Oscar Noms for ‘Judas and the Black Messiah’ Reflect Years of Hollywood Diversity Efforts

As the first movie with all-Black producers to get nominated for Best Picture, "Judas" speaks to a much larger story, as AAFCA co-founder Gil Robertson explained this week.
"Judas and the Black Messiah"
"Judas and the Black Messiah"

Many months into this very long Oscar season, it seems that one movie has benefited from the extended eligibility window that lasted through the end of February: Warner Bros.’ “Judas and the Black Messiah” premiered at the virtual Sundance Film Festival in January before hitting theaters and HBO Max, where a combination of rave reviews and widespread appreciation for its timely subject matter catapulted it directly into the awards conversation. Now, it has made history as the first movie with entirely Black producers — Ryan Coogler, Charles King, and director Shaka King — nominated for Best Picture.

Before it reaches the end of that journey, “Judas” will be honored next week by the African American Film Critics Association’s annual awards show as its selection for best film. In anticipation of this year’s virtual ceremony, co-founder Gil Robertson joined Screen Talk hosts Eric Kohn and Anne Thompson for a live edition to talk about the film and how it reflects years of efforts to diversity Hollywood storytelling. Robertson also talked about the history of AAFCA and the continuing need to support Black film critics in an ever-challenging field.

Watch the full episode above or listen to it below. 

Screen Talk is produced by Leonardo Adrian Garcia and available on Apple PodcastsStitcher, and Soundcloud. You can subscribe here or via RSS. Share your feedback with Thompson and Kohn on Twitter or sound off in the comments. Browse previous installments here, review the show on Apple Podcasts, and be sure to let us know if you’d like to hear the hosts address specific issues in upcoming editions of Screen Talk. Check out the rest of IndieWire’s podcasts on Apple Podcasts right here.

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