Museum of the Moving Image to honor George C. Wolfe’s ‘Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom’ at Winter Gala
The virtual benefit event on December 15, 2020, raises funds to support the Museum’s year-round programming, including online education and tours for youth and seniors
The Board of Trustees of Museum of the Moving Image has announced that the Winter 2020 Moving Image Awards will honor George C. Wolfe and the cast and crew of Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom on Tuesday, December 15, at 7:00 p.m. ET. The awards ceremony will be livestreamed to gala attendees at home. The event will feature appearances by the cast including Viola Davis, who stars as Ma Rainey, Glynn Turman, Colman Domingo, Michael Potts, Jonny Coyne, Taylour Paige, Jeremy Shamos, and Dusan Brown; director George C. Wolfe, writer Ruben Santiago-Hudson; producers Denzel Washington and Todd Black; costume designer Ann Roth; and composer Branford Marsalis.
Wolfe’s film is an accomplished and beautifully acted adaptation of the play by two-time Pulitzer Prize–winner August Wilson, featuring intoxicating central performances by Academy Award–winner Viola Davis and Chadwick Boseman. Stuck in a sultry recording studio in 1920s Chicago, “Mother of the Blues” Ma Rainey tries to wrest creative control from her band and the white executives overseeing their session. Adapted for the screen by Ruben Santiago-Hudson, Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom is a riveting story of the racial exploitation of the American music business as well as a vividly drawn character study of a woman who refused to be defined by the role society placed her in. Directed by Tony Award–winning theater legend George C. Wolfe (Angels in America, Lackawanna Blues), the film boasts a stellar supporting cast, including Colman Domingo (If Beale Street Could Talk), Glynn Turman (Men of Honor), and Michael Potts (The Wire), and an original score by Branford Marsalis. Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom will be available on Netflix on Friday, December 18.
“We are excited to honor Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom, led by director George C. Wolfe, and the remarkable cast featuring Viola Davis and Chadwick Boseman, as well as the many craftspeople whose faces don’t appear on camera, but whose work is essential in bringing August Wilson’s play to the screen,” said Carl Goodman, the Museum’s Executive Director. “We are grateful to Netflix for partnering with us to honor this important new film.”
Funds raised from the Moving Image Awards will support the Museum’s mission of exploring all facets of film, television, and digital media, including support for our education programs which serve more than 70,000 students each year—and for the Museum’s grand reopening.
For information about attending the Moving Image Awards Honoring Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom, visit movingimage.us/virtualgala.
Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom will be in select theaters this November and on Netflix December 18.