UPDATED: Looking Ahead to Black Films, Actors and Directors That Might Contend for Oscars in 2017

"The Birth of a Nation"

“The Birth of a Nation”

Given the overwhelming amount of attention that the #OscarsSoWhite social media protest generated with regards to the lack of diversity among Oscar nominees this year, as well as last week’s various debates about the perceived abundance of “slave movies” as representative of the king of projects black actors often star in (I debunked that claim with facts here), this seemed like a good time to take another look at what black films, black actors and directors (this blog’s specific interests) might contend for Academy Awards next year.



I plan to continue updating this list as new information is provided that makes edits necessary – whether I learn about new films, new performances, or release date shifts, or if any film listed is released and doesn’t live up to expectations, etc.

Looking over my master list of all the “black films,” films with black actors in lead/supporting roles, and films directed by black filmmakers that are set to be released this year (that we know of so far), I can say with some certainty that there will be a handful of potential nominees of African descent. Of course, we haven’t seen all of these films yet, since some are still to be released (others don’t even have distribution in the USA yet), so this list is based entirely on speculation, considering the talent involved in each project, as well as Oscar history in terms of the kinds of films and performances that tend to get the Academy’s attention most. Also, I’m not a voting member of the Academy, so even if I think a film or performance is worthy of a nomination, the members of the Academy may not necessarily agree.

I’m using the S&A database as my source of information, as well as Box Office Mojo and IMDB to come up with these titles. But we’re just halfway through the year, and I’m sure that there are films I don’t yet know about, if only because they haven’t been made public yet. There are also all the films that will premiere somewhere along the international film festival circuit throughout the rest of the year – the Toronto International Film Festival in the early fall is often a stop for potential Oscar picks to make.

So this certainly isn’t an exhaustive list. It will definitely be updated throughout the year, as dates are assigned to titles currently without dates, or dates are changed for those that do have dates, or as new titles are announced that are set for release during the year – theatrical releases specifically.

Without further ado…

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