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Daniel Kaluuya, Idris Elba,Tiffany Haddish and More Win Big at NAACP Image Awards

Check out the full list of winners!

The NAACP Image Awards, honoring the best in black entertainment, went down last night in Pasadena, California.

Some of our favorite actors and musicians were in attendance for the festivities, including the cast of Insecure, Tiffany Haddish, Ava Duvernay and many, many more. Not only did these folks look dashing on the red carpet, but they also won big during the awards show.

Daniel Kaluuya, won for Outstanding Actor In a Motion Picture for his role in the smash hit, Get Out, while Idris Elba took home two awards, one for Outstanding Actor in a Television Movie, Limited-Series or Dramatic Special for his role in the controversial, London-set historical crime drama Guerrilla, and another for Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Motion Picture for his role in "Thor: Ragnarok."

Eritrean-American comedian Tiffany Haddish also snagged two awards. She took home Outstanding supporting actress in a comedy for Girls Trip, as well as Outstanding Character Voice-Over Performance for Legends of Chamberlain Heights.

Ugandan-Rwandan music star, Somi took home an award for Outstanding Jazz Album for Petite Afrique. Ava DuVernay was honored wit the Entertainer of the Year Award. Popular Nigerian YouTuber Jackie Aina won the first ever YouTuber of the Year Award. Check out part of her speech below.

It was a pretty successful night for a lot of our favorites. Congrats to them all!

Check out some pictures from the event below, and see the full list of winners underneath.

Entertainer of the Year

Ava DuVernay

Outstanding Actor in a Motion Picture

Daniel Kaluuya - "Get Out" (Universal Pictures)

Outstanding Actress in a Motion Picture

Octavia Spencer - "Gifted" (Fox Searchlight Pictures)

Outstanding Motion Picture

"Girls Trip" (Universal Pictures)

Outstanding Actor in a Comedy Series

Anthony Anderson - "`black-ish" (ABC)

Outstanding Actress in a Comedy Series

Tracee Ellis Ross - "`black-ish " (ABC)

Outstanding Comedy Series

"`black-ish" (ABC)

Outstanding Actor in a Drama Series

Omari Hardwick - "Power" (Starz)

Outstanding Actress in a Drama Series

Taraji P. Henson - "Empire" (FOX)

Outstanding Drama Series

"Power" (Starz)


The winners of the Non-Televised Categories for the 49th NAACP Image Awards are:

Television

Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Comedy Series

Jay Ellis - "Insecure" (HBO)

Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Comedy Series

Marsai Martin - "`black-ish" (ABC)

Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Drama Series

Joe Morton - "Scandal" (ABC)

Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Drama Series

Naturi Naughton - "Power" (Starz)

Outstanding Television Movie, Limited - Series or Dramatic Special

"The New Edition Story " (BET)

Outstanding Actor in a Television Movie, Limited-Series or Dramatic Special

Idris Elba - "Guerrilla" (Showtime)

Outstanding Actress in a Television Movie, Limited -Series or Dramatic Special

Queen Latifah - "Flint" (Lifetime)

Outstanding News/ Information - (Series or Special)

"Unsung" (TV One)

Outstanding Talk Series

"The Real" (Syndicated)

Outstanding Reality Program/Reality Competition Series

"The Manns" (TV One)

Outstanding Variety or Game Show - (Series or Special)

"Lip Sync Battle" (Spike)

Outstanding Children's Program

"Doc McStuffins" (Disney Junior)

Outstanding Performance by a Youth (Series, Special, Television Movie or Limited Series)

Caleb McLaughlin - "Stranger Things" (Netflix)

Outstanding Host in a Talk or News/Information (Series or Special) - Individual or Ensemble

Roland Martin - "News One Now" (TV One)

Outstanding Host in a Reality/Reality Competition, Game Show or Variety (Series or Special) - Individual or Ensemble

LL Cool J - "Lip Sync Battle" (Spike)

Recording

Outstanding New Artist

SZA (RCA Records/Top Dawg Entertainment)

Outstanding Male Artist

Bruno Mars (Atlantic Records)

Outstanding Female Artist

Mary J. Blige (Capitol Records)

Outstanding Duo, Group or Collaboration

Kendrick Lamar feat. Rihanna (TDE/Aftermath/Interscope)

