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‘The Harder They Fall’ Sets Record with 20 Nominations from the Black Reel Awards

‘The Harder They Fall’ Sets Record with 20 Nominations from the Black Reel Awards

An untold story of the old west sets a new standard for nominations at the 22nd Annual Black Reel Awards.

The Harder They Fall shoots down all the competition by racking up a record 20 nominations for awards this year. Fall blasts past the previous record held by Black Panther, which received 17 nominations in 2018, to become the first western nominated for Outstanding Picture and Outstanding Screenplay. Setting a record of its own, Zola receives a total of nine nominations, the most for any independent film.

Passing, Rebecca Hall’s adaptation of the Nella Larsen novel, garners 13 nominations, the second most of any film this year within categories including Outstanding Film, Director (Hall), Actress (Tessa Thompson) and Supporting Actress (Ruth Negga).

Director Jeymes Samuel ties with Radha Blank for the most individual nominations in a single year with 7 for his work on The Harder They Fall. Most interestingly, all the nominees for Outstanding Director are receiving their first Black Reel nomination in that category this year.

In ‘family feud’ news, for the first time in Black Reel history, a husband and wife are facing off as “Guns Go Bang” and “The Harder They Fall” by Shawn “Jay-Z” Carter duel for Outstanding Original Song against Beyonce Knowles-Carter’s “Be Alive” from King Richard.

 “What a truly transformative year for Black Cinema,” says Black Reel Awards founder Tim Gordon. “It is a pleasure to witness the continuing evolution and growth of Black Film over our two decades in celebration of these accomplishments. As our growth continues, The Black Reels have exciting news coming soon and we can’t wait to see how it will add to the texture of this rich cinematic fabric.”

Congratulations go out to Rita Moreno. At the age of 90, after receiving a nomination for Outstanding Supporting Actress in West Side Story, Moreno becomes the most senior nominee in any category for a Black Reel Award. 

Stay tuned for the winner’s announcement coming on February 27, 2022.

Additional congratulations to all this year’s nominees. The Black Reel Awards annually recognize the excellence of African Americans, as well as the cinematic achievements of the African diaspora, in the global film industry.

Follow the 22nd Annual Black Reel Awards on Twitter and Instagram @BlackReelAwards and on Facebook at TheBlackReelAwards.  Join the conversation using #BlackReelAwards22, #BRA22, and #BlackCinemaMatters

The Black Reel Awards is the oldest cinema-exclusive awards ceremony for African Americans.

22nd Annual Nominees

Outstanding Motion Picture 

The Harder They Fall

Lawrence Bender, Shawn Carter, James Lassiter & Jeymes Samuel, producers 

King Richard 

Will Smith, Tim White & Trevor White, producers 

Passing
Nina Yang Bongiovi, Forest Whitaker, Rebecca Hall & Margot Hand, producers 

The Tragedy of Macbeth

Joel Coen, Robert Graf & Frances McDormand, producers 

West Side Story
Steven Spielberg, Kristie Macosko Krieger & Kevin McCollum, producers

