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  • The 52nd NAACP Image Awards Winners

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    On February 2, 2021, The National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) announced its list of nominations for this year’s NAACP Image Awards, an annual awards ceremony crediting the outstanding performances in film, television, music, and literature of the past year. This year, NYFA alumni and guest speakers were among the list of distinguished nominees across multiple categories.

    Presenting this year’s nominees were Anika Noni Rose, Chloe Bailey, Erika Alexander, Nicco Annan, and T.C. Carson. The announcement also featured a statement from NAACP President and CEO Derrick Johnson:

    “We are excited to recognize and celebrate this year’s nominees, who at times throughout this unprecedented year have provided moments of levity, brought our communities together, and lifted our spirits through culture when we needed it the most.”

    Topping off the nominees was Netflix’s Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom, featuring Academy-Award winner Viola Davis and NAACP Image Award-winner and the late Chadwick Boseman. The film garnered multiple nods, including a Best Actress nomination for Viola Davis and a posthumous nod for Best Supporting Actor for Chadwick Boseman, who sadly passed away last August after a battle with colon cancer. Boseman is also nominated in the Best Supporting Actor category for his role in Spike Lee’s Da 5 Bloods.

    Still from “Jingle Jangle” (Netflix)

    Netflix, which led this year’s nominations with a whopping 48 nominations, also received multiple nods for the beloved family Christmas film Jingle Jangle from David E. Talbert. The film garnered ten nominations alone, including Best Motion Picture. NYFA alum, Francesco Panzieri, worked as the in-house compositing supervisor for the film which required multiple CGI sequences.

    NYFA alum Issa Rae in “Insecure” episode “Lowkey Feelin’ Myself” (HBO)

    Trailing behind Netflix in second for nominations was HBO, which scored 25 nominations including multiple nods for NYFA Filmmaking alum Issa Rae’s beloved show Insecure, which recently announced its fifth and final season to debut in 2021.

    Rae swept this year’s award nominations in all the top categories not only for Insecure but for her lead role in Universal’s The Photograph and guest appearance on the 46th season of Saturday Night Live. Rae’s full list of nominations can be found below:

    • Outstanding Comedy Series – Insecure
    • Outstanding Actress in a Comedy Series – Issa Rae – Insecure
    • Outstanding Writing in a Comedy Series – Issa Rae – Insecure (“Lowkey Feelin’ Myself”)
    • Outstanding Guest Performance – Comedy or Drama Series – Issa Rae – Saturday Night Live
    • Outstanding Actress in a Motion Picture – Issa Rae – The Photograph

    Veteran and NYFA Alum Paquita Hughes

    HBO also received a nomination for HBO Max’s The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air Reunion, featuring NYFA alum Alfonso Ribeiro, for Outstanding Variety Show in which he, along with the cast, paid tribute to former castmate and NYFA guest speaker James Avery. Ribeiro also received a solo nomination for Outstanding Host in a Reality/Reality Competition, Game Show, or Variety Series for his work on America’s Funniest Home Videos.

    Not to be forgotten in the streaming competition, Hulu landed two nominations, including one for Outstanding Television Movie, Limited-Series or Dramatic Special for Little Fires Everywhere, adapted from the 2017 novel of the same name by Celeste Ng. NYFA alum Paquita Hughes worked on the production team for the Hulu drama, starring Kerry Washington and Reese Witherspoon.

    Poster for “All In: The Fight For Democracy”

    All In: The Fight for Democracy from Amazon Studios earned producer and NYFA alum Lisa Cortes an NAACP Image Award nomination for Outstanding Documentary Film. The documentary, which currently holds a 100% rating on Rotten Tomatoes, observes the history and current activism surrounding voter suppression with appearances by Stacey Abrams, Jayla Allen, Carol Anderson, and others.

