The critics’ new award will be presented to Colman Domingo in London on Sunday, 4th February, in honour of late British critic and film historian Derek Malcolm.

Following yesterday’s release of their nominations for 2023, the UK’s leading film critics announced today that a new award will be presented at their 44th ceremony in February 2024 to cinematic trailblazer Colman Domingo. The award is named in memory of the legendary critic Derek Malcolm, who died in August at age 91.

“It’s an honour to receive the inaugural Derek Malcolm Award for Innovation and to be recognised in this way by the London Film Critics’ Circle, a group of journalists I deeply respect,” says Domingo. “This has been an incredible year for film, and having the opportunity to play Bayard Rustin, a man who embodied the word ‘trailblazer’, has been a great privilege.”

Domingo has been recognised for his work as an actor, producer, writer and director in film, television and theatre, winning an Emmy for his role in Euphoria and nominated for a Tony as a producer of Fat Ham, a retelling of Hamlet. In cinema, he continually transforms himself to tell important stories, including distinctly different roles this year as Mister in the musical film of The Color Purple and as iconic civil-rights activist Bayard Rustin in Rustin, for which he has been nominated for a Golden Globe and Critics Choice Award. He has made memorable appearances in numerous films, including Barry Jenkins’ If Beale Street Could Talk, Lee Daniels’ The Butler and Ava DuVernay’s Selma. He was nominated for an Independent Spirit and SAG Ensemble Award for George C Wolfe’s Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom and for an Independent Spirit and Gotham Award for Janicza Bravo’s Zola.

“In each of his roles, Colman Domingo adds layers of detail that are revolutionary on-screen,” says London Critics’ Chair Rich Cline, “drawing attention to important themes that need to be discussed and addressed. Even in a genre movie like Candyman, his character quietly connects the film’s horror to historical injustice. We are proud to name him as the very first winner of this new Innovation Award, which is named in honour of our good friend and well-loved disruptor Derek Malcolm.”

Malcolm was a long-standing member of the Critics’ Circle and served a term as its president. As chief critic for The Guardian and The Evening Standard, he had a huge impact on the film industry and was widely respected as a champion of world cinema. In addition to hosting The Film Club on the BBC and publishing several books, he was honorary president of Fipresci, a former director of London Film Festival and governor of the British Film Institute.

In the 44th London Critics’ Circle Film Awards, Andrew Haigh’s drama All of Us Strangers leads the field with nine nominations, followed by Christopher Nolan’s epic biopic Oppenheimer with seven and a trio of powerhouse festival films with six: Celine Song’s Past Lives, Yorgos Lanthimos’ Poor Things and Jonathan Glazer’s The Zone of Interest. Greta Gerwig’s Barbie received five nominations. These films are in the running for Film of the Year alongside the French courtroom drama Anatomy of a Fall, Alexander Payne’s The Holdovers, Todd Haynes’ May December and Martin Scorsese’s Killers of the Flower Moon.

Jeffrey Wright, who appears alongside Domingo in Rustin, will become the 33rd recipient of the Dilys Powell Award for Excellence in Film. And new competitive categories this year include Animated Film and Breakthrough Performance. Winners will be announced at a ceremony at the May Fair Hotel on 4th February.

The 44th London Critics’ Circle Film Awards are voted by the 210-member Film Section of the Critics’ Circle, the UK’s longest-standing and most prestigious critics’ organisation. Films are automatically eligible if they are released in cinemas or on premiere streaming services between mid-February 2023 and mid-February 2024. The May Fair Hotel, part of Edwardian Hotels London, is the main sponsor of the event, alongside non-alcoholic sparkling wine Wild Idol, cocktail specialists Gattertop, Guisborough Brewery, Reddit, MetFilm, production company Cinemadix, print solutions experts MTA Digital and creative industry accountants Nyman Libson Paul LLP.