Black Reel Awards
|Black Reel Awards|
|Awarded for||Excellence in African-American Films|
|Presented by||Foundation for the Advancement of African-Americans in Film|
|First awarded||February 16, 2000|
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 of African-Americans, as well as the cinematic achievements of the African diaspora, in the global film industry, as assessed by the Foundation’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 during its first two years before the first live show presentation in 2002. The awards have broadcast to radio since 2014. The Black Reel Awards is the oldest cinema-exclusive awards ceremony for African-Americans.
The 20th Annual Black Reel Awards ceremony were held on February 6, 2020.
Founded by film critic Tim Gordon and Sabrina McNeal in 2000, 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 its 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 in 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. Later, the live awards presentations would use a sealed envelope to reveal the name of each winner.
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.
The first Outstanding Actor award was given to 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.
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 Film.
Black Reel Awards Statuette
Motion Picture Categories
- Outstanding Film: since 2000
- Outstanding Actor: since 2000
- Outstanding Actress: since 2000
- Outstanding Director: since 2000
- Outstanding Supporting Actor: since 2000
- Outstanding Supporting Actress: since 2000
- Outstanding Screenplay, Adapted or Original: since 2000
- Outstanding Ensemble: since 2006
- Outstanding Documentary: since 2010
- Outstanding Foreign Film: since 2012
- Outstanding World Cinema Film: since 2017
- Outstanding Original Score: since 2011
- Outstanding Original Song: since 2001
- Outstanding Voice Performance: since 2013
Independent & Next Generation Categories
- Outstanding Independent Film: since 2002
- Outstanding Independent Documentary: since 2010
- Outstanding Independent Short Film: since 2010
- Outstanding Breakthrough Performance: since 2003
- Outstanding Emerging Director: since 2017
- Outstanding Breakthrough Screenwriter: since 2017
- Outstanding Television Movie or Limited Series: since 2000
- Outstanding Director of a Television Movie or Limited Series: since 2000
- Outstanding Actor in a Television Movie or Limited Series: since 2000
- Outstanding Actress in a Television Movie or Limited Series: since 2000
- Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Television Movie or Limited Series: since 2000
- Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Television Movie or Limited Series: since 2000
- Outstanding Screenplay of a Television Movie or Limited Series: since 2000
- Outstanding Television Documentary or Special: since 2015
- 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.
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
- Vanguard Entertainer of the Year Award: since 2004
- Oscar Micheaux Filmmaker Distinction Award: since 2017
- Sidney Poitier Lifetime Achievement Award: since 2017
- Ruby Dee Humanitarian Award: since 2017
Discontinued Special Categories
- Black Reel Award Special Achievement Award: 2004 to 2006
Below are the Motion Picture and Television films with 5 or more nominations. Black Panther holds the record for the most wins for a single film with 10 categorical wins, and also holds the record for the most nominated film with 17 nominations. 12 Years a Slave and Selma are tied for second place with 8 wins apiece. On the television side, Lackawanna Blues holds the record for most nominations with 9 and wins 7 for a television film.
- 12 Years a Slave
- The Butler
- Cadillac Records
- Fruitvale Station
- Middle of Nowhere
- Straight Outta Compton
- Antwone Fisher
- The Best Man
- Beyond the Lights
- The Help
- Jumping the Broom
- The Princess and the Frog
- Top Five
- Akeelah and the Bee
- American Violet
- Attack the Block
- Beasts of the Southern Wild
- Deliver Us from Eva
- Django Unchained
- Hustle & Flow
- Miracle at St. Anna
- Something New
- Training Day
- Undercover Brother
- The Wood
Most nominated performers
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.
- Halle Berry
- Viola Davis
- Rosario Dawson
- Kimberly Elise
- Malcolm D. Lee
- Gina Prince-Bythewood
- Chris Rock
- Anika Noni Rose
- John Singleton
- Alfre Woodard
- Jeffrey Wright
- Ryan Coogler
- Mos Def
- Idris Elba
- Laurence Fishburne
- Morgan Freeman
- Terrence Howard
- Jennifer Hudson
- Sanaa Lathan
- Ving Rhames
- John Ridley
- Octavia Spencer
- Gabrielle Union
Most Individual Wins
Here are the individuals with the most wins, as of the 2016 ceremony.
- Black Filmmakers Hall of Fame
- Black Reel Awards for Television
- 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.
- "History". Black Reel Awards. Archived from the original on 20 February 2016. Retrieved 16 June 2015.
- "2000 Black Reel Awards". IMDb. Retrieved 15 August 2016.
- "2001 Black Reel Awards". IMDb. Retrieved 15 August 2016.
- "2002 Black Reel Awards". IMDb. Retrieved 15 August 2016.