Daniel Kaluuya accepts AFI Award for ‘Judas and the Black Messiah’ (Exclusive)

The film directed by Shaka King is today's AFI Movie Club Selection

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Judas and the Black Messiah is already making quite the impact.

The incredible film that stars Daniel Kaluuya as real-life revolutionary Fred Hampton and LaKeith Stanfield as the man who betrayed him has been selected as an AFI Award honoree.

“Judas and the Black Messiah raises a fist for change. Capturing the revolutionary fervor of the 1960s that echoes into our modern moment, Shaka King’s timely tragedy burns with righteous rage and Shakespearean turns on power and betrayal,” The American Film Institute said in a statement.

This image released by Warner Bros. Pictures shows LaKeith Stanfield, foreground, and Daniel Kaluuya in a scene from the upcoming film “Judas and the Black Messiah.” (Glen Wilson/Warner Bros. Entertainment via AP)

“Towering performances by Daniel Kaluuya as Black Panther Party leader Fred Hampton and LaKeith Stanfield as FBI informant William O’Neal drive the collision of unending horror and the ever too elusive hope that ‘Black people will not be free until we are able to determine our own destiny,'” the statement read.

Read More: Rep. Bobby Rush calls ‘Judas and the Black Messiah’ a film that ‘must be seen’

The only national program that honors creative teams as a whole, AFI Awards recognize creators both in front of and behind the camera. All of the honored works advance the art of the moving image, inspire audiences and artists alike, enhance the rich cultural heritage of America’s art form and make a mark on American society. When placed in a historical context, these stories provide a complex and rich visual record of the modern world.

TheGrio has the first look at Daniel Kaluuya accepting the AFI Award on behalf of the film’s creative ensemble. Check it out:

To commemorate each of the AFI Awards recipients, Audi has created the AFI AWARDS Audi Scholarships initiative, providing scholarships in the name of the honorees to women and BIPOC Fellows at the AFI Conservatory, for a total contribution of $250,000.

Producing fellow Haley Beasley will be awarded the scholarship in the name of today’s AFI Movie Club selection, Judas and the Black Messiah.

Read More: Who were Judas and the Black Messiah?

Throughout February, AFI’s global Movie Club program will showcase the official selections beginning in February with new and exclusive content released daily, including special guests from the honored works introducing the titles and AFI “Behind the Scene” conversations with filmmakers and actors.

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“For 20 years, AFI AWARDS has been a moment to gather artists in one room with a singular goal – to create community over competition,” said Bob Gazzale, AFI President & CEO. “This year we cannot gather but will instead celebrate each honoree by creating exclusive content to be shared with a global audience through AFI Movie Club, shining a proper light on excellence.”

The film’s director, co-writer and producer, Shaka King, invites us to take a BTS look at one particularly powerful scene that shows FBI handler Roy Mitchell (Jesse Plemons) trying to appeal to William O’Neal (Stanfield) to get him to justify serving as an FBI informant.

Judas and the Black Messiah is streaming now on HBO Max.

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