Will Smith, Questlove, Ariana Debose And Other Black Artists Win Big At The 2022 British Academy of Film Awards

From lead actor to fan favorites, Black creatives showed out at this year's BAFTAs.

Awards season continued on Sunday across the Atlantic with the 75th British Academy of Film Awards (BAFTAs). This year, the ceremony was held in person at London’s Royal Albert Hall in the U.K.

Dune won five trophies, and The Power of the Dog took home the coveted Best Film award. Several Black actors and filmmakers also won big at the black-tie ceremony.

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Will Smith won in the Lead Actor category for his role as Richard Williams, the father of tennis superstar sisters Venus and Serena Williams, in King Richard. The film's director, Reinaldo Marcus Green accepted the award on the actor's behalf.

Ariana Debose was named Best Supporting Actress for her performance as Anita in Steven Spielberg’s musical West Side Story.

“This means so much to me,” said Debose, a multi-talented performer who sings, dances and acts.  “It’s not every day that you get to bring to life a character using all these disciplines,” she added.

Ahmir “Questlove” Thompson gave a moving speech after winning in the Best Documentary category, along with David Dinerstein, Rober Fyvolent and Joseph Patel, for Summer of Soul, which chronicles the nearly forgotten 1969 Harlem Cultural Festival.

The musician spoke about experiencing self-doubt in his personal journey making the film, admitting he lacked patience, faith and dreams to bring it all together.

“It took this film to take me from flight-or-flight in my brain and to my heart because this was a mission of love," Thompson said.

The award for best British Short Film went to Cherish Oteka for The Black Cop. The film is about former Metropolitan police officer Gamal “G” Turawa who explores his memories of homophobia, racial profiling and racial harassment in his early career.

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Jeymes Samuel won the BAFTA award for Outstanding Debut By A British Writer, Director Or Producer for The Harder They Fall, a Black western that debuted on Netflix.

Samuel recalled, “I remember when myself and Idris Elba were running around London talking about making this movie 15 years ago!”

Voted on by fans, Lashana Lynch took home the EE Rising Star award for her role as MI6 agent Nomi in No Time To Die.

“I have very supportive parents whose parents came here from Jamaica in the Windrush Generation. I have them to thank for my existence,” the British actress said. “I’m grateful for a working-class foundation that has taught me everything I needed to know about failure, about nos and what nos mean, and about how to celebrate your yeses. Now I get to celebrate a ‘yes’ that I never expected.”

She continued: “I'd like to thank the women of this country who taught me what it is to be in this industry as a dark-skinned woman.

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