    Acting for Film alum Tyler D’Andrea Lambert on “The Neighborhood” with Cedric The Entertainer

    Also receiving recognition this year is NYFA guest speaker, stand-up comedian, and actor Cedric The Entertainer. The actor, known for his iconic roles in Barbershop, Johnson Family Vacation, and Ice Age, has received a nomination for Outstanding Actor in a Comedy Series for his lead role as Calvin Butler in the comedy series The Neighborhood from CBS. NYFA Acting for Film alum Tyler D’Andrea Lambert had the opportunity to work alongside the acclaimed actor for the nominated series.

    New York Film Academy congratulates all the nominees for this year’s NAACP Image Awards and encourages everyone to cheer on this year’s nominees when the 52nd NAACP Image Awards air on March 27, 2021, on BET, CBS, BETHer, VH1, MTV, MTV2, and Logo.

    View the full list of nominations below:

    SPECIAL AWARD CATEGORIES

    Entertainer of the Year
    D-Nice – Winner
    Regina King
    Trevor Noah
    Tyler Perry
    Viola Davis

    Social Justice Impact
    April Ryan
    Debbie Allen
    LeBron James
    Stacey Abrams – Winner
    Tamika Mallory

    TELEVISION + STREAMING CATEGORIES

    Outstanding Comedy Series
    “#blackAF” (Netflix)
    “Black-ish” (ABC)
    “Grown-ish” (Freeform)
    “Insecure” (HBO) – Winner
    “The Last O.G.” (TBS)

    Outstanding Actor in a Comedy Series
    Anthony Anderson – “Black-ish” (ABC) – Winner
    Cedric the Entertainer – “The Neighborhood” (CBS)
    Don Cheadle – “Black Monday” (Showtime)
    Idris Elba – “In the Long Run” (Starz)
    Tracy Morgan – “The Last O.G.” (TBS)

    Outstanding Actress in a Comedy Series
    Issa Rae – “Insecure” (HBO) – Winner
    Folake Olowofoyeku – “Bob Hearts Abishola” (CBS)
    Regina Hall – “Black Monday” (Showtime)
    Tracee Ellis Ross – “Black-ish” (ABC)
    Yara Shahidi – “Grown-ish” (Freeform)

    Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Comedy Series
    Andre Braugher – “Brooklyn Nine-Nine” (NBC)
    Deon Cole – “Black-ish” (ABC) – Winner
    Jay Ellis – “Insecure” (HBO)
    Kenan Thompson – “Saturday Night Live” (NBC)
    Laurence Fishburne – “Black-ish” (ABC)

    Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Comedy Series
    Jenifer Lewis – Black-ish” (ABC)
    Marsai Martin – “Black-ish” (ABC) – Winner
    Natasha Rothwell – “Insecure” (HBO)
    Tichina Arnold – “The Neighborhood” (CBS)
    Yvonne Orji – “Insecure” (HBO)

    Outstanding Drama Series
    “All Rise” (CBS)
    “Bridgerton” (Netflix)
    “Lovecraft Country” (HBO)
    “Power Book II: Ghost” (Starz) – Winner
    “This Is Us” (NBC)

    Outstanding Actor in a Drama Series
    Jonathan Majors – “Lovecraft Country” (HBO)
    Keith David – “Greenleaf” (OWN: Oprah Winfrey Network)
    Nicco Annan – “P-Valley” (Starz)
    Regé-Jean Page – “Bridgerton” (Netflix) – Winner
    Sterling K. Brown – “This Is Us” (NBC)

    Outstanding Actress in a Drama Series
    Angela Bassett – “9-1-1” (FOX)
    Brandee Evans – “P-Valley” (Starz)
    Jurnee Smollett – “Lovecraft Country” (HBO)
    Simone Missick – “All Rise” (CBS)
    Viola Davis – “How to Get Away With Murder” (ABC) – Winner

    Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Drama Series
    Clifford “Method Man” Smith – “Power Book II: Ghost” (Starz) – Winner
    Delroy Lindo – “The Good Fight” (CBS All Access)
    J. Alphonse Nicholson – “P-Valley” (Starz)
    Jeffrey Wright – “Westworld” (HBO)
    Michael Kenneth Williams – “Lovecraft Country” (HBO)

    Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Drama Series
    Adjoa Andoh – “Bridgerton” (Netflix)
    Aunjanue Ellis – “Lovecraft Country” (HBO)
    Lynn Whitfield – “Greenleaf” (OWN: Oprah Winfrey Network)
    Mary J. Blige – “Power Book II: Ghost” (Starz) – Winner
    Susan Kelechi Watson – “This Is Us” (NBC)

    Outstanding Television Movie, Limited–Series or Dramatic Special
    “Hamilton” (Disney+)
    “Little Fires Everywhere” (Hulu)
    “Self Made: Inspired by the Life of Madam C.J. Walker” (Netflix) – Winner
    “Sylvie’s Love” (Amazon Studios)
    “The Clark Sisters: First Ladies of Gospel” (Lifetime)

    Outstanding Actor in a Television Movie, Limited–Series or Dramatic Special
    Blair Underwood – “Self Made: Inspired by the Life of Madam C.J. Walker” (Netflix) – Winner
    Chris Rock – “Fargo” (FX)
    Daveed Diggs – “Hamilton” (Disney+)
    Leslie Odom, Jr. – “Hamilton” (Disney+)
    Nnamdi Asomugha – “Sylvie’s Love” (Amazon Studios)

    Outstanding Actress in a Television Movie, Limited–Series or Dramatic Special
    Aunjanue Ellis – The Clark Sisters: First Ladies of Gospel” (Lifetime)
    Kerry Washington – “Little Fires Everywhere” (Hulu)
    Michaela Coel – “I May Destroy You” (HBO)
    Octavia Spencer – “Self Made: Inspired by the Life of Madam C.J. Walker” (Netflix) – Winner
    Tessa Thompson – “Sylvie’s Love” (Amazon Studios)

    Outstanding News/Information (Series or Special)
    AM Joy: Remembering John Lewis Special (MSNBC)
    Desus & Mero: The Obama Interview (Showtime)
    The Color of COVID (CNN)
    The New York Times Presents “The Killing of Breonna Taylor” (FX) – Winner
    The Reidout (NBC)

    Outstanding Talk Series
    Red Table Talk (Facebook Watch) – Winner
    Tamron Hall (Syndicated )
    The Daily Show With Trevor Noah (Comedy Central)
    The Oprah Conversation (Apple TV+)
    The Shop: Uninterrupted (HBO)

    Outstanding Reality Program, Reality Competition or Game Show (Series)
    “Celebrity Family Feud” (ABC) – Winner
    “Iyanla: Fix My Life” (OWN: Oprah Winfrey Network)
    “Shark Tank” (ABC)
    “United Shades of America With W. Kamau Bell” (CNN)
    “Voices of Fire” (Netflix)

    Outstanding Variety Show (Series or Special)
    “8:46” (Netflix)
    “Black Is King” (Disney+)
    “The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air Reunion” (HBO Max)
    “Verzuz” (APPLE TV) – Winner
    “Yvonne Orji: Momma I Made It!” (HBO)

    Outstanding Performance by a Youth (Series, Special, Television Movie or Limited–Series)
    Alex R. Hibbert – “The Chi” (Showtime)
    Lexi Underwood – “Little Fires Everywhere” (Hulu)
    Lyric Ross – “This Is Us” (NBC)
    Marsai Martin – “Black-ish” (ABC) – Winner
    Miles Brown – “Black-ish” (ABC

    Outstanding Guest Performance – Comedy or Drama Series
    Chris Rock – “Saturday Night Live” (NBC)
    Courtney B. Vance – “Lovecraft Country” (HBO)
    Dave Chappelle – “Saturday Night Live” (NBC)
    Issa Rae – “Saturday Night Live” (NBC)
    Loretta Devine – “P-Valley” (Starz) – Winner

