A Celebration of Black Cinema: Past, Present & Future

Originally Published: September 13, 2005

Cedric “The Entertainer” to Host Gala Event

Sidney Poitier to Receive Distinguished Career Achievement Award

The Color Purple Inducted into Classic Cinema Hall of Fame

Kimberly Elise to Receive Rising Star Award

A distinguished list of high-profile talent will be on hand for Film Life’s 2005 BLACK MOVIE AWARDS – A Celebration of Black Cinema: Past, Present & Future, presented by Turner Network Television (TNT). Cedric “The Entertainer” (Madagascar) will host the gala awards show that recognizes creative achievement by persons of African descent in feature-length motion pictures, both in front of and behind the camera, and honors outstanding films portraying the Black experience. This year’s top award nominees include Crash, and Diary of a Mad Black Woman, each of which received six nominations, Hustle & Flow; which received four; and Coach Carter, with three nominations.

Film Life’s 2005 BLACK MOVIE AWARDS, executive-produced by Jeff Friday, CEO of Film Life, Inc., and Suzanne de Passe, CEO of de Passe Entertainment, will premiere Wednesday, Oct. 19, at 10 p.m., on TNT.

Legendary actor/director/producer Sidney Poitier will receive the Distinguished Career Achievement Award, recognizing his trailblazing work as actor/writer/director for such films as Lilies of the Field, In the Heat of the Night, Stir Crazy, For Love of Ivy and Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner. And Kimberly Elise, a nominee for Outstanding Performance by an Actress in a Leading Role for Diary of a Mad Black Woman, will receive the Rising Star award.

The 1985 adaptation of Alice Walker’s Pulitzer Prize-winning novel The Color Purple will become the first film inducted into the Black Movie Awards Classic Cinema Hall of Fame. Producer Quincy Jones is the first member of the creative team to confirm his appearance on the program.

In addition to serving as host, Cedric “The Entertainer” is also a nominee for Outstanding Performance by an Actor in a Leading Role for his work in The Honeymooners. Also nominated in that category are Don Cheadle (Crash), Terrence Howard (Hustle & Flow), Samuel L. Jackson (Coach Carter) and Will Smith (Hitch). Nominees for Outstanding Performance by an Actress in a Leading Role include Kimberly Elise (Diary of a Mad Black Woman), Meagan Good (D.E.B.S) and Queen Latifah (Beauty Shop).

The 2005 BLACK MOVIE AWARDS will also honor made-for-television movies, with Lackawanna Blues, starring S. Epatha Merkerson and Terrence Howard and executive-produced by Halle Berry, Vince Cirrincione, Ruben Santiago-Hudson and Shelby Stone; Sometimes in April, starring Idris Elba and Oris Erheuro and executive-produced by Raoul Peck and Joel Stillerman; and Their Eyes Were Watching God, starring Halle Berry, Michael Ealy and Ruben Santiago-Hudson and executive-produced by Kate Forte, Quincy Jones and Oprah Winfrey nominated for Outstanding Television Movie. The ceremony will honor an up-and-coming director with the HBO Director to Watch Award. Nominees this year are Rodney Evans (Brother to Brother), Frank E. Flowers (Haven) and Rob Hardy (Trois, Pandora’s Box).

The 2005 BLACK MOVIE AWARDS will be taped at the Wiltern Theatre in Los Angeles on Sunday, Oct. 9. A prominent committee of film critics, entertainment editors and prestigious members of the artistic committee choose nominees and recipients of the awards from a list of eligible films released in the U.S. between January 1 and July 31, 2005.

Cedric “The Entertainer” is best known for his crowd-pleasing roles in such films as The Honeymooners, Madagascar, Johnson Family Vacation, Barbershop, Intolerable Cruelty, The Original Kings of Comedy and Be Cool. His other big-screen credits include Lemony Snicket’s A Series of Unfortunate Events, Man of the House and Big Momma’s House. He lent his voice to Dr. Dolittle 2 and Ice Age and is currently working on The Cleaner with Lucy Liu and Mr. Lucky with Bruce Willis.

