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January 17, 2022

Will Smith, Adam McKay, Questlove's 'Summer of Soul' among AAFCA Award winners

The African American Film Critics Association will hold their 13th annual ceremony in person on March 2

Movies Awards
Will Smith King Richard Warner Bros. Pictures/YouTube

Will Smith's performance in "King Richard" won him the Best Actor award by the African American Film Critics Association. He and the other winners will receive their awards in person during a limited-capacity ceremony on March 2 in Los Angeles. Other winners include Questlove's "Summer of Soul," and Adam McKay's screenplay for "Don't Look Up."

The 13th Annual African American Film Critics Association Awards were released on Monday, with several Philly natives being announced as winners. The AAFCA is the largest Black film critics organization in the world and recognizes excellence in entertainment. 

The cast of "King Richard" and "The Harder They Fall" received the most awards out of any other film project, with four each. The awards will be given out in person at a limited-capacity show on March 2 in Los Angeles. 

Will Smith received the award for Best Actor for his portrayal as Richard Williams in "King Richard." The film was developed as a biographical drama that follows the life of Williams as he trains daughters Venus and Serena to become the tennis superstars that they are known as. Both Venus and Serena Williams were executive producers on the film. 

Smith has already won several awards for his role in the film, including the Golden Globe Award for Best Actor in a dramatic film, and his performance has been widely praised along with the film by critics at The New York Times.

Questlove's directorial debut and award-winning documentary "Summer of Soul," which details the long-lost footage from the 1969 Harlem Cultural Festival, was given yet another award for Best Documentary. 

The film, which made the Oscars short list for Best Documentary Feature, has been widely praised for its reckoning and recognition of an important piece of music history lost in time. The official soundtrack is set for a release on Jan. 28, one year following the premiere of the film. 

The Philadelphia native musician and filmmaker told Rolling Stone on Monday that he is currently in the process of making a follow-up film about Sly & The Family Stone, which will include over seven hours of interview footage that lead singer Sly Stone took part in before Questlove was brought onto the project. 

Adam McKay received the Best Screenplay award for his work on Netflix's new film, "Don't Look Up." The comedic science fiction movie tells the story of two astronomers who set up a media campaign to warn people about an upcoming event that could wipe out civilization. An allegory for the battle against climate change, the film puts a satirical spin on an issue that's currently prevalent across the world. 

McKay, who grew up in Philadelphia and Malvern, Chester County, said that his time in Philly is what made him love movies, and what helped turn him into the writer and filmmaker he is today. The ensemble cast includes Leonardo DiCaprio, Jennifer Lawrence, Jonah Hill, Meryl Streep, and Tyler Perry, among others. 

McKay is already an award-winner: his 2015 film "The Big Short" earned him the Oscar for Best Adapted Screenplay. 

The full list of award winners are listed below. 

13th Annual AAFCA Awards: 

• Best Picture: "The Harder They Fall"
• Best Director: Jeymes Samuel, "The Harder They Fall"
• Best Screenplay: Adam McKay, "Don't Look Up"
• Best Actor: Will Smith, "King Richard"
• Best Actress: Jennifer Hudson, "Respect"
• Best Supporting Actor: Corey Hawkins, "The Tragedy of Macbeth"
• Best Supporting Actress: Aunjanue Ellis, "King Richard"
• Breakout Actor: Saniyya Sidney, "King Richard"
• Best Ensemble: "The Harder They Fall"
• Emerging Director: Reinaldo Marcus Green, "King Richard"
• Best Music: Jeymes Samuel, Kid Cudi, Jay-Z, "The Harder They Fall"
• Best Independent Feature: "Who We Are"
• Best Documentary: "Summer of Soul"