Tensions and temperatures rise over the course of an afternoon recording session in 1920s Chicago as a band of musicians await trailblazing performer, the legendary “Mother of the Blues,” Ma Rainey (Academy Award® winner Viola Davis). Late to the session, the fearless, fiery Ma engages in a battle of wills with her white manager and producer over control of her music. As the band waits in the studio’s claustrophobic rehearsal room, ambitious trumpeter Levee (Chadwick Boseman) – who has an eye for Ma’s girlfriend and is determined to stake his own claim on the music industry – spurs his fellow musicians into an eruption of stories revealing truths that will forever change the course of their lives.
The film will be released December 18th on Netflix.
Adapted from two-time Pulitzer Prize winner August Wilson’s play, MA RAINEY’S BLACK BOTTOM celebrates the transformative power of the blues and the artists who refuse to let society’s prejudices dictate their worth. Directed by George C. Wolfe and adapted for the screen by Ruben Santiago-Hudson, the film is produced by Fences Oscar® nominees Denzel Washington and Todd Black. Colman Domingo, Glynn Turman, Michael Potts, Taylour Paige and Dusan Brown co-star alongside Grammy® winner Branford Marsalis’ score.
Denzel Washington received the 2016 Cecil B. DeMille Award from Philadelphia co-star Tom Hanks at the 73rd Golden Globes at the Beverly Hilton Hotel in Beverly Hills on January 10, 2016. The two-time Golden Globe Award-winner was joined by his wife Pauletta, and their children Olivia, Katia and John David.
Lorenzo Soria, President of the Hollywood Foreign Press Association (HFPA) stated, “Washington’s long and storied career is earmarked by his countless roles in front and behind the camera. It is the HFPA’s privilege to honor his contributions to the entertainment industry with the Cecil B. DeMille Award.”
Chosen by the HFPA Board of Directors, the Cecil B. DeMille Award is given annually to a talented individual for outstanding contributions to the world of entertainment. Recent recipients include George Clooney (2015), Woody Allen (2014), Jodie Foster (2013), Morgan Freeman, (2012), Robert De Niro (2011), Martin Scorsese (2010), Steven Spielberg (2009), Warren Beatty (2007), Anthony Hopkins (2006), Robin Williams (2005), Michael Douglas (2004), Gene Hackman (2003), Harrison Ford (2002), Al Pacino (2001), and Barbra Streisand (2000).
Washington’s achievements as a performer and a filmmaker have earned him seven Golden Globe Award nominations in two categories, resulting in two wins. He’s also the recipient of two Academy Awards, two Emmy nominations, one Tony Award, one BAFTA Award, one NAACP Image Award, and a Grammy Award for his narration of the legend of John Henry.
Watch his acceptance speech below.
Washington’s filmography includes Flight, Safe House, Unstoppable, The Book of Eli, The Taking of Pelham 123, The Great Debaters (directed), Inside Man, Déjà Vu, American Gangster, The Manchurian Candidate, Man on Fire, Antwone Fisher (directed), Training Day (Academy Award), John Q, The Hurricane (Golden Globe), Remember the Titans, The Bone Collector, Fallen, He Got Game, The Siege, Courage Under Fire, Crimson Tide, Devil in a Blue Dress, Much Ado About Nothing, Malcolm X, Philadelphia, The Pelican Brief, Mississippi Masala, Mo’ Better Blues, Glory (Academy Award), Cry Freedom, and A Soldier’s Story. He appeared on Broadway in Fences (Tony Award), A Raisin in the Sun, Julius Caesar, and Checkmates. His other theatre credits include Richard III, Coriolanus, The Mighty Gents, Spell #7, Ceremonies in Dark Old Men, Every Goodbye Ain’t Gone, When the Chickens Come Home to Roost (Audelco) and A Soldier’s Play (Obie). He produced the Emmy-nominated documentary Half Past Autumn: The Life and Works of Gordon Parks for HBO and was executive producer for the Emmy-nominated Hank Aaron: Chasing the Dream for TBS.
Washington most recently appeared in The Equalizer, directed by Antoine Fuqua, portraying a veteran covert operative who seeks redemption for his dark deeds. He can next be seen in Fuqua’s The Magnificent Seven, starring alongside Chris Pratt and Ethan Hawke, set to be released in September 2016.
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