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Season 2 of AAFCA & TCM Spotlight on Black Cinema

The African American Film Critics Association (AAFCA) continues its partnership with Turner Classic Movies (TCM) with a special celebration of the films of Motown. Last year the two teamed up to present The Black Experience on Film, putting diversity and inclusion in cinema at the forefront with a month of programming on TCM curated and hosted by AAFCA members. This year, the two have rejoined forces for AAFCA Presents: Motown Productions on October 22, featuring AAFCA member Christopher Witherspoon, who joins TCM host Alicia Malone to screen and discuss the classic Motown films THE LAST DRAGON, LADY SINGS THE BLUES and MAHOGANY.  

“We are thrilled to extend our relationship with Turner Classic Movies showcasing the cinematic universe of Motown,” said AAFCA President/CEO Gil Robertson. “Motown chairman Berry Gordy is a visionary known for creating the soundtrack to American life, but his cinematic contributions are largely unsung, and they shouldn’t be. Fueled by Gordy’s creative genius and bold vision, Motown Productions offered the world a chance to see images of Black life that had never been seen before: a Black Kung Fu master, a Black female model and designer and a timeless biopic of the legendary Billie Holiday that earned Diana Ross an Oscar® nomination. It’s just incredible.” 

“TCM’s mission is to showcase films with context and curation, and we are so pleased the experts at AAFCA are joining us again this year to highlight the importance and originality of Motown Productions, the extension of Gordon’s Motown Records music label,” said Charles Tabesh, senior vice president of programming & production, TCM. “We are proud that this partnership will continue to bring both important programming and a critical perspective to our audiences.”

The provocative collaboration between AAFCA and TCM will continue into 2020 with AAFCA member KJ Matthews joining Malone for a focus on social documentaries, shared Robertson. “The members of AAFCA really enjoy working with TCM to curate innovative programming that showcase cinema’s contributions to inclusion and diversity. Our hope is that our success with the network will lead to similar showcases that focus on films from other underserved communities.”

This fall AAFCA will also unveil season two of The AAFCA Podcast sponsored by Morgan Stanley Wealth Management’s Global Sports and Entertainment division. Produced by AAFCA member Ed Adams, who also hosts, the second season will feature interviews with Debra Martin Chase, producer of the upcoming bio-pic HARRIET and historic Oscar® winners Ruth E. Carter in Costume Design and Hannah Beachler in Production Design, among others. In its first season, The AAFCA Podcast included interviews with producer Will Packer and actress Regina King, who went on to win an Oscar® for Best Supporting Actress in Barry Jenkins’s IF BEALE STREET COULD TALK.  “The purpose of The AAFCA Podcast,” said Robertson, “is to give audiences insight into the entertainment community, helping to foster a better appreciation for these creatives and their gifts. In fact, that is the goal of all we do, be it with TCM, The AAFCA Podcast or our tentpole event, The AAFCA Awards — we celebrate excellence and hopefully inspire others to pursue their own dreams.” “We look forward to another season sponsoring the AAFCA podcast and helping expose more people to movies that examine the African- American experience,” said Morgan Stanley Managing Director Sandra Richards, head of the Global Sports and Entertainment division.

For more information on AAFCA, please visit Also follow AAFCA on major social media platforms: African American Film Critics Association on Facebook; @AAFCA on Instagram and @TheAAFCA on Twitter.

About the Author

New York Trend is a weekly news publication that focuses on issues and lifestyles of the African & Caribbean American communities throughout the New York metropolitan area and Nassau and Suffolk Counties of Long Island. It is a respected and well recognized news publication that has been in existence since 1989. Owner, Publisher and Executive Director, Dr. Teresa Taylor Williams has been at the helm of this award-winning publication since its inception. New York Trend continues to be the only black woman-owned, metropolitan newspaper in New York and Long island. New York Trend is the largest black-owned newspaper throughout Nassau and Suffolk counties.

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