Festival to open in Los Angeles August 7-10, 2008
New York, NY, May 25, 2008 – Actor Anthony Mackie, who will star as Tupac Shakur in the biopic, Notorious, scheduled for release by Fox Searchlight Pictures in 2009, has been named today as Ambassador for the Film Life’s 2008 American Black Film Festival (ABFF). The ABFF is the premier international marketplace for films that showcase the best new work by and about people of African descent. The role of the ABFF Ambassador is to broaden public awareness of the festival and its mission to encourage collaboration and support between Hollywood and the independent film community. This year’s festival, whose theme is “Exploring Black Romance and Sexuality in American Cinema,” is scheduled to take place in Los Angeles from August 7-10.
Mackie, who succeeds last year’s Ambassador, Anthony Anderson, will be featured in the upcoming DreamWorks film Eagle Eye, starring Shia LaBeouf, Michelle Monaghan and Billy Bob Thornton. Eagle Eye is scheduled to hit theaters this September. Mackie was an Independent Spirit Award Nominee for his portrayal of Perry, a young homosexual visual artist in the film Brother to Brother. His Broadway and Off-Broadway credits include: Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom, Drowning Crow, A Soldier’s Play, and Talk” for which he won an Obie Award in 2002. Mackie can also be seen in the films The Manchurian Candidate and Million Dollar Baby, alongside Oscar winning actors Denzel Washington, Clint Eastwood, Morgan Freeman and Hillary Swank; as well as Half Nelson, We Are Marshall, Freedomland, and She Hate Me.
“I am honored to be able to serve as the 2008 ABFF Ambassador to help increase awareness of this great festival that champions creative expression as well as recognizes and rewards emerging talent, who might otherwise remain undiscovered,” Mackie said. Born and raised in New Orleans, Mackie honed his skills at the New Orleans Center for Creative Arts before completing his education at Juilliard.
“Anthony exemplifies what the mission of the ABFF is: to recognize, showcase and celebrate emerging African American talent,” said Jeff Friday, CEO of Film Life and founder of the ABFF. “I am always pleased when young, talented actors recognize the importance of what the ABFF has been doing over the past 12 years, and are eager to give back and support our mission,” Friday continued.
Allstate is the Presenting Sponsor of the 2008 festival and HBO® is the festival’s Founding Sponsor. Other sponsors on board for this year include luxury automaker, Lincoln, as well as Target, BET J (Premier); Blockbuster, Heineken (Official); Nielsen Media Research, One Village Entertainment, Fox Searchlight Pictures, Codeblack Entertainment, Nickelodeon, Fox Entertainment Group (Supporting); SAG Indie, Writers Guild of America West, Greater Philadelphia Film Commission (Industry); Black Enterprise, Uptown, Upscale, Black Noir, Heart&Soul, Precious Times, Automotive Rhythms, Toy Box, Monarch, Hope Today Magazine, NV, Save the Date and EUR Web (Media).
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The ABFF, cofounded by Jeff Friday in 1997, is a property of Film Life, Inc., a New York-based film marketing and distribution company. Its mission is to spearhead the global distribution of quality Black films and be the leading American brand producing Black movies, television, events and digital content. Film Life’s key properties include the American Black Film Festival (abff.com); the Black Movie Awards (blackmovieawards.com); the Turks and Caicos International Film Festival (www.turksnadcaicosfilmfest.com); and the ABFF DVD Series (thefilmlife.com), a partnership with Warner Home Video.
For general registration information visit www.abff.com, call 646- 375-2144, ext. 1, or contact the festival via e-mail at [email protected].