Outstanding Jazz Album

"Petite Afrique" - Somi (Sony Music/OKeh)

Outstanding Gospel/Christian Album (Traditional or Contemporary)

"Greenleaf Soundtrack Volume 2" - Greenleaf Soundtrack (RCA Inspiration)

Outstanding Music Video/Visual Album

"That's What I Like" - Bruno Mars (Atlantic Records)

Outstanding Song – Traditional

"That's What I Like" - Bruno Mars (Atlantic Records)

Outstanding Album

"DAMN." - Kendrick Lamar (TDE/Aftermath/Interscope)

Outstanding Song – Contemporary

"HUMBLE." - Kendrick Lamar (TDE/Aftermath/Interscope)

Literature

Outstanding Literary Work – Fiction

"The Annotated African American Folktales" - Henry Louis Gates Jr. (Editor),Maria Tatar (Editor), (Liveright Publishing Corporation)

Outstanding Literary Work - Non-Fiction

"Defining Moments in Black History: Reading Between the Lies" - Dick Gregory (Author), (HarperCollins Publishers)

Outstanding Literary Work - Debut Author

"No One Is Coming to Save Us" - Stephanie Powell Watts (Author), (HarperCollins Publishers)

Outstanding Literary Work - Biography / Autobiography

"Becoming Ms. Burton - From Prison to Recovery to Leading the Fight for Incarcerated Women" - Susan Burton (Author), Cari Lynn (Author), Michelle Alexander (Foreword By), (The New Press)

Outstanding Literary Work – Instructional

"The Awakened Woman: Remembering & Reigniting our Sacred Dreams " – Dr. Tererai Trent (Author), Oprah Winfrey (Foreword By), (Simon and Schuster)

Outstanding Literary Work – Poetry

"Incendiary Art: Poems" - Patricia Smith (Author), (TriQuarterly Books/Northwestern University Press)

Outstanding Literary Work – Children

"Little Leaders: Bold Women in Black History " - Vashti Harrison (Author), (Hachette Book Group)

Outstanding Literary Work - Youth / Teens

"Clayton Byrd Goes Underground" - Rita Williams-Garcia, (Author), Frank Morrison (Illustrator), (Amistad/HarperCollins Publishers)

Motion Picture

Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Motion Picture

Idris Elba - "THOR: Ragnarok" (Marvel Studios)

Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Motion Picture

Tiffany Haddish - "Girls Trip" (Universal Pictures)

Outstanding Independent Motion Picture

"Detroit" (Annapurna Pictures)

Documentary

Outstanding Documentary (Film)

"STEP" (Fox Searchlight Pictures)

Outstanding Documentary (Television)

"The 44th President: In His Own Words" (History)

Writing

Outstanding Writing in a Comedy Series

Janine Barrois – "Claws" – Batsh*t (TNT)

Outstanding Writing in a Dramatic Series

Gina Prince-Bythewood - "Shots Fired" – Hour One: Pilot (Fox)

Outstanding Writing in a Television Movie or Special

Abdul Williams - "The New Edition Story " – Part 2 (BET)

Outstanding Writing in a Motion Picture

Jordan Peele - "Get Out" (Universal Pictures)

Directing

Outstanding Directing in a Comedy Series

Anton Cropper - "`black-ish" - Juneteenth (ABC)

Outstanding Directing in a Dramatic Series

Carl Franklin - "13 Reasons Why" - Tape 5, Side B (Netflix)

Outstanding Directing in a Television Movie or Special

Allen Hughes - "The Defiant Ones" (HBO)

Outstanding Directing in a Motion Picture

Jordan Peele - "Get Out" (Universal Pictures)

ANIMATED/CGI

Outstanding Character Voice-Over Performance

Tiffany Haddish – "Legends of Chamberlain Heights" (Comedy Central)



(YouTube)

The 10 Best African Netflix Original Films

We sat through all of the African originals commissioned, produced or distributed by Netflix and bring you a list of the very best titles.

