LOS ANGELES, (June 10, 2024) – The 28th Annual American Black Film Festival (ABFF) today announced that acclaimed artists Ava DuVernay and Kenya Barris will join festival creative director Issa Rae for “Creator Conversations.” The live event will be held on Friday, June 14th at the New World Center. The 2024 Creator Conversations program is the first of its kind, celebrating the careers of extraordinary artists. This year’s festival takes place live in Miami Beach June 12-16, followed by an online segment June 17-24 on ABFF PLAY (https://abffplay.com/).

“We are truly delighted to get a rare glimpse into the minds of three trailblazers who are reshaping the landscape of film and television. Ava DuVernay, Kenya Barris and Issa Rae are incredibly talented creators whose work and careers we admire tremendously,” said NICE CROWD President Nicole Friday. “This on-stage conversation will provide the audiences with in-person access to these iconic creatives, allowing them to engage and hear directly from these celebrated artists.”

The 2024 ABFF Creator Conversations with Issa Rae featuring Ava DuVernay and Kenya Barris will take attendees on a journey through their processes and careers, including recent work such as Ava DuVernay’s ORIGIN and Kenya Barris’ black-ish franchise, his feature directorial debut, You People, and producorial projects, Diarra From Detroit and The Vince Staples Show.

Ava DuVernay’s ORIGIN, now streaming on Hulu, is the acclaimed film from Academy Award® nominated filmmaker Ava DuVernay, that explores the mystery of history, the wonders of romance, and a fight for our future. While investigating the global phenomenon of caste and its dark influence on society, a journalist faces unfathomable personal loss and uncovers the beauty of human resilience.

Kenya Barris is an Emmy and Peabody award-winning writer, producer, director and actor, whose innovative approach to comedy has firmly cemented his place as one of Hollywood’s great modern storytellers. Best known as the creator behind the groundbreaking black-ish franchise and the Netflix original series #blackAF, Barris has built a career telling powerful stories that reflect our culture and fearlessly tackle an array of social issues.

Barris’ recent television credits are two new series that have quickly become critical darlings: Diarra From Detroit (BET+), a dark comedy from creator Diarra Kilpatrick that follows a divorcing schoolteacher who refuses to believe she’s been ghosted by her rebound Tinder date, and The Vince Staples Show (Netflix), a scripted series loosely inspired by the life of multi-hyphenate musician Vince Staples. This year Barris also served as a producer on The Underdoggs, an Amazon original sports comedy starring Snoop Dogg as a youth football team coach, as well as brought the -ish franchise to a close after a decade with the series finale of grown-ish. Last year, Barris and his production company, Khalabo Ink Society, also celebrated Emmy nominations for two projects — Entergalactic, a first-of-its-kind adult animated music project that featured new music from the Grammy Award-winning musician Kid Cudi, and CIVIL, a documentary that offered an intimate portrait of groundbreaking civil rights attorney, Ben Crump.

Additionally, Barris’ resume is packed with an impressive and varied list of projects, including: Netflix’s hit comedy, You People; the Emmy Award-winning animated series, We The People, executive produced alongside Barack and Michelle Obama; the box-office record-breaking comedy Girls Trip; and Amazon Prime Video’s smash hit Coming 2 America, among many others.

For festival information, including media credentials and how to obtain an ABFF pass, visit www.abff.com. Follow @ABFF on Twitter and @AmericanBlackFilmFestival on Instagram and Facebook.

Since its inception, the highly anticipated American Black Film Festival has premiered the work and supported the careers of many of today’s most successful filmmakers, actors, writers and stand-up comedians and is recognized as a standard-bearer of excellence for Black creativity. Continuing its legacy to empower Black artists and showcase a wide range of entertainment content will feature studio premieres, independent films, master classes, panels, talent showcases, networking and hospitality events.

ABFF sponsors and partners to date are Warner Bros. Discovery and HBO® (Founding), Cadillac, Comcast NBCUniversal, Walmart, Ally (Presenting), City of Miami Beach, Greater Miami Convention & Visitors Bureau (GMCVB), Sony Pictures Entertainment, TV One Networks, American Airlines, IMDbPro, Meta, Onyx Collective, Pronghorn (Official), Amazon MGM Studios, Miami Beach Visitors and Convention Authority (MBVCA), Motion Picture Association (MPA), New World Symphony, STARZ, Fulton Films, Procter & Gamble, Northwestern Mutual (Supporting), A&E Network, Getty Images, NYFA, GLAAD, WME, Digital Media Systems, Netflix, Planned Parenthood (Industry), Variety, LA Times (Media).


About NICE CROWD
NICE CROWD, formerly ABFF Ventures, is a Los Angeles-based live events company that develops and produces properties in the arts, entertainment, lifestyle and wellness industries that showcase BIPOC culture and talent. The Company’s tentpole event is the American Black Film Festival, founded in 1997.

To learn more about NICE CROWD events, visit www.nicecrowd.com.


Download photos of Issa Rae, Ava DuVernay and Kenya Barris HERE.


Media Contact:
[email protected]

The ABFF Comedy Show Returns, Hosted by Abbott Elementary’s Janelle James

LOS ANGELES, (May 22, 2024) – The American Black Film Festival (ABFF) today announced its 2024 Talks Series lineup, featuring conversations and panels with industry leading directors, producers, and talent, including Nia Long, Meagan Good, and more. The 28th annual ABFF will take place in Miami Beach June 12-16 and will be available to a global audience June 17 – 24 on ABFF PLAY (https://abffplay.com/).

In addition, the ABFF Comedy Show will be returning this year on Friday evening, June 14 with host Janelle James from ABC’s “Abbott Elementary.” Emerging stand-up comedians Alfred Kainga, Anthony Oakes, Apple Brown Betty, Mason King, and Rashaun Reese will take the 2024 ABFF Comedy Show stage to bring an evening full of laughter.

“We are thrilled to announce a robust lineup of conversations from industry leading professionals across film, television, music, and more,” said NICE CROWD President Nicole Friday. “The Talk Series is a unique first hand experience for all festival goers to hear from industry leaders and truly our favorite part about this festival experience.”

Highlights include an exclusive first look of “Tyler Perry’s Divorce in the Black” with film stars Meagan Good and Cory Hardrict presented by Amazon MGM Studios, “UnPrisoned” panel following the world premiere with Kerry Washington and Tracy McMillan presented by Onyx Collective; Money & Mindfulness: an intimate conversation with Nia Long presented by Ally, “Friday Night Vibes Goes Off the Field with All American and All American: Homecoming” a conversation with Bre-Z, Daniel Ezra, Michael Evans Behling, Geffri Maya, and Cory Hardrict presented by Warner Bros. Discovery, an exclusive sneak peek at the second season of Hulu’s “Reasonable Doubt” with Raamla Mohamed, Emayatzy Corinealdi and McKinley Freeman presented by Onyx Collective, and the “Black & Unlimited Fatherhood Project” conversation on the joys and challenges of being a Black father in the entertainment world with Lance Gross, Carl Jones and David E. Talbert presented by Walmart.

The ABFF’s Talks Series complements previously announced programming which includes narrative and documentary official film selections, exclusive spotlight screenings and world premieres, sneak peaks and red-carpet premieres.

Highly anticipated yearly events that were previously announced include:

  • The 27th HBO Short Film Award Showcase featuring five shorts from emerging filmmakers who compete for the prestigious award
  • Best of the ABFF Awards, hosted by three-time Emmy award nominee Dondré Whitfield, where the 2024 independent film awards and talent contest winners will be presented
  • A new program celebrating the careers of extraordinary Black artists, kicking off this year with Retrospective: Celebrating the Legacy of Denzel Washington program

The live festival concludes on Sunday, June 16 with its annual ABFF Community Day in partnership with the Greater Miami Convention and Visitors Bureau as part of its commitment to inform, educate and provide opportunities in the entertainment industry to the local community. The event is free and open to all South Florida residents.

All ABFF live events are held in and around Miami Beach including the New World Center, the Miami Beach Convention Center, The Fillmore, and The Betsy Hotel, including experiences presented by Cadillac and Hoorae Media, a independent media production company formed by Issa Rae.

Following is the schedule of live and virtual 2024 ABFF Talks Series events to date. For times, locations and more details, visit www.ABFF.com.

ABFF Live Talks Series Events June 12-16, 2023

Thursday, June 13, 2024:

It’s All Location, Location, Location
Presented by Fulton Films (GA) Office
Film, TV and Digital producers, actors and directors are all descending on Atlanta/Fulton County to create projects thanks to the peach state’s affordable housing market, the government’s enticing film tax credits, and the year-round ideal climate. So how is it working out for some of the stars who now call the ATL home? Join the stars of the popular BET series “The OVAL”, and the social sensation leading lady of Kountry Wayne’s skits on YouTube to hear why they chose to Live, Work, Play and Stay in Fulton County, GA, and why they encourage other creatives to do the same.
Moderator: Shaunya Chavis-Rucker
Panelists: Javon Johnson, Kaye Singleton, Rolonda “Rogirl” Rochelle

Navigating the Pathways to Representation
Presented by WME
This panel brings together the agent and manager perspectives from WME and Color Creative to provide insights and expertise to creatives and industry professionals. Our panelists will discuss the ecosystem of representation from their respective roles, the intersection of their services, and the importance of collaboration and advocating for their clients.
Panelists: Eric Darnell (Agent, Motion Picture Literary, WME), Chelsea Dern (Agent, Scripted TV Literary, WME) and Ashley Calloway (Manager and Producer, ColorCreative)
Moderator: Antonio Hairston (VP, Recruiting and Diversity Outreach, WME)

UnPrisoned (Season 2 World Premiere) with Kerry Washington
Presented by Onyx Collective, ABC Signature, Hulu
Join the world premiere screening of the second season of Hulu’s heartfelt dramedy “UnPrisoned,” starring Kerry Washington and Delroy Lindo, followed by a fireside chat with executive producers Kerry Washington and Tracy McMillan. In season two, the Alexander family is still a mess. Paige’s therapy practice is in trouble, Finn’s anxiety is through the roof, Edwin is still figuring out how to get his life together outside of prison, and their relationships are more complicated than ever. The family needs help, and it’s time to call in a professional – OTHER than Paige. The Alexanders turn to a “family radical healing coach,” who throws out all the rules to free them of the issues, old wounds and family secrets holding them back.
Panelists: Kerry Washington (EP/Star) and Tracy McMillan (Creator/EP)

NBCU LAUNCH Talks: The Art of Content Acquisitions at NBCUniversal
Presented by Comcast NBCUniversal
NBCU executives will demystify the acquisition process from pitch to final delivery, discuss the type of content they seek, and share best practices on pitching your projects. They will also provide insight into the company’s acquisitions strategy across its television and film portfolio, including Peacock and Universal Pictures. During the panel, the executives will also share how they secured projects such as “The Continental: From the World of John Wick” and “Honk for Jesus. Save Your Soul.”
Panelists: Robert Baltazar, Britney Williams, Tony Ducret

Money and Mindfulness: A Conversation with Nia Long
Presented by Ally
Ally will host an intimate one on one conversation on money & mindfulness with Award-winning actress Nia Long. Learn more about her journey and the financial lessons of life, and the business, she has learned picked up along the way.
Moderator: Jack Howard

Sonic Force: Storytelling Through Voice Acting
Presented by Meta
The voice of your project or brand, whether expressed through film, podcasts, TV, or social media reels, communicates your story. Bringing this voice to life ultimately falls to the content creator’s choice of the voice actor(s). With carefully guided direction, the voice actor becomes a powerful means for establishing your story concept from pitch to fundraising, to production and advertising. Daughters of Eve Media in conjunction with the Society of Voice Arts and Sciences will explore the ways filmmakers and content creators can enrich their storytelling—and leverage their marketing power—by fully envisioning the endgame before reaching the post-production phase and highlighting the critical value of diverse voices.
Moderators: Dr. Michele Prettyman and Terri Prettyman Bowles, Daughters of Eve Media
Panelists: Joan Baker, author of “Secrets of Voice-over Success,” and Emmy Award-winning producer Rudy Gaskins, founders of the Society of Voice Arts and Sciences, the Voice Arts Awards, and the That’s Voiceover Career Expo Dave Fennoy (Voice Arts Award winner known as the voice of Hulu, the NAACP Awards, and countless movie trailers and commercials).