    Outstanding Breakthrough Creative (Television)
    Katori Hall – “P-Valley” (Starz)
    Keith Knight – “Woke” (Hulu)
    Ramy Youssef – “Ramy” (Hulu)
    Raynelle Swilling – “Cherish the Day” (OWN: Oprah Winfrey Network) – Winner
    Teri Schaffer – “Cherish the Day” (OWN: Oprah Winfrey Network)

    RECORDING CATEGORIES

    Outstanding New Artist
    Chika – “High Rises” (Warner Records)
    Doja Cat – “Say So” (RCA Records/Kemosabe ) – Winner
    D Smoke – “Black Habits” (WoodWorks Records/Empire)
    Giveon – “When It’s All Said and Done” (Epic Records)
    Skip Marley – “Higher Place” (Island Records/ Tuff Gong Records)

    Outstanding Male Artist
    Big Sean – “Detroit 2” (Def Jam Recordings/G.O.O.D Music)
    Black Thought – “Streams of Thought, Vol. 3: Cane & Able” (Republic Records)
    Charlie Wilson – “All of My Love” (P Music Group/BMG)
    Drake – “Laugh Now, Cry Later” (Republic Records) – Winner
    John Legend – “Bigger Love” (Columbia Records)

    Outstanding Female Artist
    Beyoncé – “Black Parade” (Columbia Record/ Parkwood) – Winner
    H.E.R. – “I Can’t Breathe” (RCA Records/MBK Entertainment)
    Jazmine Sullivan – “Lost One” (RCA Records)
    Ledisi – “Anything for You” (Listen Back Entertainment/BMG)
    Alicia Keys – “Alicia” (RCA Records)

    Outstanding Music Video/Visual Album
    “I Can’t Breathe” – H.E.R. (RCA Records/MBK Entertainment)
    “Anything for You” – Ledisi (Listen Back Entertainment/BMG)
    “Black Is King” – Beyonce´ (Columbia Record/ Parkwood)
    “Brown Skin Girl” – Beyonce’ feat WizKid, Saint Jhn, Blue Ivy Carter (Columbia Record/ Parkwood) – Winner
    “Do It” – Chloe x Halle (Columbia Record/ Parkwood)

    Outstanding Album
    “Alicia” – Alicia Keys (RCA Records)
    “b7” – Brandy (Brand Nu/eOne)
    “Bigger Lov”e – John Legend (Columbia Records)
    “Chilombo” – Jhené Aiko (Def Jam Recordings) – Winner
    “The Wild Card” – Ledisi (Listen Back Entertainment/BMG)

    Outstanding Soundtrack/Compilation Album
    “Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom” (Music from the Netflix Film) – Branford Marsalis (Milan)
    “Insecure: Music From the HBO Original Series” – Various Artists (Atlantic Records)
    “Jingle Jangle: A Christmas Journey” – Various Artists (Atlantic Records )
    “Soul Original Motion Picture Soundtrack” – Trent Reznor, Atticus Ross, Jon Batiste and Tom MacDougall (Walt Disney Records) – Winner
    “The First Ladies of Gospel: The Clark Sisters Biopic Soundtrack” – Donald Lawrence (Relevé Entertainment)

    MOTION PICTURE CATEGORIES

    Outstanding Motion Picture
    “Bad Boys for Life” (Columbia Pictures/Sony Pictures Entertainment) – Winner
    “Da 5 Bloods” (Netflix)
    “Jingle Jangle: A Christmas Journey” (Netflix)
    “Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom” (Netflix)
    “One Night In Miami” (Amazon Studios)

    Outstanding Actor in a Motion Picture
    Anthony Mackie – “The Banker” (Apple)
    Chadwick Boseman – “Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom” (Netflix) – Winner
    Delroy Lindo – “Da 5 Bloods” (Netflix)
    Forest Whitaker – “Jingle Jangle: A Christmas Journey” (Netflix)
    Will Smith – “Bad Boys for Life” (Columbia Pictures/Sony Pictures Entertainment)

