Russell Simmons’ All Def Digital (ADD) network will produce the first-ever All Def Movie Awards, which will take place just days before the Oscars, at the World Famous TCL Chinese 6 Theatres. The live event will be held on February 24 and hosted by Tony Rock – as in Chris Rock’s brother; the same Chris Rock who is hosting the Oscars.
Announced today, the All Def Movie Awards will honor Will Smith and Norman Lear: Smith will be recognized by the All Def Academy with the Lifetime Achievement Award; and legendary writer, producer, director Norman Lear will receive the Vanguard Award for his enduring contributions to entertainment that helped foster dialogue about race and race relations.
Said Russell Simmons, Founder and Chairman of All Def Digital: "Will Smith has broken all barriers in music, film, theater and television. As a Grammy Award-winner, television star and the most accomplished and bankable film artist in the world, Will uses his powerful voice for social change. The All Def Movie Awards are enormously proud to honor Will Smith and his incredible body of work with our first Lifetime Achievement Award."
Reflecting on the contributions of Norman Lear, Simmons added, "As a writer, director, producer and author, Norman has been a true champion for people of color. He shined a light on the marginalized in our society and made us laugh. He wrote aspirational and inspirational roles for minorities. He gave us dignity with "Good Times." He gave the working class a voice in "Sanford and Son." And most important to me, with "The Jeffersons," he showed us that a black man could be rich and successful and do the unthinkable: he could curse at the white man while standing up for what he believes in."
The following films will compete for the All Def Movie Awards Best Picture of 2015:
– "Beasts of No Nation"
– "Straight Outta Compton"
Members of the public can vote for two categories in the All Def Movie Awards (Best Picture and Most Quoted Movie) online at http://bit.ly/AllDefMA, through midnight on February 23rd.
Other awards will honor Best Actor, Best Actress, Best Director as well as Best Bad Muh F**ka and other often overlooked categories, such as Best Helpful White Person and Best Black Survivor in a Movie.
The All Def Movie Awards, which will be held just yards from the Academy Awards stage, will feature a Black Carpet for celebrity presenters, arrivals and VIP guests. The show will also feature a special live musical performance, and a consistent stream of video content before, during and after the show on all of ADD’s social channels, including Facebook, YouTube, Snapchat and Periscope.
"If you want something done right, you have to do it yourself," said Tony Rock. "With that in mind I have teamed up… with ADD to bring you the ‘All inclusive’, All Def Movie Awards. We’ll honor the entire movie making process. Great acting, mediocre acting as well as horrible acting. Soundtracks. Wardrobes. Maybe even craft services (the best part of the set). This is the award show Hollywood has been waiting for."
Added Russell Simmons, founder and chairman of All Def Digital, "I don’t expect a 90 year-old Academy member to see ‘Straight Outta Compton’ or vote for it. I’m more concerned that in 2016 there continues to be a stunning lack of diversity in the studios, in the green light process, in the decisions of what films and television series get made, and what actors get chosen. This needs to be addressed institutionally. The All Def Movie Awards are not the Black Oscars, but they could be. This will be a fun, entertaining and hopefully thought provoking celebration of the uncelebrated."
The All Def Movie Awards will be programmed as part of All Def Comedy Live, a live weekly comedy showcase. HBO is currently developing a series around the weekly event, which routinely draws celebrities and the best new, emerging and established artists working America’s comedy stages.
Admission is by invitation only, but a select number of seats will be reserved for fans by lottery.
All Def Digital (ADD) is a multi-platform media company for millennials focusing on urban youth culture through premium video programming across comedy, music, lifestyle and topical and timely social commentary.