Lights, Camera, Access: A Director’s Journey
Presented by Warner Bros. Discovery
Step into the world of cinematic mastery with our Director’s Craft Workshop, where imagination meets technique and creativity knows no bounds! Whether you’re a budding filmmaker looking to hone your skills or a seasoned director seeking fresh inspiration, our Director’s Craft Workshop is designed to ignite your passion for storytelling and elevate your craft to new heights. Join us for an unforgettable experience that will leave you empowered, inspired, and ready to take on the world of cinema like never before!
Moderator: Bevy Smith
Panelist: Rashaad Ernesto Green

Tyler Perry’s Divorce in the Black: An Exclusive First Look with film stars Meagan Good and Cory Hardrict
Presented by Amazon MGM Studios
“Tyler Perry’s Divorce in the Black” follows Ava (Meagan Good), a young bank professional who is devastated when her husband Dallas (Cory Hardrict) abandons a marriage she is determined to fight for until fate intervenes, revealing Dallas’ wicked deeds that have trashed their marriage, and once upon a time sabotaged Ava’s destiny to be loved by her true soulmate. During this conversation, film stars Meagan Good and Cory Hardrict will sit down together to discuss the film, and to give an exclusive first look at the trailer for the first time, anywhere. The film will be released on Prime Video on July 11.
Moderator: Latasha Gillespie

Uncensored Live w/ Trina
Presented by TV One
Description: TV One’s hit show “Uncensored” explores the lives of some of today’s most notable personalities as they provide first-hand accounts of their success and the obstacles they faced throughout their careers. Experience the same raw and unfiltered storytelling in an exclusive “Uncensored” LIVE edition featuring rapper, producer, TV/radio personality, entrepreneur and now author Trina. As one of the most successful female Hip Hop artists in history, Trina continues to break barriers more than two decades into her legendary career. From her early days on the Miami music scene to achieving global stardom, Trina will share stories about the music industry, the role of women in Hip Hop, her cultural impact, personal loss and more. Moderated in conversation by comedian, writer, and director Chris Spencer, listen as both trailblazers share their unique journeys from adversity to achievement.
Moderator: Chris Spencer

Friday, June 14, 2024:

Meet the Streaming Innovation Alliance
Presented by Motion Picture Association (MPA)
Meet the united voice of the streaming community – driving a new era of creativity, opportunity, diversity, value, and choice in home and mobile entertainment. SIA fights for smart policies that will continue to meet audiences where they are and propel streaming innovation forward. Alliance members include groundbreaking platforms providing opportunities and access to Black and historically marginalized content creators. Join John Gibson, Vice President for External and Multicultural Affairs at the Motion Picture Association for an engaging conversation with the creative forces behind alliance founding streamers AfroLandTV, AmericaNU, ForUsByUs Network, and VAULT Access. Delve into a world of diverse storytelling and learn how these platforms are reshaping the streaming landscape for independent content creators.
Moderator: John Gibson
Panelists: Omarr Salgado, AmericaNu; Michael Maponga, AfroLandTV; J. Alexander Martin, ForUsByUs Network; and Kenneth Giffords, VAULT Access

Court is Back in Session: Season Two of Hulu’s “Reasonable Doubt”
Presented by Onyx Collective, ABC Signature, Hulu
Join “Reasonable Doubt” creator Raamla Mohamed and stars Emayatzy Corinealdi and McKinley Freeman as they unpack the shocking twists of Season One and reveal an exclusive sneak peek from the highly anticipated second season, premiering August 22 on Hulu. After trying to heal from her wounds from last season’s arduous trial and deadly affair, Jax Stewart is attempting to get her life back on track. That is until one of her closest friends reveals that she has killed her husband. Her friend is claiming self-defense, but an uncompromising prosecutor thinks otherwise. Needing all the help she can get, Jax brings in an ambitious defense attorney to lead the case, but things get tense very quickly. Can Jax defend her friend, save her marriage and protect her energy while being catapulted into the biggest case of her career? Or will she lose it all?
Panelists: Series stars Emayatzy Corinealdi (“Jax”) and McKinley Freeman (“Lewis”), alongside Raamla Mohamed (Creator/EP/Showrunner)

Pitch Perfect: Promoting Yourself & Connecting With Others
Presented by TV One
Join us for an insightful and fun discussion on the art of pitching yourself and making meaningful connections. In today’s competitive landscape, the ability to effectively promote your uniqueness and establish valuable, long-term relationships is essential for continued success. We will share practical tips, real-world experiences, and proven strategies to help you master the art of pitching and networking. From crafting an impactful elevator pitch to navigating networking events with confidence to pitching virtually, this discussion will equip you with the tools and techniques needed to stand out and forge meaningful connections in any setting. Whether you’re a seasoned professional looking to enhance your networking skills or a newcomer eager to make a memorable impression, this panel promises valuable insights and actionable advice to propel your pitching and networking game to the next level!
Panelist: Austyn Biggers

Insuring Your Future
Presented by Northwestern Mutual
Join us for cocktails and conversations. Hear thought-provoking insights about tools that can help protect your income—and leave a legacy for your family. This panel discussion with Northwestern Mutual financial advisors Julian Pouncy, MBA and Mshon K. Pulliam, Sr. CLTC® will be followed by a complimentary happy hour and one-on-one advising. Let us help you build a legacy plan!
Moderator: Monique Idlett
Panelists: Julian Pouncy, MBA and Mshon K. Pulliam, Sr. CLTC®

Friday Night Vibes Goes Off the Field with All American and All American: Homecoming
Presented by Warner Bros. Discovery
Warner Bros. Television Group presents an ALL-AMERICAN franchise takeover with cast members from ALL-AMERICAN and ALL-AMERICAN: HOMECOMING for an intimate conversation about celebrating and shaping Black culture through family, sports and education.
Hosts: Nina Parker, KevOnStage
Panelists: Daniel Ezra, Michael Evans Behling, Bre-Z, Geffri Maya, Cory Hardrict

Saturday, June 15, 2024:

Uplifting Talent and Stories from Untapped Spaces
Presented by Comcast NBCU
Description: This panel will spotlight the partnership between Universal Filmed Entertainment Group (UFEG) and Monkeypaw Productions and their shared commitment to creating access and discovering new talent. This discussion will explore the various strategies championed by UFEG and Monkeypaw Productions, both above and below-the-line, including: the Universal Filmmakers Project ‘NO DRAMA’, Universal Below-the-Line Traineeship and Universal Composers Initiative. Through this engaging discussion, we hope to inspire those in the audience as to how these programs are reshaping the industry’s talent, workforce and creative innovation.
Moderator: Candace Afia
Panelists: Keisha Senter, Emerlynn Lampitoc, K. Nicole Mills

Black & Unlimited Fatherhood Project – Celebrity Conversation
Presented by Walmart
A blend of perspectives in both fatherhood and the tv and film industry; meaningful discussions on the joys and challenges of being a Black father in the entertainment world.
Moderator: David E.Talbert
Panelists: Lance Gross, Carl Jones

Music For Media: Secrets of a Successful Collaboration
Presented by New World Symphony
Michael Abels is the Pulitzer Prize-winning composer of scores for the Jordan Peele films GET OUT, US and NOPE, and is the first black composer to score a scripted series for LucasFilm (“Star Wars: The Acolyte” – Disney+). In this session, Abels discusses his process, his journey through Hollywood, the relationship between composer and director/showrunner, and provides insights to achieving an evocative score for any size project.
Host: Michael Abels

ABFF Retrospective: Celebrating the Legacy of Denzel Washington
Journey with Denzel Washington through the highlights of his illustrious career, as he talks Hollywood, his evolution as an actor, director, producer and his love for the work of August Wilson.
Moderator: Chaz Ebert

For festival information, including media credentials and how to obtain an ABFF pass, visit www.abff.com. Follow @ABFF on Twitter and @AmericanBlackFilmFestival on Instagram and Facebook.

Since its inception, the highly anticipated American Black Film Festival has premiered the work and supported the careers of many of today’s most successful filmmakers, actors, writers and stand-up comedians and is recognized as a standard-bearer of excellence for Black creativity. Continuing its legacy to empower Black artists and showcase a wide range of entertainment content will feature studio premieres, independent films, master classes, panels, talent showcases, networking and hospitality events.

ABFF sponsors and partners to date are Warner Bros. Discovery and HBO® (Founding), Cadillac, Comcast NBCUniversal, Walmart, Ally (Presenting), City of Miami Beach, Greater Miami Convention & Visitors Bureau (GMCVB), Sony Pictures Entertainment, TV One Networks, American Airlines, IMDbPro, Meta, Onyx Collective, Simply (Official), Amazon MGM Studios, Miami Beach Visitors and Convention Authority (MBVCA), Motion Picture Association (MPA), New World Symphony, STARZ, Fulton Films, Procter & Gamble, Northwestern Mutual (Supporting), A&E Network, Getty Images, NYFA, GLAAD, WME, Digital Media Systems, Netflix, Planned Parenthood, UTA, Viarae (Industry), Variety, LA Times (Media).


About NICE CROWD
NICE CROWD, formerly ABFF Ventures, is a Los Angeles-based live events company that develops and produces properties in the arts, entertainment, lifestyle and wellness industries that showcase BIPOC culture and talent. The Company’s tentpole event is the American Black Film Festival, founded in 1997.

To learn more about NICE CROWD events, visit www.nicecrowd.com.


Download talent headshots HERE.

Download American Black Film Festival key art HERE.


Media Contact:
[email protected]

28th ABFF, June 12-16 in Miami, Will Open with HBO Short Film Award Showcase, which has Previously Featured Early Films from Ryan Coogler, Reinaldo Marcus Green & More

Ben Crump, Morris Chestnut, Nicco Annan, Affion Crockett, Loretta Devine, Frankie Faison & More Will Make Appearances for Spotlight Screenings, Series and Voices of Culture Lineup

LOS ANGELES, (May 15, 2024) – The 2024 American Black Film Festival (ABFF) announced today that this year’s Spotlight Screenings lineup will feature the world premieres of UnPrisoned (Season 2) with Kerry Washington; Wu-Tang Clan documentary Ol’ Dirty Bastard: A Tale of Two Dirtys; Down In the Valley starring Nicco Annan of P-Valley, and many more, along with the opening night HBO Short Film Award Showcase.

In past years, the ABFF’s prestigious HBO Short Film Award has helped launch the careers of some of the most successful filmmakers, such as:

  • Ryan Coogler (2011 HBO Short Film Award Winner – Fig),
  • Reinaldo Marcus Green (2013 HBO Short Film Award Finalist – Stone Cars),
  • Rashaad Ernesto Green (2008 HBO Short Film Award Winner – Premature),
  • Frank E. Flowers (2003 HBO Short Film Award Winner – Swallow),
  • Steven Caple, Jr. (2013 HBO Short Film Award Winner – A Different Tree), and more.

