The director’s five-film anthology, set in London’s Black communities over several decades, claimed the top prize when members cast their votes on Sunday for the best releases of 2020.
Small Axe included the projects Lovers Rock, Mangrove, and Red, White and Blue, but the collection, not the individual titles themselves, will qualify as motion pictures for Oscars entry, reports TheWrap.com.
Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom scored two wins – Best Actor for the late Chadwick Boseman, and Best Supporting Actor for Glynn Turman, while Carey Mulligan landed Best Actress for Promising Young Woman, and Minari star Youn Yuh-jung picked up Best Supporting Actress.
Best Director went to Nomadland’s Chloe Zhao, Emerald Fennell snagged Best Screenplay for Promising Young Woman, Wolfwalkers was declared Best Animated Film, and Time was hailed as Best Documentary.
Small Axe was also recognised with Best Cinematography for Shabier Kirchner, Best Production Design was given to Mank, and The Father was voted Best Editing.
Rocker Trent Reznor and his movie composing partner Atticus Ross were celebrating too, after taking home Best Music/Score for their work on Pixar’s jazz-themed Soul.
LAFCA officials honoured The Forty-Year-Old Version director Radha Blank with the New Generation honour, saluting rising filmmakers.