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Tyler Perry – who has wowed audiences with such blockbuster movies as Diary of a Mad Black Woman and Madea’s Family Reunion, as well as the popular syndicated series Tyler Perry’s House of Payne – has signed on to host Film Life’s 2006 BLACK MOVIE AWARDS – A Celebration of Black Cinema: Past, Present & Future, presented by Turner Network Television (TNT). The gala awards show, which launched on TNT last year, recognizes creative achievement by persons of African descent in feature-length motion pictures, both in front of and behind the camera, and honors outstanding films portraying the Black experience. This year’s top award nominees include Akeelah & the Bee and ATL, each of which earned four nominations, including Outstanding Motion Picture of the Year, and Inside Man, Madea’s Family Reunion, Something New and Waist Deep, each of which earned three nominations.

Film Life’s 2006 BLACK MOVIE AWARDS, executive produced by Suzanne de Passe, CEO of de Passe Entertainment and Jeff Friday, CEO of Film Life, Inc., will premiere Wednesday, Oct. 18, at 10 p.m. (ET/PT), exclusively on TNT.

Award-winning actress Cicely Tyson will receive the Distinguished Career Achievement Award, recognizing a career that includes such films as The Autobiography of Miss Jane Pittman, A Woman Called Moses and TNT’s Heat Wave. And Laurence Fishburne, a nominee for his work this year in Akeelah & the Bee, will receive the Excellence in Arts Award.

Sidney J. Furie’s 1972 biographical movie Lady Sings the Blues, which features Diana Ross as jazz legend Billie Holiday, will be inducted into the Black Movie Awards Classic Cinema Hall of Fame. The film, which marked Ross’ motion picture debut, also stars Billy Dee Williams and Richard Pryor.

Tyler Perry’s movie Madea’s Family Reunion, is a triple-nominee, for Outstanding Achievement in Screenwriting (Tyler Perry), Outstanding Performance by an Actress in a Supporting Role (Lynn Whitfield) and Outstanding Motion Picture. Other Outstanding Motion Picture nominees include Akeelah & the Bee, ATL, Four Brothers, Inside Man and Tsotsi.

Nominees for Outstanding Performance by an Actor in a Leading Role include Presley Chweneyagae (Tsotsi), Chiwetel Ejiofor (Kinky Boots), Tyrese Gibson (Waist Deep), Cuba Gooding Jr. (Shadowboxer) and Denzel Washington (Inside Man).

Outstanding Performance by an Actress in a Leading Role nominees include Halle Berry (X-Men: The Last Stand), Meagan Good (Waist Deep), Sanaa Lathan (Something New), Queen Latifah (Last Holiday) and Keke Palmer (Akeelah & the Bee).

The 2006 BLACK MOVIE AWARDS will be taped at the Wiltern Theatre in Los Angeles on Sunday, Oct. 15. A prominent committee of film critics, entertainment editors and prestigious members of the artistic community choose nominees and recipients of the awards from a list of eligible films released in the U.S. between Aug. 1, 2005, and July 31, 2006.

Host Tyler Perry, whose screenplay for Diary of a Mad Black Woman was honored last year in the Outstanding Achievement in Writing category, emerged from the poverty-stricken streets of New Orleans in a remarkable rags-to-riches story. His younger days were troubled, and he suffered from endless abuse from his father. In 1992, inspired by Oprah to write it down, he wrote a series of letters to himself in an effort to find a catharsis for his own childhood pain. Those same letters would eventually evolve to become Perry’s first stage production, the hit musical I Know I’ve Been Changed.

Perry followed that production with Woman, Thou Art Loosed and Behind Closed Doors, both collaborations with Bishop T.D. Jakes. In 2000, he wrote I Can Do Bad All By Myself and introduced 68-year-old Mable “Madea” Simmons, making her a household name across the country. He reprised the character in Diary of a Mad Black Woman, Family Reunion and Class Reunion. In 2004, he wrote and produced Madea’s Christmas Play for Trinity Broadcasting Network, netting huge ratings.

Perry defied the odds in 2005 when the film version of Diary of a Mad Black Woman opened as the #1 movie in America. He followed it in 2006 with equally successful film Madea’s Family Reunion, as well as the stage production Madea Goes to Jail, which sold out for every performance.

Perry continued to set new heights for African-Americans in the entertainment industry this year with the debut of his syndicated comedy series House of Payne, which has scored huge ratings during its ground-breaking test run this summer.

Perry has appeared twice on The Oprah Winfrey Show, where he talked about his childhood and the power of forgiveness. He was nominated for the prestigious Helen Hayes Award for Excellence in Theatre and for MTV’s Breakthrough Man of the Year. He was also named 2004 Black Business Professionals Entrepreneur of the Year.

Jeff Friday, creator of the BLACK MOVIE AWARDS and the American Black Film Festival, has made a name in the film industry by providing opportunities for independent Black filmmakers to showcase their work to an ever-broadening audience through the American Black Film Festival (ABFF). Since its inception, the ABFF has explored, rewarded and redefined artistic excellence in international Black cinema. It has grown to be recognized as the #1 film market for Black and urban content. In addition to its film showcases, the ABFF is committed to nurturing artists in a variety of disciplines and offers educational workshops and seminars for actors, filmmakers and writers throughout the week.

The ABFF, founded in 1997, is a property of Film Life, Inc., a New York-based marketing, media and production company. Its mission is to spearhead the global distribution of quality Black films and be the leading American brand producing Black movies and related entertainment content.

Back for the second year, Oscar® nominee Suzanne de Passe will again serve as Executive Producer and Head Writer. Her long list of award-winning, high-profile shows and specials includes the Emmy®-winning Motown 25: Yesterday, Today, Forever and Motown Returns to the Apollo. Additionally, she executive-produced The Essence Awards in 2002 and 2003, as well as the annual NAACP Image Awards over a three-year period, concluding in 2003. She has also executive-produced such memorable television miniseries as Lonesome Dove, The Jacksons: An American Dream, Buffalo Girls, Small Sacrifices and The Temptations.

Her Academy Award® nomination came for co-writing the screenplay for Lady Sings the Blues.





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