HOLLYWOOD-The NAACP Image Awards Nominees’ Luncheon is usually a big deal for lesser known artists, authors and first-time red-carpet walkers. But the event has been known to have high-profile celebs making their way down the red carpet. The annual NAACP Image Awards is a way for the world-renowned civil rights organization to pay homage to those in the creative arts in categories such as literacy, thespian and music.
The highlight at last year’s award show was “Scandal” star Kerry Washington and her “Django Unchained” colleague Jamie Foxx. The buzz surrounding this year’s run of award shows has been the slave narrative, “12 Years a Slave.” The film, which has stirred passions about slavery, is up for seven NAACP Image Awards, and has already snagged a Golden Globe Award for Best Picture.
As the line of nominees lined the red carpet on the second floor of the Loews Hollywood Hotel, several took the time to talk about the highly-acclaimed movie. Director Bill Duke (Predator), whose “Dark Girls” has been nominated for an NAACP Image Award in the Outstanding Documentary-Television category, said it is films like “12 Years a Slave” that reminds America of its past, present and future.
“I think that it reminds us of the eerie feelings of the sacrifices that were made for us to be here to do what we are doing today,” Duke said.
Janine Sherman Barrios, up for an NAACP Image Award in the Outstanding Writing in a Dramatic Series category for her work on Criminal Minds’ “Strange Fruit” episode, said there could not be enough movies made to share that experience.
“I think it is not enough,” Sherman Barrios said. ” I think we need tell every story all the time. It is not just an United States legacy; it is a worldwide occurrence that is still happening.”
“12 Years a Slave” wasn’t the sole topic of discussion as China McClain (A.N.T. Farm) and her sisters-Sierra and Lauryn-discussed their plans of lining up a CD with songs to make people feel their music. Independent filmmaker Juno Oliver talked about being in awe of being nominated for an NAACP Image Award for his film, Home.” Oliver, who made “Home” for less than a half-million dollars, made his film surrounding mental illness.
James Pickens Jr. (Grey’s Anatomy), TV One’s Roland Martin and Gabourey Sidibie (Precious) were among the celebrities to attend the event.