Tag: American Black Film Festival

American Black Film Festival’s Greenlighters Academy Returns to Los Angeles for 2nd Year July 22-25 to Help Train Future Filmmakers

by Lori Lakin Hutcherson (@lakinhutcherson)

ABFF Ventures, parent company of the American Black Film Festival, recently announced the current class of student fellows accepted into its 2018 ABFF Greenlighters Academy. The second annual event, sponsored by Turner, is a pipeline program designed to give students of color with an interest in the executive track, a firsthand look inside the corporate footprint of the film and television industry.

The ABFF Greenlighters Academy is a three-day intensive boot camp, where five students will attend sessions with top artists and industry executives. The program includes “Day in the Life” seminars, Power Lunch sessions, and “Ask Me Anything” roundtable discussions, as well as visits to corporate headquarters of film and television studios and talent agencies. Additionally, the program’s laser-interviews are designed to prepare students for summer internships.

“The ABFF Greenlighters Academy is another extension of our company’s 22-year commitment to fostering diversity in Hollywood. We could not be more pleased to partner with Turner, a major festival supporter, on this effort to usher in the next generation of industry executives,” states Nicole Friday, General Manager of ABFF Ventures, LLC.

“Diversity fuels our stories and more importantly, our future,” says Danette Johnson, Vice President of Diversity & Inclusion for Turner.  “We are proud to partner with ABFF’s Greenlighters Academy to invest in these talented students who will help shape Turner’s future as we seek to become an even better reflection of our audiences and build deeper connections with our fans.”

The ABFF Greenlighters Academy is open to sophomore students and above, matriculated in a four-year bachelor degree program at an accredited college or university, with a minimum GPA of 3.0.  This years’ fellows listed below were selected from over 100 submissions representing a wide-range of colleges and universities across the country.

Kiana Chambers, Howard University
Zontre City, Loyola University
Jazmin Johnson, Florida A&M
Jordan Landy, Drexel University
Stevee-Rayne Warren, Southern University and A&M College

Last year’s participants were able to secure internships and employment with companies including Viceland, Facebook Watch and Full Sail University.

ABOUT THE COMPANY

ABFF Ventures L.L.C. (ABFFV) is a leading entertainment company producing live events, film and television primarily targeted to African American audiences.  The company’s mission is to produce global platforms that showcase the work of people of African heritage and promote camaraderie among multicultural artists in Hollywood. Its tentpole properties are the American Black Film Festival (ABFF), cited by MovieMaker magazine as “One of the Coolest Festivals in the World,” and ABFF Honors, an award season gala saluting excellence in Hollywood. Together, they represent two of the most prestigious events in the Black community and parallel the Sundance Film Festival and the Golden Globes.  In creating ABFF Ventures, CEO Jeff Friday channeled his discomfort with the under-representation of people of color in Hollywood into an organization that has become a highly respected enterprise, generating goodwill throughout the industry at large.

“Insecure” Actor Jay Ellis to Serve as 2018 American Black Film Festival Celebrity Ambassador; Submissions Open Until February

by Lori Lakin Hutcherson (@lakinhutcherson)

The 22nd American Black Film Festival (ABFF) will include an exciting lineup of film screenings, events and innovative programming, and will return to Miami from June 13-17, 2018.  The week will include several new experiences, including Smartphone movie screenings, a master class on film financing, music-focused sessions and new networking opportunities for festival attendees.  ABFF continues to be dedicated 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.

Actor Jay Ellis will serve as the 2018 ABFF Celebrity Ambassador. Annually, the festival showcases dynamic content by and about people of African descent from around the world and consists of five competitive categories: Narrative Features, Documentaries, Short Films, Web Series and Smartphone Originals. Submissions are now open and below is a list of film submission deadlines, Awards and direct submission links:

*Narrative Features:
Regular Submissions Deadline: February 15, 2018
Early Submissions Deadline: December 31, 2017

Audience Award–Best Narrative Feature (Prize TBD)
http://www.abff.com/submissions/narrative-features/

*Documentaries:
Early Submissions Deadline: December 31, 2017
Regular Submissions Deadline: February 15, 2018
Grand Jury Award for Best Documentary (Prize TBD)
http://www.abff.com/submissions/documentaries/
Continue reading ““Insecure” Actor Jay Ellis to Serve as 2018 American Black Film Festival Celebrity Ambassador; Submissions Open Until February”

Award-Winning Director, Writer Alton Glass Makes History at the 18th Annual American Black Film Festival, ‘CRU’

Alton Glass

Los Angeles, CA — Director, writer, producer Alton Glass made history at the 18th annual American Black Film Festival (ABFF) held in New York City this June.  Glass and his ensemble won awards for his engaging and heartfelt drama, “CRU”, making history by winning all nominated categories.

