The African-American Film Critics Association (AAFCA) has named The Dark Knight as the Best Picture of 2008. Directed and co-written by Christopher Nolan, the Warner Bros. Pictures release captured a majority vote by the organization, which is comprised of African-American media professionals from across the nation.

Frank Langella was selected as Best Actor 2008 for Frost/Nixon. Angelina Jolie earned AAFCA recognition as Best Actress 2008 for The Changeling. “Although our organization gives specific consideration to work by artists of African descent, the performances of Mr. Langella and Ms. Jolie are undeniably transcendent and deserving of our recognition,” remarked AAFCA outgoing President Gil Robertson, who will assume the role of East Coast Vice President in 2009.

In addition to Best Picture, The Dark Knight was recognized with Best Supporting Actor honors for Heath Ledger. Viola Davis earned Best Supporting Actress recognition for her riveting performance in Doubt. Danny Boyle was named Best Director for Slumdog Millionaire.

AAFCA bestowed its Special Achievement Award to director Melvin Van Pebbles, whose seminal film Sweet Sweetback’s Baadasssss Song is a foundation of the African-American independent cinema aesthetic. “Throughout his long and distinguished career, Mr. Van Pebbles has earned a hard-fought reputation for pushing the bar creatively and socially,” observed Robertson. “We salute his legacy with this year’s Special Achievement Award.”

Other films in the organization’s Top Ten include “The Secret Life of Bees,” “Slumdog Millionaire,” “The Curious Case of Benjamin Button” and “Miracle at St. Anna.” “From independent to commercial films, our selections for 2008 represents a diversity of themes and cultures that are intriguing and worth exploring,” stated incoming AAFCA President Wilson Morales, who serves as the editor of and a columnist for AOL Black Voices.

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