The first hybrid edition of the American Black Film Festival (ABFF), now in its 26th year, will feature a robust slate of speakers including Kenya Barris, Yahya Abdul-Mateen II, Trevante Rhodes, Salli Richardson-Whitfield, Kyla Pratt, Judge Greg Mathis, Naturi Naughton, DeVon Franklin and 2022 Festival Ambassador Issa Rae who will provide opening night welcome remarks and close out the festival with new series Rap Sh!t, as well as panels ranging from the business of Hollywood to spotlights on new films and television series. Regarded as one of the “nation’s largest community of Black film and television enthusiasts,” the festival will be held live June 15-19 and continue virtually June 20–30 on its custom-designed online platform ABFF PLAY https://abffplay.com/.
The American Black Film Festival (ABFF) is an annual event dedicated to recognizing Black talent and showcasing quality film and television content by and about people of African descent.
“We are thrilled to have the support of the industry with so much content targeted towards Black audiences. For 26 years, we have provided a platform for Black creatives to deliver provocative conversations and compelling entertainment to our community. This year’s ABFF will be no different with our live and virtual programming,” said Nicole Friday, President and General Manager, ABFF Ventures LLC.
Highlights include, The Leading Man panel sponsored by Cadillac will bring some of today’s most sought-after actors Michael Ealy (Fatale), Yahya Abdul-Mateen II (Candyman) and Trevante Rhodes (Moonlight) to the stage for a revealing discussion about their roles in Hollywood and how they have become leading men, moderated by Malinda Williams (The Wood); a conversation with trailblazing filmmakers Gina Prince-Bythewood (The Woman King), Kasi Lemmons (I Wanna Dance With Somebody) and Nicole Brown (President of TriStar Pictures) in Fierce Female Filmmakers of TriStar Pictures sit down to talk about their upcoming releases and a sneak peak of the films; Prime Video will present an intimate discussion on how Black women are leading the charge in creating content for all audiences to love in Leading from Within. The hit Peacock Original series Bel-Air: will showcase Clips and Conversations with the Co-Showrunner/Executive Producer Rasheed Newson and cast Adrian Holmes, Cassandra Freeman, Coco Jones, Akira Akbar, Jimmy Akingbola, and Jordan L. Jones; NBCUniversal will present Bust Down in Laughter with NBCU’s Comedy Crew with Sam Jay, Langston Kerman, Jak Knight and Chris Redd from Peacock’s “Bust Down” and Nicole Byer, Phil Augusta Jackson and Carl Tart from NBC’s “Grand Crew;” and in celebration of the final season of This Is Us, actress/writer Susan Kelechi Watson, writer/producer Eboni Freeman, and producer Christiana Hooks will give the audience a behind the scenes look at the episode, “Our Little Island Girl: Part Two.”
During the Black Experience on Xfinity panel, series creator Andrea Lewis, Beauty Expert Kahlana Barfield Brown, natural hair entrepreneur Whitney White (aka@Naptural85) and producer CJ Faison will highlight Black women and their overall effect on the beauty industry in the upcoming docuseries The Black Beauty Effect; renowned filmmaker Ayoka Chenzira honors a beloved independent film advocate in A Champion of Independent Black Film: Celebrating the Legacy of Michelle Materre; a peak into Bounce’s Original series, Johnson and Finding Happy, with Clips and Conversation panels featuring the cast and producers; so you want to be a showrunner?; learn how from Robin Thede (Black Lady Sketch Show), Rikki Hughes (Dave Chappelle Sticks & Stones) and Randy Huggins (BMF) in Life of a Showrunner delivered by UPS. Prudential Financial brings their Cocktails, Conversations and Financial Facts with LisaRaye McCoy. Disney+ and NatGeo’s Drs. Ferguson and Hodges of hit series, Critters Fixers will offer the best tips to care for your pets during their Clips and Conversation. The Motion Picture Association (MPA) will discuss a finance plan for filmmakers’ creative content in Funding Your Story: The Nuts & Bolts of Film Finance; and the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences’ leadership will discuss the Academy’s outreach outside of Oscar Sunday.
ABFF’s talent discovery programs find emerging talent and introduce them to the entertainment industry. Included on this year’s lineup is the return of ALLBLK’s Shoot Your Shot Casting Call featuring the honorable Judge Lynn Toler (Commit or Quit) and the Warner Bros. Discovery Writers Competition. The live festival culminates with its annual ABFF Greater Miami Community Day in partnership with the Greater Miami Convention and Visitor’s Bureau as part of its commitment to inform, educate and provide opportunities to the local community about the entertainment industry. Community Day is free to South Florida residents.
Previously announced, the festival will open with the Netflix documentary CIVIL, an intimate verité look at the life of maverick civil rights attorney Ben Crump directed and produced by award-winning filmmaker Nadia Hallgren and produced by Kenya Barris, Roger Ross Williams and Lauren Cioffi.
All live events are held in and around South Beach including The Regal South Beach, the New World Center Performance Hall, the Bass Museum and the Black Archives Historic Lyric Theatre.
As part of its virtual talk series events, the lineup includes Life as Entrepreneurs about what it takes to build a family brand with Gia Casey and DJ Envy presented by Morgan Stanley, and; an intimate conversation with the cast of the new docuseries on E!, Mathis Family Matters featuring Judge Greg Mathis. Universal’s Global Talent Development & Inclusion (GTDI) department will celebrate its five-year anniversary with Universal GTDI’s Five Years of Creative Impact. Lionsgate and Starz bring their Black executives for a Gate-Opening: Black Exec Round Table.
The full feature, documentary and web series and spotlight screenings lineup is available here https://www.abff.com/miami/2022-screenings/narrative-features/. All virtual events are available on ABFF PLAY.
Following is the schedule of 2022 ABFF talk series events to date. For times, locations, and the latest information visit, www.ABFF.com
For festival information and to obtain an ABFF pass on site, visit www.abff.com. Follow @ABFF on Twitter and @AmericanBlackFilmFestival on Instagram and Facebook.