Hitsville: The Making of Motown wins Outstanding Documentary (Television - Series or Special)
Timothy Greenfield-Sanders' film on the late Nobel Prize-winning author Toni Morrison has earned the top documentary award at the NAACP Image Awards.
Toni Morrison: The Pieces I Am, which was released last June, just two months before Morrison's death at age 88, won Outstanding Documentary Film at the Image Awards ceremony in Pasadena, California Saturday night. The documentary grew out of a longstanding friendship between the writer and Greenfield-Sanders.
"She comes across in this film as the person I knew so well -- this very funny and brilliant, kind of charming woman, whose work is so deep at the same time," the director told Nonfictionfilm.com in December at the IDA Awards. "We all wanted to see Toni live forever."
Toni Morrison: The Pieces I Am triumphed over Miles Davis: Birth of the Cool, The Black Godfather, The Apollo, and True Justice: Bryan Stevenson's Fight for Equality.
It was not the only award of the night recognizing Morrison, the author of Beloved, The Bluest Eye, Sula and other novels. Her book The Source of Self-Regard: Selected Essays, Speeches, and Meditations won the Image Award for Outstanding Literary Work - Non-Fiction.
Hitsville: The Making of Motown, directed by Benjamin Turner and Gabe Turner, won Outstanding Documentary (Television - Series or Special). The film about the birth of the groundbreaking record company features interviews with Motown founder Berry Gordy, executive Suzanne De Passe, artists Smokey Robinson, Stevie Wonder and others.
The other nominees in the TV category included Free Meek, Homecoming: A Film by Beyoncé, Martin: The Legacy of A King, and ReMastered: The Two Killings of Sam Cooke.
Matthew Carey is a documentary filmmaker and journalist. His work has appeared on Deadline.com, CNN, CNN.com, TheWrap.com, NBCNews.com and in Documentary magazine.