Director Ava Duvernay to Receive the Industry Visionary Award at the 2018 American Black Film Festival Honors

ABFF Honors Logo

Actor and Comedian Cedric The Entertainer To Host Annual Ceremony

Show Returns to Los Angeles Sunday, February 25, 2018


Los Angeles, CA (November 14, 2017) – Today, ABFF Ventures announced the American Black Film Festival (ABFF) Honors will return to the Beverly Hilton in Los Angeles on Sunday, February 25, with actor and comedian Cedric the Entertainer as host. The awards show celebrates individuals of African descent who have made distinguished contributions to American culture through their work, and salutes the year’s best movies and television shows. ABFF Honors was created by American Black Film Festival founder Jeff Friday, to promote camaraderie and a spirit of mutual appreciation among multicultural artists in Hollywood.

The charismatic Cedric the Entertainer, will bring his energy and talent to the awards stage as host for the evening. Cedric’s career has spanned more than 30 years and he is best known for his crowd-pleasing performances in hit films & television shows such as “Barbershop;” “Be Cool” with John Travolta; “Intolerable Cruelty” with George Clooney; the top-ranking “Madagascar” animated franchise; “Johnson Family Vacation;” “The Original Kings of Comedy,” MTV’S mega-successful documentary feature, directed by Spike Lee; the long-running top-ranked WB sitcom, “The Steve Harvey Show” and his own hit comedy series, “The Soul Man” on TV Land.

Currently, Cedric can be seen in “The Comedy Get Down,” a clever mockumentary TV series, with co-stars George Lopez, DL Hughley, Eddie Griffin, and the late Charlie Murphy on BET Networks.

In addition to recognizing the top television shows and films of the year, the show will honor pioneering artists who have made outstanding accomplishments in the motion picture and television industry. Director and producer Ava DuVernay is a fearless director and storyteller, who has continued to create awareness and opportunities through her art and ABFF Honors is proud to present her with the 2018 ABFF Honors Industry Visionary Award.

Winner of four Emmys, the Peabody Award and the BAFTA for Best Documentary, Ava DuVernay’s Academy Award nominated “13th” was one of the most critically-acclaimed films of 2016. Previously, DuVernay directed the award-winning historical drama, “Selma,” which garnered four Golden Globe nominations and two Academy Award nominations, including Best Picture. Her current directorial work includes the ratings sensation “Queen Sugar” and the upcoming Disney fantasy epic, “A Wrinkle in Time.”

In 2017, she was named one of Fortune Magazine’s 50 Greatest World Leaders. A graduate of UCLA, DuVernay is the founder of ARRAY, a grassroots distribution and advocacy collective dedicated to the amplification of films by people of color and women, which was named one of Fast Company’s Most Innovative Companies.

Ava DuVernay will join an illustrious list of past ABFF Honors celebrants, including actors Denzel Washington, Regina King, Don Cheadle, Diahann Carroll, Queen Latifah, Issa Rae, Terrence Howard and filmmakers and producers Ryan Coogler, F. Gary Gray and Will Packer.

“I am thrilled to honor Ava DuVernay. She is the embodiment of the importance of inclusion in Hollywood and deserves recognition as a creative force, as well as a forward-thinking leader in our industry. I’m equally excited to have the incomparable Cedric the Entertainer at the helm of what will be an enlightening and entertaining show,” says Jeff Friday, ABFF Ventures CEO.

The many high-profile presenters and guests have included Viola Davis, Kerry Washington, Robert Downey Jr., Jamie Foxx, Ice Cube, Cecily Tyson, Lee Daniels, Anthony Anderson, Regina Hall, Taye Diggs, Octavia Spencer, KeKe Palmer, Nia Long, Morris Chestnut, Omari Hardwick and Pharrell Williams, among others.

The event is an elegant and spirited awards dinner, with a presentation of competitive awards and special honors in the following categories: Movie of the Year Award, Television Show of the Year Award (Drama & Comedy), Hollywood Legacy Award, Excellence in the Arts Award, Entertainment Icon Award, Industry Visionary Award, Distinguished ABFF Alumni Award and the Rising Star Award.

In just two years, ABFF Honors has become one of the most talked about Hollywood events, attracting top-tier talent and press coverage in mainstream and African American media outlets including, LA Times, Essence, Variety, Deadline, Extra, and The Associated Press. The show had its broadcast premiere on BET Networks.

The event is executive produced by ABFF Ventures founder Jeff Friday and Suzanne de Passe for de Passe Entertainment.

For more information about the 2018 ABFF Honors, log on to www.ABFFHonors.com. Also, follow us on our social media platforms:


The American Black Film Festival (ABFF) is an annual event dedicated to showcasing quality film and television content by and about people of African descent. The festival is committed to the belief that Black artists and content creators deserve the same opportunities as their mainstream counterparts. ABFF founder Jeff Friday conceived the festival in 1997 as a vehicle to promote diversity in the motion picture industry, and strengthen the Black filmmaking community through resource sharing, education, artistic collaboration and career development. For more than two decades, the ABFF has been the standard-bearer of excellence in independent Black cinema, having premiered the works and supported the careers of many of today’s most successful artists, including Ryan Coogler (Black Panther), Anthony Anderson (Blackish), Will Packer (Girls Trip), Issa Rae (Insecure), Omari Hardwick (Power) and Raoul Peck (I Am Not Your Negro). Today, it is the preeminent pipeline for Black talent, in front of and behind the camera, significantly expanding the range of talent in the entertainment industry at large. The ABFF is a property of ABFF Ventures LLC, a multifaceted entertainment company specializing in the production of live events, television and digital content, targeted to upscale African American audiences. The company is a joint venture between Film Life Inc. and Black Enterprise, two prominent media and event companies, each with legacies of showcasing the best of African American culture and achievement.

Michelle Huff Elliott
Strategic Heights Media