Outstanding Director  

Halle Berry | Bruised 

Nia DaCosta | Candyman

Reinaldo Marcus Green | King Richard 

Rebecca Hall | Passing 

Jeymes Samuel | The Harder They Fall

Outstanding Actor 

Mahershala Ali | Swan Song 

Winston Duke | Nine Days 

Jonathan Majors | The Harder They Fall 

Will Smith | King Richard 

Denzel Washington | The Tragedy of Macbeth 

Outstanding Actress 

Zazie Beetz | The Harder They Fall 

Halle Berry | Bruised 

Jennifer Hudson | Respect 

Taylour Paige | Zola 

Tessa Thompson | Passing 

Outstanding Supporting Actor  

Colman Domingo | Zola 

Idris Elba | The Harder They Fall

Andre Holland | Passing 

LaKeith Stanfield | The Harder They Fall 

Jeffrey Wright | The French Dispatch 

Outstanding Supporting Actress  

Ariana DeBose | West Side Story 

Aunjanue Ellis | King Richard

Regina King | The Harder They Fall 

Rita Moreno | West Side Story 

Ruth Negga | Passing 

Outstanding Screenplay 

Candyman 

Nia DaCosta, Jordan Peele & Win Rosenfeld

The Harder They Fall

Jeymes Samuel & Boaz Yakin

In the Heights 

Quiara Alegria Hudes 

Passing 

Rebecca Hall 

Zola

Janicza Bravo & Jeremy O. Harris 

Outstanding Documentary 

Ailey 

Jamila Wignot, director 

Citizen Ashe 

Rex Miller & Sam Pollard, directors 

My Name is Pauli Murray 

Julie Cohen & Betsy West, directors 

Rita Moreno: Just a Girl Who Decided to Go for It 

Mariem Pérez Riera, director 

Summer of Soul (…Or, When the Revolution Could Not Be Televised) 

Ahmir “Questlove” Thompson, director 

Outstanding Foreign-Language Film

African America (South Africa) 

Muzi Mthembu, director 

Bitter Sugar (Tunisia) 

Malik Isasis, director 

Faya Dayi (Ethiopia) 

Jessica Beshir, director 

Outstanding Ensemble 

The Harder They Fall

Victoria Thomas, casting director 

In the Heights 

Tiffany Little Canfield & Bernard Telsey, casting directors 

King Richard 

Rich Delia & Avy Kaufman, casting directors 

Passing 

Kim Ostroy & Laura Rosenthal, casting directors 

Zola 

Kim Coleman, casting director 

Outstanding Voice Performance 

Eric Andre | The Mitchells vs. The Machines
Marsai Martin | Spirit Untamed 

Maya Rudolph | Luca 

Maya Rudolph | The Mitchells vs. The Machines 

Zoe Saldana | Vivo 

Outstanding Score 

Candyman 

Robert Aiki Aubrey, composer 

The Harder They Fall 

Jeymes Samuel, composer

In the Heights 

Alex Lacamoire, Lin-Manuel Miranda & Bill Sherman, composers 

Passing 

Devonte Hynes, composer 

Respect 

Kris Bowers, composer 

Outstanding Original Song 

“Automatic Woman” (Bruised)

H.E.R., performer; Van Hunt, H.E.R. & Brittany Hazzard, writers  

“Be Alive” (King Richard)

Beyonce, performer; Beyoncé Knowles-Carter & DIXSON, writers

“Guns Go Bang” (The Harder They Fall)

Jay-Z & Kid Cudi, performers; Shawn “Jay-Z” Carter, Kid Cudi & Jeymes Samuel, writers 

“The Harder They Fall” (The Harder They Fall)

Koffee, performer; Shawn “Jay-Z” Carter & Jeymes Samuel, writers 

“Here I Am (Singing My Way Home)” (Respect)

Jennifer Hudson, performer; Carole King, Jennifer Hudson & Jamie Hartman, writers 

Outstanding Independent Film

Concrete Cowboy 

Ricky Staub, director 

Nine Days

Edson Oda, director 

Test Pattern

Shatara Michelle Ford, director 

The Water Man 

David Oyelowo, director 

Zola 

Janicza Bravo, director 

Outstanding Short Film

54 Years Late 

Michele Wise Wright, director 

Coffee

Jordan Pitt, director 

The Door of Return 

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Kokutekeleza Musebeni & Anna Zhukovets, directors 

Junior

Jehnovah Carlisle, director 

The Snakes 

Michelle Beck, director 

Outstanding Independent Documentary

100 Years from Mississippi 

Tarabu Betserai Kirkland, director 

Big Chief, Black Hawk 

Jonathan Isaac Jackson, director 

I Still Breathe 

Alfred George Bailey, director 

Little Satchmo 

John Alexander, director 

Unzipped: An Autopsy of American Inequality 

Colin K. Gray, director 

Outstanding Emerging Director  

Halle Berry | Bruised 

Janicza Bravo | Zola

Rebecca Hall | Passing 

Ahmir “Questlove” Thompson | Summer of Soul (…Or, When the Revolution Could Not Be Televised)

Jeymes Samuel | The Harder They Fall 

Outstanding Breakthrough Performance, Male 

Deon Cole | The Harder They Fall 

Edi Gathegi | The Harder They Fall 

Joshua Henry | tick, tick…Boom!

