CULVER CITY, Calif., (FNN NEWS) — All Def Digital, the fastest growing video programming brand in hip hop and youth culture, will honor industry legends Will Smith and Norman Lear at the first-ever All Def Movie Awards just days before the Oscars, at the World Famous TCL Chinese 6 Theatres. The light-hearted and fun spirited event will celebrate diversity in motion picture entertainment during a live awards show on February 24 hosted by Tony Rock.
Smith will be recognized by the All Def Academy with the Lifetime Achievement Award and legendary writer, producer, director and social activist Norman Lear will receive the Vanguard Award for his enduring contributions to entertainment that helped foster an essential dialogue about race and race relations.
Said Russell Simmons, Founder and Chairman of All Def Digital: “Will Smith has broken all barriers in music, film, theater and television. As a Grammy Award-winner, television star and the most accomplished and bankable film artist in the world, Will uses his powerful voice for social change. The All Def Movie Awards are enormously proud to honor Will Smith and his incredible body of work with our first Lifetime Achievement Award.”
Reflecting on the contributions of Norman Lear, Simmons added, “As a writer, director, producer and author, Norman has been a true champion for people of color. He shined a light on the marginalized in our society and made us laugh. He wrote aspirational and inspirational roles for minorities. He gave us dignity with “Good Times.” He gave the working class a voice in “Sanford and Son.” And most important to me, with “The Jeffersons,” he showed us that a black man could be rich and successful and do the unthinkable: he could curse at the white man while standing up for what he believes in.”
Two-time Academy Award® nominee Will Smith has enjoyed unprecedented success in a career encompassing films, television and multi-platinum records. For his memorable portrayal of Muhammad Ali in Michael Mann’s Ali, he received his first Academy Award® nomination, which was followed by his second nomination for the true-life drama, The Pursuit of Happyness. Smith recently wrapped production on the David Ayer-directed Suicide Squad for Warner Bros. Pictures. Based on the DC comic book, Smith will play Deadshot opposite Jared Leto, Joel Kinnaman, Margot Robbie, Jai Courtney and Cara Delevingne. The film is slated for release on August 5, 2016. He most recently starred in Concussion as Dr. Bennet Omalu, the brilliant forensic neuropathologist who made the first discovery of CTE, a football-related brain trauma, in a pro player and fought for the truth to be known. Omalu’s emotional quest put him at dangerous odds with one of the most powerful institutions in the world.
Norman Lear, producer, writer, director and author has enjoyed a long career in television and film, and as a political and social activist and philanthropist. Lear began his television writing career in 1950, and went on to produce the iconic series All in the Family, which in its nine seasons on CBS, garnered four Emmy Awards for Best Comedy series and a Peabody Award in 1977. The series was followed by a succession of other hits on television, including Maude, Sanford and Son, Good Times, The Jeffersons, One Day at a Time, and Mary Hartman, Mary Hartman. Lear founded People For the American Way, a non-profit organization designed to speak out for Bill of Rights guarantees and to monitor violations of constitutional freedoms. Additionally, he formed other nonprofit organizations, including the Business Enterprise Trust (1989-2000), which spotlighted exemplary social innovations in American business; the Norman Lear Center at the USC Annenberg School for Communication (2000-present), a multidisciplinary research and public policy center dedicated to exploring the convergence of entertainment, commerce and society; and with his wife, Lyn, and Alan and Cindy Horn, co-founded the Environmental Media Association (1989-present). Lear is the author of a best-selling memoir, “Even This I Get to Experience”, now available in paperback.
Members of the public can vote for two categories in the All Def Movie Awards (Best Picture and Most Quoted Movie) online at http://bit.ly/AllDefMA through midnight on February 23rd. The following films are in contention for Best Picture:
BEASTS OF NO NATION
STRAIGHT OUTTA COMPTON
Other awards will honor Best Actor, Best Actress, Best Director as well as Best Bad Muh F**ka and other often overlooked categories, such as Best Helpful White Person and Best Black Survivor in a Movie.
The show will also feature a consistent stream of video content before, during and after the show on all of ADD’s social channels, including Facebook, YouTube, Snapchat and Periscope.
The All Def Movie Awards will be programmed as part of All Def Comedy Live, which has become the hottest live weekly comedy showcase in stand-up today. HBO is currently developing a series around the weekly event, which routinely draws celebrities and the best new, emerging and established artists working America’s comedy stages.
Tony Rock serves as host and master of ceremonies for All Def Comedy Live as well as the newly revamped legendary talent competition Apollo Live. Rock has appeared in box office hits and television series such as Hitch, Think Like a Man, “Everybody Hates Chris,” and “Real Househusbands of Hollywood,” among other shows and films. He has also been seen as a headlining act on two nationwide comedy tours: “The Standing Ovation Comedy Tour” and his own “Rock The Mic Comedy Tour.”
All Def Digital (ADD) is the leading multi-platform media company for millennials focusing on urban youth culture through premium video programming across comedy, music, lifestyle and topical and timely social commentary. The company nurtures new, emerging and established artists and produces and incubates a broad spectrum of original content through an efficient and transformative media model leveraged across social video platforms, traditional and premium television and motion-picture development, live events, and its own record label in partnership with Universal Music Group. ADD also includes a curated, invite-only network of talent—from social video stars to traditional writers and stand-up comics, from poets to hip hop recording artists. The company partners with global brands to create immersive and authentic social content experiences with unique talent voices. ADD is among the most subscribed-to and watched digital networks for urban comedy and music. The company is based in Los Angeles, California, with offices in New York. Its investors include Nu Horizons, Greycroft Partners, e.ventures and Advancit Capital.