In collaboration with the African American Film Critics Association, PAFF honors industry professionals who have safeguarded our images and helped to inspire, engage and enlighten our world. The Night of Tribute acts as a pre-award show to AAFCA’s Award show.
The night begins with a warm welcome from Ayuko Babu and Ja’Net Dubois, co-founders of PAFF and then followed by the announcement of the first honoree of the night, Roz Stevenson who received the Trailblazer Award. Roz Stevenson, Formerly the President/CEO of Roz Stevenson Public Relations (RSPR) in Los Angeles, Stevenson has over 30 years of experience in the film industry. RSPR specialized in motion picture publicity and promotions targeting the African-American market. Inspiring young people is a priority for her. She always makes time to speak to college classes, participate in career day activities and serve on entertainment panels. Throughout the years she has been a mentor for many young African-Americans who now have successful careers in the industry.
The next award of the night, presented by Ava DuVernay (Director) was the Beah Richards Rising Star Award received by Emayatzy Corinealdi. Ms. Corinealdi is of Panamanian and African-American heritage who is a New York trained actress, having studied at the esteemed William Esper Studio and the Actor’s Training Studio, before moving to LA and resuming her studies at Playhouse West. Ms. Corinealdi is the star of the critically acclaimed Middle of Nowhere which garnered her the 2012 Gotham Award for Breakout Actor as well as an Independent Spirit Awards nomination and a 44th Annual NAACP Image Awards nomination for her lead performance. As the night continues, Tequan Richmond is honored with the Canada Lee Rising Star Award that was presented by Isaiah Washington. Tequan Richmond arrived in Los Angeles from his hometown of Burlington, North Carolina a little over a decade ago, but he certainly hasn’t sat idle since planting his feet in Los Angeles soil. He has appeared in commercials for Verizon, Mcdonalds, Nintendo, and many others along with guest appearances on shows such as Cold Case, ER, and CSI.
We then see Jeff Clanagan come to the stage to receive the Pioneer Award presented by Ayuko Babu. Clanagan, founder, president and CEO of Codeblack Enterprises, has managed to remain in front of the entertainment industry’s seismic shifts for over two decades. In 2012, he ventured into an unprecedented partnership with Lionsgate, a leading global entertainment company, to bring his expertise in feature film, television programming, comedy specials and digital content to this new partnership. In 2011, the highly successful independent blockbuster film, Kevin Hart: Laugh at My Pain was marketed using Clanagan’s signature targeted techniques and grossed an average of $20,000 per theatre, which was groundbreaking for an independently produced and distributed film.
To close the night, Ja’Net Dubois presented Charles Dutton with the Lifetime Achievement Award and accepted the award on his behalf. Dutton is a two-time Tony-nominated and multiple Emmy award-winning actor and director of stage, television and film. He first became a familiar face to television audiences around the world for his iconic role as the Baltimore garbage collector, Roc Emerson, on the popular Fox comedy Roc, which aired from 1991 to 1994. For the role of Roc, Dutton earned his first NAACP Image Award, followed by two more wins in 2002 and 2003 for his roles in the television movies, 10,000 Black Men Named George and D.C. Sniper: 23 Days of Fear, respectively.