Caleb McLaughlin | Concrete Cowboy

Anthony Ramos | In the Heights 

Outstanding Breakthrough Performance, Female 

Danielle Deadwyler | The Harder They Fall 

Ariana DeBose | West Side Story 

Taylour Paige | Zola 

Saniyya Sidney | King Richard 

Demi Singleton | King Richard 

Outstanding First Screenplay 

In The Heights

Quiara Alegria Hudes 

Passing 

Rebecca Hall

Zola 

Janicza Bravo & Jeremy O. Harris 

Cinematography  

The Harder They Fall 

Mihai Malaimare Jr., cinematographer 

In the Heights 

Myron Kerstein, cinematographer 

Passing 

Edu Grau, cinematographer 

The Tragedy of Macbeth

Bruno Delbonnel, cinematographer 

West Side Story  

Janusz Kaminski, cinematographer 

Outstanding Costume Design 

Coming 2 America 

Ruth E. Carter, costume designer 

The Harder They Fall 

Antoinette Messam, costume designer 

Passing 

Marci Rodgers, costume designer 

The Tragedy of Macbeth 

Mary Zophres, costume designer 

West Side Story 

Paul Tazewell, costume designer 

Outstanding Editing 

Bruised 

Jacob Craycroft & Terilyn A. Shropshire, editors 

The Harder They Fall

Tom Eagles, editor 

King Richard 

Pamela Martin, editor 

Respect 

Avril Beukes, editor 

Zola 

Joi McMillion, editor 

Outstanding Production Design

The Harder They Fall

Martin Whist, production designer 

In the Heights 

Nelson Coates, production designer 

Passing 

Nora Mendis, production designer 

The Tragedy of Macbeth

Stefan Dechant, production designer 

West Side Story 

Adam Stockhausen, production designer 

Nominations by Film 

20 nominations

The Harder They Fall

13 nominations 

Passing 

9 nominations

King Richard 

Zola 

6 nominations 

In the Heights 

West Side Story 

5 nominations 

Bruised 

The Tragedy of Macbeth 

4 nominations 

Respect 

3 nominations 

Candyman 

2 nominations 

Concrete Cowboy 

The Mitchells vs. The Machines 

Nine Days 

Summer of Soul (…Or, When the Revolution Could Not Be Televised) 

1 nomination 

54 Years Late 

100 Years from Mississippi 

African America 

Ailey 

Big Chief, Black Hawk 

Bitter Sugar 

Citizen Ashe 

Coffee 

Coming 2 America 

The Door of Return 

Faya Dayi 

The French Dispatch 

I Still Breathe 

Junior 

Little Satchmo 

Luca 

My Name is Pauli Murray 

Rita Moreno: Just a Girl Who Decided to Go for It 

Swan Song 

The Snakes 

Spirit Untamed 

Test Pattern 

tick,tick…Boom! 

The Water Man 

Unzipped: An Autopsy of American Inequality 

Vivo 

Individuals with Multiple Nominations 

7 NOMINATIONS

Jeymes Samuel

  • Outstanding Film – The Harder They Fall
  • Outstanding Director – The Harder They Fall
  • Outstanding Screenplay – The Harder They Fall
  • Outstanding Score – The Harder They Fall 
  • Outstanding Song – The Harder They Fall (“Guns Go Bang” )
  • Outstanding Song – The Harder They Fall (“The Harder They Fall”)
  • Outstanding Emerging Director – The Harder They Fall

5 NOMINATIONS

Rebecca Hall

  • Outstanding Film – Passing
  • Outstanding Director – Passing
  • Outstanding Screenplay – Passing 
  • Outstanding Emerging Director – Passing
  • Outstanding First Screenplay – Passing 