“We are thrilled to partner with our founding sponsor, HBO, and kick off this year’s festival with the legendary HBO Short Film Award Showcase,” said NICE CROWD President Nicole Friday. “This year’s HBO Short Film Award Showcase, Spotlight Screenings, Series and Voices of Culture lineups present even more talented Black creatives, and we are delighted to share such diversity in our programs for all audiences to enjoy.”

Sirius XM’s Bevy Smith, host of Bevelations, will emcee the this year’s HBO Short Film Award Showcase which will display works of incredible Black women directors including: Chocolate with Sprinkles, a sweet family fantasy/drama, starring Reno Wilson, directed and written by Huriyyah Muhammad; Muna, United Kingdom story of British-Somali teenager explorations of grief and culture directed and written by Warda Mohamed; Once Upon a Dime, profound perspective of the unhoused community, directed and written by Lauren Julia; The Brown Dog, an animated short narrated by the late Michael K. Williams and directed by Nadia Hallgren and Jamie-James Medina; and The Rebel Girls, 1960s civil rights story directed and written by Felicia D Henderson and executive produced by Mara Brock Akil.

“It’s an honor to return to ABFF and open the festival with the HBO Short Film Award Showcase,” said Dennis Williams, Senior Vice President, Corporate Social Responsibility, Warner Bros. Discovery. “Now in its 27th year, the HBO Short Film Award Showcase is a defining example of our commitment to ABFF and to launching the careers of emerging Black filmmakers.”

In addition, the 2024 Spotlight Screenings is comprised of various projects from networks and streamers including previously announced Devil in a Blue Dress as part of the Denzel Washington Retrospective, courtesy of Sony Picture Entertainment; the premiere of Down In the Valley, a documentary series inspired by the vibrant world of “P-Valley” courtesy of STARZ; the world premiere of Ol’ Dirty Bastard: A Tale of Two Dirtys, a documentary on Wu-Tang Clan founding member Ol’ Dirty Bastard courtesy of A&E; the world premiere of the second season of UnPrisoned starring Kerry Washington and Delroy Lindo courtesy of Hulu and more.

The Series finalists include the world premieres of Groupies, written, produced, and co-led by Daphnique Springs, an ABFF Alumni and previous winner of the festival’s comedy competition; On Second Thought, a thrilling suspense series with cast including Andrea Lewis of Hulu’s Three Ways, a previous festival official selection; Mo Brown’s Bodega, NYC bonafide sitcom written, directed, and starring Mo Brown; and Unsolicited, a spontaneous witty comedy starring and penned by Barshae Lowery.

By invitation only, the Voices of Culture, a non-competitive category, does not disappoint with a robust lineup of international works from across the USA, Ghana, United Kingdom, and France. The lineup includes The Origin starring Morris Chestnut and directed and written by Jorge Sanchez; Lucille starring Loretta Devine & Frankie Faison and directed and written by Warren S. L. Burke; the world premiere of 32 starring rising talent Shakira Ja’nai Paye; and the world premieres of Vigilante and X: The Interview short films that amplify Black men representation in the superhero realm; and more.

Winners of the 2024 independent film awards and talent contest will be announced during the “Best of the ABFF Awards” hosted by three-time Emmy award nominee Dondré Whitfield, Saturday, June 15, in the New World Center.

The impact of the ABFF brand extends far beyond the annual gathering in Miami Beach. ABFF proudly serves as a qualifying festival for the Academy Awards® Short Film Awards. Through its various initiatives, partnerships, and platforms, the festival is a vital hub for showcasing the extraordinary talent of Black creatives around the world and throughout the year. For the third year in a row, the American Black Film Festival and American Airlines have partnered to bring more diverse content to their inflight entertainment system on a dedicated ABFF channel. A curated collection of short films from the annual festival are available to watch year-round on the ABFF channel on all American Airlines flights, reaching over 200 million travelers annually. Learn more about ABFF on American Airlines HERE.

The 2024 festival will take place June 12 – 16 in Miami Beach, followed by an online segment June 17 – 24 on ABFF PLAY, https://abffplay.com/.

The HBO Short Film Award finalists, Spotlight Screenings, Series, and Voices of Culture full lineup is listed below.

HBO Short Film Award Showcase
Now in its 27th year, the HBO Short Film Award, sponsored by HBO and Warner Bros. Discovery, is regarded as one of the most prestigious short film showcases in the world. Five filmmakers are selected as finalists, one grand prize winner will be presented with the HBO Short Film Award and a cash prize of $10,000. The following films represent the finalists for the 2024 HBO Short Film Award.

Chocolate with Sprinkles *World Premiere
On their 25th wedding anniversary, a bickering married couple is given one day to do something they haven’t done in 25 years – work on their marriage.
USA | 19 min
Director: Huriyyah Muhammad
Writer: Huriyyah Muhammad
Producer: Okema T. Moore, Yha Mourhia Wright, Cole Sanchez
Cast: Reno Wilson, Keisha Thompson, Camron Jones, Lillian Gilbert

Muna
A film about teenage dreams, dislocated grief and unexpected connection, following a British-Somali teen navigating a confusing mourning period for a family member she never met.
United Kingdom | 19 min
Director: Warda Mohamed
Writer: Warda Mohamed
Producer: Angela Moneke, Simon Hatton
Cast: Kosar Ali, Raha Isse Farah, Elmi Rashid Elmi, Ahmed Nur

Once Upon A Dime *World Premiere
Nkosi plans and executes the perfect first date, but as the sun sets, we realize that things with Nkosi aren’t quite what they seem.
USA | 12 min
Director: Lauren Julia
Writer: Lauren Julia
Producer: Lauren Julia
Cast: Quincy Chad, Anjali Khetan

The Brown Dog *World Premiere
Night after night, a watchman clocks into his lonely booth and spends hours composing endless security logs to stay awake, as he slowly descends into darkness.
USA | 14 min
Director: Nadia Hallgren, Jamie-James Medina
Writer: Willis Earl Beal
Producer: Nadia Hallgren, Jamie-James Medina, Michael Stirton
Cast: Michael K. Williams, Steve Buscemi

The Rebel Girls
“The Rebel Girls” is the true story of the 1960s fight for Civil Rights through the eyes of the girls who reinvigorated the struggling movement through the power of magical thinking, friendship, faith, and fortitude.
USA | 22 min
Director: Felicia D Henderson
Writer: Felicia D Henderson
Producer: Felicia D Henderson, Katrina Kudlick
Cast: Nika King, Kyanna Simone, Nia Sondaya, Honey Robinson, Asia Holiday, Josephine Lawrence, Avynn Crowder-Jones, Maxcianna Saintilus

Spotlight Screenings
The Full Spotlight-Screenings Lineup:

Affion Crockett Presents Microphone Masters: Comedy, Community, and Collaboration
“Affion Crockett Presents Microphone Masters: Comedy, Community, and Collaboration” moderated by Talitha Watkins, President & Head of ColorCreative, with panelists Affion Crockett, Actor, Comedian, and Producer; Delmar Washington, Director and Producer; and Keesha Boyd, VP, Entertainment Products, Comcast and Executive Producer for the Black Experience on Xfinity. Enjoy a full episode screening and discussion centering on the creative process and collaborative work in bringing this 3-part stand-up comedy docuseries to life. Gain exclusive insights into the team’s process and goals to uplift emerging comedic talent and the partnership with Black Experience on Xfinity to further the mission of growing opportunities for Black storytellers and filmmakers.
Run time: 56 minutes
Creator & Producer: Affion Crockett
Courtesy of: Comcast NBCUniversal Black Experience on Xfinity

Devil in a Blue Dress
It’s 1948 and Los Angeles is booming, but Easy Rawlins (Denzel Washington) has seen better days. He’s just been fired and he’s got house payments to make, so when Easy is offered a job locating the mysterious Daphne Monet (Jennifer Beals), he doesn’t waste much time saying yes. Now he finds himself drawn into a web of murder, blackmail, brutal cops, and corrupt city politics. Devil In A Blue Dress also stars Tom Sizemore as DeWitt Albright, who hustles Easy into this dangerous game, and Don Cheadle as Mouse, Easy’s extremely volatile friend. Reminiscent of film noir, this stylish production is based on the book by Walter Mosley. Directed by Carl Franklin with a screenplay by Franklin.
Run time: 101 min
Courtesy of: Sony Pictures Entertainment

Down In the Valley *Premiere
Down in the Valley,” a documentary series inspired by the vibrant world of “P-Valley,” set to air in 2024. The six-half-hour episode series hosted, and executive produced by Nicco Annan (“P-Valley”) will take viewers on a tantalizing tour of the Deep South, unveiling a complex South that is equal parts poignant, joyful, and magical.
Run time: 25 min
Host: Nicco Annan
Courtesy of: STARZ

Found
Be the first to see the heart-pounding season two premiere of NBC’s hit crime drama series “Found.” Following will be an intimate conversation with co-showrunner/executive producer Sonay Hoffman and stars Arlen Escarpeta (“Zeke”) and Gabrielle Walsh (“Lacey”). PR specialist Gabi Mosley (Shanola Hampton) and her team are dedicated to finding missing people. But Gabi has a chilling secret – she’s locked up her childhood kidnapper Sir (Mark-Paul Gosselaar) in the basement to help her crack every case. Now Sir has escaped and is on the loose. And her biggest secret is now her biggest threat.
Run time: 43 minutes
Cast: Shanola Hampton, Mark-Paul Gosselaar, Kelli Williams, Brett Dalton, Gabrielle Walsh, Arlen Escarpeta and Karan Oberoi
Creator: Nkechi Okoro Carroll
Showrunners: Nkechi Okoro Carroll and Sonay Hoffman
Courtesy of: Comcast NBCUniversal and NBC

Ol’ Dirty Bastard: A Tale of Two Dirtys *World Premiere
The definitive documentary on Wu-Tang Clan founding member Ol’ Dirty Bastard. The film explores how Russell Tyrone Jones created Ol’ Dirty Bastard, a Hip Hop alter ego superhero that would ultimately consume him. Featuring interviews with Mariah Carey, Wu-Tang Clan’s Raekwon and Ghost Requested
Run time: 86 minutes
Courtesy of: A&E

UnPrisoned *World Premiere
Join the world premiere screening of the second season of Hulu’s heartfelt dramedy “UnPrisoned,” starring Kerry Washington and Delroy Lindo, followed by a fireside chat with executive producers Kerry Washington and Tracy McMillan. In season two, the Alexander family is still a mess. Paige’s therapy practice is in trouble, Finn’s anxiety is through the roof, Edwin is still figuring out how to get his life together outside of prison, and their relationships are more complicated than ever. The family needs help, and it’s time to call in a professional – OTHER than Paige. The Alexanders turn to a “family radical healing coach,” who throws out all the rules to free them of the issues, old wounds and family secrets holding them back.
Run time: 26:42
Cast: Kerry Washington (EP/Star) and Tracy McMillan (Creator/EP)
Courtesy of: Onyx Collective, ABC Signature and Hulu

Series
A competitive section for short-form episodic television directed by and/or both written and produced by persons of African descent. Each series in this section will compete for the Jury Award for Best Series (presented by Comcast NBCUniversal | Black Experience on Xfinity, $2500 cash prize). The following are the 2024 official selections in the Series category:

Groupies *World Premiere
Four determined, marginally educated groupies on a mission to change their destiny by bagging a baller… or at least his Bentley ?!
USA | 32 min
Director: Corey Grant
Writer: Daphnique Springs
Producer: Daphnique Springs, Phaedra Harris
Cast: Daphnique Springs, Ciera Angelia. Natasha Chandel, Christian Torres Villalobos

