American Black Film Festival

During the summer many folks associate the season with several things like the beach, cook outs, summer clothes, water park , and for some is the American Black Film Festival. A week-long festival,founded by Howard Alum Jeff Friday, celebrating and raising awareness on black films, actors, writers, produces and more.

It is safe to say that the ABFF has come a long way to be finally establish itself as Miami’s busiest week during the summer. This year, the annual 3-day  American Black Film Festival was held in Miami, July 6th-9th

It was my pleasure to serve on the dynamic volunteer team for the ABFF, consisting of 35 ABFF team members.

As the press assistant, social media manager and photographic liaison, I was on my feet 24/7, no sleep , but I was learning and tapping into a part of me that I had never met. let me pay homage to the fantastic PR DUO Lisa Sorenson and Chandra McQueen of the SorensonMcQueen Group, who handled all PR for the ABFF. Lisa & Chandra displayed excellence and beautiful grace under pressure. I love my black women who handle business! Beauty & Brains all the way.

& What a treat it was to be handle the shot-list for Terrence Jennings! THEEEEE Terrence Jennings!

The whole week consisted of 8AM staff meetings, checking into the press room, sticking to the shot list schedule , handling media on the red carpet, and of course the after parties!

The festival was amazing, inspiring, excellent and beneficial. Each day was filled with master classes,panels, screenings, marquee events and fun networking functions.Masterclasses held by seasoned actors,writers,directors and film makers Robert Townsend,John Singleton, Bill Dukes and Michael Elliot were the highlight for the aspiring film makers and writers who attended the festival. Panels and Conversations with representatives of Code Black Entertainment, Grab Networks, Paula Patton were informative and engaging. Screenings of short films in competition for the HBO Short Film competition were shown all day at the Colony Theatre. Documentaries and other screenings were shown as well.

Can’t forget the celebrities that were in the house!! Anthony Anderson, Robert Townsend, Laz Alonso, Regina King, Elyse Neal, Jaszmine Lewis, Eric Benet, Keenan Ivory Wayans (who was this year’s honoree) , the Wayans brothers, Persia White, Mekhi Phiper and many more!

At the ABFF Award Show – The Red Carpet was live! The Winners of the HBO Short Film Competition were ecstatic! & the words of the honoree Keenan Ivory Wayans touched and inspired the audience!

Sponsors of the festival , Greygoose, Gold Peak Tea and Cadillac were in the house full force appealing and promoting their products by hosting special events. The Cadillac Lounge featured Laz Alonso taking pictures and signing his picture for fans, the Greygoose splash party featured Chef Garvin, and Gold Peak Tea supplied unlimited teas to all festival guest.

The after parties were fun fun fun however I am so done with Greygoose! Greygoose was everywhere! Greygoose tea, greygoose juice, Greygoose, Greygoose Greygoose! sheesh! promotion on a hundred!!

So yes the festival was a success HOWEVER I cannot neglect to mention the most important part , the ABFF TEAM! WOW WOW WOW! I left with unbreakable friendships with young ladies who are dynamic! I have never worked with a team who were passionate,driven and supportive! After a week, we were family!! A special shout out to founder of ABFF Jeff Friday and Producer Reggie Scott for inspiring us each morning with a reflection quote or though, and inspiring us with key words like “Be a Forward Thinker”.

I left feeling inspired, feeling accomplished, and with a whole bunch of business cards and good friends! It felt good to be a part of something bigger than me, something for us by us!


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