UNCSA alumni have connections to NAACP Image Awards

The University of North Carolina School of the Arts has several alumni connections to the 53rd NAACP Image Awards announced on Saturday, February 26, which honor achievement by people of color in culture and entertainment.

“I am always proud of our incredible alumni accomplishments and awards, but particularly gratified to see the number of nominations and wins for our alumni from the NAACP Image Awards, which play an important role in spotlighting artists of color,” said Chancellor Brian Cole. “These awards are a wonderful recognition of the hard work and talent of our diverse alumni.”

Jonathan Majors (B.F.A. Drama '12) starred as Nat Love in "The Harder They Fall" on Netflix, which won outstanding ensemble cast in a motion picture, as well as outstanding motion picture. He had also been nominated for outstanding actor in a motion picture for that film.

Jonathan Majors

Jonathan Majors as Nat Love in "The Harder They Fall."

Alexandre Moratto (B.F.A. Filmmaking ’10) was writer/director/producer for "7 Prisoners," which won best international motion picture. Former School of Filmmaking faculty member Ramin Bahrani was also a producer on the film.

Alex Moratto

Alexandre Moratto (right) with Rodrigo Santoro on the set of "7 Prisoners."

Jada Pinkett Smith, who attended UNCSA in the School of Drama, won as outstanding host in a talk or news/information series for “Red Table Talk” on Facebook Watch, along with her co-hosts Adrienne Banfield-Norris and Willow Smith. "Red Table Talk" also won for outstanding talk series.

Red Table Talk

Jada Pinkett Smith (center), with "Red Table Talk" co-hosts Adrienne Banfield-Norris and Willow Smith.

Mary-Louise Parker (Drama '86) played Colin Kaepernick’s mother, Teresa, in the Netflix series "Colin in Black and White," which won outstanding television movie, limited-series or dramatic special.

Mary-Louise Parker

Mary-Louise Parker as Teresa Kaepernick in "Colin in Black and White."

Additional nominees included Anthony Mackie (H.S. Drama ’97), nominated for outstanding actor in a television movie, limited series, or dramatic special for "Solos" with Amazon Studios; Pauletta Washington (Drama ’73), nominated for outstanding supporting actress in a television movie, limited series or dramatic special for “Genius: Aretha,” which was also nominated for outstanding television movie, limited series or dramatic special; and Jessica McJunkins (B.M. Music ’09), who served as contractor and concertmaster for “Judas and the Black Messiah,” which was nominated for outstanding soundtrack/compilation album as well as outstanding motion picture.

Additional UNCSA alumni with connections to nominated projects include Tanase Popa (B.F.A. Design & Production ’06) who was supervising producer on “Pose,” nominated for outstanding drama series; Rebecca Naomi Jones (B.F.A. Drama ’03) who also starred in “Genius: Aretha”; and Tiffany Little Canfield (B.F.A. Drama ’00) who was casting director on “Respect,” which was nominated for outstanding motion picture.

The NAACP Image Awards were established in 1967 to honor outstanding Black actors, writers, producers and directors, and to recognize those working in Hollywood who support those artists. Now spanning 76 categories, the NAACP Image Awards celebrate outstanding achievements in the arts, including film, television, digital media, music and literature. The prestigious award franchise also honors individuals and groups that promote social justice. Special honorary awards, including the Chairman’s Award, the President’s Award, the Vanguard Award, the Jackie Robinson Sports Award, and the NAACP Image Awards Hall of Fame extol exceptional individuals and organizations for distinguished public service and have included Gordon Parks, Steven Spielberg, Oprah Winfrey, Barack Obama and more.

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March 01, 2022