'Selma' Named Top Film of 2014 by AAFCA; Slated for Christmas Day Release

(Photo: Courtesy/Facebook/SelmaMovie)"Selma" hits theaters across the US on Christmas day, 2014

Ava DuVernay's "Selma" has been named the top film of 2014 by the African-American Film Critics Association.

The Martin Luther King Jr., drama took home multiple awards, including best director, best actor (David Oyelowo), and best song for its John Legend and Common theme song, "Glory." The AAFCA released its list of winners on Monday ahead of its annual February awards ceremony.

"Our members found the output of cinema released this year to be a truly insightful mix of titles that reflect the world we live in. The members of AAFCA were especially pleased with this range of storytelling supported by the studios that gave voice to the many sides of the experience of black people in America and around the world," said AAFCA president Gil Robertson in a statement obtained by Essence.com.

"We had a lot to pick from this year from 'Belle,' 'Dear White People,' 'Top Five,' 'Timbuktu' and 'Selma' and hope the industry will continue to provide a platform for diversity on the big screen," he added.

Media mogul Oprah Winfrey co-produced the civil rights film, which is based on the 1965 Selma to Montgomery voting rights marches led by a small group that included Martin Luther King Jr.

Winfrey also stars in the film alongside Oyelowo, who plays MLK. She plays civil rights activist Annie Lee Cooper, who is best known for punching a police officer.

The OWN network founder hosted a special brunch in Santa Barbara over the weekend to honor the real life "Legends of SELMA" and civil rights pioneers who have participated in the Montgomery voting rights marches.

The three Selma-to-Montgomery marches took place between March 7 and March 25, 1965 and were organized by local African-Americans who advocated equal voting rights. Their attempts to walk the 54-mile highway from Selma to the Alabama state capital of Montgomery proved successful as the movement led to the passage of the 1965 Voting Rights Act, which prohibits racial discrimination in voting.

Also starring in "Selma" is Cuba Gooding Jr., Alessandro Nivola, Giovanni Ribisi, Common, Carmen Ejogo, Niecy Nash and Tim Roth, among others.

Hollywood actor Brad Pitt also co-produced the film through his Plan B Entertainment production company, which also produced Academy Award-winning film "12 Years a Slave."

The film opens with a limited release on Christmas Day and will be in theaters throught the U.S. on Jan. 9, 2015.

AAFCA's Top 10 Films of 2014:

1. "Selma"
2. "The Imitation Game"
3. "The Theory of Everything"
4. "Birdman"
5. "Belle"
6. "Top Five"
7. "Unbroken"
8. "Dear White People"
9. "Get On Up"
10. "Black Or White"