Mo Brown’s Bodega *World Premiere
Explore the bizarre world of a local NYC bodega owner as she attempts to rid herself of the family business against her father’s wishes, all in hopes to achieve her wildest dreams.
USA | 8 min
Director: Mo Brown
Writer: Mo Brown, Xavier Francis, Tiffany Jordan
Producer: Mo Brown, Xavier Francis, Patrice Waite
Cast: Mo Brown, Vesta Walker

On Second Thought *World Premiere
Autumn, a married woman, finds herself entangled in a secret affair that results in her lover mysteriously turning up dead.
USA | 20 min
Director: Eric J. Dickens
Writer: Eric J. Dickens
Producer: Eric J. Dickens, Dawn Halfkenny
Cast: Dawn Halfkenny, Lawrence Robinson, Andrea Lewis, Robert Gordon

Unsolicited *World Premiere
An opinionated misfit exposes the personal lives of his sister and new neighbors in a weekly column.
USA | 29 min
Director: Chazitear Martin
Writer: Barshea Lowery
Producer: Barshea Lowery, Aysia Moorer, Chazitear Martin
Cast: Barshea Lowery, Seth Dousman, Aysia Moore, Shayla Love, Terrill Patterson, Todd Anthony Manaigo, Schwanda Winston, Caroline Avery Granger, Mac Wells, Brandon Dunn

Voices Of Culture
This section celebrates diverse voices and perspectives within the filmmaking community. The following films represent the 2024 official selection in this category:

1 Up *USA Premiere
Andrew searches for guidance and connection through his late father’s record collection.
United Kingdom |16 min
Director: Greg Francis
Writer: Greg Francis
Producer: Tobi Kyeremateng
Cast: Lamar Waves, Mina Andala, Sean Earl McPherson

32 *World Premiere
A woman realizes she’s the same age with the same ailment that her father had when he passed away and she finds herself trying to balance the ebb and flow of this bittersweet feeling and phase of her life.
USA | 15 min
Director: Stewart Yost
Writer: Shakira Ja’nai Paye
Producer: Shakira Ja’nai Paye & Stewart Yost
Cast: Shakira Ja’nai Paye, Gail Bean

Alliés *USA Premiere
Back from a trip to Africa, Amaury wants to tell his friends that he wants to change his identity.
France | 15 min
Director: Salif Cissé
Writer: Salif Cissé
Producer: Walid Bekhti
Cast: Guillaume Morel, Agathe Mazouin, Alexandre Auvergne, Clémence Coullon, Myriam Fitcher, Mikaël-Don Giancarli

Baby Something *World Premiere
A Ghanaian-American woman and a Ghanaian-Indian man embark on their journey of parenthood, but the universal politics of race quickly becomes a piercing obstacle for her to overcome.
Ghana | 18 min
Director: Nicole F. Amarteifio
Writer: Nicole F. Amarteifio
Producer: Nicole F. Amarteifio, Ramesh Jai Gulabrai
Cast: Nicole F. Amarteifio, Ramesh Jai Gulabrai, Niyara Afua Gulabrai

Behold A Lady *World Premiere
When a studious tomboy’s boyfriend dumps her on the eve of her Latin Quiz Bowl tryouts, she struggles to balance her heartbreak and studies as she transforms her appearance to win him back.
Ghana | 16 min
Director: Britt Williams
Writer: Britt Williams
Producer: Austin Chen, Chris Crema
Cast: Alana Kay Bright, AMARR, Naquia Brown, Jon Gentry, Taharka Welcome, Olivia Celine

Definitely Not A Monster
After a beloved icon dies after being accused of rape, his devoted widow invites a journalist into their home to clear his name.
USA | 19 min
Director: Brea Cola Angelo
Writer: Brea Cola Angelo
Producer: Jaqueline Fabricius, Koury Angelo, Audra Todd, Stephen Enloe
Cast: April Grace, Brea Cola Angelo

Haven *World Premiere
A man questions his notion of a safe place, then confronts disturbing beings that appear in his home.
USA | 10 min
Director: Corey Emanuel Jr.
Writer: Corey Emanuel Jr.
Producer: Lili Dessalegn Tegegn, Corey Emanuel Jr., Shellita Boxie
Cast: Andre De’Sean Shanks, Kingston Zelaya, Dominique McCllelan, Shelitta Boxie

How To Sue The Klan
The Legacy of the Chattanooga Five.
USA | 35 min
Director: John Beder
Producer: John Beder, Benjamin Crump, Cameron S. Mitchell, Raji Ramanathan
Cast: Ben Crump, Randolph McLaughlin, Juanita Toney, Nate Crumsey, Sonya Rollins, Connie Rollins, Betty Lawrence Lewis, Roberta Kaplan

Lucille
A man’s overly talkative wife disrupts her elderly husband’s day of peace.
USA | 13 min
Director: Warren S. L. Burke
Writer: Warren S. L. Burke
Producer: Warren S. L. Burke, Rebecca Herrick
Cast: Loretta Devine & Frankie Faison

My Brother & Me *World Premiere
A coming-of-age story about two brothers who attempt to rob their distant father of their overdue child support.
USA | 17 min
Director: Ryan DeForeest
Writer: Ryan DeForeest
Producer: Ryan DeForeest, Lexx Truss, Shandrea Evans
Cast: Alexander Bello, Zechariah Eubanks, Rodney Hobbs, Katie Kelley, Micah Kobayashi, Riley Nelson, Thaddeus Newman

Ninth Life *World Premiere
A predominantly non-verbal drama series exploring the interconnections of a group of young BIPOC creatives in London.
United Kingdom | 14 min
Director: JOMO (Tajana Tokyo & Sannchia Gaston)
Writer: JOMO (Tajana Tokyo & Sannchia Gaston)
Producer: Alli Maxwell, Scarlett Anderson, Somesuch, Miriam
Cast: Michelle Zan, Gabriel Goux, Yos Clark, Kikz Katika, Lisa Sainvil, Fatou Bah, Benjamin Williams, Robia Milliner, Tajorn Brown, Belen Leroux, Aahkilah Cornelius, Sweetny Ojule, Webster Opiyo, Keith Alexander, Tyrik Patterson, Genesis Lynea & Remi Black

Promise *World Premiere
Promise, a single mother facing deportation and John, an ex-con with a business idea, find their marriage of convenience becoming something more.
USA | 21 min
Director: D. Wilmos Paul
Writer: D. Wilmos Paul
Producer: Anuradha Srikanth, Ned Johnson and D. Wilmos Paul
Cast: Artrece Johnson and Donnevan Tolbert

The Origin
Tep, one of the only legitimate heirs of an ancient extraterrestrial power, finds himself forced to join forces with a wise sage and his tribal brother to fight off alien mercenaries sent to eliminate them.
USA | 26 min
Director: Jorge Sanchez
Writer: Jorge Sanchez
Producer: Jtasha St. Cyr, Morris Chestnut, Jorge Sanchez
Cast: Morris Chestnut, Alimi Ballard, J.Chris Rouse, Lanre Idewu, Kearia Schroeder, Page Kennedy, Jayce Kennedy

Vigilante *World Premiere
In a world where superheroes overlook the vulnerable, four friends with powers step up to protect their neglected neighborhood.
USA | 24 min
Director: Wesley Armstrong
Writer: Phil Dover II
Producer: Jamee Ranta, Diamond Batiste, Alain Fleury
Cast: Khleo Thomas, Maestro Harrell, Jaden Martin, Timothy Kennedy, Benjamin Abiola

X: The Interview *World Premiere
A canceled superhero facing eviction turns to his side hustle for survival. As he embarks on his journey, he discovers dark powers are conspiring against him…
USA | 19 min
Director: RJ Barnes, Anthony Rose
Writer: RJ Barnes
Producer: RJ Barnes, Anthony Rose, Anthony Baldino
Cast: Brandon Broady, Stephanie Elyse, Jerah Milligan, Jacqueline Legrande, Christopher Hancock, Patrice Lakey, Kate McIntyre, Arayawna Moore, Leah “L” Knauer, Jeremy “Gumbo” Christian

For festival information, including media credentials and how to obtain an ABFF pass, visit www.abff.com. Follow @ABFF on Twitter and @AmericanBlackFilmFestival on Instagram and Facebook.

Since its inception, the highly anticipated American Black Film Festival has premiered the work and supported the careers of many of today’s most successful filmmakers, actors, writers and stand-up comedians and is recognized as a standard-bearer of excellence for Black creativity. Continuing its legacy to empower Black artists and showcase a wide range of entertainment content will feature studio premieres, independent films, master classes, panels, talent showcases, networking and hospitality events.

ABFF sponsors and partners to date are Warner Bros. Discovery and HBO® (Founding), Cadillac, Comcast NBCUniversal, Walmart, Ally (Presenting), City of Miami Beach, Greater Miami Convention & Visitors Bureau (GMCVB), Sony Pictures Entertainment, TV One Networks, American Airlines, IMDbPro, Meta, Onyx Collective (Official), Amazon MGM Studios, Miami Beach Visitors and Convention Authority (MBVCA), Motion Picture Association (MPA), New World Symphony, STARZ, Fulton Films, Procter & Gamble, Northwestern Mutual (Supporting), A&E Network, Getty Images, NYFA, GLAAD, WME, Digital Media Systems, Netflix, Planned Parenthood (Industry), Variety, LA Times (Media).


About NICE CROWD
NICE CROWD, formerly ABFF Ventures, is a Los Angeles-based live events company that develops and produces properties in the arts, entertainment, lifestyle and wellness industries that showcase BIPOC culture and talent. The Company’s tentpole event is the American Black Film Festival, founded in 1997.

To learn more about NICE CROWD events, visit www.nicecrowd.com.


Download images of the 28th annual American Black Film Festival HBO Short Film Award Showcase HERE.

Download American Black Film Festival key art HERE.


Media Contact:
[email protected]

For 2024 ABFF Media Credentials please apply HERE.

LOS ANGELES, (April 30, 2024) – The 28th annual American Black Film Festival (ABFF) today announced the Retrospective: Celebrating the Legacy of Denzel Washington program which will take place on Saturday, June 15. This distinguished program is the first of its kind, celebrating the careers of extraordinary Black artists. This year’s festival, which takes place live in Miami Beach June 12-16, followed by an online segment June 17-24 on ABFF PLAY (https://abffplay.com/), spotlights incredible emerging creatives in the filmmaking space.

“We are thrilled and honored to present Denzel Washington with the very first ABFF career retrospective,” said Jeff Friday, Founder & CEO of NICE CROWD. “Denzel has been a longtime supporter of ABFF having attended the festival in the early years, so it is truly a full circle moment for us to spotlight his career in this way.”

This year’s “Retrospective” will take attendees on a journey through Academy Award-winning actor and director Denzel Washington’s cinematic legacy, showcasing his extraordinary talent and enduring impact on the film industry. The program will feature themed activations and screenings throughout the festival of some of his most iconic films, including Sony Pictures Entertainment’s/TriStar Pictures’ Devil in A Blue Dress culminating with a special tribute/onstage interview with Mr. Washington himself on closing night. The conversation will not only celebrate his achievements on screen but also his significant cultural impact off-screen as a director, producer, humanitarian, husband, and father.

The Denzel Washington Retrospective will inspire and enlighten the festival’s captive audience, offering a comprehensive look at the career of one of the most respected and talented artists of all time.

ABFF has become a cornerstone for diversity in Hollywood showcasing Black creativity and stories through a one-of-a-kind platform for mainstream audiences and beyond. The 2024 festival will encompass diverse narrative and documentary filmmakers from the USA, Nigeria, France and Canada. In addition, the narrative features lineup includes an array of programming across genres – action, psychological thriller, romance, biography, drama, comedy, and coming-of-age stories that also depict culturally relevant themes such as mental health, trafficking, homelessness, gang violence, gentrification and LGBT advocacy.