4 NOMINATIONS

Janicza Bravo 

  • Outstanding Screenplay – Zola
  • Outstanding Independent Feature – Zola
  • Outstanding Emerging Director – Zola 
  • Outstanding First Screenplay – Zola 

3 NOMINATIONS

Halle Berry

  • Outstanding Director – Bruised 
  • Outstanding Actress – Bruised 
  • Outstanding Emerging Director – Bruised 

Shawn “Jay-Z” Carter 

  • Outstanding Film – The Harder They Fall
  • Outstanding Song – The Harder They Fall (“Guns Go Bang” )
  • Outstanding Song – The Harder They Fall (“The Harder They Fall”)

2 NOMINATIONS

Nia DaCosta 

  • Outstanding Director – Candyman
  • Outstanding Screenplay – Candyman 

Ariana DeBose 

  • Outstanding Supporting Actress – West Side Story
  • Outstanding Breakthrough Performance, Female – West Side Story 

Jeremy O. Harris

  • Outstanding Screenplay – Zola
  • Outstanding First Screenplay – Zola 

Jennifer Hudson 

  • Outstanding Actress – Respect
  • Outstanding Original Song – Respect (“Here I Am (Singing My Way Home)”)

Quiara Alegria Hudes

  • Outstanding Screenplay – In the Heights 
  • Outstanding First Screenplay – In the Heights 

Taylour Paige 

  • Outstanding Actress – Zola
  • Outstanding Breakthrough Performance, Female – Zola 

Maya Rudolph 

  • Outstanding Voice Performance – Luca 
  • Outstanding Voice Performance – The Mitchells vs. The Machines 

Ahmir “Questlove” Thompson 

  • Outstanding Documentary Feature – Summer of Soul (…Or, When the Revolution Could Not be Televised) 
  • Outstanding Emerging Director – Summer of Soul (…Or, When the Revolution Could Not be Televised) 

Will Smith 

  • Outstanding Film – King Richard
  • Outstanding Actor – King Richard 

Nominations by Studio 

20th Century Studios | 6 nominations 

West Side Story – 6 nominations 

A24 | 14 nominations 

Zola – 9 nominations 

The Tragedy of Macbeth – 5 nominations 

Amazon Studios | 2 nominations 

Coming 2 America – 1 nomination 

My Name is Pauli Murray – 1 nomination 

Apple TV+ | 1 nomination 

Swan Song- 1 nomination 

Janus Films | 1 nomination 

Faya Dayi – 1 nomination 

Kino Lorber | 1 nomination 

Test Pattern – 1 nomination 

Magnolia Pictures | 1 nomination 

Citizen Ashe – 1 nomination 

Neon | 1 nomination 

Ailey – 1 nomination 

Netflix | 43 nominations 

The Harder They Fall – 20 nominations 

Passing – 12 Nominations 

Bruised – 5 nominations 

Concrete Cowboy – 2 nominations 

The Mitchells vs. the Machines – 2 nominations 

tick,tick…Boom! – 1 nomination 

Vivo – 1 nomination 

RLJE Films | 1 nomination 

The Water Man – 1 nomination 

Roadside Attractions | 1 nomination 

Rita Moreno: Just a Girl Who Decided to Go for It – 1 nomination 

Searchlights Pictures | 3 nominations  

Summer of Soul (…Or, When the Revolution Could Not be Televised) – 2 nominations 

The French Dispatch – 1 nomination 

Sony Picture Classics | 2 nominations 

Nine Days – 2 nominations 

Universal Pictures | 4 nominations 

Candyman – 3 nominations

Spirit Untamed – 1 nomination  

United Artists Releasing | 5 nominations 

Respect – 5 nominations 

Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures | 1 nomination 

Luca – 1 nomination 

Warner Bros. | 15 nominations 

King Richard – 9 nominations 

In the Heights – 6 nominations 

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