African American Film Critics Names 12 Years A Slave Top Film of 2013

12/18/2013, 10:40 p.m.
The African-American Film Critics Association (AAFCA) has named 12 Years a Slave as the Best Picture of 2013. The Fox ...

The African-American Film Critics Association (AAFCA) has named 12 Years a Slave as the Best Picture of 2013. The Fox Searchlight film’s also earned Best Director, Best Screenplay and Best Newcomer honors for Steve McQueen, John Ridley and Lupita Nyong'o. The organization, which represents the leading African-American film critics nationwide, will formally present its awards during a private ceremony on Friday, January 31, 2014 hosted by Orlando Jones at the Taglyan Complex in Hollywood, CA.

In the acting categories, Forest Whitaker won Best Actor for his performance in Lee Daniels: The Butler and Sandra Bullock was named Best Actress for Gravity. Oprah Winfrey received Best Supporting Actress 2013 for her role in The Butler and Jared Leto earned Best Supporting Actor 2013 for his performance in Dallas Buyers Club.

Rounding out the 2013 AAFCA Award winners are Fruitvale Station, for Best Independent Film, Freeze or Best Animated Feature; Mother of George, for Best World Cinema and American Promise, from Joe Brewster and Michèle Stephenson. Producer Raphael Saadiq won in the Best Music category for Black Nativity.

As previously announced, AAFCA’s Special Achievement honors will be awarded to

AMPAS President Cheryl Boone Isaacs, TWC’s Bob and Harvey Weinstein, FOX SEARCHLIGHT’s Zola Mashariki and DGA’s President Paris Barclay. AAFCA’s Inaugural Roger Ebert Award will be given to Justin Chang of Variety. “The film industry reached an incredibly high benchmark in 2013 in terms of the level of performance and diversity on screen,” says AAFCA President and Founder, Gil Robertson. “From the dramatic and heartwarming performances given by Whitaker and Winfrey, to Jared Leto’s incredible transformation as a transgender, the performances this year represented some of the finest examples of the acting craft.”

The organization’s Top Ten list of films includes 12 Years a Slave, Lee Daniels: The Butler, Gravity, American Hustle and Mandela. “Hollywood did an excellent job in providing filmgoers with excellent examples of cinema that examine the core of the humanity. We hope this trend continues,” says AAFCA’s East Coast V.P. Daryle Lockhart, owner of Black Box Office.com.

The African-American Film Critics Association’s Top Ten Films of 2013 are as follows in order of distinction:

  1. 12 Years a Slave

  2. Lee Daniels: The Butler

  3. Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom

  4. American Hustle

  5. Gravity

  6. Fruitvale Station

  7. Dallas Buyers Club

  8. Saving Mr. Banks

  9. Out of the Furnace

  10. 42

Best Actor - Forest Whitaker, Lee Daniels: The Butler (TWC)

Best Actress - Sandra Bullock, Gravity (Warner Bros.)

Best Supporting Actress - Oprah Winfrey, Lee Daniels: The Butler (TWC)

Best Supporting Actor - Jared Leto, Dallas Buyers Club (Focus Features)

Best World Cinema - Mother of George (Oscilloscope Laboratories)

Breakout Performance - Lupita Nyong'o, 12 Years a Slave (Fox Searchlight)

Best Director - Steve McQueen, 12 Years a Slave (Fox Searchlight)

Best Screenplay - John Ridley, 12 Years a Slave (Fox Searchlight)

Best Music - Raphael Sadiq, Black Nativity (RCA Inspirational)

Best Independent Film - Fruitvale Station (TWC)

Best Animation - Frozen (Walt Disney Pictures)

Best Documentary - American Promise (Rada Film Group)

The African-American Film Critics Association (AAFCA) is the premiere organization of African-American film media professionals. Founded in 2003, AAFCA’s members represent a geographically diverse cross-section of media covering the cinematic arts. The organization honors excellence in cinema by creating awareness for films with universal appeal to black communities, while emphasizing film about the black experience and those produced written, directed and starring performers of African descent. The association actively reviews the quality and standard of black talent, content and media coverage. AAFCA also supports the development of future black film critics and filmmakers. AAFCA is based in Los Angeles.