With #OscarSoWhite trending across social media platforms, its only appropriate that All Def Digital (ADD), a hip hop and youth culture-focused multi-platform producer, is stepping up to mount the first All Def Movie Awards.
Hosted by “All Def Comedy Live” emcee Tony Rock, the event will be held four days before the Academy Awards, on Feb. 24, at the TCL Chinese Theaters, which is next door to the venue hosting the Oscars (the Dolby Theatre).
The six films up for Best Picture are “Beasts of No Nation,” “Chi-Raq,” “Concussion,” “Creed,” “Dope” and “Straight Outta Compton.” Only two of them got any love from the Oscars — “Straight Outta Compton” received a Best Original Screenplay nomination and “Creed” earned a Best Supporting Oscar nomination for Sylvester Stallone.
The All Def Movie Awards will also hand out honors for Best Actor, Best Actress and Best Director, as well as Best Bad Muh F**ka, Best Helpful White Person and Best Black Survivor in a Movie. The public can vote in two categories in the (Best Picture and Most Quoted Movie) online at http://bit.ly/AllDefMA before midnight on Feb. 23.
The other awards will be decided by a body dubbed the All Def Academy. (Asked to clarify who makes up the membership of the academy, an All Def Digital spokesperson said they are “lovers of quality entertainment.”)
“I don’t expect a 90-year-old Academy member to see ‘Straight Outta Compton’ or vote for it,” said Russell Simmons, founder and chairman of All Def Digital, in a statement. “I’m more concerned that in 2016 there continues to be a stunning lack of diversity in the studios, in the greenlight process, in the decisions of what films and television series get made, and what actors get chosen. This needs to be addressed institutionally. The All Def Movie Awards are not the Black Oscars, but they could be. This will be a fun, entertaining and hopefully thought provoking celebration of the uncelebrated.”
The event will feature a black carpet for arrivals add a special live musical performance. Admission is by invitation only, but a select number of seats will be reserved for fans by lottery. The public can view a stream of All Digital Movie Awards video content before, during and after the show on all of ADD’s social channels, including Facebook, YouTube, Snapchat and Periscope.
Launched in 2013 by Simmons in partnership with AwesomenessTV, All Def Digital targets urban millennials with short-form programming including the artist discovery series “The Signal,” the weekly sports show “Two Minute Drill,” the political commentary series “The Firing squADD,” and “Arts and Raps,” a hip hop interview show where kids do arts and crafts with hip hop artists.
The company has a first look deal with HBO, and it has also developed ADD25, a digital platform designed to surface emerging musical artists, and inked a deal with WorldStar Hip Hop to develop television content.