Thursday, December 22, 2011


New York, NY (December 20, 2011) – The Black Film Critics Circle (BFCC) has voted “THE HELPBest Film of 2011, Dee Rees Best Director for “PARIAH”, Viola Davis Best Actress for “THE HELP” and Olivier Litondo Best Actor for “THE FIRST GRADER”.  The announcement was made by today by Mike Sargent, co-president, BFCC.  Votes were cast and tabulated in NY at the organization’s annual meeting on December 19, 2011.

Recognizing achievements in theatrical motion pictures, the BFCC awarded prizes in 13 categories including best picture, best director, original and adapted screenplay, best actor, best actress, best supporting actor, best supporting actress, best animated feature, best independent film, best documentary feature, best foreign film and best ensemble. Special Signature awards are also given to industry pioneers and rising stars.
“This year was a very engaging one in cinema,” says Sargent.  “Both commercial and independent fare illustrated the continued ability of Hollywood to entertain, spotlight new talent, show fresh perspectives and move audiences.  Congratulations to all of the winners.”

The complete list of award winners include:

Best Picture - THE HELP
Best Director - Dee Rees for PARIAH
Best Actor - Olivier Litondo for THE FIRST GRADER
Best Actress - Viola Davis for THE HELP
Best Supporting Actor - Albert Brooks for DRIVE
Best Supporting Actress - Octavia Spencer for THE HELP
Best Independent Film - PARIAH
Best Original Screenplay - Dee Rees for PARIAH
Best Adapted Screenplay - Tate Taylor for THE HELP
Best Documentary - BEING ELMO: A Puppeteer's Journey
Best Foreign Film - LIFE, ABOVE ALL
Best Animated Film - RANGO
Best Ensemble - THE HELP

BFCC Signature Awards include:

Pioneer - Harry Belafonte
A renaissance artist who brought his unique talent to all areas of entertainment in a career that has spanned nearly 60 years, Belafonte is a multi-Grammy© winning artist, an Emmy© Award winner with the distinct designation as the first African American television producer, a Tony© Award winner, motion picture film actor and producer, Civil Rights Activist and UNICEF Goodwill Ambassador. From his music, films, and humanitarian work, Harry Belafonte has continued to embody the very essence of the word Pioneer.

Rising Star - Adepero Oduye
Adepero’s performance in PARIAH is a moving, powerful unforgettable portrayal of a young woman of color coming to terms with herself, her sexuality, and her family. We believe she is truly a Talent to Watch.

Special Mention - Attack the Block:
Attack is a genre film that defies a number of conventions, not only by having a primarily black cast but portraying each character with a dignity seldom seen on screen and even more rarely in a Science-Fiction film.

BFCC's Top ten films of 2011

1. The Help
2. The Artist
3. Pariah
4. Drive
5. The Descendants
6. Attack the Block
7. Tree of Life
8. Hugo
9. The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo
10. Warrior

Founded in 2010, the Black Film Critics Circle is a membership organization comprised of film critics of color from daily newspapers, weekly newspapers, magazines, radio, television and qualifying on-line publications.  The organization is dedicated to honoring excellence of professionals in the theatrical motion picture industry in U.S. and World Cinema.  Its   mission is to celebrate contributions and achievements in film by people of the black Diaspora who work in front of and behind the camera, maintain the integrity of a true Critics organization and advance a collective vision of journalists of the black Diaspora.  BFCC assists in the development of new talent in the field of entertainment journalism through educational opportunities, mentoring and strategic partnerships and raises awareness of the significance of black film and black film history as a critical part of film culture and preservation.  The organization meets annually in December to vote on the year’s films.  BFCC’s Founding Members are journalists Mike Sargent (WBAI-FM NY/, Wilson Morales (, and Shawn Edwards (WDAF-TV Fox Affiliate Kansas City, MO).

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