ABFF sponsors and partners to date are Warner Bros. Discovery and HBO® (Founding), Cadillac, Comcast NBCUniversal, Walmart, Ally (Presenting), City of Miami Beach, Greater Miami Convention & Visitors Bureau (GMCVB), Sony Pictures Entertainment, TV One Networks, American Airlines, IMDbPro (Official), Amazon MGM Studios, Miami Beach Visitors and Convention Authority (MBVCA), Motion Picture Association (MPA), New World Symphony, STARZ (Supporting), A&E Network, Getty Images, NYFA, GLAAD, William Morris Endeavor (WME) (Industry), Variety, LA Times (Media).


About NICE CROWD
NICE CROWD, formerly ABFF Ventures, is a Los Angeles-based live events company that develops and produces properties in the arts, entertainment, lifestyle and wellness industries that showcase BIPOC culture and talent. The Company’s tentpole event is the American Black Film Festival, founded in 1997.

To learn more about NICE CROWD events, visit www.nicecrowd.com.


Download a photo of Denzel Washington’s (photo credit: Ben Goldberg) HERE.


Media Contact:
[email protected]

For 2024 Media Credentials please apply HERE.

LOS ANGELES, (April 29, 2024) – Today, NICE CROWD’s American Black Film Festival (ABFF) and Walmart’s Black & Unlimited announced their continued collaboration to highlight the role of Black men within their families and communities through the second annual Black & Unlimited Fatherhood Project content creators’ competition.

After a successful launch at the 2023 ABFF in Miami, the unprecedented program included screenings, panel discussions, and experiential activations. The Black & Unlimited Fatherhood Project will spotlight emerging directors in a creator’s competition to champion independent filmmaking while providing a platform to showcase a wide range of stories about Black men as fathers.

This year’s Black & Unlimited Fatherhood Project program will include premieres for the top three winners of the filmmaker competition (listed below) and an onstage panel with a well-known artist and their child to discuss fatherhood and their relationship.

“We’re honored to continue our partnership with the American Black Film Festival,” said D.J. Vaughn, Multicultural Media & Content Lead at Walmart. “Our collaboration in 2023 was a resounding success, and we are thrilled to spotlight the importance of Black fatherhood and the role of Black men in their families and communities. We look forward to another year of empowering emerging directors and highlighting stories about Black fatherhood to mainstream audiences.”

From the pool of submissions, three directors will be selected to each receive industry mentorship, a $10,000 cash award, and the opportunity to attend and screen their films at the 2024 American Black Film Festival taking place in Miami, June 12-16. Each film will also be featured on ABFF PLAY, the festival’s online global platform, and Walmart’s Black and Unlimited YouTube page from June 17-24.

2024 Black & Unlimited Fatherhood Project Winning Films

After These Messages *World Premiere
A single father struggling with university politics as a professor must choose between his job and his daughter whose desire to be authentically herself threatens their livelihood.
USA | 26 min
Director: Khalid Abdulqaadir
Writer: Khalid Abdulqaadir
Producers: Corey McCartney, Kevin Willmott, Talib Kweli, Khalid Abdulqaadir
Cast: Petey McGee, Sanaa Salaam

Black Santa
Every year Henry looks forward to his job working as a mall Santa alongside his son Otis. But as Otis grows older, this may prove to be their last holiday season as a duo.
USA | 10:06 min
Director: Travis Wood
Writers: Travis Wood, Weston Auburn
Producers: Gabriela Díaz Arp, Kiah Clingman
Cast: Theo Haddon, Andrew Tull, Michael Silverblatt

It Takes A Village *World Premiere
In 1960s Georgia, Lawrence Cooke prepares his son, Isaiah, for his ascension to manhood.
USA | 13:37 min
Director: Joshua Kissi
Writers: Joshua Kissi, Keyla McNeely
Producer: Kegan Sant
Cast: Jackson Abram, Michael Ealy, Nadine Ellis, Mccolm Cephas, Antonio Shamori Washington, Zakai Biagas-Bey, Jamald Gardner, Myron Primes, Newton N Mayenge

For additional details please visit the Black & Unlimited Fatherhood Project page HERE.

The American Black Film Festival (ABFF), founded by Jeff Friday in 1997, is the leading festival of its kind showcasing Black stories. Since its inception, the festival has been dedicated to supporting Friday’s conviction that Black artists deserve the same opportunities as their mainstream counterparts. Having premiered the work, and supported the careers, of many of today’s most successful filmmakers and actors, the ABFF has become the standard-bearer of excellence for Black American creativity.

ABFF sponsors and partners to date are Warner Bros. Discovery and HBO® (Founding), Cadillac, Comcast NBCUniversal, Walmart, Ally (Presenting), City of Miami Beach, Greater Miami Convention & Visitors Bureau (GMCVB), Sony Pictures Entertainment, TV One Networks, American Airlines, IMDbPro (Official), Amazon MGM Studios, Miami Beach Visitors and Convention Authority (MBVCA), Motion Picture Association (MPA), New World Symphony, STARZ (Supporting), A&E Network, Getty Images, NYFA, GLAAD, William Morris Endeavor (WME) (Industry), Variety, LA Times (Media).


About NICE CROWD
NICE CROWD, formerly ABFF Ventures, is a Los Angeles-based live events company that develops and produces properties in the arts, entertainment, lifestyle and wellness industries that showcase BIPOC culture and talent. The Company’s tentpole event is the American Black Film Festival, founded in 1997.

To learn more about NICE CROWD events, visit www.nicecrowd.com.

About Walmart
Walmart Inc. (NYSE: WMT) is a people-led, tech-powered omnichannel retailer helping people save money and live better – anytime and anywhere – in stores, online, and through their mobile devices. Each week, approximately 255 million customers and members visit more than 10,500 stores and numerous eCommerce websites in 19 countries. With fiscal year 2024 revenue of $648 billion, Walmart employs approximately 2.1 million associates worldwide. Walmart continues to be a leader in sustainability, corporate philanthropy, and employment opportunity. Additional information about Walmart can be found by visiting corporate.walmart.com, on Facebook at facebook.com/walmart, on X (formerly known as Twitter) at twitter.com/walmart, and on LinkedIn at linkedin.com/company/walmart.


Download Film Images HERE.
Download Filmmaker Photos & Bios HERE.


Media Contact:
[email protected]

For 2024 Media Credentials please apply HERE.

LOS ANGELES, (April 24, 2024) – The 28th annual American Black Film Festival (ABFF) today announced its lineup of the narrative and documentary features. This year’s festival, which takes place live in Miami Beach June 12-16, followed by an online segment June 17-24 on ABFF PLAY (https://abffplay.com/), spotlights incredible emerging creatives in the filmmaking space.

ABFF has become a cornerstone for diversity in Hollywood showcasing Black creativity and stories through a one of a kind platform for mainstream audiences and beyond. The 2024 festival will encompass diverse narrative and documentary filmmakers from the USA, Nigeria, France and Canada. In addition, the narrative features lineup includes an array of programming across genres – action, psychological thriller, romance, biography, drama, comedy, and coming-of-age stories that also depict culturally relevant themes such as mental health, trafficking, homelessness, gang violence, gentrification and LGBT advocacy.

Winners of the films in competition will be announced during the “Best of ABFF Awards” hosted by three-time Emmy award nominee Dondré Whitfield on June 15.

The 2024 Narrative lineup showcases: Albany Road directed and written by Christine Swanson starring Renée Elise Goldsberry, Lynn Whitfield, J. Alphonse Nicholson; The Lost Holliday directed by, co-written and starring Jussie Smollett alongside lead actress Vivica A. Fox, produced by Mona Scott-Young; The Waterboyz, directed by Coke Daniels and produced by Ben Crump and starring Akil McDowell, Alani “La La” Anthony, and Quavo; Jason Mitchell leads in Black Heat, written and directed by Wes Miller, co-starring Tabitha “Dreamdoll” Robinson and NLE Choppa.

In addition, this year’s Documentary lineup showcases: King of Kings: Chasing Edward Jones directed by European filmmaker Harriet Marin Jones, produced by the renowned Quincy Jones & Debbie Allen; Luther: Never Too Much directed by Dawn Porter, produced by Jamie Foxx; sports profile documentary Train: The Dick “Night Train” Lane Story directed by Eric “Ptah” Herbert.

The full feature and documentary lineup for the 2024 American Black Film Festival is listed below and at https://www.abff.com/miami/press-room/press-releases/. The festival’s finalists for the prestigious HBO® Short Film Award, will be announced at a later date.

“The 2024 American Black Film Festival is back to continue the celebration of both artists and attendees through our robust presentation of diverse filmmaking that spotlights Black culture,” said NICE CROWD President Nicole Friday. “We are excited to return to Miami and invite all to come take part in a momentous week of highlighting emerging filmmakers and bringing a wide-range of empowering stories to our community.”

NARRATIVE FEATURES (U.S. & International)
A competitive section for U.S. and international feature-length films directed by and/or both written and produced by persons of African descent. Films in this category are eligible to be nominated to compete for the following Jury Awards – Best Actor (presented by Ally Financial, $2500 cash prize), Best Director (presented by Cadillac, $5000 cash prize), and Best Narrative Feature (presented by Walmart, $2500 cash prize). The following films represent the 2024 official selections in the Narrative Features category:

Albany Road
On her way to the most important meeting of her career, severe weather forces a New York executive to share a rental car with her former nemesis, her ex-fiancé’s mother, only to discover that the mother is hiding a major secret.
USA | 135 min
Director: Christine Swanson
Writer: Christine Swanson
Producer: Michael Swanson
Cast: Renée Elise Goldsberry, Lynn Whitfield, J. Alphonse Nicholson, Lisa Arrindell, Gary Dourdan, Joe Holt, Rachel Nicks

Black Heat *World Premiere
One night, two parents, out of options, infiltrate a top-level dealer and pimp’s apartment complex to rescue their teenage daughter.
USA | 93 min
Director: Wes Miller
Writer: Wes Miller
Producer: Andrew van den Houte, Wes Miller
Cast: Jason Mitchell, Tabatha “DreamDoll” Robinson, NLE Choppa

Body of Water *USA Premiere
Sometimes you have to take justice into your own hands.
USA | 103 min
Director: Terrisha Kearse
Writer: Steve Fauquier, David Wendell Boykins, Terrisha Kearse, Mico Ramos
Producer: Tara Carbajal, Terrisha Kearse, Keita Don Azu, Seven Bailey, Amber Bolden
Cast: David Wendell Boykins, Dallas Schaefer, Kiya Roberts, Derek S. Orr, Kimberly Bailey

Drip Like Coffee *World Premiere
An unexpected romance evolves between two Brooklyn baristas, Kali, an aspiring coffee professional, and Mel, a budding photographer.
USA | 86 min
Director: Anaiis Cisco
Writer: Anaiis Cisco
Producer: Anaiis Cisco, Ryan Rivard, Mary Pena, Kathryn Boyd-Batstone
Cast: Iman Artwell Freeman, Kashanie Lagrotta Butler, Ralphy Lopez

Freedom Hair
Based on the inspiring, true story of Melony Armstrong, a mother who works at a shelter for battered women decides to start a hair braiding business and must overcome obstacles imposed by a powerful cartel and the state of Mississippi.
USA | 99 min
Director: Dianne Houston
Writer: Dianne Houston
Producer: Stacey Parks, Lana Link, Rob Pfaltzgraff
Cast: Simona Brown, Jeremie Harris, Sophia Bush, and Erica Taze

He Looked Like A Postcard *World Premiere
A poet balancing single motherhood returns to her hometown to rebuild her life and finds love and so much more after receiving a magical postcard under her door.
USA | 97 min
Director: Qasim Basir
Writer: jessica Care moore
Producer: jessica Care moore, Lasana Hotep, Gingi Rochelle
Cast: jessica Care moore, Tobias Truvillion, Jaden Anthony Moore, Nicci Gilbert, Donnell Rawlings, Omar Regan

Peripheral *World Premiere
A woman’s husband goes missing soon after moving into their new home, but strange and paranormal events start to occur upon his return.
USA | 88 min
Director: Sulayman Tahir
Writer: Sulayman Tahir, Jordan Tortorello
Producer: Jordan Tortorello, Dallas Hart, Chris Tortorello
Cast: Andria B. Langston, Patrick Walker, Patricia Mizen, D’Kia Anderson, Sami Tortorello

Swoon *World Premiere
A woman wakes tied to a bed, and her captor tries to manipulate her into believing they are a couple.
USA | 83 min
Director: Byron Manuel
Writer: Byron Manuel
Producer: Byron Manuel, Ryan Rojas, JP Ouellette, Cash Oliver, Franco Tavera, George Wriighster, Cameron Duncan, Lily Terrazas, Raul Terrazas, Kassandra Lee Diaz, Rich Morrow.
Cast: Kassandra Lee Diaz, DeRon Cash, Rich Morrow, Efrangeliz Medina, Dean Wil, Herbert Morales, Del Harrison.

