2018 Spotlight Screenings
Opening Night Film
Sponsored by Sony Pictures and the Motion Picture Association of America
WED 6/13 | 7:30 PM | FILLMORE THEATER
The film that helped define a genre in its characters, look, sound, and feel – is reimagined with Director X, director of legendary music videos (Drake, Rihanna), introducing it to a new generation. The main character Priest wants out of the Atlanta drug scene, but as he ramps up sales, one little slip up threatens to bring the whole operation down before he can make his exit.
Directed by: Director X | Produced by: Matthew Hirsch, Future, Palak Patel, Joel Silver | Written by: Alex Tse | Starring: Trevor Jackson, Jason Mitchell, Lex Scott Davis, Michael K Williams, Jennifer Morrison, Esai Morales
Content Notice: The American Black Film Festival (ABFF) is committed to presenting and celebrating the widest range of Black images, stories and storytellers at our signature annual event, now in its twenty second year of showcasing the work of emerging and established filmmakers at the nation’s largest gathering of Black film and TV enthusiasts. This year, the festival’s opening night film will be ABFF’s premiere of Columbia Pictures’ Superfly, from acclaimed music video auteur Director X, starring Trevor Jackson (Grown-ish, American Crime) and Jason Mitchell (Straight Outta Compton). The film is a stylish, action packed crime thriller with a pulsating, driving soundtrack curated by celebrated trap artist Future, who also produces the film with Joel Silver. Please note that this film has received an R rating from the MPAA for nudity and violence, and as such, may not be suitable for audience members under the age of 17.
THE SIX DAY RACE
Courtesy of Hennessy
THU 6/14 | 10:30 AM | COLONY THEATER
This short 7 minutes documentary style tribute film explores Marshall ‘Major’ Taylor’s heart-warming never stop, never settle story and the theme of inner rivalry. It shines a light on his contributions to the sport of cycling as well as his contributions to society overall in the form of inspiration and legacy.’
This film will immediately follow Bangers to the Bible.
DOWN FOR WHATEVER
Presented by TV One
THU 6/14 | 2:30 PM | COLONY THEATER
Don’t miss the film by last year’s TV One Screenplay Competition winner Tim Folsome, Down for Whatever – This film follows a young successful doctor that learns that her newly-found biological sisters are ruthless cop killers that her detective husband is hunting down. The screening will be followed by a Q&A with the film’s writer/director, Tim Folsome, actors LeToya Luckett, Hosea Chanchez, Bre-Z, and Imani Hakim, and producer Eric Tomosunas of Swirl Films.
Moderated by Jubba Seyyid
Courtesy of Roadside Attractions
Sponsored by Atlanta Mayor’s Office of Film & Entertainment
THU 6/14 | 6:30 PM | COLONY THEATER
The documentary feature Whitney is an intimate, unflinching portrait of Houston and her family that probes beyond familiar tabloid headlines and sheds new light on the spellbinding trajectory of Houston’s life.
Introduction by Pat Houston
Directed by: Kevin Macdonald | Produced by: Simon Chinn, Johnathan Chinn, Lisa Erspaner | Executive Produced by: Pat Houston, Nicole David, Joe Patrick, Zane Devine, Rosanne Korenberg
THE FIRST PURGE
Courtesy of Universal Pictures
THU 6/14 | 8:00 PM | REGAL CINEMA THEATER 17
To push the crime rate below one percent for the rest of the year, the New Founding Fathers of America (NFFA) test a sociological theory that vents aggression for one night in one isolated community. But when the violence of oppressors meets the rage of the marginalized, the contagion will explode from the trial-city borders and spread across the nation. Screening followed by Q&A with cast members Y’lan Noel and Lex Scott Davis
Directed by: Gerard McMurray
Sponsored by YouTube
FRI 6/15 | 10:30 AM | COLONY THEATRE
Join ESPN Analyst and former National Basketball Association (NBA) star Jay Williams, along with NBA champion LeBron James, on a riveting journey to inspire students on the cusp of achieving life-changing dreams through basketball in BEST SHOT. The eight-episode series from SpringHill Entertainment, Boardwalk Pictures (“Chef’s Table,” “Lance Chance U”) and Warner Bros. Television Group’s digital studio Blue Ribbon Content, is coming to YouTube Red in 2018. ESPN analyst and former NBA star Jay Williams will be featured in the powerful new series as he pushes the team to reach heights beyond their wildest dreams.
