The African American Film Critics Assn. announced Monday the recipients of its annual Special Achievement Awards to be held in January. The honorees include directors Lee Daniels and Anthony Hemingway and veteran animator Floyd Norman.
"All of our honorees are serious players who are helping to move the industry forward in terms of creating images that are diverse and inclusive," said Gil Robertson, the group's president's and co-founder. "They are all cultural visionaries who deserve to be recognized for their roles in advancing projects that have paid off critically and financially."
Each year since its inception in 2003, the organization has paid tribute to men and women who've helped increase diversity and inclusion in Hollywood.
Daniels is the co-creator and executive producer of television's "Empire" and the forthcoming "Star." His film "Precious" was nominated for six Oscars in 2010, winning two for best supporting actress (Mo'Nique) and best adapted screenplay (Geoffrey Fletcher). He's been outspoken about diversity in the entertainment industry, in front of and behind the camera. Daniels will receive the organization's Cinema Vanguard award.
Norman, who'll receive the Legacy award, was, in 1956, the first black artist hired by Disney. The now-81-year-old was present for all of the studio's iconic productions, from the original "Jungle Book" to "Toy Story 2." (He was let go at age 65.) A documentary about his time with the company, "Floyd Norman: An Animated Life," was released in August to positive reviews.
Hemingway, most recently known for his Emmy-nominated turn as director of multiple episodes of this year's "The People v. O.J. Simpson: American Crime Story," will receive the Horizon award as his Hollywood stock continues to rise. (The show, of which he is a co-executive producer, won the Emmy for best limited series.) He's also an executive producer of WGN's slave series "Underground." His directing credits include 2012's "Red Tails" and countless TV episodes.
Also receiving honors are Chicago Tribune film critic Michael Phillips and Fox Animation President Vanessa Morrison. The awards will take place Jan. 7, followed by the organization's general award ceremony for the year's best films on Feb. 8.