    Outstanding Actress in a Motion Picture
    Issa Rae – “The Photograph” (Universal Pictures)
    Janelle Monáe – “Antebellum” (Lionsgate)
    Madalen Mills – “Jingle Jangle: A Christmas Journey” (Netflix)
    Tracee Ellis Ross – “The High Note” (Focus Features)
    Viola Davis – Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom (Netflix) – Winner

    Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Motion Picture
    Aldis Hodge – One Night In Miami… (Amazon Studios)
    Chadwick Boseman – Da 5 Bloods (Netflix) – Winner
    Clarke Peters – Da 5 Bloods (Netflix)
    Colman Domingo – Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom (Netflix)
    Glynn Turman – “Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom” (Netflix)

    Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Motion Picture
    Anika Noni Rose – “Jingle Jangle: A Christmas Journey” (Netflix)
    Gabourey Sidibe – “Antebellum” (Lionsgate)
    Nia Long – “The Banker” (Apple)
    Phylicia Rashad – “Jingle Jangle: A Christmas Journey” (Netflix) – Winner
    Taylour Paige – “Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom” (Netflix)

    Outstanding Independent Motion Picture
    “Emperor” (Universal Home Video)
    “Farewell Amor” (IFC Films)
    “Miss Juneteenth” (Vertical Entertainment)
    “The 24th” (Vertical Entertainment)
    “The Banker” (Apple) – Winner

    Outstanding International Motion Picture
    “Ainu Mosir” (Array)
    “His House” (Netflix)
    “Night of the Kings” (Neon) – Winner
    “The Last Tree” (ArtMattan Productions)
    “The Life Ahead” (La vita davanti a se) (Netflix)

    Outstanding Breakthrough Performance in a Motion Picture
    Dayo Okeniyi – “Emperor” (Universal Home Video)
    Dominique Fishback – “Project Power” (Netflix)
    Jahi Di’Allo Winston – “Charm City Kings” (HBO Max)
    Jahzir Bruno – “The Witches” (Warner Bros. Pictures)
    Madalen Mills – “Jingle Jangle: A Christmas Journey” (Netflix) – Winner

    Outstanding Ensemble Cast in a Motion Picture
    “Da 5 Bloods” (Netflix)
    “Jingle Jangle: A Christmas Journey” (Netflix)
    “Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom” (Netflix) – Winner
    “Soul” (Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures)
    “The Banker” (Apple)

    WRITING CATEGORIES

    Outstanding Writing in a Comedy Series
    Issa Rae – “Insecure” – “Lowkey Feelin’ Myself” (HBO)
    Lee Eisenberg, Kumail Nanjiani, Emily V. Gordon – “Little America” – “The Rock” (Apple TV+)
    Michaela Coel – “I May Destroy You” – “Ego Death” (HBO) – Winner
    Mindy Kaling, Lang Fisher – “Never Have I Ever” “Pilot” (Netflix)
    Rajiv Joseph – “Little America” – “The Manager” (Apple TV+)

    Outstanding Writing in a Drama Series
    Attica Locke – “Little Fires Everywhere” – “The Spider Web” (Hulu) – Winner
    Erika L. Johnson, Mark Richard – “The Good Lord Bird” – “A Wicked Plot” (Showtime)
    Jessica Lamour – “Little Voice” – “Love Hurts” (Apple TV+)
    Katori Hall – “P-Valley” – “Perpetratin’” (Starz)
    Tanya Barfield – “Mrs. America” – “Shirley” (FX)

