Oscar nominations: 'Pariah' snubbed? Was the black indie film pushed out by 'The Help'

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The Academy of Motion Pictures Arts and Sciences has spoken, and Pariah is not in the running to receive an Oscar this year.

The Help, on the other hand, received four nominations (including one for best picture) and has been a favorite among film critics, taking home a slew of accolades this season, including awards from the Broadcast Film Critics Association, Hollywood Foreign Press, American Film Institute and Black Film Critics Circle.

Pariah is a film about a 17-year-old black girl who comes to terms with the face that she is lesbian, while living at home with her parents and younger sister in Brooklyn.

The film received a major push for award consideration from Focus Features, but has only taken home awards from the Black Film Critics Circle, and the African-American Film Critics Association thus far.

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Although Pariah is a small-budget independent project, die hard enthusiasts of black film might be surprised that Pariah did not receive a Golden Globe or Academy Award nomination.

In an exclusive interview with theGrio, the film’s director said that she was not concerned with winning any awards for Pariah, but rather considers this film a success simply because it made it to theaters.

“My work is on the screen, Rees said.” being nominated or mentioned for things doesn’t make the film any better. Not being nominated or mentioned doesn’t make the film any worst. The film still is what it is and nothing can take away from that and make it better. The biggest affirmation is having people come see it on screen.”

The most acclaimed film this award’s season is undeniably The Help.

Rees feels The Help is not competition but rather another film that people should support.

“I think that there is room for a range of different voices and I want to conversation to stop being an either or conversation, but rather an ‘and’ conversation. People should not have to choose one over the other but we should see all of these films. There is room for Pariah, and The Help all at the same time.

The movie which deals with the somewhat taboo struggle of a young lesbian girl coming out her traditional christian family has earned a meager $498,000 thus far in domestic ticket sales. While The Help held down the number one spot at the box office for several weeks and has earned $169 million in domestic ticket sales.

The subject matter in Pariah could be the reason why moviegoers have not turned up in the same numbers that they have to see The Help. Or it could simply be based on marketing and star power.

Although the cast and crew will not be taking home any major film awards this season, Rees and her team have proven that films with an all African American cast might not be on the verge of extinction.

Follow Chris Witherspoon on Twitter at @WitherspoonC