The American Black Film Festival will honor Lena Waithe and Louis Gossett Jr.
On Feb. 23, Waithe will be receiving the Industry Renaissance Award, which recognizes “content creators whose exemplary work in film and television contributes to changing perceptions of people of color in the entertainment industry.” Gossett will receive the Hollywood Legacy Award, which celebrates “a legendary artist whose trailblazing work has inspired generations and made an enduring contribution to film and television.”
“We’re honored to celebrate these two extraordinary talents,” said ABFF Ventures CEO Jeff Friday. “These awards not only recognize how Mr. Gossett’s contributions have propelled the industry forward but also acknowledge a new generation of trailblazers in people like Ms. Waithe, who will continue to create change and new opportunities in film and television for people of color.”
Gossett’s career spans all the way back 40 years. His debut film was in the 1961 classic “A Raisin in the Sun,” working alongside #SidneyPoitier. Gossett was the first Black American to win an Oscar for the best-supporting actor, for his role as drill Sergeant Emil Foley in “An Officer and a Gentleman.” Gossett has been nominated for seven Primetime Emmy Awards, three Golden Globe Awards, five NAACP Images Awards and two Daytime Emmy Awards with a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame to match his fat resume.⠀⠀⠀⠀
Waithe is the first woman of color to receive an Emmy for best writing for comedy series for ”Master of None.” The 35-year-old writer, producer, and actor is known for creating roles and jobs for people of color through her production company Hillman Grad. In addition, Waithe is the writer and executive producer of two BET’s shows: the upcoming series “Twenties” and season two of the ”Boomerang” reboot. She also has several credits on Showtime’s “The Chi,” “How to Make Love to a Black Woman,” and “The 40-Year-Old Version,” which is set to premiere at Sundance, the Hollywood Reporter reports. Waithe also has an overall deal to create and produce original series for Amazon Prime Video and most recently released her suspenseful romantic drama “Queen & Slim.” The film has been nominated for the ABFF Honors’ Movie of the Year Award.
The 2020 ABFF Honors are presented by ABFF Ventures, and the ceremony will take place in Los Angeles on Feb. 23.