Alonge Hawes didn’t need much forewarning that he’d have a successful evening during the awards ceremony of the 6th annual Minnesota Webfest. Following the enthusiastic audience response to his world premiering series ‘Silver & Gold’ and ‘Good Black Man’; Hawes walked into the Annex du Nord Art Hostel with 9 nominations (with a surprise 10th nomination announced during the ceremony) between the two series. Of those nominations, Hawes had already set a record at the festival for having the two dramatically differing series competing against each other in four categories. Concerns regarding vote-splitting set aside, it was obvious that the judges and committee of the festival felt that Hawes’s work merited some sort of validation. That validation was realized as Hawes walked away with three awards, one for each series as well as a tying honor for both series in marketing/promotional excellence.
Hawes was accompanied by ‘Silver & Gold’ co-stars Quentin Williams, Brittaney Traylor (herself an acting nominee of the evening for Best Dramatic Performance) Shani Hawes and ‘Good Black Man’ cast member Brittani Krystin. Joshua Dennard, who is the Cinematographer and Editor for both series, was also in attendance. ‘Silver & Gold’ was awarded Best Series Script for the pilot episode ‘The Birth Of The Cool’; beating out stiff competition from not only ‘Good Black Man’; but also work from award winning writer Marty Lang (‘Bad Influence’) and award winner and Sundance Institute Semi-Finalist Mike Swift (‘The Ushers’).
Hawes thanked his ancestors, who as he put it “Fought and died for the right for some of us in this room to be able to read and write. And so we all in this room owe them a round of thanks because without them there would be no Langston Hughes, no James Baldwin, no Zora Neale Hurston, no Donald Glover, there’s no Isaa Rae, there’s no Jerrod Carmichael. All of these creatives that you love, come from them and their sacrifice.” Hawes also thanked his late father Reginald Hawes before concluding. Check out the full speech in the clip below.
Later in the evening, Minnesota Webfest founder George Reese took the stage to announce a surprise category, Best Marketing, which as he put it “goes to the creators who have done the best job of promoting their work.” When announcing the nominees, he added “It’s a bit weird with this one because really two of the nominees are really one team and it was hard to differentiate because ya’ll do a very good job of balancing promotion of both which is extremely hard to maintain two brands at the same time. So I put ‘Good Black Man’ but really you can call it for whatever (series) you want.”
A surprised Hawes took the stage and quipped “Marketing is important. So do it a lot!” He then thanked editor Joshua Dennard for assisting him in the marketing campaign for both series. Explaining that the marketing campaigns, which included teaser trailers, press articles, casting announcements, and heavy social media engagement; was part of the overall strategy for both series since their conceptions. He concluded with “So in the spirit of marketing, Silver & Gold October 11th! On Jaro Media!’
The final award of the night for Hawes and his team was for Best Representation Of Communities Of Color. An award that Hawes first won at the inaugural Minnesota Webfest in 2017 for his debut digital series Blue Collar Hustle. This time it was ‘Good Black Man’s moment to shine solo as the series triumphed over ‘Silver & Gold’ as well as the critically acclaimed narrative podcast ‘Apollyon’, the French language digital series ‘Hogtown’, and popular YouTube series Its Not You.
Hawes thanked his cast & crew for believing in him to execute the series vision. He also gave a shoutout to ‘Good Black Man’ cast member Alex Patterson, who wasn’t in attendance due to commitments on another film project. He also took time to thank his daughter and co-star Amina Hawes on inspiring the series creation. “I promised that I would keep going until I could star in a show with her. We started filming when she was four, she’s six years old now, so Amina I love you and I’m bringing this home for you.” Check out the full speech in the video below.
‘Silver & Gold’ will debut with a two-episode premiere on Tuesday, October 11th. The first season will stream exclusively on Jaro Media, with episodes being available every Tuesday at 8pm on Jaro’s website as well as the platform’s official Roku channel. The series is described as “A blend of comedy, action, drama, and Afro-futurism set against the backdrop of Atlanta’s criminal underground”. The first season will consist of ten episodes, with Hawes serving as director and writer for the entire project. Quentin Williams, Brittaney Traylor, Roberto Cruz Jr, and Shani Hawes make up the ensemble cast. Hawes executive produces alongside Rich DeVaughn. Jamal McClendon, Cordarol Sanders, Quentin Williams, Shani Hawes, Joshua Dennard, and Rodderick Fedd serves as producers.
‘Good Black Man’, is described as ‘The journey of a man who is attempting to put his life back together after a series of unfortunate events; whilst raising of his daughter and attempting to avoid falling into the negative stereotypes commonly associated with black men in modern society”. While no release date nor platform were announced for the series as of press time, Hawes will again serve as executive producer, writer and director of all episodes. Joshua Dennard, Jamal McClendon, Shani Hawes, Rodderick Fedd and Cordarol Sanders serve as producers.