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Apple Original Films’ “Emancipation” star and producer Will Smith wins NAACP Image Award for Outstanding Actor in a Motion Picture

Reginald Hudlin earns Outstanding Directing in a Documentary award win for revealing documentary “Sidney,” honoring the legendary actor, filmmaker and activist Sidney Poitier
Press Release February 25, 2023

At the 54th Annual NAACP Image Awards, Apple Original Films’ “Emancipation” star and producer Will Smith won the award for Outstanding Actor in a Motion Picture for the harrowing film that tells the triumphant story of Peter, a man who escapes from slavery, relying on his wits, unwavering faith and deep love for his family on his quest for freedom. Additionally, Apple’s “Sidney” documentary director Reginald Hudlin was honored with Outstanding Directing in a Documentary (Television or Motion Picture) for his talents in bringing to screen the story of legendary Sidney Poitier and his legacy as an iconic actor, filmmaker and activist at the center of Hollywood and the civil rights movement.

Apple TV+ has previously been recognized by the NAACP Image Awards in 2022 for Outstanding Independent Motion Picture for Academy Award winner “CODA”; in 2021 for Outstanding Independent Motion Feature “The Banker,” and Academy Award nominee “Wolfwalkers” for Best Animated Feature, Audience Choice Award; and in 2020 for “Truth Be Told,” for Outstanding Writing in a Drama Series.

Recognized as the nation’s preeminent multicultural awards show from an African American perspective, the NAACP Image Awards celebrate the outstanding achievements and performances of people of color in the arts and those who promote social justice through their creative work.

Apple TV+ received NAACP Image Awards including:

“Emancipation”
Outstanding Actor in a Motion Picture — Will Smith

“Sidney”
Outstanding Directing in a Documentary (Television or Motion Picture) — Reginald Hudlin

To date, Apple Original films, documentaries and series have earned 334 wins and 1,406 award nominations and counting, including multi-Emmy Award-winning comedy “Ted Lasso” and historic Oscar Best Picture winner “CODA.”

“Emancipation”

“Emancipation” tells the triumphant story of Peter (Will Smith), a man who escapes from slavery, relying on his wits, unwavering faith and deep love for his family to evade cold-blooded hunters and the unforgiving swamps of Louisiana on his quest for freedom. The film is inspired by the 1863 photos of “Whipped Peter,” taken during a Union Army medical examination, that first appeared in Harper’s Weekly. One image, known as “The Scourged Back,” which shows Peter’s bare back mutilated by a whipping delivered by his enslavers, ultimately contributed to growing public opposition to slavery.

“Sidney”

From producer Oprah Winfrey and directed by Reginald Hudlin, this revealing documentary honors the legendary Sidney Poitier and his legacy as an iconic actor, filmmaker and activist at the center of Hollywood and the civil rights movement. Featuring candid interviews with Denzel Washington, Halle Berry, Robert Redford, Lenny Kravitz, Barbra Streisand, Spike Lee and many more, the film is also produced by Derik Murray, in close collaboration with the Poitier family.

Apple TV+ offers premium, compelling drama and comedy series, feature films, groundbreaking documentaries, and kids and family entertainment, and is available to watch across all your favorite screens. After its launch on November 1, 2019, Apple TV+ became the first all-original streaming service to launch around the world, and has premiered more original hits and received more award recognitions faster than any other streaming service in its debut.

About Apple TV+

Apple TV+ is available on the Apple TV app in over 100 countries and regions, on over 1 billion screens, including iPhone, iPad, Apple TV, Apple Vision Pro, Mac, popular smart TVs from Samsung, LG, Sony, VIZIO, TCL and others, Roku and Amazon Fire TV devices, Chromecast with Google TV, PlayStation and Xbox gaming consoles, and at tv.apple.com, for $9.99 per month with a seven-day trial. For a limited time, customers who purchase and activate a new iPhone, iPad, Apple TV, Mac or iPod touch can enjoy three months of Apple TV+ for free.*

For more information, visit apple.com/tvpr and see the full list of supported devices.

*Special offer is good for three months after the first activation of the eligible device. One offer per Family Sharing group. Plans automatically renew until cancelled. Other restrictions and terms apply; visit apple.com/promo for more information.

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