Pulitzer Prize-winning film critic Wesley Morris, who is currently the cultural critic at The New York Times and was a guest host on “Siskel & Ebert,” will receive the Roger Ebert Award from The African American Film Critics Association at their annual Special Achievement Award ceremony on Saturday, February 2nd, 2019 at the California Yacht Club in Marina del Rey, California. The 10th AAFCA Awards Gala will be held four days later at the Taglyan Complex in Hollywood. Morris has also written for The Boston Globe and Grantland, as well as co-hosted the Times podcast, “Still Processing,” with Jenna Wortham.
“I am happy to welcome Wesley Morris into the ranks of the AAFCA’s Ebert honorees,” said Chaz Ebert, president and CEO of Ebert Digital, and widow of Roger Ebert. “Roger thought Wesley was smart and funny and he would be delighted about this tribute. I continue to value what Wesley’s writing contributes to the overall progress of film criticism and inclusivity.”
Joining Morris as special achievement honorees this year are Tendo Nagenda, Vice President of Original Films at Netflix, who has championed projects such as “A Wrinkle in Time” and Alana Mayo, head of production and development at Michael B. Jordan’s Outlier Society. Other special achievement honorees include Kelly Edwards, Vice President of Talent Development and Programming at HBO; and Jon M. Chu’s “Crazy Rich Asians.”
“We are exceptionally proud to honor this film and these individuals for helping to move the industry forward,” says AAFCA president Gil Robertson. “From the big screen to the creatives and executives that drive them, each and every single 2019 Special Achievement Awards honoree exemplifies excellence. Collectively their brilliance has challenged our industry to reach its greatest potential while inspiring and welcoming the next generation. AAFCA is privileged to honor and celebrate our 2019 class.”
Past recipients of AAFCA’s Roger Ebert Award have been Variety critic Justin Chang, New York Times critic Manohla Dargis, Chicago Tribune critic Michael Phillips, LAFCA president Claudia Puig and Los Angeles Times reporter Susan King.
In closing, here is priceless footage of Morris and Ebert debating “South Park: Bigger, Longer and Uncut” nearly twenty years ago on “Siskel & Ebert.”