His award-winning career spans television, live performances and film. Among Cedric’s many accolades are the AFTRA Award of Excellence in Television Programming for his series “Cedric ‘The Entertainer’ Presents” and a record- setting four consecutive NAACP Image Awards for Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Comedy Series for The Steve Harvey Show. In 1994, he received the Richard Pryor Comic of the Year Award from BET for his work as host of Def Comedy Jam and BET’s Comic View. Now helming his own production company, A Bird and A Bear Entertainment, Cedric develops and produces feature films. Johnson Family Vacation was the first under the company’s banner, which grossed over $30 million. The name “Cedric” is fast joining the ranks of other one-name celebrities as an iconic symbol of high caliber performance.

Since 1997, Jeff Friday, founder of the Black Movie Awards and the American Black Film Festival, has made a name in the film industry by providing opportunities for independent Black filmmakers to showcase their work to an ever-broadening audience through the Acapulco Black Film Festival, which relocated to Miami and expanded to become the American Black Film Festival in 2002. The Festival will celebrate its 10-year anniversary in 2006 as it continues to spearhead the global distribution of quality Black films as the leading American brand marketing and distributing Black movies and related entertainment content.

Oscar nominee Suzanne de Passe’s long list of award-winning, high- profile shows and specials includes the Emmy-winning Motown 25: Yesterday, Today, Forever and Motown Returns to the Apollo. Additionally, she executive- produced The Essence Awards in 2002 and 2003, as well as the annual NAACP Image Awards over a three-year period, concluding in 2003. She has also executive-produced such memorable television miniseries as Lonesome Dove, The Jacksons: An American Dream, Buffalo Girls, Small Sacrifices and The Temptations. Her Academy Award nomination came for co-writing the screenplay for Lady Sings the Blues.

2005 BLACK MOVIE AWARDS Nominations

Are We There Yet? (Producers Matt Alvarez, Ice Cube, Dan Kolsrud),
Columbia Pictures
Coach Carter (Producers David Gale, Brian Robbins, Michael Tollin),
Paramount Pictures
Crash (Producers Don Cheadle, Paul Haggis, Mark R. Harris, Robert
Moresco, Cathy Schulman, Bob Yari),
Lions Gate Films
Diary of a Mad Black Woman (Producers Reuben Cannon, Tyler Perry), Lions
Gate Films
Hustle & Flow (Producers Stephanie Allain, John Singleton), Paramount

Lackawanna Blues (Executive producers Halle Berry, Vince Cirrincione,
Ruben Santiago-Hudson, Shelby Stone. Producer Nellie Rachel Nugiel),
Sometimes in April (Executive Producers Raoul Peck, Joel Stillerman.
Producer Daniel Delume), HBO
Their Eyes Were Watching God (Executive producers Kate Forte, Quincy
Jones, Oprah Winfrey.
Producer Matthew Carlisle), ABC

Don Cheadle (Crash), Lions Gate Films
Cedric “The Entertainer” (The Honeymooners), Paramount Pictures
Terrence Howard (Hustle & Flow), Paramount Pictures
Samuel Jackson (Coach Carter), Paramount Pictures
Will Smith (Hitch), Paramount Pictures

Anthony Anderson (Hustle & Flow), Paramount Pictures
Chris “Ludacris” Bridges (Crash), Lions Gate Films
Morgan Freeman (Batman Begins), Warner Bros.
Steve Harris (Diary of a Mad Black Woman), Lions Gate Films
Terrence Howard (Crash), Lions Gate Films

Kimberly Elise (Diary of a Mad Black Woman), Lions Gate Films
Meagan Good (D.E.B.S.), Screen Gems
Queen Latifah (Beauty Shop), Screen Gems

Loretta Devine (Crash), Lions Gate Films
Taraji P. Henson (Hustle & Flow), Paramount Pictures
Thandie Newton (Crash), Lions Gate Films
Zoe Saldana (Guess Who), Columbia Pictures
Cicely Tyson (Diary of a Mad Black Woman), Lions Gate Films

Tyler Perry (Diary of a Mad Black Woman), Lions Gate Films
Angela Robinson (D.E.B.S.), Screen Gems
Norman Vance, Jr. Kate Lanier (Beauty Shop), Screen Gems

Thomas Carter (Coach Carter), Paramount Pictures
Darren Grant (Diary of a Mad Black Woman), Lions Gate Films
F. Gary Gray (Be Cool), MGM
Tim Story (Fantastic Four), Twentieth Century Fox
Kevin Rodney Sullivan (Guess Who), Columbia Pictures

HBO DIRECTOR TO WATCH (Independent Filmmakers)
Rodney Evans
Frank E. Flowers
Rob Hardy

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