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Ava DuVernay to be honored with Melvin Van Peebles Trailblazer Award at CCA’s Celebration of Black Cinema & Television

Patina Miller, Ruth Negga, Natasha Rothwell, and Kenan Thompson are special honorees at the ceremony

At this year’s Celebration of Black Cinema & Television, figures like Ava DuVernay and Will Smith will be honored among a slew of trailblazing Black talent in the entertainment industry.

First brought about in 2014, the Critic’s Choice Association’s Celebration of Black Cinema & Television has since honored “achievements in Black filmmaking,” as theGrio previously reported. This year sees the ceremony also incorporating television, with talent like Barry Jenkins who came to TV with Amazon Prime’s The Underground Railroad, and Anthony Anderson of Black-ish, receiving special awards this year.

The CCAs have been slowly announced their honorees and revealed the recipient of the first-ever Melvin Van Peebles Trailblazer Award on Wednesday.

Ava DuVernay attends ‘A Landmark Anniversary Celebration of Two Classic Films By Award-Winning Filmmaker Mira Nair’ at ARRAY HQ on October 31, 2021 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Emma McIntyre/Getty Images)

From acclaimed series like When They See Us and Queen Sugar to films like A Wrinkle in Time and 13th, DuVernay has certainly made her mark as a major filmmaker in the industry. The CCA is recognizing that by honoring the director with the Melvin Van Peebles Trailblazer Award, specifically celebrating her work in directing, writing, and film distribution, per Variety.

Shawn Edwards, CCA board member and executive producer of the Celebration of Black Cinema & Television, shared in a statement obtained by Variety, “We are truly honored to name our prestigious Trailblazer Award after Melvin Van Peebles. Van Peebles inspired a generation of filmmakers. He was a true maverick and a visionary cinematic genius.”

Van Peebles, who passed away this September, was a true trailblazer himself, best known for his 1971 film Sweet Sweetback’s Baadasssss Song.

Smith, who is having quite the professional year himself, will be honored with the actor award for his portrayal as Richard Williams in the film, King Richard. As theGrio previously reported, Jennifer Hudson will receive the actress award for another historical portrayal, for her work as Aretha Franklin in this year’s Respect.

(Photo by Kevin Winter/Getty Images)

Other honorees include Patina Miller of Power Book III: Raising Kanan, Ruth Negga who stars in Netflix’s Passing this year, Natasha Rothwell of Insecure, and Kenan Thompson, the longest-running player on Saturday Night Live.

The CCA’s Celebration of Black Cinema & Television, hosted by Niecy Nash, will take place on Dec. 6 at the Fairmont Century Plaza Hotel. For more on the ceremony and the many honorees, head to the official website, here.

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The post Ava DuVernay to be honored with Melvin Van Peebles Trailblazer Award at CCA’s Celebration of Black Cinema & Television appeared first on TheGrio.

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