It can be a tricky preoccupation penciling down what exactly a Netflix Original means. Is it a project commissioned, and executive produced in house by the world’s biggest streaming giant? Yes. But it can also be applied to films funded independently and picked up later by Netflix at film festivals or licensed exclusively through other sources. In any case, films branded as Netflix Originals are usually branded with the streamer’s logo and distributed exclusively on the platform. In the spirit of Africa Day, we sat through all of the African Originals commissioned, produced or distributed by Netflix so far and bring you a list of the very best titles. In ascending order.

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Photo Credit: Daniel Zuchnik/Getty Image

5 Artists We Discovered at Frieze New York

From Ludovitch Nkoth to Cassi Nomandi, here are five amazing artists we took note of at the 2021 Frieze New York festival.

The best way to start Summer in New York City is with Frieze New York.

Celebrating it’s 10th anniversary in New York, with a legacy partner Deutsche Bank, the three day art extravaganza brings artists, collectors, and cultural purveyors from all over the world to Midtown Manhattan at the Shed to enjoy the various mediums of art on display.

We took some time to uncover the fair, noticing the artists with rich cultures and poignant narratives that drove a resonating message for the audience.

Here are five amazing artists we took note of at the 2021 Frieze New York festival.

1) Ludovic Nkoth

Young and talented, Ludovic Nkoth, 28, is a trailblazer with the eyes of an old soul. His work was carefully placed next to Cassi Nomandi, bringing forth rich textures and deep colors ranging from reds, blues, and yellows. Originally from Cameroon, Nkoth is inspired by his immigrant experience, using his wand to paint pictures of the black immigrants crossing overseas in the water pulling inspiration from family history, tradition, and the legacy of colonialism. Success is here for the young artist with most of his work sold out and exhibitions in New York, Los Angeles, and London.

2) Luiz Roque

Paying tribute to marginalized cultures, Luiz Roque’s film, S, was an outlier at the fair. A film encapsulated in a dim lit room at the corner of the walkway, it created a mysterious darkness that resonated with a few viewers, though many were jaunted by the artist’s rawness of sexuality and queerness. The film kept us curious on what the voguing and vivid imagery meant to Roque. The artist’s 20 year tenure is an exploration of race, class, politics, ecology, modernism, and science fiction.

3) Cassi Nomandi

Originally from Mozambique, Cassi Nomandi, 34, is a woman with a sharp vision yet subtle hands. With her work, she creates a trance of raw emotion and pleasure. Nomandi studied Cinematography at the Academy of Art University San Francisco. She exhibited her first show in 2017 which put her on the map. In 2020, Cassi was commissioned by Vogue Italia to create the cover art for the magazine’s January 2020 Issue, fusing her love for fashion, photography, film, and cultural anthology.

4) Sydney Cain

San Francisco native Sydney Cain, 31, is a mythical being with over a decade of experience creating and expressing herself through art. We spoke with Sydney briefly to learn how it feels to show at a big fair such as Frieze. “It’s exciting to share work in the east coast being from the Bay Area. I want the work to resonate across the diaspora,” Cain said.

Cain drew on her bloodline and ancestry tapping into the things unseen leaning from lightness to darkness, erasing, subtracting, shifting dust away to define clarity for what she wants to convey in her art. Her energy, while drawing her pieces comes from her courageousness to dive into beings of mortality, expressing things that are stuck here in America, spirits that have our back. She is set to start at Yale studying her MFA this fall.

5) Barbara Wagner

Walking into the fair is the beautiful photo compilation by Wagner, hailing from Brazil. The installation catches your eye because of the humans in the shot, real and authentic, Wagner does a great job of bringing the essence of brazillian culture into the person cast. The installation, In Search of Fifth Element, was a show stopper and gave viewers a real glance at the real people of brazil.

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Photo Credit: Netflix

The Stars of 'Blood Sisters' Talk About Becoming Netflix's Biggest Hit

We sat down with Ini Dima-Okojie and Nancy Isime, the actors who brought life to Sarah and Kemi, to talk about shooting Blood Sisters, acting in Nollywood, what's next, and more.

Earlier this month, Netflix's "first original series" from Nigeria was released. The limited series, Blood Sisters directed by Biyi Bandele and Kenneth Gyang, follows two friends, Sarah (Ini Dima-Okojie) and Kemi (Nancy Isime), as they go on the run after the death of Sarah's fiance, Kola (Deyemi Okanlawon).

