Taraji P. Henson, Jeffrey Wright, Garrett Morris and Mara Brock Akil will be saluted at the sixth annual ABFF Honors, presented by Nice Crowd.
Founded in 2016, ABFF Honors is the American Black Film Festival’s awards season gala, dedicated to recognizing excellence in the motion picture and television industry. The intimate, non-televised dinner, to be held at the SLS in Beverly Hills on March 3, will be hosted by actor and comedian Tommy Davidson.
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Henson and Wright — who sat down last year for Variety’s Actors on Actors series to discuss their turns in “The Color Purple” and “American Fiction,” respectively — will receive the Excellence in the Arts awards, presented in recognition of their body of work and career achievement. News comes a day after Wright earned his first Academy Award nomination for the role, adding to a trophy case that already includes Emmy, Golden Globe and Tony awards; meanwhile, the Golden Globe-winning and Emmy- and Oscar-nominated Henson was nominated for a Screen Actors Guild award.
The Hollywood Legacy award — which is presented to a trailblazing artist who has inspired the next generation over four or more decades in the business — goes to Garrett Morris, the actor, comedian, writer and singer who also holds the distinction of being the first Black cast member on “Saturday Night Live.” Earlier Wednesday, Variety exclusively announced that Morris will be honored with a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame on Feb. 1.
Screenwriter and producer Akil will be presented with the Industry Visionary award in recognition of her commitment to championing diversity, equity, and inclusion in the motion picture and television industry through her outstanding work. Akil is responsible for writing and producing over 400 episodes of television, which most notably includes “Girlfriends,” “The Game” and “Being Mary Jane.”
“For decades, these esteemed ABFF Honorees have elevated their projects, and brought joy to audiences across the world,” said Jeff and Nicole Friday, Nice Crowd’s CEO and president, respectively. “It is our honor to recognize Garrett, Taraji, Jeffrey and Mara for all their contributions to culture and the industry throughout their remarkable careers. We look forward to celebrating their many achievements and gathering with our fantastic ABFF partners.”
The ABFF fan favorite movie of the year will also be revealed during the gala. The award is presented in recognition of the year’s most outstanding narrative feature-length motion picture directed by a person of African descent and is selected via an online poll of more than 100,000 festival alumni.
Nominees for the fan favorite award are: “A Thousand and One,” directed by A.V. Rockwell; “American Fiction,” directed by Cord Jefferson; “Origin,” directed by Ava DuVernay; “The Color Purple,” directed by Blitz Bazawule; “They Cloned Tyrone,” directed by Juel Taylor; and “The Equalizer 3,” directed by Antoine Fuqua.
ABFF Honors is executive produced by Nice Crowd’s Nicole and Jeff Friday, in association with dePasse Jones Entertainment and Magic Lemonade’s Rikki Hughes. Sponsors for the event include Cadillac, Amazon MGM Studios, Sony Pictures Entertainment and Fulton Films.
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