The Final Play *USA Premiere
A retired pro basketball player seeks true love and a new beginning, but past traumas threaten his happiness.
USA | 108 min
Director: Tailiah Breon
Writer: Jeremy Pargo, Barshea Lowery
Producer: Jeremy Pargo, Valentina Barton, Tailiah Breon, Ernestine Morrison Johnson
Cast: Jeremy Pargo, Hazel Renee, Jerod Haynes, Navv Greene, Vanessa D. Fant, Brea Joy

The Lost Holliday *World Premiere
After losing her estranged son, Cassandra must deal with grief and guilt while getting to know her son’s daughter and husband, who she knew nothing about.
USA | 96 min
Director: Jussie Smollett
Writer: Jerrell Chesney & Jussie Smollett
Producer: Jussie Smollett, Mona Scott-Young, Tressa Smallwood, Tom Wilson, Joe “Jody” Williams, Janet Smollett, Eddie Mac, Stephanie Gayle, Jerrell Chesney, Anthony Smallwood, Sheila Legette and Vivica A. Fox
Cast: Vivica A. Fox, Jussie Smollett, Jabari Redd, Marquise Vilsón, Brittany S. Hall, Miriam A. Hyman, Londyn Carter, Memphis Cade, Gina Belafonte, Leslie D. Baker

The Odds *World Premiere
A young man stumbles into good fortune but it attracts the wrong attention.
NIGERIA | 93 min
Director: Kewa Oni
Writer: Kewa Oni
Producer: Seun Opabisi, Sean McNichol, Phiona Okunmu, Tunji Jamiu Shoyode
Cast: Molawa Davies, Osita Iheme, Gbemi Akinlade, Kelechi Udegbe

The Waterboyz *World Premiere
In the streets of ATL, two young men cross paths, one trying to make a legit living, the other trying to create mayhem and rule the streets.
USA | 89 min
Director: Coke Daniels
Writer: Coke Daniels
Producer: Coke Daniels, Errol Sadler, Dolapo Erinkitola, Cameron S Mitchell, Brian Sher, Coach K, Pee Thomas, Ben Crump, Tirrell D Whitley.
Cast: Akil McDowell, Alani “La La” Anthony, Quavo Omar Dorsey, Rockmond Dunbar

Young King *World Premiere
As Diondre Howell re-adjusts to civilian life and struggles to cope with the scars of the Iraq war, he increasingly becomes a threat to those he cares about the most – his family.
USA | 94 min
Director: Bryant T. Griffin
Writer: Bryant T. Griffin
Producer: Selena Leoni
Cast: Vince Washington, Tarra Riggs, Kirby Griffin, Vaughn Wilkinson, James Arthur Sims

DOCUMENTARY FEATURES
A competitive section for nonfiction feature films directed by persons of African descent or centered on the culture and experiences of persons of African descent. Films in this category are eligible to be nominated to compete for the Jury Award for Best Documentary ($2500 cash prize). The following films represent the 2024 official selections in the Documentary Features category:

A Time To Yell: More Than A Statue *World Premiere
Former Charlottesville city council member Dr. Wes Bellamy’s impassioned activism reveals the tumultuous journey for racial justice sparked by the controversial removal of Confederate statues and leading to one of modern America’s most divisive conflicts.
USA | 63 min
Director: Eric W. Newman & Daniel B. Levin
Producer: Eric W. Newman, Daniel B. Levin & Daryl Davis
Cast: Dr. Wes Bellamy, Kristin Szakos, Eze Amos, Will Jones, Courtney Commander

Family Tree
In the American South, Black forest landowners fight to maintain their family legacy and create sustainable forests for generations to come.
USA | 97 min
Director: Jennifer MacArthur
Producer: Rupert Maconick
Cast: the Jefferies Family, the Williams Family, Sam Cook, Mavis Gragg, Alton Perry

It Takes A Village: An East Van Story *USA Premiere
The journey of two Ugandan brothers unfolds in East Vancouver highlighting the impact of community in empowering at-risk youth to triumph over adversity.
CANADA | 79 min
Director: Christopher Cho
Producer: Jonathan Mubanda, Christopher Cho, Stephanie Watt-Mubanda, David Mubanda, Wolfgang Klassen
Cast: Jonathan Mubanda, David Mubanda, Theresa Campbell

King Of Kings: Chasing Edward Jones
A European filmmaker searches for the truth about her grandfather, the most famous Policy Kings of all times, who rose to the heights of financial and political prominence in Chicago in the ‘30s, despite discrimination.
FRANCE | 98 min
Director: Harriet Marin Jones
Producer: Harriet Marin Jones
Executive Producers: Quincy Jones, Debbie Allen
Cast: Quincy Jones, Nathan Thompson, Harriet Jones, Timuel Black

Luther: Never Too Much
Dawn Porter offers an in-depth look into the life and career of Luther Vandross as he overcomes personal and professional challenges to become one of the greatest vocalists of all time.
USA | 100 min
Director: Dawn Porter
Producer: Trish D Chetty, Ged Doherty, Jamie Foxx, Datari Turner, Leah Smith
Executive Producers:
Cast: Fonzi Thornton, Robin Clark, Carlos Alomar, Danyel Smith, Jon Platt, Ava Cherry, Seveda Williams, Nile Rodgers, Valerie Simpson, Marcus Miller, Nat Adderly Jr., Jamie Foxx, Lisa Fischer, Kevin Owens, Richard Marx, Clive Davis, Mariah Carey, Dionne Warwick, Max Szadek

Train: The Dick “Night Train” Lane Story *World Premiere
Trace the remarkable rise of Dick Night Train Lane, from the concrete fields of the 1920s to Madden Football stardom, as he transforms from being discarded in a trash can to earning a place in the Football Hall of Fame.
USA | 133 min
Director: Eric “Ptah” Herbert
Producer: Carlos Mendez, Jennifer Karsting, Richard Lane Jr, Richard Walker, Eric “Ptah” Herbert, Mack Tompkins, Andre Mitchell, Devin Mitchell
Executive Producers:
Cast: Eric Dickerson, Ray Lewis, Warren Moon, Dick Lebeau, Rod Woodson, Dick Butkus, Leigh Steinberg, Ct Fletcher, Guy Torry, Fred “The Hammer” Williamson, Henry Leverette

Who In The Hell Is Regina Jones? *World Premiere
Before Rolling Stone, there was Soul Newspaper. Behind Soul, there was Regina Jones. Against all odds, Regina blazed her own path, and at 80 has found herself again.
USA | 99 min
Director: Soraya Selene, Billy Miossi
Producer: Alissa Shapiro
Executive Producers:
Cast: Regina Jones, Matt Jones

ABFF sponsors and partners to date are Warner Bros. Discovery and HBO® (Founding), Cadillac, Comcast NBCUniversal, Walmart, Ally (Presenting), City of Miami Beach, Greater Miami Convention & Visitors Bureau (GMCVB), Sony Pictures Entertainment, TV One Networks, American Airlines, IMDbPro (Official), Amazon MGM Studios, New World Symphony, Motion Picture Association (MPA), (Supporting), A&E Network, Getty Images, NYFA, GLAAD (Industry), Variety, LA Times (Media).

For 2024 Media Credentials please apply HERE.


About NICE CROWD
NICE CROWD, formerly ABFF Ventures, is a Los Angeles-based live events company that develops and produces properties in the arts, entertainment, lifestyle and wellness industries that showcase BIPOC culture and talent. The Company’s tentpole event is the American Black Film Festival, founded in 1997.

To learn more about NICE CROWD events, visit www.nicecrowd.com.


Download images of the 28th annual American Black Film Festival Official Selections HERE.


Media Contact:
[email protected]

Enjoy Unmatched Live Comedy, Master Classes, Panels, and the New Comedy Cares VIP Charity Event from September 27-29

WASHINGTON, DC, (April 4, 2024)NICE CROWD, in partnership with Events DC, is thrilled to announce the return of the Because They’re Funny (BTF) Comedy Festival, a three-day event dedicated to amplifying BIPOC comedic talent. Following its acclaimed debut in 2023, which USA Today named One of the Top 10 New Events of The Year, BTF is back for its second annual installment from September 27-29, 2024, across The Wharf’s venues with performances and events at The Anthem, Pearl Street Warehouse and more.

A spinoff of the American Black Film Festival, BTF aims to propel a new generation of stand-up comedians to stardom and showcase content in the comedy genre that features people of color. In 2023, the BTF festival garnered a tremendous response, drawing more than 5,200 attendees and 1,000 submissions for the showpiece “Breakout Comedian of the Year” competition. Last year’s winner, Alfred Kainga, was signed by Innovative Arts talent agency and is currently on a national tour. The event also included notable talent such as Tommy Davidson, Yvonne Orji, DC Young Fly, Donnell Rawlings and Nicole Byer.

“After witnessing the tremendous success of last year’s festival, we’re inspired to adopt a more community-centric approach,” said Jeff Friday, Founder of NICE CROWD and visionary behind BTF. “We are excited to continue our relationship with Events DC and honored to enrich this year’s festival with a local charitable aspect deepening our engagement with the community that surrounds and uplifts us.”

“I am absolutely thrilled to welcome the Because They’re Funny Comedy Festival back home to Washington, D.C., the best city in the world for entertainment, culture, and more,” said Events DC President and CEO Angie M. Gates. “The inaugural festival was a tremendous success and became one of the top 10 new festivals of 2023. This year, I am excited to build upon that success and showcase the best comedic talent within the BIPOC community to residents and visitors from across the country.”

New this year, the 2024 festival kicks off with the “Comedy Cares for DC” event, a VIP showcase and charity roast. This event underscores BTF’s mission to deploy comedy as a force for good.

Over three days, BTF will showcase a dynamic array of talent with headline acts, rising standup comedy stars, master classes, lively panels, networking opportunities and BTF’s flagship “Breakout Comedian of the Year” competition, offering a life-changing $10,000 grand prize and the opportunity for the winner to secure representation by a top Hollywood talent agency.

