The 20th anniversary of the American Black Film Festival (ABFF) was held in South Beach, Miami this past Wednesday through Sunday. The annual festival, founded by Jeff Friday, provides a much needed platform for filmmakers, actors, and producers of color. In attendance were rapper and actor, Common, who was this year’s Ambassador, Nate Parker, Omari Hardwick, Soledad Obrien, Roland Martin, Gabriel Union, and thousands of aspiring filmmakers of color.
The festival included workshops, panel discussions, and film competitions. One of the panel discussions entitled, Black Women in Hollywood: The Future Looks Bright, included Teyonnah Parris (Chiraq), Aja Naomi King (How to Get Away with Murder), Nikki Behari (Sleepy Hollow), and Emayatzy Corinealdi (Miles Ahead). The actresses discussed the importance of mentorship, representation in the media, and producing your own project.
The film, The Birth of a Nation, directed and produced by Nate Parker, garnered in plenty of excitement. The period piece is about the historical uprising led by Nat Turner in the antebellum South. The film previously screened at the 2016 Sundance Film Festival where it struck a deal with Fox Searchlight Pictures for $17.5 million dollars; making it the highest selling deal at the festival to date. Also included in this year’s ABFF screenings were, Central Intelligence, starring Kevin Hart and Dwayne Johnson, The Land, directed and written by Steven Caple, Jr, and Illicit, directed and written by Corey Grant.
For more info, visit the ABFF site, here.