The award-winning film “CRU” tells the story of four high school best friends whose lives are dramatically changed after a near fatal accident, and when they reunite 18 years later they discover a set of past and present secrets that threaten to alter the course of their future.

The drama won the following awards in each nominated category:

* Grand Jury Prize for Best Director – “CRU,” Directed by Alton Glass, award and $5,000 prize provided by Cadillac

* Grand Jury Prize for Best Screenplay – “CRU,” written by Alton Glass and Oliver W. Ottley III, award and $5,000 prize presented by the Time Warner Foundation

* Grand Jury Prize for Best Narrative Feature – “CRU,” Written by Alton Glass & Oliver W. Ottley III, Directed by Alton Glass, Executive Producer Courtney Triggs, Produced by Danny Green, Alton Glass, Matthew Hatchette and Oliver W. Ottley III, award presented by BET Networks

* Audience Award for Best Film – “CRU,” Written by Alton Glass & Oliver Ottley III, Directed by Alton Glass, Executive Producer Courtney Triggs, Produced by Danny Green, Alton Glass, Matthew Hatchette and Oliver W. Ottley III, award presented by Nielsen

* Grand Jury Prize for Best Actor – Keith Robinson for his performance in “CRU,” award presented by UPTOWN Magazine

CRU stars Keith Robinson, Richard T. Jones, Harry J. Lennix, Melissa DeSousa, Sammi Rotibi, Antwon Tanner, Alison Eastwood and Jermaine Crawford.

Glass was overwhelmed with excitement over the history-making accomplishments. “I’d like to thank Jeff Friday, ABFF team, sponsors, my Mom who is my biggest supporter and film-lovers for supporting me and TeamCRU”, says Director/Writer/Producer Alton Glass while receiving back-to-back honors at the ABFF awards ceremony.

For more information on “CRU” or Alton Glass, visit www.glassrockent.com

article via blacknews.com

American Black Film Festival Moves from Miami to New York With “Think Like a Man” Sequel and Spike Lee Film

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Romany Malco and Meagan Good in “Think Like a Man Too.” (Screen Gems)

The 18th edition of the American Black Film Festival will make its New York debut next month with films directed by Tim Story and Spike Lee bookending the June 19-22 event, organizers announced last week.

The festival, which promotes work by and about people of African descent, is presented by Film Life, a New York City-based entertainment company. The Miami area was home to the festival for most of its existence. Now, Jeff Friday, the festival’s founder and Film Life chief executive, said in a phone interview that he hoped the move will be a permanent one, with the goal of reaching a larger, more diverse audience.

“Last year proved if nothing else, that black films can be more mainstream,” Mr. Friday said. “We want to encourage audiences to consume, ingest and enjoy black cinema as much as multicultural audiences enjoy other forms of black culture.”

Continue reading “American Black Film Festival Moves from Miami to New York With “Think Like a Man” Sequel and Spike Lee Film”

Short Film “Black Girl in Paris” by Kiandra Parks Heads to HBO

Black Girl In ParisBased on the novel by Shay Youngblood, Black Girl in Paris is written and directed by Kiandra Parks and stars Tracey Heggins (Medicine for Melancholy) as a down-on-her-luck writer who experiences personal and sexual awakening thanks to a savvy prostitute, played by Zaraah Abrahams (who is also in Spike Lee‘s upcoming Da Sweet Blood of Jesus).

After filming in 2012 and touring the festival circuit in 2013, winning the American Black Film Festival’s Short Film Award, the twenty-minute movie is now available to view on HBOGo through March 31st.

article by Jai Tigget via ShadowAndAct.com

Gordon Parks Honored by Macy’s

gordon-parks001NEW YORK – From one icon to another, this February Macy’s, an American retail institution, salutes American cultural hero Gordon Parks in celebration of Black History Month. 

Via special events and exhibits at select stores across the country, Macy’s will honor the legacy of this artistic master who chronicled and defined a generation and whose work continues to inspire artists today.

A humanitarian with a deep commitment to social justice, Gordon Parks was one of the seminal figures of twentieth-century photography.

From the early 1940s until his death in 2006, Parks created a body of work that documents many of the most important aspects of American culture, with a focus on race relations, poverty, Civil Rights and urban life.

In addition, Parks was a celebrated composer, author and filmmaker who interacted with many of the most prominent people of his era — from politicians and artists to celebrities and athletes. In 1969 he became the first African-American to write and direct a Hollywood feature film based on his bestselling novel “The Learning Tree.” This was followed in 1971 by the hugely successful motion picture “Shaft.”

Continue reading “Gordon Parks Honored by Macy’s”