Jeymes Samuel’s western drama tops AAFCA’s list of Best Films of 2021

Helmed by British director Jeymes Samuel, and produced by rap mogul Jay-Z, the film which portrays historical Black figures and stars Idris Elba, Jonathan Majors, Regina King, Zazie Beetz, LaKeith Stanfield and Delroy Lindo is the African American Film Critics Association’s (AAFCA) favorite film of the year. 

L-R- Regina King, Idris Elba and LaKeith Stanfield

In this new classic in the western genre, Oscar-winning actress Regina King and Oscar-nominated actor Idris Elba highlight a vibrant cast of characters as outlaws Trudy Smith and Rufus Buck, respectively with Deon Cole, RJ Cyler, and Danielle Deadwyler, filling out an electric world of heroes and villains, survivors, and victims in the untamed West.

“Selections for this year’s Top 10 speak to history’s importance in informing who we are, as a people and as a community,” said AAFCA president and co-founder Gil Robertson.  “Although our top film ‘The Harder They Fall’ from Netflix is a fictionalized Western, it introduced the world to an incredible array of real-life Black cowboys and cowgirls who helped to transform the West, prompting many to discover the prominent role Black people played in that storied chapter of American history that has long been a Hollywood go-to genre.”

Jonathan Majors

Other favorites from the group include “King Richard,” “Respect,” “Passing,” and “West Side Story.”

“With Richard Williams in ‘King Richard’ and Aretha Franklin in ‘Respect,’ you get an examination of two figures who have left an indelible mark on society and world culture,” continues Robertson. “Obviously not enough can be said about Ms. Aretha Franklin who shaped and transformed the world through her music. These films, along with the rest of AAFCA’s Top 10 films of 2021, celebrate culture, history, and history-makers. AAFCA is thrilled to recognize their contributions to cinema.”

Jonathan Majors and Idris

Established in 2003, the Annual African American Film Critics Association (AAFCA) is the premiere body of Black film critics in the world, actively reviewing film and television, with a particular emphasis on entertainment that includes the Black experience and storytellers from the African Diaspora.

Gil Robertson co-founder and President of AAFCA

AAFCA will reveal winners of the 13th Annual AAFCA Awards honoring outstanding achievement in film in 15 competitive categories on Jan. 17,2022. An in-person celebration in Los Angeles will follow on March 2.

By Samantha Ofole-Prince/ Photo Credit: David Lee/NETFLIX

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