The American Black Film Festival kicks off this week, here in Miami. This festival focuses primarily on the works of African Americans in the film industry. It features full length narratives, short films, mobile entertainment and documentaries–all by and/or featuring Black writers, directors, actors, and actresses. In addition to film buffs, many Black celebrities attend, especially those in the movie/television industry, talking about their current projects and drumming up interest in upcoming ones.
I’m most looking forward to the film screenings. I’ve heard a lot about Beasts of the Southern Wild, which captured awards at both the Sundance and Cannes Film Fests. Another one that I’m interested in is Raising Izzie, starring Vanessa Williams. Others include The Desean Jackson Story and Force MDs Relived. There will also be seminars, like How to Pitch a Series and Black Women in Hollywood panel, as well as contests like The Cadillac Black Movie Trivia Contest and the 15th Annual HBO Short Film Competition.
Last year, I had a ball. Imagine me, sitting on the pool deck of the Ritz Carlton South Beach, having cocktails and light bites at a table with an eclectic group that included New York socialite Bevy Smith, Atlanta Housewife Sheree, and entertainment journalist Jawn Murray. Then, up walks rapper Doug E. Fresh and comedienne Sommore. And, I actually had to excuse myself to go have dinner with another group that included actor Laz Alonso. That’s the kind of vibe that happens at ABFF. Nearly all of the celebs are sans entourages and mix and mingle with the common folk. I know I’ll get some great interviews to share.
Disclosure: I am a guest of Cadillac for this event. They have sponsored my activities and meals. All opinions are my own.