Ballet dancer turned producer Misty Copeland, director, writer and producer George C. Wolfe and newly-minted Academy Award nominee Jeffrey Wright are set to receive special honors at this year’s AAFCA Awards.
Roy Wood Jr. — the comedian, writer and producer, best known for his work as correspondent and guest host of “The Daily Show” — returns to emcee the ceremony for a second consecutive year. The 15th annual award show will be held Feb. 21 at the Beverly Wilshire in Beverly Hills.
During the ceremony, Copeland will receive the Innovator Award, presented by Nissan, which recognizes individuals who have made important and innovative contributions to film and beyond. Copeland shattered barriers in 2015, becoming the first Black woman to be promoted to principal dancer at American Ballet Theatre in the company’s 75-year history and after launching a career as a philanthropist and bestselling author, she founded Life In Motion Productions which debuted its first independently produced project, “Flower, at the Tribeca Festival last year.
The Legacy Award, presented to an artist or institution whose work inspired others to follow in their path, will be given to Wolfe. The acclaimed writer, director and producer and five-time Tony Award winner most recently helmed “Rustin,” for which Colman Domingo earned his first Academy Award nomination for best actor.
The Legend Award, presented to an artist in recognition of exemplary work, will go to Wright, who is nominated for an Oscar this year for best actor for “American Fiction,” adding to his haul of Tony, Emmy, AFI and Golden Globe wins.
In a statement announcing the special honorees, AAFCA president and co-founder saluted the trio for their exceptional artistry, remarkable talent and profound impact on culture.
“Misty Copeland, George C. Wolfe, and Jeffrey Wright each represent the pinnacle of artistic excellence in their respective fields, and their contributions continue to inspire and pave the way for future generations,” Robertson stated. “We are also thrilled to welcome back the dynamic and hilarious Roy Wood Jr. as host of our Awards ceremony. His wit and insightful commentary will undoubtedly make this a truly unforgettable evening.”
Winners for this year’s AAFCA Awards, as well as the organization’s list of top 10 films, were announced last month with “American Fiction,” “The Color Purple” and “Origin” all scoring multiple honors; “American Fiction” and “The Color Purple” lead with four wins apiece. Winners also include Ava DuVernay (best director, for “Origin”), Domingo (best actor), Aunjanue Ellis-Taylor (best actress), Sterling K. Brown (best supporting actress), Da’Vine Joy Randolph and Danielle Brooks (in a tie for best supporting actress), Lily Gladstone (breakout performance) and Cord Jefferson (emerging filmmaker, for “American Fiction”).