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2013 American Black Film Festival opening night in South Beach (photos)

IMG_0180MIAMI BEACH, Fla. — If there is a way to define the commencement of the 17th annual American Black Film Festival (ABFF), it would be “riveting” and “raw.”

Celebrities, filmmakers, actors, media and others converged onto the famous Colony Square in South Beach for the opening night screening of the emotionally powerful and searing Inevitable Defeat of Mister and Peete starring Jennifer Hudson and Jordin Sparks. Actor-director Bill Duke (Dark Girls), Omari Hardwick (For Colored Girls) and Nicole Friday, wife of ABFF founder Jeff Friday, helped set the stage for the screening of a film about two young boys who were abandoned by a drug addled mother, played terrifically by Hudson, whom most fans would not recognize, as well as Sparks, who played a high school dropout living off of a sugar daddy.IMG_0123

Afterwards, thousands of festival attendees from around the country converged on the uber-upscale SLS Hotel/Hyde Beach Pool that hugs the Atlantic Ocean for the after party that officially kicked off the festival that rolls through June 24 2013.

Take a look at some of the photographic highlights of day one of the 2013 ABFF, sponsored by HBO and Cadillac.