The American Black Film Festival is celebrating its 20th year of existence. This year, the nation’s largest gathering of Black film and television enthusiasts will meet in Miami, Florida, June 15-19. The kickoff to these festivities took place at The Godfrey in Chicago recently. Hundreds of Black actors, actresses, directors, producers and writers were present and networking with each other throughout the evening. The founder of the ABFF, Jeff Friday, mentioned he created this festival because “Hollywouldn’t.” Twenty years later, this event has just as much (if not even more) relevance in light of the current #Oscarsowhite scandal. The festival features full length narratives, short films, documentaries and web series written, directed, produced and staring Black talent.
Lee Daniels (“Empire”), Will Packer (Ride Along) and Ryan Coogler (Creed) are a few of the notable alumni of this event. The ABFF presents over 30 exciting events and networking activities designed to educate, nurture career development and inspire festival attendees. The festival traditionally opens with a Hollywood movie premiere, followed by independent film screenings, master classes, panels, celebrity talks, entertainment and talent contests co-programmed with leading media companies (HBO, Nickelodeon, and Comcast/NBCUniversal). Oscar and Grammy award winner Common will be hosting this year’s festivities in Miami. Find out more about the festival at www.abff.com.