Akeelah Takes Top Honors Black Movie Awards
Presley ChweneyagaeTakes Prize for Outstanding Actor in a Leading Role, While Keke Palmer Wins for Outstanding Actress in a Leading Role
TNT Set to Telecast 2006 BLACK MOVIE AWARDS Tonight, Oct. 18, at 10 p.m.
Akeelah & the Bee was named Outstanding Motion Picture of the Year during Film Life’s 2006 BLACK MOVIE AWARDS – A Celebration of Black Cinema: Past, Present & Future. The movie took a total of four awards during the ceremony, which taped at the Wiltern Theatre in Los Angeles for telecast on TNT tonight, Oct. 18, 2006 at 10 p.m. (ET/PT). Other top winners include Presley Chweneyagae, who was honored as Outstanding Actor in a Leading Role for his performance in Tsotsi, and Keke Palmer, honored as Outstanding Actress in a Leading Role for her performance in Akeelah & the Bee.
Tyler Perry (Diary of a Mad Black Woman, House of Payne) hosted 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.
The 2006 BLACK MOVIE AWARDS also honored Laurence Fishburne as Outstanding Actor in a Supporting Role for his performance in Akeelah & the Bee and Angela Bassett as Outstanding Actress in a Supporting Role for her performance in Akeelah & the Bee. Spike Lee was awarded for Outstanding Achievement in Directing for his work on Inside Man and Kriss Turner took the prize for Outstanding Achievement in Writing for the movie Something New.
In addition to the competitive awards, several honorary awards were given. presented the Distinguished Career Achievement Award to acclaimed actress Oprah WinfreyCicely Tyson, recognizing a career that includes such projects as The Autobiography of Miss Jane Pittman, Roots and Madea’s Family Reunion, as well as Sounder, for which she earned an Oscar® nomination. Kimberly Elise, Keke Palmer and Lynn Whitfield also paid tribute to Tyson.
Ruby Dee presented the Ossie Davis Humanitarian Award to Spike Lee, for his work bringing to light the tragedy of Hurricane Katrina through his HBO documentary When the Levees Broke: A Requiem in Four Acts.
Angela Bassett and Cuba Gooding, Jr., the honoree’s co-stars in ground-breaking films What’s Love Got To Do With It? and Boyz n the Hood, presented Laurence Fishburne with Excellence in Arts Award.
Sidney J. Furie’s 1972 movie biography of legendary jazz singer Billie Holiday became the second film inducted into the Black Movie Awards Classic Cinema Hall of Fame. Billy Dee Williams, who co-starred with Diana Ross in the film, was on-hand for the induction.
This year’s eligible films were released in the U.S. between Aug. 1, 2005, and July 31, 2006.
Jeff Friday, creator of the BLACK MOVIE AWARDS and the American Black Film Festival (www.blackmovieawards.com), provide opportunities for independent Black filmmakers to showcase their work to an ever-broadening audience through the American Black Film Festival (ABFF). Since its inception, the American Black Film Festival has explored, rewarded and redefined artistic excellence in international Black cinema. It has grown to be recognized as the #1 film market for Black and urban content. In addition to its film showcases, the American Black Film Festival is committed to nurturing artists in a variety of disciplines and offers educational workshops and seminars for actors, filmmakers and writers throughout the week.
The American Black Film Festival, founded in 1997, is a property of Film Life, Inc., a New York-based marketing, media and production company. Its mission is to spearhead the global distribution of quality Black films and be the leading American brand producing Black movies and related entertainment content.
Back for the second year, Oscar-nominee Suzanne de Passe again serves as executive producer and writer. Her 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 was for co-writing the screenplay for Lady Sings the Blues.