The call for submissions is now open to comedians across the nation and passes are available for purchase beginning April 15, 2024. Headliners and comedy lineup to be announced early this summer.

2024 BTF partners and sponsors to date are the presenting partner Events DC, and programming partners DC Improv and LAFF MOBB.

To learn more, please visit www.becausetheyrefunny.com.


About NICE CROWD
NICE CROWD, a pioneering entertainment company at the forefront of the live events industry. Its passion lies in curating and promoting immersive festivals and live experiences that celebrate the rich diversity of BIPOC talent. By spotlighting exceptional artists and cultural innovators, the company aims to create vibrant and inclusive spaces that resonate with audiences globally.

To learn more about NICE CROWD, visit www.nicecrowd.com.

About Events DC
Events DC, the official convention and sports authority for Washington, DC, delivers premier event services and flexible venues across the nation’s capital. Leveraging the power of a world-class destination and creating amazing attendee experiences, Events DC generates economic and community benefits through the attraction and promotion of business, athletic, entertainment and cultural activities. Events DC oversees the LEED Gold-certified Walter E. Washington Convention Center, an anchor of the District’s hospitality and tourism economy and the historic Carnegie Library at Mt. Vernon Square. Events DC manages the RFK Stadium-Armory Campus (RFK Campus), including Robert F. Kennedy Memorial Stadium, Festival Grounds at RFK Campus, The Fields at RFK, the non-military functions of the DC Armory and the Skate Park at RFK Stadium. Events DC also built and serves as landlord for Nationals Park, the first LEED-certified major professional sports stadium in the United States. Events DC manages Gateway DC, R.I.S.E. Demonstration Center and Entertainment & Sports Arena all conveniently located in the Congress Heights neighborhood of Washington, DC. For more information, please visit www.eventsdc.com and find us on social media – Facebook, Instagram and YouTube (Events DC), and Twitter (@TheEventsDC) — and on our new hub for on-demand event programming on GATHER by Events DC at www.gatherbyeventsdc.com.


Media Contacts:

McKenzie Pickett
[email protected]
(804) 244-1175

Set to Run February 22-24, SJNFF Showcases Storytelling and Conversations that Challenge, Motivate and Inspire Change

Featuring Kemba – Inspired by the Life Story of Criminal Justice Reform Advocate Kemba Smith

LOS ANGELES, (February 12, 2024) – The Social Justice Now Film Festival (SJNFF), presented by the Film Life Foundation, today announced its lineup of official narrative, documentary features and short films. The festival will run February 22-24, 2024, at Sony Pictures Entertainment’s studio lot in Culver City. Sony Pictures is the event’s Founding Sponsor.

This year’s program will feature impactful spotlight screenings including the BET+ Original Film Kemba, directed by Kelley Kali and written by Christine Swanson, both ABFF Alums; documentary shorts How to Sue the Klan, by Emmy nominated director John Beder, producers Benjamin Crump, Cameron S. Mitchell, and Raji Ramanathan, Underwater Projects, directed by Dream Hampton and Liz Havstad; and the world premiere of 848: The Criminalization of America, directed by Thomas Freeman, Jr.

With the mission “to watch, to reflect and to take action,” the Social Justice Now Film Festival provides a unique platform to showcase content that confronts the social and economic issues – racism, criminal justice reform, equity, education, and immigration rights facing Black and Brown communities. Through content from established and emerging filmmakers, along with engaging post-screening talkbacks with activists, authors and academics, the festival aims to amplify critical issues and encourage social change.

“We believe in the power of film as a vehicle for social change,” said Festival Director Melanie Sharee. Thank you to SONY for believing in the mission of this festival and providing a home for filmmakers to share their perspectives, amplify marginalized voices and engage with the community.”

The schedule for the Social Justice Now Film Festival is below or visit https://socialjusticenowfilmfestival.org/films/. To attend visit Eventbrite at https://www.eventbrite.com/o/social-justice-now-film-festival-78794526593. Follow SJNFF @socialjusticenowfilmfestival

Thursday, February 22, 2024

7:00 p.m.
Kemba
Narrative Feature | 87 min
Director: Kelley Kali
Writer: Christine Swanson
Produced by: MPI Original Films
Producers: Rob Pfaltzgraff, Lana Link, Stacey Parks
Executive Producers: Nick Reid, Kemba Smith, Constance Orlando, Maureen Guthman
Cast: Nesta Cooper, Siddiq Saunderson, Sean Patrick Thomas, Michelle Hurd
A sheltered college student who falls in love with a man, only to learn he is a drug kingpin, finds herself in the middle of the government’s “war on drugs.”

Friday, February 23,2024

7:00 p.m.
The Fight for Black Lives

Documentary Feature | 72 min | LA Premiere
Producer/Director: Micere Keels
This film chronicles the ways that racial stress and the American healthcare system disadvantage the health of Black Americans.

Saturday, February 24, 2024

1:00 p.m.

848:The Criminalization of America
Documentary Feature | 76 min | World Premiere
Writer/Director: Thomas Freeman, Jr.
Producer: Demetrius Hill
Executive Producers: Akira Pray, Dr Ansari, Nathaniel Banks
A criminal justice documentary focusing on U.S. code 848 aka the Kingpin charge – this charge calls for “Drug Kingpins,” even non-violent ones, to spend life in prison. Even though the laws have changed, some non-violent offenders are still stuck in federal prison after serving more than 30 years. This is the story of the how, why and what we can do to help!

4:00 p.m.
Short Film Collection I

How to Sue the Klan
Documentary | 35 min
Director/Producer: John Beder
Producers: Benjamin Crump, Cameron S. Mitchell, Raji Ramanathan
How to Sue the Klan is the story of how five Black women from Chattanooga used legal ingenuity to take on the Ku Klux Klan in a historic 1982 civil case, fighting to hold the Klan accountable for their crimes and bring justice to their community. The women’s victory set a legal precedent that continues to inspire the ongoing fight against organized hate.

Bienvenidos a Los Angeles
Narrative | 17 min
Writer/Director: Lisa Cole
Producers: Vivian Johnson, Cindy Lu, Jolene Mendes, Benjamin O’Keefe, Lolia Etomi
Cast: Destiny Faith Nelson, Stacey Patino, Ethan Mendez, Rashmi Rustagi, Yvonne Huff Lee
The timely story of Imani, a Nigerian single mother living in Los Angeles, who offers to help a perfect stranger reunite with her son. In doing so, Imani learns this simple act of kindness threatens to jeopardize her own path to citizenship.

Breathe
Narrative |16 min
Writer/Director: Jamie Burton-Oare
Producer: Jamie Burton-Oare
Executive Producer: Shannon E. Riggs
Cast: Stephen Hill
For Eric, it is a normal day in his life/neighborhood. For the world, it’s the day Eric faces the reality of taking his last breath.

7:00 p.m.
Short Film Collection II

Underwater Projects
Documentary | 28 min | World Premiere
Co-Directors: Dream Hampton, Liz Havstad
Norfolk, Virginia is sinking. The already insufficient sea wall ends where a public housing project, St. Paul’s, begins. St. Paul’s housing projects’ residents are Black people. Norfolk is home to the world’s largest naval base and there is currently no public plan to prevent it from going underwater.

Silent Partner
Narrative | 16 min | LA Premiere
Director: Aristotle Torres
Writers: Aristotle Torres, Roderick Lawrence
Producer: Roderick Lawrence
Cast: Roderick Lawrence, Kara Young, Michael Park
Silas Jones is an accomplished, Black trial attorney on the cusp of making partner at a white-shoe law firm. Upon successfully defending a white woman charged with murdering a Black teen, Silas comes to a crossroads with his wife Kosi, an equally accomplished professor, as they prepare to attend the firm’s celebration. As the night progresses, Silas questions the legitimacy of his promotion. Will he make the ultimate sacrifice?

Somewhere
Musical Narrative | 13 min | LA Premiere
Writer/Director: Alexander Craven
Producers: Jeff Pifher, Shane Collins
Cast: Natalie Hanna Mendoza, John Robert Hall
When Elena and Cameron are ripped apart by an act of racism, both must stand up for what they believe to keep the door of love open.


About The Social Justice Now Film Festival
The Social Justice Now Film Festival presented by the Film Life Foundation is dedicated to showcasing content that confronts racism and heightens awareness of the social and economic issues that negatively affect Black and Brown people in the United States. Sony Pictures is SJNFF’s founding sponsor.

About Film Life Foundation
The Film Life Foundation (FLF) is a nonprofit organization founded by American Black Film Festival producers Jeff and Nicole Friday. Based in Los Angeles, the organization is dedicated to spearheading diversity and inclusion in the entertainment industry, as well as bringing people of different backgrounds, cultures and perspectives closer together through the transformative medium of film. The foundation’s work is centered on cause-oriented programs in the areas of social justice, education, professional development and cultural exchange. For more information, visit www.filmlifefoundation.org

About Sony Pictures Entertainment
Sony Pictures Entertainment (SPE) is a subsidiary of Tokyo-based Sony Group Corporation. SPE’s global operations encompass motion picture production, acquisition, and distribution; television production, acquisition and distribution; television networks; digital content creation and distribution; operation of studio facilities; and development of new entertainment products, services and technologies. Sony Pictures Television operates dozens of wholly-owned or joint-venture production companies around the world. SPE’s Motion Picture Group production organizations include Columbia Pictures, Screen Gems, TriStar Pictures, 3000 Pictures, Sony Pictures Animation, Stage 6 Films, AFFIRM Films, Sony Pictures International Productions, and Sony Pictures Classics. For additional information, visit http://www.sonypictures.com/corp/divisions.html


Media Contact:
Chelsye J. Burrows
[email protected]

2024 SJNFF Images
https://drive.google.com/drive/folders/1zBfWxzw2VYVeTFTU-FOuu2DBSh_vJ-da?usp=drive_link

Hosted by Tommy Davidson, ABFF Honors to Celebrate Legendary Performer Garrett Morris, Taraji P. Henson, Jeffrey Wright, and Mara Brock Akil and Announce the ABFF Fan Favorite Movie of the Year

LOS ANGELES, CA (February 6, 2024) – The 6th American Black Film Festival (ABFF) Honors announced today that Kelvin Harrison Jr. (Nat Geo’s Genius: MLK/X, Chevalier) is the recipient of the 2024 Rising Star Award which is presented to a contemporary artist in acknowledgement of their recent success and future promise in the film and television industry. The 2024 ABFF Honors is presented by NICE CROWD and will take place on Sunday, March 3rd at the SLS hotel in Beverly Hills, CA, hosted by actor and comedian Tommy Davidson. Guests at the intimate, non-televised dinner will include ABFF honorees and festival partners.

As previously announced, the ABFF Honors will also celebrate legendary performer Garrett Morris; Academy Award nominated, Emmy nominated, and Golden Globe-winning actor, filmmaker, and activist Taraji P. Henson; Tony, Emmy, AFI, and Golden Globe Award-winning actor Jeffrey Wright, and groundbreaking writer and producer Mara Brock Akil. The ABFF Fan Favorite Movie of the Year will also be announced at the show. Nominees in that category include: A Thousand and One, directed by A.V. Rockwell; American Fiction, directed by Cord Jefferson; Origin, directed by Ava DuVernay; The Color Purple, directed by Blitz Bazawule; They Cloned Tyrone, directed by Juel Taylor; The Equalizer 3, directed by Antoine Fuqua.

“It is amazing to see ABFF honorees, past and present, thrive in the industry; and as we move towards tomorrow, we want to spotlight the next generation of luminaries. We are thrilled to celebrate Kelvin Harrison Jr. as our Rising Star honoree alongside Garrett, Taraji, Jeffrey, and Mara,” said NICE CROWD CEO and President Jeff and Nicole Friday.

