The African American Film Critics Association (AAFCA) is partnering with the British Academy of Film and Television Association (BAFTA, the Producers Guild of America (PGA) and more for the virtual AAFCA Strong Summer 2020.

Among the featured programming for AAFCA Strong Summer 2020 includes a discussion with British actor Toby Kebbell and rapper/actor Christopher “Ludacris” Bridges about their roles in the 2008 film, RocknRolla, which will take place on May 26. There will also be the AAFCA Virtual Table Read Series, which will take place on May 28 and feature creatives of color who will moderate table scenes of selected scenes from their own work for half-hour sessions on YouTube.

Scheduled for June 1 is the PGA + AAFCA Black Music Month Salute Kick-Off Industry Panel, which will be moderated by People music editor Janine Rubenstein and AAFCA President Gil Robertson. This panel will explore explores how music artists like John Legend and Queen Latifah have successfully used their success in the music industry as a launching pad for success in film and television, both in front of and behind the camera.

For June 28, The AAFCA will celebrate LGBTQ Pride Month by featuring a short film series exploring the pandemic from the perspective of LGBTQ creatives of color. In addition, a panel discussion featuring prominent LGBTQ creatives on the impact the LGBTQ community has had on TV and film will take place.

“So far AAFCA has received extremely positive reactions to the virtual content we’re creating in response to the global pandemic,” said Robertson. “Through our AAFCA Virtual Roundtable Series, creatives of color have been able to promote their upcoming projects via interviews with various AAFCA members later archived on the AAFCA YouTube channel. Confirmed upcoming participants include Issa Rae, Tracey Ellis Ross, Deon Taylor, the cast of OWN’s Greenleaf and more.”

He continued, “As the largest body of Black film critics of its kind, as well as recognized champions of diversity and inclusion throughout the industry, we, at AAFCA, are committed to providing a space to creatives of color and connecting them to wider audiences, as they continue to demonstrate the power and influence this industry has. We are thankful to our team of experts, including industry veteran Lana Walker and respected talent booker Deborah Byrd, who have worked tirelessly to ensure the participation of the many talented creatives of color who demonstrate the value of diversity and inclusion.”

Check out the full listing below:

AAFCA + BAFTA Present A Discussion with RocknRolla Stars Toby Kebbell and Christopher “Ludacris” Bridges, May 26, 10 AM PT/1 PM ET

In their first collaboration, AAFCA and BAFTA revisit British director Guy Ritchie’s 2008 film, RocknRolla, set and shot in London showcasing leading UK talent that includes Idris Elba, Gerard Butler, Thandie Newton, Thomas Wilkinson and Tom Hardy. Co-stars Toby Kebbell and Christopher “Ludacris” Bridges will discuss their respective roles and experience making the film. “There has long been a strong, fruitful, creative relationship between the US and UK entertainment communities,” BAFTA Los Angeles CEO Matthew Wiseman shared. “During these times, when maintaining connections and networks are as vital as ever, we are delighted to collaborate with AAFCA by bringing two talented colleagues together to share insights and expertise.”

AAFCA Virtual Table Read Series, May 28

With the global pandemic putting a halt to traditional avenues of testing and assessing unproduced work, AAFCA has launched its innovative AAFCA Virtual Table Read Series where creatives of color preside over table reads of selected scenes from their own work in half-hour sessions presented live on YouTube. Beginning May 28, the series will be presented monthly throughout the summer. Confirmed participants include Ali LeRoi (Everybody Hates Chris co-creator), producer Datari Turner (UncorkedGrowing Up Hip Hop), producer/director DeMane Davis (Self MadeQueen Sugar) and writer/producer Michelle Amor (Of Boys and MenTupac Shakur: Before I Wake).

PGA + AAFCA Black Music Month Salute Kick-Off Industry Panel: “Black Music Artists on Switching Hats….The Cross-Over Skills from the Front of the Stage to Behind the Lens,” June 1

Moderated by People music editor Janine Rubenstein and AAFCA President Gil Robertson, this PGA + AAFCA initiative explores how music artists like John Legend, Queen Latifah, Jay-Z and Curtis “50 Cent” Jackson have successfully used their success in the music industry as a springboard to success, not just in front of the lens as Queen Latifah and more, but also behind the camera as producers. Participants are TBD. Rounding out Black Music Month programming, AAFCA and PGA will also offer exclusive workshops for AAFCA and PGA members.

AAFCA Celebrates LGBTQ Month, June 28

From Moonlight to Pose, and in between, the enormous impact of the LGBTQ community of color has never been more center stage. Removed from the shadows, there is no denying or downplaying the LGBTQ community of color’s contributions to the contemporary pop culture landscape. With COVID-19 as the driving theme of this year’s salute to LGBTQ creatives of color, the half-day program features an AAFCA-curated short film series exploring the pandemic from the perspective of LGBTQ creatives of color. In addition, the panel discussion with acclaimed LGBTQ creatives (to be announced) will address the pandemic as well as explore the growing impact of the LGBTQ community of color’s overall impact on film and TV.


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Photo: AAFCA