BEVERLY HILLS, Calif. - Tyler Perry reminded black filmmakers that there is "more than one path" as he implored them to find alternatives to getting films made at an event honouring black men in Hollywood.

Perry was among those honoured by Essence at a celebration held at his own mansion on Wednesday night. Others honoured included Spike Lee, Malcolm Lee (director of the "Best Man" films) and Sidney Poitier, who gave a moving speech that in part paid tribute to black actors who opened the doors for future generations.

While Spike Lee lamented the lack of blacks at power-making decisions at studios, Perry, who owns his own studio, stressed the importance of ownership.The evening was the prelude to Essence's annual celebration of black women in Hollywood on Thursday.