    Outstanding Writing in a Television Movie or Special
    Diallo Riddle, Bashir Salahuddin, D. Rodney Carter, Emily Goldwyn, Rob Haze, Zuri Salahuddin, Bennett Webber, Evan Williams, Will Miles – “Sherman’s Showcase Black History Month Spectacular” (IFC)
    Eugene Ashe – “Sylvie’s Love” (Amazon Studios)
    Geri Cole – “The Power of We: A Sesame Street Special” (HBO Max) – Winner
    Lin-Manuel Miranda – “Hamilton” (Disney+)
    Sylvia L. Jones, Camille Tucker – “The Clark Sisters: First Ladies of Gospel” (Lifetime)

    Outstanding Writing in a Motion Picture
    David E. Talbert – “Jingle Jangle: A Christmas Journey” (Netflix)
    Kemp Powers – “One Night in Miami” (Amazon Studios)
    Lee Isaac Chung – “Minari” (A24)
    Pete Docter, Kemp Powers, Mike Jones – “Soul” (Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures)
    Radha Blank – “The Forty-Year-Old Version” (Netflix) – Winner

    DIRECTING CATEGORIES

    Outstanding Directing in a Comedy Series
    Anya Adams – “Black-ish” – “Hair Day” (ABC) – Winner
    Aurora Guerrero – “Little America” – “The Jaguar” (Apple TV+)
    Eric Dean Seaton – “Black-ish” – “Our Wedding Dre” (ABC)
    Kabir Akhtar – “Never Have I Ever” – “…started a nuclear war” (Netflix)
    Sam Miller, Michaela Coel – “I May Destroy You” – “Ego Death” (HBO)

    Outstanding Directing in a Drama Series
    Cheryl Dunye – “Lovecraft Country” – “Strange Case” (HBO)
    Hanelle Culpepper – “Star Trek: Picard” – “Remembrance” (CBS All Access) – Winner
    Misha Green – “Lovecraft Country” – “Jig-a-Bobo” (HBO)
    Nzingha Stewart – “Little Fires Everywhere” – “The Uncanny” (Hulu)
    Steve McQueen – “Small Axe” – “Mangrove” (Amazon Studios)

    Outstanding Directing in a Television Movie or Special
    Beyoncé Knowles Carter, Emmanuel Adeji, Blitz Bazawule, Kwasi Fordjour – “Black Is King” (Disney+)
    Christine Swanson – “The Clark Sisters: First Ladies of Gospel” (Lifetime)
    Chuck Vinson, Alan Muraoka – “The Power of We: A Sesame Street Special” (HBO Max)
    Eugene Ashe – “Sylvie’s Love” (Amazon Studios) – Winner
    Kamilah Forbes – “Between The World and Me” (HBO)

    Outstanding Directing in a Motion Picture
    David E. Talbert – “Jingle Jangle: A Christmas Journey” (Netflix)
    George C. Wolfe – “Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom” (Netflix)
    Gina Prince-Bythewood – “The Old Guard “(Netflix) – Winner
    Radha Blank – “The Forty-Year-Old Version” (Netflix)
    Regina King – “One Night in Miami” (Amazon Studios)

    LITERARY CATEGORIES

    Outstanding Literary Work – Fiction
    “Black Bottom Saints” – Alice Randall (HarperCollins Publishers)
    “Lakewood” – Megan Giddings (HarperCollins Publishers)
    “Riot Baby” – Tochi Onyebuchi (TorDotCom Publishing, imprint of Tom Doherty Associates)
    “The Awkward Black Man” – Walter Mosley (Grove Atlantic) – Winner
    “The Vanishing Half” – Brit Bennett (Riverhead Books)

    Outstanding Literary Work – Nonfiction
    “A Black Women’s History of the United States” – Daina Berry (Beacon Press)
    “A Promised Land” – Barack Obama (Crown) – Winner
    “Driving While Black” – Gretchen Sorin (W. W. Norton & Company)
    “Long Time Coming: Reckoning With Race in America” – Michael Eric Dyson (St. Martin’s Press)
    “We’re Better Than This” – Elijah Cummings (HarperCollins Publishers)

