The African American Film Critics Association (AAFCA) has rejoined forces with Turner Classic Movies (TCM) for a new special called AAFCA Presents: Motown Productions.

AAFCA member Christopher Witherspoon will join TCM host Alicia Malone to discuss the classic films Lady Sings the Blues, Mahogany and The Last Dragon.

“We are thrilled to extend our relationship with Turner Classic Movies showcasing the cinematic universe of Motown,” said AAFCA President and 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.”

Aside from their partnership with TCM, AAFCA also announced a new season of the AAFCA podcast, which will feature interviews from producer Debra Martin Chase and Academy Award-winning production designer Hannah Beachler. The podcast is sponsored by Morgan Stanley Wealth Management’s Global Sports and Entertainment division. AAFCA member Ed Adams is the host. The podcast has previously hosted interviews with Will Packer and Regina King.

“The purpose of The AAFCA Podcast 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,” said Robertson.

“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.

AAFCA Presents: Motown Productions debuts Tuesday, October 22 at 8 p.m. on TCM.


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Photo: Motown/Paramount 

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