The show explores familial dysfunction, murder, the meaning of sisterhood, and how valuable friendships can be, with its central premise around domestic violence, a theme known to many.

Since its release, the four-part crime thriller has received praises, with Variety calling its first episode "explosive" and "hard-pressed to walk away." After its first week of release, the limited series sat at number nine on the list of most-watched TV shows globally, with over 11,070,000 hours of viewing, making it a first for Nigeria. This comes after Netflix’s first Nollywood film of the year —Chief Daddy — faced harsh criticisms from viewers and critics alike.

The success of Blood Sisters shows that cinematography isn’t the only selling point of Nollywood. And for Nollywood content to thrive on Netflix, there should be an investment in all areas, from the storytelling down to the marketing.

For Ini Dima-Okojie starring alongside some of Nollywood's big names — like Kate Henshaw, Ramsey Nouah, and Uche Jombo — was surreal because these are the people she watched growing up. "But when it came to filming, it didn't matter if you've been in the industry for just four years or 30 years," Dima-Okojie said. "All that mattered was everyone was ready to work."

Like Dima-Okojie, Nancy Isime also loved acting alongside them, even though it wasn't her first time working with some of them. "I was there for work and understood that it was bigger than just being Nancy Isime. It was me at work."

We sat down with Ini Dima-Okojie and Nancy Isime, the actors who brought life to Sarah and Kemi, to talk about what it was like behind the scenes, acting in Nollywood, what's next for them, and more.

Blood Sisters | Trailer | Netflix

What's one thing you learned while shooting this series?

Ini Dima-Okojie: One thing I learned for sure is that Nigeria is ready to tell its authentic stories to a global audience. We're not just prepared; we're capable of standing behind any industry. I could feel that from being on set, with the professionalism I encountered. I also learned that it is good to be kind, deliberate, and mindful of what people are going through because what we do has an impact.

Nancy Isime: For me, I learned it's possible to have good production in Nigeria. I've been blessed to be in a couple, and this was one of them. And it's a highlight so far. I also learned about the characters.

Nancy Isime,

Photo Credit: Nancy Isime,

What was it like playing your roles, and how did you get it?

Dima-Okojie: When I got the audition file for Sarah, I went on my knees and told God, "I want this." You can tell from the size alone, and I think that has happened to me only three times in my career because it doesn't often happen as an actor. A week or two after I sent in my audition tape, I got an email telling me to send another tape, but this time, it was for a different character, Timeyin. Altogether, I auditioned for Kemi, Sarah, and Timeyin.

I was so excited playing Sarah. I felt so lucky because, at the end of the day, an actor is only as good as the opportunities they are given. So playing Sarah had me go deep into the character, asking questions and putting myself into her shoes.

Isime: It was wonderful playing my role. I had gotten an email asking to read for Sarah, not for Kemi. So I made my tape and sent it in. Then, I was called in for a private audition and read through with everybody. However, I was called back and was told that Netflix wanted me to play Kemi, and I was like, "What is a Kemi?" Because I never read for her. So I was reluctant to accept because I didn't know who the character was and if she'd have the opportunity to show her acting range. But I took it, and when I read the script, I was like, "Yes, Kemi. Yes, baby, let's do this."

What was your favorite scene to film?

Dima-Okojie: My favorite scene? That's hard. I had so many unforgettable moments. However, I think one monumental period I'd like to pick on is probably when Sarah stood up to her abuser Kola and told him, "No!" because that was very big. She barely speaks up and is so used to being bullied, whether for good or bad, even in her beautiful friendship with Kemi, where she's always being told what to do. But in that scene, she had found the strength and was finally able to speak up, even though she knew what his reaction was going to be.

She spoke up for herself at that moment, and I think it was a huge moment for Sarah. It was a huge moment for people who may have experienced [domestic violence] because if there's one thing I realized from research, it didn't matter where people who are susceptible to abuse are from. Whether they were black or white, old or young, it was a triumph for Sarah and everyone going through any form of abuse.

Isime: I loved every single scene of playing Kemi because, as you noticed, there's no scene she's in that is a usual scene. In fact, no scene in Blood Sisters could have been done away with if you noticed because every scene is putting you on edge the entire time. Coming to set every day, I was like, "we're h-a-p-p-y," because yes, I was happy.

