On Monday, the African American Film Critics Association released a statement saying that 2016 had been the best year for the black community on the film screen both in terms of casting and storylines.
“The studios and major film distributors really gave it to us this year,” AAFCA co-founder and president Gil Robertson said. “By any measurement, it’s been an exceptional year for Blacks in film. From comedies to high-quality dramas and documentaries, 2016 will forever represent a bonanza year for Black cinema and all cinema really.”
“The amount of quality feature films, documentaries and TV shows released in 2016 about the black experience easily make it the best year ever,” AAFCA’s other co-founder Shawn Edwards said. “It has truly been an unapologetically black year in the industry as filmmakers brought to life some of the cultures most fascinating stories and subjects with bold storytelling perspective.”
While Robertson was wary of saying that the inclusivity of 2016 would stick in the coming years, he did express optimism that it would break the #OscarsSoWhite trend, at least for one year.
“The coming award nominations are going to definitely put a pause on #OscarsSoWhite this year,” Robertson said. “But what we wonder is for how long? It’s undeniable that the studios have responded admirably to the tremendous outcry from the African American community through its delivery of the films that we’ve seen this year. But what about next year and the year after that?”
He added that he hoped the inclusivity would extend to other minorities in film as well.
“We at AAFCA are extremely hopeful that these 2016 Black films will have a domino effect in providing platform opportunities for films that represent other communities as well.”