Two truly great films highlighting the struggles and history of black people jammed their way into the end of the 2013 movie going season just before what is normally called the awards season began. Mandela – Long Walk to Freedom and 12 Years a Slave are well produced and directed films with excellent casts of talented actors. The star dust kicked up by the latter films has almost hidden the extraordinary work and performances in Lee Daniels The Butler and Fruitvale Station. This has been a great season for movies and plenty of work for black actors in major productions. With the People’s Choice, Golden Globes, Critic Choice, and SAGS, and the Academy Awards season crowding flat screens in homes, let’s not forget the music scores that enhance and capture meaningful moments in each movie. Original compositions and oldies but goodies allow the movie goer to connect with each word and scene. All of these films are doing well in mass distribution and local neighborhood and community members have been spreading the word about what’s good and bad. We want to celebrate all production crews that make the actors performance work. Let’s give cheers to Forest Whitaker and Oprah Winfrey (The Butler), Chiwetel Ejiofor and Lupita NYongo (12 Years a Slave), Idris Elba and Naomie Harris (Mandela-Long Walk to Freedom) and Michael B. Jordan (Fruitvale Station). And no we are not forgetting that new fresh actor from Minneapolis by way of Somalia who rocked the boat from Tom Hanks, Barkhad Abdi (Captain Phillips) who has charmed Hollywood, for the moment.

scandal_2012_624x351The small screen’s payday has also attracted actors like Kerry Washington, Don Cheadle, and Angela Bassett who are being recognized this award season. Let’s give a hand to what has been a very favorable movie year. I got up and went to the movie show this pass year and packed up my easy lounge chair in the garage to enjoy the sounds and thrill of the big screen.

CoventryCoventry R. Cowens, Freelance photographer and writer based in Minneapolis, Minnesota. Student advisor at St. Catherine University, on the founding board of the Minnesota African American Museum and volunteer program director/Sister Cities International Coordinator with International Leadership Institute. Extensive travel resume including Africa, Central and South America, Europe and other places state side.

(Coventry on Mount Kilimanjaro)