New Line Cinema’s “SHAFT” Selected as the Opening Night Film at the 2019 American Black Film Festival


Los Angeles, CA, (February 5, 2019) – New Line Cinema’s action comedy Shaft will open the 2019 American Black Film Festival (ABFF) on June 12 at the New World Center in Miami. Opening nationwide on June 14, the latest film in the popular franchise is directed by Tim Story (“Ride Along,” “Think Like a Man” franchises) and stars three generations of John Shaft: Samuel L. Jackson (“Avengers: Infinity War,” “Glass”), Jessie T. Usher (“Independence Day: Resurgence”) and Richard Roundtree (“What Men Want”); along with Regina Hall (“Girls Trip”). The ABFF runs from June 12-16.

The new film follows JJ—aka John Shaft, Jr. (Usher)— as he works to uncover the truth behind his best friend’s untimely death. For this he will need an education only his dad can provide. Absent throughout JJ’s youth, the legendary locked-and-loaded John Shaft (Jackson) agrees to help his progeny navigate the streets of Harlem. And while JJ’s own FBI analyst’s badge may clash with his dad’s trademark leather duster, there’s no denying family. Besides, Shaft’s got an agenda of his own, and a score to settle that’s professional and personal.

Shaft also stars Alexandra Shipp (“X-Men: Apocalypse”), Titus Welliver (“Argo”) and Cliff “Method Man” Smith (“The Deuce,” “Keanu”). The screenplay is written by Kenya Barris (“Black-ish”) & Alex Barnow (“The Goldbergs”). John Davis produced the film, with Richard Brener, Josh Mack, Tim Story, Ira Napoliello, Kenya Barris, Marc S. Fischer serving as executive producers. Shaft will be in theaters nationwide June 14, 2019 and distributed in North America by Warner Bros. Pictures.

“We are thrilled Shaft will be the opening night film at the 2019 ABFF. The original classic film helped to define a genre that revolutionized black storytelling, not only for its powerful imagery and style, but also for Isaac Hayes’ award-winning soundtrack. Its impact is still significant in our culture today, and we are extremely excited to see Tim Story’s rendition of this brand new multi-generational feature,” says Nicole Friday, General Manager of ABFF Ventures.

ABFF remains committed to introducing emerging content creators of African descent to the industry at large and is recognized as one of the leading film festivals in the world. Festival passes are on sale now at www.abff.com, and offer five (5) different levels of access to festival events. Questions regarding registration may be directed to [email protected].


Sponsors of the 2019 American Black Film Festival are HBO® (Founding and Presenting Sponsor); Greater Miami Convention & Visitors Bureau, Comcast NBCUniversal (Presenting Sponsor); Capital One, Turner (Premier Sponsor); American Airlines (Official Sponsor); and truTV, Warner Bros. (Supporting Partner).

ABFF Ventures, LLC (ABFFV) is a multifaceted entertainment company specializing in the production of live events and branded content. Its mission is to entertain and inspire communities of color while promoting diversify in Hollywood. Headquartered in Los Angeles, ABFFV was formed in 2014 and acquired the American Black Film Festival to widen the global footprint of the brand and stimulate business growth through expansion into other events and services. 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. ABFFV’s tent-pole properties are the American Black Film Festival (ABFF), cited by MovieMaker Magazine as “One of the Coolest Festivals in the World,” and “ABFF Honors,” a televised annual awards gala saluting the top stars of film and television. In creating ABFF Ventures, CEO Jeff Friday channeled his passion for film and television, as well as his discomfort with the underrepresentation of people of color in Hollywood, into an organization with the ultimate goal of advocating for diversity within the entertainment industry. Through his vision and perseverance, ABFF Ventures has become a highly respected enterprise, generating goodwill throughout the Hollywood and corporate communities. In 2018, the company expanded with the launch of ABFF Studios, a division that produces branded entertainment.


Strategic Heights Media
Michelle Huff Elliott
[email protected]