Black Panther Ryan Coogler Danai Gurira
More info i
Credit: Marvel Studios

Black Panther wins Best Picture and Director from African American Film Critics Association

Contributed by
Dec 11, 2018, 4:40 PM EST

Marvel Studios' Black Panther started to pick up awards season steam by winning some well-deserved prizes from the African American Film Critics Association.

The superhero movie nabbed two of the biggest prizes, Best Picture and Best Director for Ryan Coogler, who co-wrote the screenplay with Joe Robert Cole. Black Panther also picked up best song, courtesy of "All The Stars" by Kendrick Lamar and SZA, which plays during the film's end credits.

Lamar produced the movie's soundtrack of original music, partnering with major hip-hop artists such as Swae Lee, 2 Chainz, Schoolboy Q, Anderson Paak, Future, The Weeknd, and Travis Scott. Despite a sizeable litany of new songs,  "All The Stars" has received most of the praise, garnering nominations from the Golden Globes, Grammys, and Critics' Choice Awards.

“Selecting Disney’s Black Panther as the year’s best film was a no-brainer,” said AAFCA co-founder Shawn Edwards in an official release. 

“Beyond its tremendous reviews and historic box office performance, the film changed the culture and became a defining moment for Black America. Finally, after years of painfully negative and blatantly harmful depictions of blacks on screen there was a movie full of positive images and characters that blacks could rally around. For many blacks the film’s release was like a national holiday. "The movie sparked a sense of pride and inspired Afro-futurism-theme parties, academic panel discussions, scholarship funds, vacation plans to Africa and thousands of black kids dressing-up like their favorite characters on Halloween. Many have waited a lifetime for a moment like this and Black Panther delivered with a multi-generational appeal never before seen."

In addition to its award wins, Black Panther made the AAFCA’s list of Top Ten films of 2018, only one of two genre projects to make the cut. The other was Boots Riley's racial and capitalist satire, Sorry to Bother You.

“The tremendous success of Black Panther and Crazy Rich Asians clearly demonstrates that films populated by people of color can perform well overseas. AAFCA’s Top 10 marks the first time so many films by or about black identity have made our list, presenting storylines that reflect the diversity that lives within the black community," said Gil Robertson, co-president of AAFCA.

Opening this Friday, Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse, the first Marvel movie to feature a Spider-Man of color (Miles Morales—voiced by Shameik Moore), won Best Animated Film. So far, Sony's unique take on Marvel's most iconic superhero has received incredibly positive reviews, while racking up a win from the New York Film Critics Circle (the only genre feature to do so) and nominations from the Annie Awards, Critics' Choice Awards, and Golden Globes.

In addition to all the awards buzz surrounding Black Panther, the comic book movie is also landing on a number of critics' year-end lists. Rolling Stone, The Los Angeles Times, and Entertainment Weekly included the film in their "Best Of" roundups, while The New York Times and Vogue both gave it an "Honorable Mention."