Film Life kicked off their 19th annual American Black Film Festival in New York City on June 11. The four-day event dedicated to showcasing quality films and television content by and about people of African descent, screened Dope on opening night.
In attendance were “Empire” actress Taraji Henson, the 2015 ABFF ambassador; Dope actress Chanel Iman, MiMi Michaels, as well as Jeff and Nicole Friday.
Henson says this about her appointment as ambassador, “I want to thank Jeff Friday and everyone at ABFF for the honor of serving as your 2015 ambassador. It is a privilege to join my fellow filmmakers to celebrate and support Black artists and the artistry that resides in all of us.”
The ABFF was originally conceived as a destination event. Since its inception in 1997, the festival has been held in Acapulco, Miami, Los Angeles and New York City. Founder Jeff Friday envisioned the ABFF as a vehicle to promote diversity in the film and television industry. Today it is widely recognized as a major conduit for bringing new Black talent to the forefront, both in front of and behind the camera. The festival is considered the nation’s largest gathering of Black film and TV enthusiasts, last year drawing an attendance of approximately 19,000. The 19th annual ABFF will be held in New York City, June 11-14, 2015. HBO® is the festival’s founding sponsor.