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86th Annual Academy Awards - Arrivals

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Alfre Woodard has always been a star even if the world hasn’t given her all her flowers yet. From memorable supporting roles in movies like Love & Basketball to lead turns in movies like Netflix’s Juanita, Woodard has always put on a memorable performance.

With a career that dates back to the 1970s, you’d think she’d have an Oscar by now. But the 66-year-old talent has yet to win the gold. She was only nominated back in 1984 for the movie Cross Creek. This all might change, however, with her upcoming movie Clemency.

Clemency, which dropped a new trailer on Thursday, has Woodard portraying a prison warden who must face her guilty conscience when she has to put an inmate (Aldis Hodge) to death. Wendell Pierce and Danielle Brooks also star in the flick.


Although the movie has yet to be released, Woodard is already getting award buzz. The movie recently won the top Grand Jury Prize at the Sundance Film Festival, and now it’s currently screening at the Toronto International Film Festival. Publications like The Guardian are already dropping Woodard’s name in the list of possible Oscar nominees.

The success of the movie would be a major feet, especially considering it was helmed by a Black woman. Chinonye Chukwu directed Clemency as her second feature film.


In an interview with Women and Hollywood, Chukwu explained, “Writing and directing this film was a multi-year soul journey that was transformative and emotionally exhausting. Having to dig deep into the subject matter and the depth of human emotion explored in the film was challenging at times, but absolutely necessary.”

It seems like it all paid off, at least when it comes to recognition. With Chukwu’s Grand Jury Prize, she’s become the first Black woman to win Sundance’s biggest prize.

Chukwu is keeping the energy going with an upcoming movie about Black Panther party leader Elaine Brown. The flick is supposed to be based off her memoir A Taste of Power. The script will be written by Alyssa Hill, while Chukwu is geared to direct.

If Woodard gets an Oscar nomination, it’ll only shed more light to Chukwu’s skills, and possibly earn her a nomination as well.

Clearly, this is an artist to keep on your radar!

This Black Woman Filmmaker Could Help Lead Alfre Woodard To An Oscar  was originally published on