The 2023 American Black Film Festival (ABFF) will close out its five-day event with the annual Community Day taking place on Sunday, June 18, at the Black Archives Historic Lyric Theater, 819 NW 2nd Ave, Miami, from noon to 5:00 p.m. The event is free and open to the public.
This year’s program will feature two special screenings from Max, hit comedy series Rap Sh!t and the all-new animated Young Love. The Rap Sh!t screening will be followed by a talkback with creator and executive producer Issa Rae and showrunner Syreeta Singleton. Following the Young Love screening, Oscar-winning director Matthew A. Cherry will discuss his highly anticipated upcoming series. ABFF will be available to a global audience June 19-25 on ABFF PLAY (https://abffplay.com/).
ABFF’s Community Day, now in its 9th year of partnership with the Greater Miami Convention & Visitors Bureau (GMCVB), provides a place where festivalgoers and the local Miami community can experience dynamic programming from emerging artists and established industry creatives. Inspired by family and community, GMCVB supports ABFF’s mission to facilitate more involvement from Miami natives, provide education about television and film entertainment, exposure to resources, and promote artistic collaboration.
“Maintaining community engagement is a priority of our festival, said Jeff Friday, founder and CEO, ABFF Ventures LLC. “Each year we look forward to partnering with the GMCVB team to bring new and interesting content to the Overtown community.”
“ABFF’s Community Day embraces the power of art to inspire and uplift. We are proud to support this vibrant celebration of diversity and culture that spotlights the incredible talent within the Black film industry”, said David Whitaker, President & CEO of the Greater Miami Convention & Visitors Bureau. “We welcome visitors joining us for the ABFF and hope they enjoy the electric energy of our beautiful destination during Community Day and beyond.”
GMCVB’s Senior Vice President of Multicultural Tourism & Development, Connie Kinnard, added, “True partnerships mean a lot and we are honored to be a partner with ABFF on this annual Community Day of film and conversation. Many thanks to Nicole and Jeff Friday, along with the ABFF leadership team, for their commitment to the elevation of Black and Brown voices in the film industry. This type of support also helps economic development opportunities for our heritage communities.”
The schedule of events for the 2023 ABFF Annual Community Day follows. To attend, visit Eventbrite and register for a free admission ticket at https://www.eventbrite.com/e/
Noon – 1:00 p.m. – Community Day Marketplace and Red Carpet
1:00 – 2:00 p.m. – Screening of two episodes of Rap Sh!t (TV-MA)
2:00 – 2:45 p.m. – Talkback with Issa Rae and Syreeta Singleton
Rap Sh!t follows two estranged high school friends from Miami, Shawna and Mia, who reunite to form a rap group.
Cast: Aida Osman (Shawna), KaMillion (Mia), Jonica Booth (Chastity), RJ Cyler (Lamont), Daniel Augustin (Maurice)
Executive Producer: Issa Rae (for HOORAE); Executive Producer/Showrunner: Syreeta Singleton; Executive Producer: Montrel McKay (for HOORAE); Executive Producers: Dave Becky and Jonathan Berry (for 3 Arts Entertainment); Executive Producer: Jim Kleverweis; Hip-hop duo Yung Miami and JT of City Girls serve as co-executive producers, along with Kevin “Coach K” Lee and Pierre “P” Thomas for Quality Control Films, and Sara Rastogi and Jax Clark for HOORAE. Rae’s Audio Everywhere Company, Raedio, handles music supervision for the series.
3:15 – 4:00 p.m. – Screening of Young Love
4:00 – 4:30 p.m. – Talkback with Matthew A. Cherry
Young Love expands on the animated short Hair Love, which centered around the relationship between an African American father, his daughter Zuri, and the most daunting task a father could ever come across – doing his daughter’s hair for the first time. Filled with comedy and heart, the all-new animated series Young Love is an honest look into the world of the Young family – including millennial parents Stephen and Angela, their daughter Zuri and her pet cat Rocky – as they juggle their careers, marriage, parenthood, social issues and multi-generational dynamics, all while striving to make a better life for themselves.
Issa Rae, who served as ABFF’s 2022 Festival Ambassador, created and starred in the Peabody award-winning HBO series Insecure, which garnered multiple Emmy® and Golden Globe® nominations and wins. Via her production banner HOORAE, Rae has also produced audience favorites A Black Lady Sketch Show, Sweet Life: Los Angeles and the upcoming Project Greenlight on Max.
Chicago native, Matthew A. Cherry is a former NFL wide receiver turned filmmaker who played for the Jacksonville Jaguars, Cincinnati Bengals, Carolina Panthers and the Baltimore Ravens. In 2020 his short film, Hair Love earned him Academy Award for Best Animated Short. In addition to previously consulting for MonkeyPaw Productions and executive producing Spike Lee’s highly acclaimed BlacKKKlansman, Matthew has also directed multiple episodes of television, including Black-ish, Saved By The Bell, Abbott Elementary, The Wonder Years, Clean Slate and more. Additionally, Matthew’s first feature film, The Last Fall, was inspired by his own experiences playing in the NFL and starred Lance Gross and Nicole Beharie.
For festival information and virtual press credentials, visit www.abff.com. Follow @ABFF on Twitter and @AmericanBlackFilmFestival on Instagram and Facebook.
ABFF sponsors and partners to date are Warner Bros. Discovery and HBO® (Founding); Andscape, Ally, Comcast NBCUniversal, Walmart, Cadillac (Presenting); City of Miami Beach, Greater Miami Convention & Visitors Bureau (GMCVB), UPS, TV One Networks, Netflix, Meta, Prime Video (Major); American Airlines, IMDb, Sony Pictures Entertainment, Variety, YouTube Black Voices, Prudential Financial, ALLBLK, Bounce TV, OWN, Warner Bros. Television (Official); A&E Network, BET Media Group, Motion Picture Association (MPA), Confluential Films, Miami Beach Visitor and Convention Authority, Pfizer, Procter & Gamble, Fulton Films GA, ESPN Films, Lionsgate (Supporting).
The American Black Film Festival (ABFF) is a property of ABFF Ventures LLC, an entertainment company specializing in the production of live events and platforms that celebrate Black culture and achievement. The ABFF, the company’s flagship event, is dedicated to recognizing Black talent and showcasing quality film and television content by and about people of African descent. ABFF founder Jeff Friday conceived the festival in 1997 as a vehicle to strengthen the Black entertainment community by fostering resource sharing, education and artistic collaboration. Now in its 27th year, the festival has become a key proponent of diversity in Hollywood, providing a platform for emerging Black artists.
About The Greater Miami Convention & Visitors Bureau
The Greater Miami Convention & Visitors Bureau (GMCVB) is an accredited, independent not-for-profit sales and marketing organization whose mission is to attract visitors to Greater Miami and Miami Beach for leisure, business, meetings, and conventions. For additional information, visit www.MiamiandMiamiBeach.com/