edit]

  • Outstanding Actor, Drama: 2005 only
  • Outstanding Actress, Musical or Comedy: 2005 only
  • Outstanding Supporting Actor, Drama: 2005 only
  • Outstanding Supporting Actress, Musical or Comedy: 2005 only
  • Outstanding Film, Drama: 2005 only
  • Outstanding Film, Musical or Comedy: 2005 only
  • Outstanding Film Poster: 2001 to 2002
  • Outstanding Original Soundtrack: 2000 to 2009
  • Outstanding Actor (Independent Film): 2002 to 2005
  • Outstanding Actress (Independent Film): 2003 to 2005
  • Outstanding Original Television Program: 2001 to 2005

In 2005, three categories, Outstanding Actor, Outstanding Actress, as well as Outstanding Film awards were split into two separate categories (Drama and Musical/Comedy). In addition, the Outstanding Original Television Program was discontinued in 2005 and later expanded and resurfaced in 2015 as the Outstanding Television Documentary or Special category.

Special Categories[edit]

The Special Black Reel Awards are voted on by special Foundation committees, rather than by the Voting Academy membership as a whole. They are not always presented on a consistent annual basis.

Current Special Categories[edit]

Discontinued Special Categories[edit]


Film nominations and wins[edit]

Below are the Motion Picture and Television films with 5 or more nominations. For Colored Girls holds the records for the most nominated film with 14 nominations. 12 Years a Slave & Selma are tied with the most wins with 8 wins apiece.

#of Nominations Film Wins
14 For Colored Girls 3
11 Dreamgirls 6
10 Dear White People 2
Love & Basketball 6
Precious 7
Ray 6
Selma 8
9 12 Years a Slave 8
Cadillac Records 3
Creed 6
Fruitvale Station 0
Lee Daniels' the Butler 0
Middle of Nowhere 2
Pariah 1
Straight Outta Compton 2
8 Brooklyn's Finest 1
The Brothers 1
Dope 1
Night Catches Us 5
The Secret Life of Bees 3
7 Ali 3
Antwone Fisher 5
Bamboozled 0
The Best Man 5
Beyond the Lights 0
Chi-Raq 1
The Help 6
Jumping the Broom 0
The Princess and the Frog 2
Top Five 1
6 Akeelah and the Bee 1
American Violet 0
Attack the Block 2
Barbershop 0
Beasts of the Southern Wild 4
Crash 3
Deliver Us From Eva 3
Django Unchained 3
Hustle & Flow 3
Miracle at St. Anna 0
Mooz-lum 0
Something New 1
Sparkle 0
Training Day 4
Undercover Brother 0
The Wood 0
5 Baadassss!

Belle The Best Man Holiday Brown Sugar The Fighting Temptations Idlewild Just Wright Roll Bounce Tangerine || 1

Beasts of No Nation 2
Belle 1
The Best Man Holiday 0
Brown Sugar 1
The Fighting Temptations 2
Idlewild 0
Just Wright 0
Roll Bounce 2
Tangerine 1

On the television side, Lackawanna Blues holds the record for most nominations with 9 and wins 7 for a television film.

Most nominated performers[edit]

This is a list of multiple nominated performers, producers, writers & directors with 5 or more career nominations as of 2016. Spike Lee holds the record with 27 nominations as a producer, director and writer.

Most Individual Wins[edit]

Here are the individuals with the most wins, as of the 2016 ceremony.

Rank Wins Artist
1 6 wins Denzel Washington
2 4 wins Jamie Foxx
Don Cheadle
Steve McQueen (artist)
Spike Lee
Cicely Tyson
Anika Noni Rose
Reggie Rock Bythewood
3 3 wins Angela Bassett
Jennifer Hudson
Gina Prince-Bythewood
Kimberly Elise
Ava DuVernay
Chiwetel Ejiofor
Jeffrey Wright
John Legend
4 2 wins Viola Davis
Taraji P. Henson
Malcolm D. Lee
Derek Luke
Anthony Mackie
Djimon Hounsou
Forest Whitaker
Charles S. Dutton
Erykah Badu
Lee Daniels
Sharon Warren
Harvey Mason, Jr.
Damon Thomas
Dev Patel
Gabourey Sidibe
Gregory Allen Howard
Sanna Lathan
Halle Berry
Terrence Howard
Dennis Haysbert
Common (rapper)
Quvenzhane Wallis
Ava DuVernay
Alfre Woodard
Naomie Harris
Vondie Curtis-Hall
Lupita Nyong'o
Barkhad Abdi
Octavia Spencer
Samuel L. Jackson
Ryan Coogler
Idris Elba
John Ridley
Tessa Thompson
Teyonah Parris
Carmen Ejogo
David Oyelowo

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Kearney, Ryan (December 15, 2010). "'For Colored Girls' leads D.C.'s Black Reel Awards nominations". TBD Arts. Archived from the original on June 17, 2015. 
  2. ^ "History". Black Reel Awards. Retrieved 16 June 2015. 

External links[edit]