Russell Simmons' emerging video programming brand All Def Digital is hosting the first-ever All Def Movie Awards on Feb. 24 -- just days before the Oscars -- and the live event will be hosted by Tony Rock, the younger brother of Oscars host Chris Rock.
Awards will be recognized by members of the All Def Academy, who announced that the nominees for Best Picture of 2015 are "Beasts of No Nation," "Chi-Raq," "Concussion," "Creed," "Dope" and "Straight Outta Compton" -- all of which were snubbed in the major categories at the Oscars aside from "Creed" star Sylvester Stallone and the four white writers behind "Straight Outta Compton."
Members of the public can vote online for two categories in the All Def Movie Awards (Best Picture and Most Quoted Movie) through midnight on Feb. 23 by simply clicking here.
Other awards will honor Best Actor, Best Actress and Best Director, as well as Best Bad Muh F--ka and other often overlooked categories such as Best Helpful White Person and Best Black Survivor in a Movie.
The All Def Movie Awards, which will be held just yards from the Academy Awards stage, will feature a Black Carpet for celebrity presenters, arrivals and VIP guests. The show will also feature a special live musical performance and a consistent stream of video content before, during and after the show on all of ADD's social channels, including Facebook, YouTube, Snapchat and Periscope.
"If you want something done right, you have to do it yourself," Tony Rock said. "With that in mind I have teamed up -- I guess I didn't do it myself -- with ADD to bring you the 'all inclusive' All Def Movie Awards. We'll honor the entire movie-making process. Great acting, mediocre acting as well as horrible acting. Soundtracks. Wardrobes. Maybe even craft services -- the best part of the set. This is the award show Hollywood has been waiting for."
"I don't expect a 90-year-old Academy member to see 'Straight Outta Compton' or vote for it. I'm more concerned that in 2016 there continues to be a stunning lack of diversity in the studios, in the green light process, in the decisions of what films and television series get made, and what actors get chosen. This needs to be addressed institutionally," Russell Simmons, founder and chairman of All Def Digital, said. "The All Def Movie Awards are not the Black Oscars, but they could be. This will be a fun, entertaining and hopefully thought provoking celebration of the uncelebrated."
The All Def Movie Awards will be programmed as part of All Def Comedy Live, which has become the hottest live weekly comedy showcase in stand-up today. HBO is currently developing a series around the weekly event, which routinely draws celebrities and the best new, emerging and established artists working America's comedy stages.
Admission is by invitation only, but a select number of seats will be reserved for fans by lottery.
Tony Rock serves as host and master of ceremonies for All Def Comedy Live, as well as the newly revamped legendary talent competition Apollo Live. Rock has appeared in box office hits and television series such as "Hitch," "Think Like a Man," "Everybody Hates Chris" and "Real Househusbands of Hollywood," among others. He has also been seen as a headlining act on two nationwide comedy tours, "The Standing Ovation Comedy Tour" and his own "Rock The Mic Comedy Tour."
All Def Digital bills itself as the leading multi-platform media company for millennials focusing on urban youth culture through premium video programming across comedy, music, lifestyle and topical and timely social commentary. The company nurtures new, emerging and established artists and produces and incubates a broad spectrum of original content through a media model leveraged across social video platforms, traditional and premium television and motion-picture development, live events, and its own record label in partnership with Universal Music Group.
ADD also includes a curated, invite-only network of talent -- from social video stars to traditional writers and stand-up comics, as well as poets and hip hop recording artists. The company partners with global brands to create immersive and authentic social content experiences with unique talent voices. ADD is among the most subscribed-to and watched digital networks for urban comedy and music. The company is based in Los Angeles, though it also has offices in New York. Its investors include Nu Horizons, Greycroft Partners, e.ventures and Advancit Capital.