Screening followed by a panel discussion with Jay Williams, Michael John Warren, Shawn “OG” McCray, and Dr. Sharnee Brown, moderated by Tiffany Greene of ESPN
LOL FILMMAKER FELLOWSHIP SHOWCASE & RECEPTION
Presented by LOL Network
FRI 6/15 | 11:00 AM | REGAL CINEMA THEATER 18
The ABFF and Kevin Hart’s Laugh Out Loud Filmmaker Fellowship launched to showcase exciting new comedic creative voices, specifically writers and directors with a talent for comedic narrative film. The three finalists will premiere their films during this session.
Enjoy breakfast and mimosas, and an opportunity to network with development and production executives from Laugh Out Loud and Codeblack Films before the premiere of the fellowship films!
INSIDE ATLANTA’S WRITERS ROOM
Presented by FX Networks
FRI 6/15 | 2:30 PM | COLONY THEATRE
Revisit the “FUBU” episode of ATLANTA’S Robbin Season, then listen to writer Stephen Glover explain how it went from script to screen.
Moderated by Lola Ogunnaike
CLIPS & CONVERSATION:
THE BOBBY BROWN STORY
Presented by BET
FRI 6/15 | 6:00 PM | COLONY THEATRE
The Bobby Brown Story will pick up where The New Edition Story mini-series left off and chronicle the talented but troubled singer’s exit from the popular ’80s boy band through his solo success, his affair with Janet Jackson and tabloid-fodder marriage to pop icon Whitney Houston.
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Spanning 30 years of Brown’s life, the new project follows his story from the hard streets of Roxbury, where he turned to a life of drug dealing before being given the chance to prove himself as a solo artist. The Bobby Brown Story also will be a story about redemption. Through sobriety, the singer learns to be a better man, husband and father — finding love again and remarrying in 2012. Clips from the film will be followed by a Q&A with Bobby Brown, Woody McClain, Laz Alonso and Executive Producer Jesse Collins moderated by Essence magazine Entertainment Editor Cori Murray.
LOVE IS ______
Presented by OWN
FRI 6/15 | 6:00 PM | REGAL CINEMA THEATER 18
A Q&A with Mara Brock Akil, Salim Akil, Michele Weaver, Will Catlett and Kadeem Hardison will immediately follow the screening.
Moderated by Amanda N’Duka, Deadline
DINNER FOR TWO
Presented by TV One
SAT 6/16 | 10:30 AM | COLONY THEATRE
Broken-hearted, Chris breaks bread with the love of his life, Angela, yearning to mend the pieces of his shattered life. TV One’s Dinner for Two stars Tristan “Mack” Wilds and Chaley Rose who will follow the screening with a Q&A along with director Orlando Bishop and producers Nicole Dow and Eric Tomosunas.
Presented by Turner/TNT
SAT 6/16 | 2:30 PM | COLONY THEATRE
Episode 201: “Shook”: Desna (Niecy Nash) and the girls struggle to keep their hope alive while still working under the thumb of the new Russian regime, spearheaded by Riva. A blissful Desna remains in the dark about her gangster/gyno boyfriend, Ruval (Jimmy Jean-Louis).
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Virginia (Karrueche Tran) tells Dean (Harold Perrineau) that she’s pregnant with his baby. A newly domesticated Polly (Carrie Preston) is jubilant when tasked with being a madam for an all-male dance troupe. Meanwhile, a depressed Uncle Daddy (Dean Norris), still reeling from the loss of his beloved Juanda, has been stripped of his Dixie Mafia kingdom and is forced to do menial jobs for the Russians. The power dynamic shifts once again when Riva’s sister, Zlata (Franka Potente), arrives to change the game.
Screening followed by a Q&A with Karrueche Tran, Dean Norris, Janine Sherman Barrios.
Moderated by Cori Murray, Essence
Sponsored by YouTube
SAT 6/16 | 2:05 PM | REGAL CINEMA THEATER 18
Almost 25 years after the release of Regulate, Warren G details his rise in the industry and G-Funk’s influence on the culture. Chronicling the 1990s to today, G-Funk features archived footage and revealing interviews from the likes of Snoop Dogg, Ice Cube, Big Boy and more, as they explore the origins of the most essential trend in West Coast rap that changed the face of music and culture forever.
Remarks by director Karam Gill
SECRET HBO SNEAK SCREENING
Presented by HBO
SAT 6/16 | 6:30 PM | COLONY THEATRE
Courtesy of Lionsgate, Sponsored by Codeblack
SAT 6/16 | 8:30 PM | REGAL CINEMA THEATER 18
Lifelong friends Daveed Diggs and Rafael Casal co-wrote and star in this timely and wildly entertaining story about the intersection of race and class set against the backdrop of a rapidly gentrifying Oakland.