The Hollywood Critics Association announced today that Kenneth Branagh and Aunjanue Ellis will be receiving honorary awards at the 5th Annual HCA Film Awards. The ceremony will be held at the Avalon Hollywood and live-streamed on the official HCA YouTube Channel beginning at 7 p.m. PT/10 p.m. ET. Tony Award winner Annaleigh Ashford will be hosting the 5th annual ceremony on February 28, 2022. The organization will also stream a red-carpet pre-show hosted by HCA members Kiyra Lynn and Rick Hong at 5:15 p.m. PT/8:15 p.m. ET.
“We are so incredibly excited to have Annaleigh Ashford host our very first in-person event since January of 2020,” notes HCA Co-Founder Ashley Menzel. Annaleigh has appeared in several Broadway shows, including You Can’t Take It with You, Legally Blonde, and Kinky Boots. She currently stars on the hit CBS series B Positive and was recently cast alongside Kumail Nanjiani in the Hulu original series Immigrant.
Proof of vaccination and a negative COVID test within 48 hours of the event is required for everyone attending. A full list of nominations for the 5th HCA Awards can be found here.
Kenneth Branagh, the writer and director of Belfast, will receive this year’s Excellence in Artistry Award. The award highlights and celebrates Branagh’s expansive career as an actor and filmmaker. “Sir Kenneth Branagh has such an incredible and iconic body of work,” notes HCA Founder Scott Menzel. “Kenneth’s career has included a little bit of everything from radio to television to stage to film. His love and passion are undeniable, and with Belfast being hailed by many as his finest work to date, we couldn’t be happier to be honoring his extraordinary artistry within the entertainment industry.”
This year, Kenneth Branagh made Oscar history when he broke the record for receiving seven nominations in seven different categories throughout his career. George Clooney and Walt Disney held the previous record of six. In addition, Belfast has received more audience awards than any other film this year, including the People’s Choice Award at the Toronto International Film Festival.
King Richard star Aunjanue Ellis will be receiving this year’s Inspire Award. The award, which was previously awarded to Deon Taylor and Lin-Manuel Miranda, is presented to an individual within the entertainment industry whose work inspires others. “Since the mid-90s, Aunjanue has been a talent that many people from around the world have looked up to and felt inspired by,” says HCA President Nestor Bentancor. “Aunjanue is a remarkable artist who came from humble beginnings and has never forgotten her roots. Aunjanue has been an advocate for truth and justice while always using her voice to stand up for what she believes in. For these reasons and many more, Aunjanue Ellis is the perfect recipient of the HCA Inspire Award.”
Presenters at the 5th Annual HCA Film Awards will include Robin de Jesús, Colman Domingo, Sophia Ali, Cooper Raiff, Rob Morgan, Emmy Raver-Lampman, Brian d’Arcy James, Ron Perlman, Tia Carrere, Sandra Mae Frank, Alexandra Shipp, Lin-Manuel Miranda, Marlee Matlin, Jamie Dornan, Caitriona Balfe, Doug Jones, Reinaldo Marcus Green, Kaitlyn Dever, and Ciarán Hinds.