Kelvin Harrison Jr. is known for bringing to life some of the most dynamic and diverse characters on screens both big and small. In the past couple of years, Kelvin has been recognized for his incredible talents as a SAG award winner along with the ensemble cast of 2020’s Oscar nominated The Trial Of The Chicago 7. In 2019 he captivated audiences in the drama Luce in which he leads as the title character opposite Octavia Spencer, Tim Roth and Naomi Watts. The film first premiered in competition at the 2019 Sundance Film Festival and was released to great critical acclaim resulting in Independent Spirit Award and BAFTA nominations for both Harrison and the film. That same year, Kelvin starred in the A24 drama Waves which garnered early Oscar buzz coming out of the Telluride and Toronto Film Festivals. Waves was his second film with director Trey Edward Shults and reviews singled out his performance as “brilliant”, “excellent” and a “knockout”, which earned him multiple nominations and awards. He is currently starring in Genius: MLK/X as Martin Luther King Jr.

ABFF Honors is the American Black Film Festival’s annual awards season gala dedicated to recognizing excellence in the motion picture and television industry. Founded in 2016, the ceremony pays tribute to Black artists who have made significant contributions to American entertainment through their work as well as those who champion diversity and inclusion in Hollywood. In addition to the individual honors, the ceremony includes a competitive award; the “Fan Favorite Movie of the Year” as determined by popular vote of the festival’s alumni.

ABFF Honors stems from the American Black Film Festival (ABFF), founded by Jeff Friday in 1997, the leading festival of its kind showcasing Black storytelling. Since its inception, the ABFF has been dedicated to supporting Friday’s conviction that Black artists deserve the same opportunities as their mainstream counterparts. Having premiered the work and encouraged the careers of many of today’s most successful filmmakers and actors, the ABFF has become the standard-bearer of excellence for Black American creativity.

ABFF Honors is executive produced by Nicole and Jeff Friday (NICE CROWD) in association with dePasse Jones Entertainment and Rikki Hughes (Magic Lemonade). Sponsors for the event include: Cadillac (Presenting), Amazon MGM Studios (Premier), Sony Pictures Entertainment (Supporting) and Fulton Films (Supporting).

For more information about ABFF Honors visit www.abffhonors.com. Follow @AmericanBlackFilmFestival on Instagram and Facebook, and @ABFF on X.


About NICE CROWD
NICE CROWD, formerly ABFF Ventures, is a Los Angeles-based live events company that develops and produces properties in the arts, entertainment, lifestyle and wellness industries that showcase BIPOC culture and talent. The Company’s tentpole event is the American Black Film Festival, founded in 1997.

To learn more about NICE CROWD events, visit www.nicecrowd.com.


Media Contact:
[email protected]

For 2024 ABFF Honoree Photos please use this link: HERE

Hosted by Tommy Davidson, ABFF Honors to Celebrate Legendary Performer Garrett Morris, Taraji P. Henson, Jeffrey Wright, and Mara Brock Akil and Announce the ABFF Fan Favorite Movie of the Year

LOS ANGELES, (January 24, 2024) – The 6th American Black Film Festival (ABFF) Honors announced today the honorees of its annual awards ceremony recognizing excellence in the motion picture and television industry. Presented by NICE CROWD, the 2024 ABFF Honors will take place on Sunday, March 3rd at the SLS hotel in Beverly Hills, CA hosted by actor and comedian Tommy Davidson. Guests at the intimate, non-televised dinner will include ABFF honorees and festival partners.

The ABFF Honors and recipients are:

  • Hollywood Legacy Award – actor, comedian, writer, singer, and first Black cast member of Saturday Night Live, Garrett Morris (The Jamie Foxx Show, 2 Broke Girls, Martin); Presented to a trailblazing artist whose work (four decades or more) has inspired generations and made an enduring contribution to film and television.
  • Excellence in the Arts Award (Female) – Golden Globe-winning and Academy Award-nominated actress Taraji P. Henson (Empire, Hidden Figures, The Color Purple); Honoring a highly acclaimed artist in recognition of their body of work and distinguished career achievement.
  • Excellence in the Arts Award (Male) – Emmy Award, Golden Globe, and Tony Award winner Jeffrey Wright (Basquiat, Westworld, American Fiction); Honoring a highly acclaimed artist in recognition of their body of work and distinguished career achievement.
  • Industry Visionary Award – screenwriter and producer Mara Brock Akil (Girlfriends, The Game, Being Mary Jane); Presented to a trendsetting content creator in recognition of their outstanding work and commitment to championing diversity, equity, and inclusion in the motion picture and television industry, through their work.

ABFF FAN FAVORITE MOVIE OF THE YEAR

Presented in recognition of the year’s most outstanding narrative feature-length motion picture directed by a person of African descent. To be eligible, films must have a minimum running time of 72 minutes and a theatrical or streaming release date between January 1, 2023 and December 31, 2023.

The nominees and winner are determined by an online poll of the more than one hundred thousand (100,000) festival alumni. The winning film is revealed during the ABFF Honors ceremony.

2024 Nominees:

  • A Thousand and One, directed by A.V. Rockwell (Sight Unseen Pictures, Hillman Grad, Makeready) – Focus Features
  • American Fiction, directed by Cord Jefferson (Orion Pictures, MRC, T-Street, Almost Infinite, 3 Arts Entertainment) – Amazon MGM Studios
  • Origin, directed by Ava DuVernay, (ARRAY Filmworks) – Neon
  • The Color Purple, directed by Blitz Bazawule (Harpo Films, Amblin Entertainment) – Warner Bros.
  • They Cloned Tyrone, directed by Juel Taylor (Federal Films) – Netflix
  • The Equalizer 3, directed by Antoine Fuqua (Columbia Pictures) – Sony Pictures Entertainment

“For decades, these esteemed ABFF Honorees have elevated their projects, and brought joy to audiences across the world,” said NICE CROWD CEO and President Jeff and Nicole Friday. “It is our honor to recognize Garrett, Taraji, Jeffrey, and Mara for all their contributions to culture and the industry throughout their remarkable careers. We look forward to celebrating their many achievements and gathering with our fantastic ABFF partners.”

Garrett Morris is a TV legend to generations of loyal viewers. Having most recently been a series regular on CBS’ 2 Broke Girls, Garrett is beloved by generations of TV watchers as one of Saturday Night Live’s original “Not Ready for Prime Time Players”. Born in New Orleans and raised by his Baptist Minister grandfather, he spent his childhood singing in the church choir and eventually trained at the Juilliard School of Music. His first professional break was performing with the Harry Belafonte Singers whom he remained with for ten years. Morris resides in Los Angeles where he owns and operates The LA Blues & Comedy Club. In 2007 Garrett was honored by Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa for his work and contributions to the black community.

Taraji P. Henson is an Academy Award nominated, Emmy nominated, and Golden Globe-winning actor, filmmaker, and activist who quickly rose to fame after her breakout performance in the critically acclaimed film Hustle & Flow. In 2020, Henson wrapped her iconic run as “Cookie Lyon” in Fox’s hit musical drama Empire, which has earned her three Emmy nominations, a Golden Globe Award, a Critics Choice Award, and three BET Awards. Henson can most recently be seen starring in the Blitz Bazawule adaption of The Color Purple as “Shug Avery”, which was released on December 25, 2023. She stars opposite Fantasia and Danielle
Brooks, with Oprah Winfrey, Steven Spielberg, Scott Sanders, and Quincy Jones producing. Henson also starred as “Miss Hannigan” in NBC’s Annie Live! in December of 2021, for which she won an NAACP award for Outstanding Actress in a Television Movie, Limited Series or Dramatic Special.

Jeffrey Wright is a Tony, Emmy, AFI, and Golden Globe Award-winning actor who has enjoyed an illustrious career spanning the worlds of theatre, film, and television. Wright was most recently seen in the critically acclaimed role of “Bernard Lowe” in HBO’s Westworld, for which he earned three Emmy nominations. He can currently be seen in the George C. Wolfe-directed Civil Rights pic, Rustin, portraying “Adam Clayton Powell”. Other recent projects include lead roles in Netflix’s All Day And A Night (May 2020), HBO’s O.G., which premiered at the 2018 Tribeca Film Festival, where Wright won the award for Best Actor in a U.S. Narrative Feature Film and Netflix’s Hold the Dark (September 2018). Wright can currently be seen giving one of the best performances of his career in Orion Pictures/Amazon MGM Studios’ American Fiction, written and directed by Cord Jefferson; for which Wright has received nominations from the Gotham Awards, Golden Globe Awards, Independent Spirit Awards, Critics Choice Awards and the SAG Awards thus far for his wonderful performance as protagonist, “Thelonious Monk Ellison”.

Mara Brock Akil has written and produced over 400 episodes of television, leaving her mark on Hollywood. Her groundbreaking body of work includes the television series Girlfriends (2000), a witty and honest exploration of the multi-faceted nature of Black womanhood. During its eight seasons on-air, it was one of the highest-rated scripted shows among African-Americans ages 18 to 34. Beyond her work as a writer, producer and director, her peers have consistently recognized Brock Akil as a leader in the industry. In 2019, she was honored with the prestigious Brandon Tartikoff Legacy Award by NATPE for exhibiting extraordinary passion, leadership, independence, and vision through her contributions to television. Some of her prior accolades include Essence Magazine’s Visionary Award during their annual Black Women in Hollywood luncheon, being named to Variety and The Hollywood Reporter’s Showrunner Power Lists, as well as to The Hollywood Reporter’s “Women in Entertainment Power100” multiple times. In 2021, Mara expanded her passion for non-profit work and started her very own non-profit writing residency in Los Angeles, the Writers’ Colony. The Writers’ Colony is a launching pad for the next generation of Black screenwriters. It is a place for them to write, to belong, and to find their voice.

ABFF Honors is the American Black Film Festival’s annual awards season gala dedicated to recognizing excellence in the motion picture and television industry. Founded in 2016, the ceremony pays tribute to Black artists who have made significant contributions to American entertainment through their work as well as those who champion diversity and inclusion in Hollywood. In addition to the individual honors, the ceremony includes a competitive award; the “Fan Favorite Movie of the Year” as determined by popular vote of the festival’s alumni.

ABFF Honors stems from the American Black Film Festival (ABFF), founded by Jeff Friday in 1997, the leading festival of its kind showcasing Black storytelling. Since its inception, the ABFF has been dedicated to supporting Friday’s conviction that Black artists deserve the same opportunities as their mainstream counterparts. Having premiered the work and encouraged the careers of many of today’s most successful filmmakers and actors, the ABFF has become the standard-bearer of excellence for Black American creativity.

ABFF Honors is executive produced by Nicole and Jeff Friday (NICE CROWD) in association with dePasse Jones Entertainment and Rikki Hughes (Magic Lemonade). Sponsors for the event include: Cadillac (Presenting), Amazon MGM Studios (Premier), Sony Pictures Entertainment (Supporting) and Fulton Films (Supporting).

For more information about ABFF Honors visit www.abffhonors.com. Follow @AmericanBlackFilmFestival on Instagram and Facebook, and @ABFF on X.


About NICE CROWD
NICE CROWD, formerly ABFF Ventures, is a Los Angeles-based live events company that develops and produces properties in the arts, entertainment, lifestyle and wellness industries that showcase BIPOC culture and talent. The Company’s tentpole event is the American Black Film Festival, founded in 1997.

To learn more about NICE CROWD events, visit www.nicecrowd.com.


Media Contact:
[email protected]

For 2024 ABFF Honoree Photos please use this link: HERE