Blavity Inc. has announced the honorees for its 2021 Shadow and Act RISING Awards. The list includes 32 Black rising stars and one Black game-changer all recognized as emerging leaders in the film and entertainment industry.
The award ceremony, which will be held virtually this year due to pandemic restrictions, will feature honorees in various categories in the film and entertainment field. The award winners include actors/actresses, directors and producers, writers and showrunners, as well as stylists and cinematographers.
Recognition is also given to rising stars in the field of animation and soundtrack, as well as those excelling as editors, power executives, publicists, studio heads, agents, managers and legal experts.
Morgan DeBaun, founder and CEO of Blavity Inc., said “celebrating Black creatives in the film and entertainment industry is an important step in creating equity for the Black community.”
“The creative arts have a huge impact on our culture as stories are told and passed on from generation to generation,” DeBaun said. “Shadow and Act is the premier digital destination for Black entertainment news covering film, television, webseries, Broadway and more. Through the RISING Awards Digital 2021, we are proud to honor the creative changemakers of our community who are paving the way for generations to come.”
The Game Changer Award will be awarded to Nia DaCosta, director of Candyman and The Marvels. DaCosta introduced herself to the world when she directed 2018’s Little Woods, a film exploring women’s healthcare issues. She has since continued to mold herself into a household name in Hollywood.
“My worst nightmare was, sometimes you go to Sundance and there’s a female filmmaker and they’re like, ‘It’s been 12 years since their last film!’ I was like, ‘Yikes, I don’t want that to be me,'” the 31-year-old told Entertainment Weekly. “I also didn’t want to get stuck as being seen as someone who just makes small movies. It’s really easy for that to happen when you’re a filmmaker — especially a female filmmaker.”
Actors and actresses who will receive honors include Chante Adams, Kingsley Ben-Adir, MeKai Curtis, Brandee Evans, O-T Fagbenle, Dominique Fishback, Saniyya Sidney and Naomi Smalls.
Notable honorees in the creators category include cartoonists Obi Arisukwu and Chaz Bottom, as well as directors Radha Blank, Shaka King and Dawn Porter. Dozens of behind-the-scenes stars will also receive recognition.
Shadow and Act is a platform that highlights stories in cinema and television, using daily news, interviews and in-depth investigations. Blavity Inc., founded in 2014, is also the creator of AfroTech, 21Ninety, Travel Noire and Blavity News.