Nominated again this year, Davis joined co-host Cathy Schulman, onetime president of the organization, for the gathering that celebrated all the female nominees in the Oscar race.
Oscar party season is here — virtually, anyway.
Last weekend, Women in Film Los Angeles hosted its 14th annual Oscar Nominees party which featured 52 female nominees from in front of and behind the camera gathering on Zoom to celebrate. Toasting with Jane Walker by Johnnie Walker, the virtual hang saw guests logging on from South Korea, Italy, England, Chile, Spain, France, Tunisia, Israel, South Africa, Mexico and various parts of the U.S.
They even gathered for the traditional “class photo” (seen above), that, in a year not dominated by the COVID-19 pandemic, would have been taken in person at a packed soiree in the Beverly Hills area in the days leading up to the Oscar telecast. The virtual event was co-hosted by Oscar-winner Viola Davis — nominated this year as best actress for her turn in Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom — along with Oscar-winning producer and former WIF board president Cathy Schulman.
Among the nominees in attendance: Mollye Asher (Nomadland); best supporting actress nominee Maria Bakalova, (Borat Subsequent Moviefilm); producer Ceán Chaffin (Mank); best supporting actress nominee Glenn Close (Hillbilly Elegy); best actress nominee Andra Day (The United States vs. Billie Holiday); multiple nominee Emerald Fennell (director, picture and original screenplay) for Promising Young Woman; producer Ashley Fox (Promising Young Woman); H.E.R. and Tiara Thomas, up for best original song for their work on Judas and the Black Messiah; best actress nominee Vanessa Kirby (Pieces of a Woman); producer Christina Oh (Minari); Laura Pausini and Diane Warren nominated for best original song for The Life Ahead; and best supporting actress nominee Yuh-Jung Youn (Minari).
In all, the party honored all 72 women, in front of and behind the camera, who are up for Academy Awards this year. The ceremony is scheduled for April 25.
Anywhere, U.S.A. That’s where this family of three finds itself, in the backyard of a modest American home. It could be Los Angeles, Detroit, or New York. You can almost hear the sounds of DeBarge or Maze featuring Frankie Beverly—the quintessential track list for any Black family’s reunion, cookout, or lazy weekend afternoon. The fact that the star of these photos is the Oscar, Emmy, and Golden Globe–winning actress Viola Davis almost doesn’t register. Instead, we see a classical portrait of Black American life.
That was director Regina King’s intention when she orchestrated, with the photographer Andre D. Wagner, the images you see here. King began crafting the story months ago by watching old interviews of her friend Davis, in which she could hear “the pain as well as the beauty in the bruises” in her delivery. With her timeless appeal, Davis embodies King’s idea of what she terms Black Americana. “I don’t think any of us are particularly happy with the state of America, but we still embrace the fact that we are Black Americans, even with all of the things that have happened in history,” King told me.
King started out playing a rebellious teen on the 1980s sitcom 227, snagged supporting roles in early-’90s John Singleton films such as Boyz n the Hood and Poetic Justice, and returned to television in the aughts in The Boondocks and Southland. Along the way, she picked up numerous acting awards: four Emmys (two for American Crime, and one each for Seven Seconds and Watchmen), a Golden Globe, and an Oscar (both for If Beale Street Could Talk). In the past decade, her work as a director, initially on episodes of Scandal and Insecure, opened up new avenues for her as a storyteller who edges all of us closer to a clearer understanding of what it’s like to be Black in America.
Her feature directorial debut, One Night in Miami…, based on Kemp Powers’s play of the same name, is a fictionalized account of the real night in February 1964 that civil rights leader Malcolm X, championship heavyweight boxer Muhammad Ali (then Cassius Clay), NFL fullback Jim Brown, and soul musician Sam Cooke spent together. In King’s take, just months before both Malcolm X and Cooke would be killed, the men discuss the topics of colorism and economic freedom for Black Americans, disagree on the ways their unique, individual talents should intersect with their social responsibility as public figures, and wrangle with Malcolm X and Ali’s tricky relationship with the Nation of Islam. King can’t pinpoint the exact moment she realized she was a director, but said that in some ways she felt like she had prepared for this moment in her career throughout her entire life. “As an actor, I was paying attention and not really knowing why I was paying attention—why I would stay behind, why I would be on set when it wasn’t even my scene,” she said. “I didn’t really know why then, but I know now.”
Read the full interview/article in our press library.
What a great night, Viola won the Outstanding Actress both in a Motion Picture and Drama Series, cause let’s be honest, we all know she is Outstanding.
Could not be prouder and happier for her and the world recognizing her immense talent.
Enjoy some pictures!
Last night, Viola Davis “visited” Jimmy Fallon to discuss her new series and playing Michelle Obama, Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom and the upcoming Suicide Squad movie. Here’s the video clip from it, take a look!
HBO Max launched their first official trailer of “The Suicide Squad” which comes out on August 6, 2021.
Hello and welcome to Simply Viola Davis, your newest resource dedicated to actress Viola Davis.
My name is Claudia and I am THE founder and maintain this fansite. For the past 3 months I’ve been working to get you all photos and keep up to all latest news about Viola, but as I wanted to open to perfection with everything ready, I told myself that part of the fun is also to see it growing and enjoying things together, so here I am.
