Academy Award® and BAFTA Nominated Naomie Harris Set to Open the American Black Film Festival’s First Ever Global Film Series
(September 25, 2019) – Oscar nominee Naomie Harris, the star of the forthcoming Screen Gems action thriller Black and Blue, will be attending the film’s Gala screening at Picturehouse Central, in central London, on Friday, September 27, 2019.
The film’s director, Deon Taylor, will also be present at the screening, which officially opens the American Black Film Festival’s (ABFF) first Global Film Series (Sept 27-29), held in association with Screen Nation, and sponsored by Sony Pictures Entertainment (SPE).
The well-documented recent success of black actors and filmmakers who have collectively reimagined the Hollywood landscape, especially at the box office, provides a suitable backdrop to the London launch. That Black British actors have been an integral part in shaping this exciting new cinematic narrative underlines the importance of this event. The weekend of screenings and panel discussions are aimed at encouraging collaboration and promotion between filmmakers throughout the African Diaspora. Significantly, a panel called ‘Creating Blue Oceans in Hollywood’ (Sept 28) will explore solutions to support inclusion of underrepresented talent in the industry and the ABFF’s HBO Shorts programme (Sept 29) that helped launch the careers of talent like Ava DuVernay (When They See Us) and Ryan Coogler (Black Panther). This will showcase five short films with a Q&A hosted by recent Academy inductee British filmmaker Julius Amedume with the HBO short competition winner Marshall Tyler.
ABFF festival founder and ABFF Ventures CEO, Jeff Friday, who will appear in one of the festival’s panel discussions, commented: “ABFF’s Global Film Series provides a unique platform for black actors and filmmakers internationally to forge new alliances and share their work. The London event provides an important first step in developing these synergies which can help inform the African Diaspora as a whole. We’re very appreciative to Sony Pictures Entertainment for supporting the launch of this series.”
“I am delighted that Sony Pictures Entertainment is partnering with ABFF to support its international expansion,” said Wayne Garvie, President of International Production, Sony Pictures Television. “London is a vibrant, important source of diverse creative talent and a fantastic place to showcase emerging content. We are excited to launch the ABFF Global Film Series in London, which highlights Sony Pictures Entertainment’s commitment to harnessing the power of diversity and promoting inclusivity so that talented people can thrive.”
Screen Nation founder and CEO, Charles Thompson MBE, commented: “We are very excited to be partnering ABFF UK in this timely initiative and proud that the Global Film Series will be kicking off in London. In the past fourteen years Screen Nation Awards has been at the vanguard of recognising black film talent in the UK and we have complemented this by acknowledging the impressive historical gains of US black actors and filmmakers across the Diaspora.”
The line-up also features popular US actress Meagan Good’s directorial debut feature (with Tamara LaSeon Bass) of her crowd-funded sisterhood indie film, If Not Now, When. The added bonus for UK audiences is Good (Think Like A Man, Think Like A Man Too, Shazam) will be attending the film’s UK premiere. There is also a preview screening of British feature Farming, Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje’s much-anticipated autobiographical directorial debut, starring Damson Idris, Kate Beckinsale and Gugu Mbatha-Raw.
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Notes to Editors:
- ABFF London, in association with Screen Nation, will be held from September 27-29, 2019 at Picturehouse Central, Corner of Shaftesbury Avenue, Piccadilly Circus, London W1D 7DH. The Gala screening of Black and Blue will be screened at 6.30pm (Arrival of talent tbc).
Black and Blue is a fast-paced action thriller about rookie cop (Naomie Harris) who inadvertently captures the murder of a young drug dealer on her body cam. After realizing that the murder was committed by corrupt cops, she teams up with one person from her community who is willing to help her (Tyrese Gibson) as she tries to escape both the criminals out for revenge and the police who are desperate to destroy the incriminating footage.
Directed by Deon Taylor. Written by Peter A. Dowling. Produced by Sean Sorensen. Joshua Throne and Roxanne Taylor serve as executive producers. The film stars Naomie Harris, Tyrese Gibson, Frank Grillo, Mike Colter, Reid Scott, Beau Knapp and Nafessa Williams.
ABOUT ABFF GLOBAL FILM SERIES
ABFF Global Film Series (ABFF Global) is an international screening series and extension of the American Black Film Festival (ABFF), the premier event in the United States showcasing the work of content creators of African descent. The series mission is to promote the universal appeal of films by and about people of color and encourage collaboration between content creators throughout the African Diaspora, with the objective of expanding distribution opportunities for black content on an international scale. The ABFF Global Film Series will visit other major cultural hubs, after London, including Madrid, Cape Town and Paris in 2020.
The American Black Film Festival (ABFF) is an annual event dedicated to empowering black artists and showcasing quality film and television content by and about people of African descent. Committed to the belief that diverse artists deserve the same opportunities as their mainstream counterparts, ABFF founder & CEO Jeff Friday conceived the festival in 1997 as a vehicle to strengthen the black filmmaking community by encouraging resource sharing, education and artistic collaboration. He ultimately envisioned it as a cornerstone of diversity in Hollywood. Since its inception, the ABFF has been a platform for emerging black artists, having premiered the early work and showcasing the talent of many of today’s most successful actors, producers, writers, directors and stand-up comedians. Today, the festival is the pre-eminent pipeline for black artists in front of and behind the camera, and has significantly expanded the range of talent working in Hollywood. For more information, please visit https://www.abff.com/.
ABOUT SONY PICTURES ENTERTAINMENT
Sony Pictures Entertainment (SPE) is a subsidiary of Tokyo-based Sony Corporation. SPE’s global operations encompass motion picture production, acquisition, and distribution; television production, acquisition, and distribution; television networks; digital content creation and distribution; operation of studio facilities; and development of new entertainment products, services and technologies. SPE’s Motion Picture Group production organizations include Columbia Pictures, Screen Gems, TriStar Pictures, Sony Pictures Animation, Stage 6 Films, AFFIRM Films, and Sony Pictures Classics. For additional information, visit http://www.sonypictures.com/corp/divisions.html.
ABOUT SCREEN NATION
The Screen Nation Film & TV Awards, formerly the bfm (black filmmaker) Film and TV Awards, was founded in September 2003 by independent film producer Charles Thompson MBE as a platform to raise the profile of black British and international film and television talent of African heritage. The awards ceremony – dubbed the “Black BAFTAs brings together actors, actresses, directors and filmmakers from the British and international film and TV industry.