#OscarsSoWhite? Maybe not in 2017. Here’s an early look at promising contenders from upcoming films – Los Angeles Times

11 months ago Comments Off on #OscarsSoWhite? Maybe not in 2017. Here’s an early look at promising contenders from upcoming films – Los Angeles Times

There have been few months in the history of the film academy as dramatic as the last two. The public outcry over the lack of minority nominees in the Oscar acting races for the 88th Academy Awards seemed to shake Hollywood’s venerable institution to its core. Impressively, the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences’ president, Cheryl Boone Isaacs, and board of governors reacted promptly, announcing plans to expedite the diversification of its membership.

A quick survey of the 2016 film landscape indicates that there will be a number of films featuring people of color for the academy to consider next time around.

#OscarsSoWhite: The boycott, reaction and more

Judging from the euphoric response to Nate Parker’s “The Birth of a Nation” at January’s Sundance Film Festival, the first major Oscar front-runner may already be in our midst. “Birth,” which is based on the true story of the Nat Turner-led slave uprising in 1831 Virginia, won the audience award and the grand jury prize for the U.S. dramatic competition. Fox Searchlight won a bidding war that found the mini-major putting up a festival record $17.5million for worldwide rights. Searchlight has worked Oscar magic with a number of Sundance titles over the years and could position a campaign for best picture, director and actor for Parker. Aja Naomi King, who plays Turner’s wife, Cherry, in the picture, could also factor in the supporting actress race.

Craig Robinson, known more for his comedic work, could merit serious awards consideration in 2017. “The Office” star won a special grand jury award at Sundance for his turn in writer-director Chad Hartigan’s romance “Morris From America.” And Tika Sumpter and Parker Sawyers should also garner attention for their roles as a young Michelle Robinson and Barack Obama in “Southside With You.”

#OscarsSoWhite? Maybe not in 2017. Here’s an early look at promising contenders from upcoming films – Los Angeles Times