The 2021 American Black Film Festival (ABFF) will shift from a hybrid to a totally virtual event, it was announced today by Jeff Friday Media (JFM) and ABFF Ventures LLC. The festival, which runs November 3 to 14, 2021, will be available digitally via its custom-designed online platform ABFFPlay.com (https://abffplay.com) providing global access for artists, movie enthusiasts and audiences to come together to celebrate ABFF’s 25th year of showcasing the best in Black cinema and television.
Over the course of the twelve-day festival, ABFF’s complete lineup of independent films, network and studio previews, panels, master classes and other virtual experiences will be streamed on its platform with select content available via Facebook and various social media platforms. The festival, along with its local partners, the Greater Miami Convention and Visitors Bureau and the City of Miami Beach, will activate film-related happenings throughout the year for the South Florida community.
“As we were enthusiastically planning our 25th anniversary celebration and return to Miami Beach, we couldn’t ignore the ongoing spread of COVID-19 and now the Delta variant. Our national health crisis is at the forefront of our minds and we must responsively adapt. For the health and safety of our attendees, supporters and staff, we’ve made the difficult decision to pivot to a virtual event this year,” said Jeff Friday, CEO Jeff Friday Media and founder, ABFF Ventures LLC. “Despite this change, our programming will not be compromised, We are pleased to present ABFF 2021 as a free, worldwide digital experience and we look forward to watching and enjoying this year’s festival as much as ever!”
“ABFF 25 will not disappoint on our promise to deliver inspiring and dynamic programs,” added Nicole Friday, president, ABFF Ventures LLC. “With our unique global broadcast platform, we celebrate our 25-year journey of uplifting voices, sharing the talent of hundreds of artists and fostering a stronger Black entertainment community. We are grateful to our outstanding corporate sponsors and partners for their unwavering support of ABFF and its important mission over the years.”
The festival previously announced its 2021 official selections — an impressive collection of films and web series by emerging and established artists from countries including Brazil, South Africa, Canada, Namibia, the United Kingdom and the USA. Film producer and ABFF alumnus Will Packer (Girls Trip, Ride Along), as the festival’s 2021 Jury President, will oversee the voting process.
ABFF attracts an increasingly broad audience, which has grown with virtual access and wants to continue the momentum. In 2020, over 54,000 people representing over 90 countries attended the festival via ABFF PLAY. In previous years, the festival has attracted approximately 10,000 celebrity talent, emerging artists, upscale consumers and industry stakeholders to travel to Miami Beach for the annual live event.
ABFF sponsors to date include HBO® (Founding) WarnerMedia, Cadillac, Greater Miami Convention & Visitors Bureau (Presenting) Comcast NBCUniversal, Sony Pictures Entertainment, American Airlines, AT&T, ALLBLK (Premier) City of Miami Beach, Netflix, Yahoo!, Variety (Official) Accenture, Motion Picture Association (MPA) (Supporting). Media partners include TheGrio and Rolling Out.
For festival information, visit https://www.abff.com/miami/