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.