The African American Film Critics Association (AAFCA) will honor producer and studio executive Sherry Lansing, AppleTV+’s Rita Cooper Lee, TriStar’s Dr. Jennifer Turner and Hallmark Media’s Wonya Lucas at its annual Special Achievement Awards in April.
The honorees will be recognized at the organization’s 6th Annual AAFCA Special Achievement Awards Luncheon, which will take place on Saturday, April 8 at the California Yacht Club in Marina Del Rey, California.
In addition to industry veterans honorees, the organization will also recognize documentary “A Tree of Life: The Pittsburgh Synagogue Shooting,” which follows the devastating 2021 shooting and shines light on the hate and violence that plagues American, with the Stanley & Karen Kramer Award.
“Trailblazers and titans abound in this year’s selection of special achievement honorees,” AAFCA president and co-founder Gil Robertson said in a statement. “Recognizing their incredible achievements gives us a moment to reflect on the progress that’s been made as our industry continues to evolve and gives each of us the inspiration needed to tackle our next challenges. AAFCA looks forward to celebrating them.”
This year’s awards will recognize Lansing with the Legacy Award for her contributions to the industry as a producer and studio executive, as well as her philanthropic pursuits, and Executive Vice President of TriStar Television Dr. Turner will be presented with the Salute to Excellence Award for prioritizing inclusive casts and storylines. Lucas, President and CEO of Hallmark Media, will be honored with the TV Vanguard Award.
The organization will also present Cooper Lee, Head of Communications and Publicity, Apple Worldwide Video and Apple TV+, with the inaugural Rosalind Stevenson Award for Excellence in Publicity named after Stevenson’s respected career. After being part of the team that founded streaming platform Apple TV+, Cooper Lee has continued her momentum with “culture-defining, innovative campaigns,” according to the release.
Selected by a committee on the basis of their achievements over the course of their career, the AAFCA chooses nominees both behind and in-front-of the camera, with past Special Achievement Awards honorees including Edward James Olmos, Ruth E. Carter, Pearlena Igbokwe, Channing Dungey, Tendo Nagenda, Alana Mayo, Jon M. Chu and Wesley Morris, among others.