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May 25, 2022

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‘Harder,’ ‘Richard’ claim film awards

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LOS ANGELES — “The Harder They Fall” and “King Richard” topped the African American Film Critics Association Awards, the group announced Monday.

The Netflix Western “The Harder They Fall” collected four awards, including picture and director (for Jeymes Samuel, who also co-wrote and co-produced). Samuel picked up another laurel, for music, along with collaborators Kid Cudi and Jay-Z. The film’s actors — including Jonathan Majors, Idris Elba, Regina King and Zazie Beet — also enjoyed the ensemble prize.

“King Richard” matched “Harder” shot for shot with four awards. Will Smith, considered a top contender in the lead actor category at this year’s Oscars, won for his performance as the father of two of the greatest tennis players of all time, Venus and Serena Williams. His co-star, Aunjanue Ellis — also a top Oscar contender, according to the Los Angeles Times’ BuzzMeter — won the organization’s supporting actress honor. The film also scored the breakout actor prize for Saniyya Sidney as Venus Williams and the emerging director award for helmer Reinaldo Marcus Green (“Monsters and Men”).

In all, the two movies took eight of the 13 awards categories.

Jennifer Hudson, an Oscar winner for her turn in “Dreamgirls,” won the lead actress prize for playing Aretha Franklin in the biopic “Respect.” Corey Hawkins, who burst on the scene as Dr. Dre in “Straight Outta Compton,” won supporting actor for his role as Macduff, the primary antagonist to Denzel Washington’s bloody thane in “The Tragedy of Macbeth.”

Other winners included Adam McKay for his screenplay for the satire “Don’t Look Up”; “Who We Are” for independent feature; and Questlove’s “Summer of Soul (… Or, When the Revolution Could Not Be Televised)” for top documentary.

The 13th year of winners will be celebrated March 2 at the SLS Hotel in Los Angeles.

“It’s been a fantastic year for film,” African American Film Critics Association President and co-founder Gil Robertson said in a statement.

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