The coming-of-age drama, which has won huge critical acclaim, picked up Best Director and Best Original Screenplay for Barry Jenkins, while Mahershala Ali earned Best Supporting Actor. It also scored a fifth accolade for Best Cinematography for James Laxton.

Fences was another big hit with the Black Film Critics Circle members, who applauded its filmmaker and star Denzel Washington as Best Actor and Viola Davis as Best Supporting Actress. The cast was named Best Ensemble and playwright August Wilson was posthumously honoured with Best Adapted Screenplay as the film is based on his 1983 stage production.

Denzel and Viola both reprised their roles onscreen after starring in the Broadway production of Fences in 2010.

Meanwhile, Best Actress went to Loving's Ruth Negga, and Ava DuVernay's 13th, which explores the racial inequalities in the U.S. justice system, was awarded Best Documentary.

They also celebrated Zootopia as the Best Animated Film, and Best Foreign Film went to France's Elle.

Meanwhile, singer-turned-actress Janelle Monae landed the Rising Star award following her performances in Moonlight and Hidden Figures, which chronicles the real-life battle three female African-American mathematicians faced to become part of the NASA mission to launch late astronaut John Glenn into space in 1962.

And there was another honour for Janelle's co-star Mahershala, who was handed the Pioneer Award for his string of roles this year, including Netflix hits House of Cards and Luke Cage. He also features in Hidden Figures.