    Outstanding Literary Work – Debut Author
    “A Knock at Midnight” – Brittany Barnett (Penguin Random House)
    “Greyboy: Finding Blackness in a White World” – Cole Brown (Skyhorse)
    “Lakewood” – Megan Giddings (HarperCollins Publishers)
    “The Compton Cowboys” – Walter Thompson-Hernandez (HarperCollins Publishers)
    “We’re Better Than This” – Elijah Cummings (HarperCollins Publishers) – Winner

    Outstanding Literary Work – Biography/Autobiography
    “A Most Beautiful Thing: The True Story of America’s First All-Black High School Rowing Team” – Arshay Cooper (Macmillan)
    “A Promised Land” – Barack Obama (Crown)
    “Olympic Pride, American Prejudice” – Deborah Draper (Simon & Schuster)
    “The Dead Are Arising” – Les Payne, Tamara Payne (W. W. Norton & Company) – Winner
    “Willie: The Game-Changing Story of the NHL’s First Black Player” – Willie O’Ree (Penguin Canada)

    Outstanding Literary Work – Poetry
    “Homie” – Danez Smith (Graywolf Press)
    “Kontemporary Amerikan Poetry” – John Murillo (Four Way Books)
    “Seeing the Body” – Rachel Eliza Griffiths (W. W. Norton & Company)
    “The Age of Phillis” – Honorée Jeffers (Wesleyan University Press) – Winner
    “Un-American” – Hafizah Geter (Wesleyan University Press)

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    February 4, 2021 • Diversity, Entertainment News, Student & Alumni Spotlights • Views: 1779

  • New York Film Academy (NYFA) Filmmaking & Photography Alum Paquita Hughes Works on Hulu’s ‘Little Fires Everywhere’

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    Paquita Hughes, Navy veteran and alum of New York Film Academy’s Filmmaking and Photography schools, has added Little Fires Everywhere to her growing list of Hollywood credits. 

    Little Fires Everywhere, which debuted on Hulu on March 18, stars Reese Witherspoon and Kerry Washington, who both also served as executive producers on the dramatic miniseries. The show is adapted from the 2017 novel of the same name by Celeste Ng and tells the story of two mothers from diametric socioeconomic backgrounds in Shaker Heights, Ohio during the 1990s.

    little fires everywhere
    Hughes is a
    veteran of the United States Navy and first attended NYFA’s 1-Year Filmmaking conservatory in July 2011 at our Burbank-based campus in Los Angeles. After completing the program, she then enrolled in the 1-Year Photography conservatory. Her thesis project was a pilot for the dramedy web series Sugar, which dealt with the sex industry and included strongly written, complicated female protagonists.

    Since filming Sugar and graduating, Hughes has been very busy working in Hollywood working in various positions, including as location manager on hit productions like Grey’s Anatomy, NCIS: Los Angeles, and Marvel’s Runaways. Additionally, Hughes is working as location manager on the new period-set reboot of Perry Mason, starring NYFA Guest Speaker Matthew Rhys.

    “I had an epiphany when I was in the Navy,” Hughes says in a NYFA video spotlighting her success as an alumni, “and I thought to myself if I could succeed at serving my country during a time of war, I could succeed at following my dreams attending film school, so I decided to get out and study film.”

    New York Film Academy congratulates NYFA Filmmaking and Photography alum Paquita Hughes on her prolific work on Hollywood productions and encourages everyone to watch Little Fires Everywhere on Hulu!

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  • Paquita Hughes Launches ‘Sugar the Web Series’

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    sugar web seriesIt is with great pride to announce the launch of Sugar the Web Series from one of our accomplished former students and military veteran, Paquita Hughes. The dramedy series tackles everything from the rise of health care and education costs to the expenses of the most basic necessities. In the pilot episode, Nikki wants to get her former coworker Terri (played by Terri London) into the “sugar baby” game in order to make some real money. For those of you who may not know, a “Sugar Baby” is a slang term for a young female or male who is financially pampered by an older, wealthier man or woman in exchange for companionship. Considering Terri is stuck with her mother’s hospice bills and Aunt’s utility bills after recently being laid off at a local restaurant, Terri hesitantly agrees to give it a shot.

