The annual awards for film excellence by the African American Film Critics Association were recently announced and they honored the coming-of-age movie "Moonlight", directed by Barry Jenkins, with the best picture of 2016 award. The film story was created by American playwright and actor Tarell Alvin McCraney, and starred actors Trevantes Rhodes, Andre Holland, Janelle Monae, Ashton Sanders, Jharrel Jerome and Naomie Harris.

According to the Hollywood Reporter, the film not only earned six Golden Globe nominations, but also named as this year's best independent film by the African American Film Critic Association. The director of the film, Barry Jenkins, won the best director award, actor Mahershala Ali, who played the role of Juan was honored with the best supporting actor award and his co-star, actress Janelle Monae, who played Juan's girlfriend Teresa, was given the award for breakout performance for "Moonlight" and another film titled "Hidden Figures" where she also starred in.

"Our members had a plethora of outstanding movies, documentaries, and TV shows to choose from this year," said Shawn Edwards, one of the co-founders of the film critic association, as stated by the Variety. "It was an exceptional year in terms of the quantity and quality of films about the black experience. And while this by no means solves the diversity issue in the film industry, it was definitely refreshing to have such a wide range of exceptional work to choose from to honor and celebrate with our approval."

Other awards given were the best supporting actress award, which was given to actress Viola Davis for her role in the drama film "Fences", the ensemble award which was won by the cast of comedy-drama film "Hidden Figures" and the top TV award, honored to the American drama series "Queen Sugar". The best actor award went to actor Denzel Washington, who played the lead role in "Fences", while the best actress award was honored to Ruth Negga for her role in "Loving".