Ini Dima-Okojie wearing white sneakers

Photo Credit: Ini Dima-Okojie

What was the most challenging scene?

Dima-Okojie: For the challenging scene, I'll like to break it into physical and emotional parts. It was very physically challenging for Sarah. From when they decided to go on the run, physically, we were in Makoko, running all over the community, jumping from canoe to canoe. We also went to Epe, where we were barefooted. It was grueling as an actor and a character because this wasn't a fit character. Emotionally, I had to understand everything that Sarah was going through. I had to chip away from who I am as Ini to connect with what she was going through, which can be draining. But thank God I was surrounded by amazing people and directors who eased the process and were there to pick me up anytime I was down.

The series is a global hit on Netflix; how does that make you feel?

Dima-Okojie: Honestly, it's surreal. It makes me emotional half the time because, as a performer, all you want is for people to watch your work and for it to resonate. Being an actor, people see the glitz and the glam, but it's a lot of work. You chip away part of yourself to give a character life, but it's worth it.

Isime: Floating. Floating in a bubble, floating in gratitude. It feels so good. Imagine having 11 million hours of watch time in five days? It's no easy feat. I don't think any African show has been able to do that. So for that to come from Nigeria, and for me to be lead? I don't think I'll ever come down from this high that I'm on.

You are both a part of a new generation of Nollywood actors doing amazing if I say so myself. What is that like?

Dima-Okojie: Generally, I think being an actor in the world today is incredible. Nollywood has gone through much because we were in a time where we didn't have financing and institutionally there's no backing. So being able to be in a world today where everything is global, and I can do something here in Lagos, while people from Japan, Belgium, and Qatar, are sending texts telling me they watched me and loved it, I don't think there's a better time to act than now. It's a fantastic time to be a Nigerian actor.

Isime: It feels good to be recognized for something I'm passionate about and love. I feel blessed because Nollywood is bigger than I am. It goes beyond ego and wanting to be the best because we're all part of something way bigger than us. And I'm so happy to be able to contribute to this industry, leave my prints in the sand of time, and say that yes, there was a time I was not just a Nollywood actor, but every single person can confirm. I mean, it's one thing to say you're an actor, and people start asking, "which film you act?" "this one too na actress?" but you can't say that when it comes to me. And it also feels good to be recognized by the AMVCA, which is a huge organization.

Netflix

Photo Credit: Netflix

Now, let's go behind the scenes: did anything funny, sad, or surprising happen while filming?

Dima-Okojie: There were so many exciting moments, not necessarily sad moments. We filmed for over two months at the height of COVID-19, so you can imagine all the craziness that must have happened.

I remember while filming the dinner scene after we had our COVID-19 test, they told us a cast member had the virus, causing us to reschedule. Another moment was when Ramsey Nouah brought a crocodile for us to eat while filming in Epe, and it was delicious. I honestly had lots of happy moments.

Isime: I feel like all these emotions happen naturally because I was happy every day I was on set. But something interesting that happened was the fact that Ini and I got so into the characters that we took it just beyond acting. We felt every emotion that the characters went through. We had one crying scene together, and I promise you that they cleared the room for us because we had to cry to get it out for a while. Because in reality, when something happens to you and you cry, you don't just cry for a bit. You have to let it out, and that was us. We were Kemi and Sarah and needed time to grieve. To let it out. It was an interesting event, and I had so many times I was tired, mentally and physically.

What's next for you? Any upcoming projects?

Dima-Okojie: There are so many exciting things in the works. First of all, I am getting married. Immediately after that, in June, I am going right back to set for the second season of Smart Money Woman. There are a couple more projects in the work that I'm not allowed to speak about yet, but there are exciting times ahead.

Isime: I love that question, and I also don't love that question because I don't know what's next. I'm just living my purpose, taking one day at a time, and grateful for every part of my journey. If you had told me five years ago that I'd be here, I would say it's a lie because I was probably sure that I knew where I was going. So what's next for me is a beautiful life, more projects, and more fantastic performances.

My show, The Nancy Isime Show, is also doing very well and happens to be one of the most-watched talk shows in the country, so I'm hoping that expands better. I'm also hoping to bring about a few more creations to life.

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