‘Moonlight’ makes history
Florence Anthony | 3/2/2017, 12:06 p.m.
The glow of Best Picture Academy Award winner “Moonlight” continues to shine. According to People magazine, not only did Mahershala Ali become the first Muslim actor to win an Academy Award, taking home the first statuette of Sunday night for Best Supporting Actor in Moonlight, but also he welcomed his first child, a daughter, just four days before the history-making win. The baby, Bari Najma Ali, was born inside her amniotic sac, which means her mother’s water hadn’t broken. This kind of delivery is called an “en caul” birth, and it doesn’t happen very often, only one in every 80,000 births. Meanwhile, the victories for “Moonlight” actually started Saturday, Feb. 25, when “Moonlight” dominated the 2017 Film Independent Spirit Awards, winning every category in which it was nominated. To put the icing on the cake, Ali, Trevante Rhodes, Alex R. Hibbert and Ashton Sanders are all appearing in their own Calvin Klein Underwear campaign.
One of the hottest viewing parties on Oscar night in Los Angeles was publicist extraordinaire Charmaine Blake’s second Annual Black Tie Award Viewing Dinner and after-party at a luxurious mansion in Bel Air. The evening, which benefited the Beverly Hills Community Jem Center and the North American Andy Transplant Foundation, was hosted by “Hunger Games” star Bruno Gunn and Golden Brooks from “Girlfriends.” Guests received fabulous gift bags and were entertained by Larry Dunn of the band Earth, Wind + Fire. The evening also offered a casino, multiple open bars and gifts from Global Skin.
The film “90 Days” celebrated three electrifying screenings and panel discussions in Harlem, N.Y., Brooklyn, N.Y., and Newark, N.J., recently. The events took place at the Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture, the Alamo Drafthouse in Brooklyn and Express Newark-Rutgers University Newark. Executive producer Nathan Hale Williams and Jennia Fredrique-Aponte were honored by NYC Council member Robert E. Cornegy Jr. of District 36 in Brooklyn, while his Chief of Staff Stefani Zinerman presented the duo with the NY City Council Citation for their many years as filmmakers, innovators and trendsetters in the film/entertainment and media industries
Actress/director philanthropist Salli Richardson Whitfield has joined the roster of honorees for the 2017 “Untold Stories” Awards Luncheon hosted by the Black Women Film Network—now celebrating its 20th anniversary—Friday, March 3, at the Atlanta Marriott Marquis. Whitfield will be recognized along with her husband, actor Dondre Whitfield, with the “Power Couple” Award for their dedication to promoting positive images of Black love and family throughout their careers.