    After being approached with the idea by a close friend, Paquita decided to develop Sugar as her thesis project. “The sex work industry has always been intriguing to me, not only as a female, but as a human,” says Paquita. “These women put themselves through experiences we can only hear about through stories and raw documentaries. I felt it was a topic that should be discussed amongst the masses. It’s a prevalent industry that has been around for ages, it’s recession proof and it will be here beyond the lives of many of the those reading this post. Why not explore this world and create a healthy dialogue between the people involved in the sex work industry and the community they thrive in. Education of this lifestyle will hopefully tear away at the negative appeal it gives off. It’s a cautionary tale tied into a woman’s journey into womanhood and discovery.”

    Thus far the production time put into Sugar has taken upwards of a year and change. Paquita hopes to eventually gain distribution from networks like Netflix or Hulu. She is currently taking meetings from investors to help fund the project and make her dream a reality. Her current campaign, while she shops the pilot around, is to gain as many YouTube subscribers as possible. If she reaches 10,000 subscribers, she can utilize the YouTube space in Los Angeles for free and keep all of the film locations local.

    “Seeing that the pilot is only the blueprint of what could be greater, I’m extremely happy with the results. I have a fine cast and a great story. It’s destined for greatness!”

    You can view the Sugar the Web Series‘ Pilot, trailer, and read all about the cast and crew on www.sugartheseries.com. Be sure to subscribe to their YouTube channel and website for giveaways, updates and more!

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    October 3, 2014 • Filmmaking, Student & Alumni Spotlights • Views: 6386

  • Military Veteran Student Lands Associate Producer Job at Imaginary Forces

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    Paquita Hughes, who completed the One-Year Filmmaking and Photography programs at the New York Film Academy in Los Angeles, was recently hired at Imaginary Forces, a creative studio and production company that focuses on major film and TV productions.

    “I was one of 15 veterans selected to interview for 8 companies through the AICP (Association of Independent & Commercial Producers),” said Hughes. “We each had five minutes to pass our resume to the company representatives and give our 30 second commercial. I was the only veteran hired ON THE SPOT, in less than five minutes, as an Associate Producer for the company Imaginary Forces.”

    Founded in 1996, Imaginary Forces is a creative studio and full service production company specializing in creating and developing content for commercial advertising, digital and interactive platforms, feature films and film marketing, television, architectural spaces and global brands.

    Their body of award winning work includes the EMMY winning main titles for Mad Men, as well as the celebrated opening sequences for Boardwalk Empire, The Pacific and Nurse Jackie.

    The production company has created hundreds of main titles and content for films like Transformers, The Twilight Saga: Eclipse, 500 Days Of Summer, Terminator Salvation, Seven, and Minority Report.

    In the commercial world, Imaginary Forces has directed and produced spots for Pepsi, Microsoft, Scion, Chrysler and Google through agencies like ATTIK, JWT, TBWA\Chiat\Day, and The Richards Group. They have also created brand identity for networks such as USA Network, Lifetime, Discovery and Hallmark Channel, and experience design for MoMA, Lincoln Center, The Oscars and Victoria’s Secret.

    Imaginary Forces is comprised of over 70 artists and creative professionals: directors, designers, writers, animators, editors, and producers. Their studios are located in both Los Angeles and New York City.

    Not only that, Paquita’s short film about sexual assault in the military (all female crew) titled Breaking The Silence, which she directed for the 48hr Film Contest last year, was selected for the GI Film Festival in Washington, DC!

    Big congrats to Paquita on her recent successes!

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    April 3, 2014 • Student & Alumni Spotlights • Views: 6565