Photo Credit: Lion's Gate Films
The NAACP Image Awards have been around since 1972, filling gaps often left by other ceremonies by celebrating diversity in the arts. Although the Image Awards honor literature, music and TV, its film categories are particularly prestigious -- and this year's honorees include motion pictures about an illiterate Harlem teen, a cartoon princess and the late King of Pop. Here are noteworthy nominees, announced yesterday:
- Precious, the acclaimed indie drama co-produced by Tyler Perry and Oprah Winfrey, leads the 41st annual Image Award nominations with 8 nods, including nominations for lead actress Gabourey Sidibe and supporting cast members Mo'Nique, Mariah Carey, Paula Patton and Lenny Kravitz.
- The Blind Side is nominated for Best Picture, despite some critics calling the drama racist, and Sandra Bullock scores a nomination for her role as a rich Southern mom who adopts an African-American teenager. (The Image Awards is known for nominating white artists whose accomplishments support social justice, last year honoring Al Gore, Anderson Cooper and the hosts of The View.)
- The Disney animated feature The Princess and the Frog gets a Best Picture nom, plus a nod for Anika Noni Rose, the voice of Princess Tiana. (A performance as an animated character earning a Best Actress honor? There's something you won't see at the Oscars!)
- Kenny Ortega's concert film about the Michael Jackson, This Is It, rounds out the Outstanding Motion Picture nominees, along with the Clint Eastwood-directed Invictus (starring Morgan Freeman and Matt Damon.)
- Other Image-nominated films likely to be overlooked by the Academy: Obsessed (Idris Elba for Best Actor), Law Abiding Citizen (Jamie Foxx for Best Actor), and Tyler Perry's I Can Do Bad All By Myself (Taraji P. Henson and Adam Rodriguez both get nods).
Anyone who's a member of the NAACP can vote for the winners -- so if you qualify, visit the official site to get your ballot.
Are you a fan of any of this year's Image Awards nominees? Chime in below!