The Book of NegroesInternational television miniseries The Book of Negroes, which was produced last year under the South African-Canadian Co-production Treaty, has been nominated in two categories in the 5th annual Critics' Choice Television Awards, which will be hosted by the Broadcast Television Journalists Association at the Beverly Hilton in Los Angeles on 31 May. The series has been acquired for South African broadcast by etv.

In the "Best Limited Series" category, The Book of Negroes will be competing against 24: Live Another Day (Fox), American Crime (ABC), The Honourable Woman (Sundance), Olive Kitteridge (HBO) and Wolf Hall (PBS).

In the "Best Actress in a Movie or Limited series", US stage and screen actress Aunjanue Ellis, who plays the lead character Aminata Diallo, has been nominated alongside some of Hollywood's top leading ladies, including Felicity Huffman (American Crime), Frances McDormand (Olive Kitteridge), Jessica Lange (American Horror Story: Freak Show), Maggie Gyllenhaal (The Honorable Woman), and Queen Latifah (Bessie).

Canadian director Clement Virgo, whose television credits include The Wire and The L-Word, helms an international cast including Lyriq Bent (CSI: Miami), Cuba Gooding Jr., Louis Gossett Jr., and Ben Chaplin (The Thin Red Line), and South African artists featured include Siya Xaba, Armand Aucamp (Chronicle), and Robin Smith (Invictus).

Based on Canadian writer Lawrence Hill's award-winning novel of the same name, the six-part miniseries is derived from the historical document, The Book of Negroes, and follows the harrowing journey of Ellis' Aminata and her return home after being forced into slavery as a child.

Lensed by South African cinematographer Giulio Biccari, The Book of Negroes was filmed in Cape Town, the KwaZulu-Natal South Coast and various parts of Nova Scotia, and produced by Conquering Lion Pictures and Out of Africa Entertainment in association with Entertainment One, BET and CBC. Damon D'Oliveira, Lance Samuels, Clement Virgo, Daniel Iron and Carrie Stein serve as executive producers.

The show debuted on CBC Television in Canada to an audience of 1.9-million people, and beating the People's Choice Awards show it was rated as the number one prime time television program. Earlier this year it aired on the BET (Black Entertainment Television) Network.

The entertainment trade's "Bible", Variety, observed the production value, saying: "Meticulous replication of the 18th century and spanning decades," while The Huffington Post called it "a miniseries not to be missed."

At least 50% of the cast and crew are local, and executive producer Lance Samuels of Out of Africa Entertainment believes that the honourable nomination, positive media reviews, and high audience ratings are testimony to the high quality production skills in the South African film and television sector.

Issued by: Conquering Lion Pictures and Out of Africa Entertainment