I have been a fan of Viola for quite a few years now, and the sole idea of building this fansite to tribute her career and amazing person, made me all excited that I wished you to jump and join in on the fun with me.
So much still needs to be built, so much still needs to be included but for now, enjoy a gallery with over 22,000 files, a detailed biography, a complete career section and the twitter.
Hope to see you around often, let’s start this journey!
The most awaited award nominations are finally out and our precious Viola Davis received one in the Best Actress in a Leading Role category for “Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom”.
The movie also received nominations for Best Costume Design, Best Makeup and Hairstyling and Best Production Design. Chadwick Boseman was also nominated for Best Actor in a Leading Role. Best of luck to everyone!
Viola Davis (“Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom”)
Andra Day (“The United States v. Billie Holiday”)
Vanessa Kirby (“Pieces of a Woman”)
Frances McDormand (“Nomadland”)
Carey Mulligan (“Promising Young Woman”)
The 93rd Academy Awards ceremony is scheduled to take place on April 25, 2021 at Dolby Theatre in Hollywood, Los Angeles, California.
Oscar winner Viola Davis will receive the Icon Award from the African American Film Critics Assn. during the 12th annual AAFCA awards on April 7.
Previous recipients of AAFCA’s Icon Award are Sidney Poitier and Kenya Barris.
Announcing the honor, AAFCA president Gil Robertson said: “Viola Davis has excelled in every single format available to an actor. She’s a powerhouse actress who continues to impress with her incredible range and ability to lend herself to any era and dig deep into the humanity of every character she plays.”
“When you think about her in ‘Doubt,’’The Help,’ ‘Fences’ and now ‘Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom,’ she just goes there,” he continued. “Following in the footsteps of other legendary actresses by becoming an advocate for social justice issues and taking additional steps of creating the images that we see by producing, she has firmly established herself as a true artist.”
Davis is one of the most celebrated actresses in Hollywood history. She won the best supporting actress Oscar in 2017 for her work in “Fences.” In 2015, Davis made history with her lead actress in a drama Emmy win for “How to Get Away with Murder” and has two Tony awards, for “Fences” and “King Hedley II.” Davis was also nominated for Academy Awards for her work in “The Help” and “Doubt.”
In Aug. 2020, Davis accepted the best actress award during AAFCA’s TV honors for the final season of “How to Get Away with Murder.”
Netflix’s “Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom” — in which Davis stars as Ma Rainey, the Mother of the Blues — was named one of the ten best films of the 2020 by AAFCA’s members.
“The common theme with all of our Top 10 Films this year is the grace of humanity,” Robertson said of the list. “All of these films spotlighted different circumstances that put the human spirit to a test.”
The late Chadwick Boseman, Davis’ co-star in the film adaptation of August Wilson’s play, will also be honored during the virtual ceremony, posthumously awarded the best actor prize.
The film’s director George C. Wolfe is set to receive the Salute to Excellence Award, as one of the event’s special achievement honorees alongside Mariah Carey, “All In: The Fight for Democracy” producer Stacey Abrams and filmmakers Lisa Cortés and Liz Garbus and Netflix.
These bold, towering figures may come from vastly different professional backgrounds, but the outspoken women share much in common, not the least of which is giving voice to pertinent issues in their respective fields and attaining success in their careers against all odds.
Their primary connection, however, lies within their core principles. They are both Black women who have worked their way from poverty to pop culture prominence and then used their spheres of influence to create opportunities and make space for other Black women to follow.
As the intersection between entertainment and politics continues to meld, their mutual success has landed Davis and Abrams smack in the middle of Hollywood’s film awards conversation. Davis, one of the industry’s most celebrated actors, is being lauded for her performance in “Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom” and is considered a lead contender in this year’s Oscar race; Abrams produced the award-winning documentary “All In: The Fight for Democracy,” which was just shortlisted for an Academy Award, contending as a documentary feature.
Davis’ name has become synonymous with awards season, as evidenced by her mantelpiece, which boasts an Oscar, two Tonys, three Drama Desk Awards and an Emmy for her work on screen and stage. Her rousing remarks when accepting the supporting actress Oscar in 2017 for “Fences” underscore her unabashed honesty about the business she works in: “People ask me all the time, ‘What kind of stories do you want to tell, Viola?’ And I say, ‘Exhume those bodies, exhume those stories — the stories of the people who dreamed big and never saw those dreams come to fruition.’”
Regarding the awards season maelstrom, Davis says, “It’s a platform. It’s another microphone. It’s another opportunity to open my mouth and speak a really fundamental truth about Hollywood and this business and, really, America.”
Abrams is a game changer, credited with helping to turn her home state of Georgia blue in the 2020 presidential election, which was a major factor in Donald Trump losing the White House to Joe Biden, and earned her a Nobel Peace Prize nomination. Her “All In” documentary, which she produced with filmmakers Liz Garbus and Lisa Cortés, recounts Abrams’ own election story — losing the 2018 Georgia gubernatorial race to Republican Brian Kemp, with fewer than 55,000 votes standing between the candidates amid claims of extensive voter suppression. The film also traces the history of voting rights in America and the nefarious maneuvers that have been deployed to deprive people of that right.
As she navigates her freshman awards season with “All In,” Abrams says: “It’s an extraordinary thing to know that the intent of the film has been recognized. The goal was to provide Americans with the tools they needed to identify and mitigate voter suppression and that constant attack on their citizenship.”