Bio: Jeff Friday

Jeff Friday, Founder & CEO, Jeff Friday Media (JFM)

Jeff Friday
Founder & CEO
Jeff Friday Media (JFM)

Jeff Friday is a true change agent and among the most innovative entrepreneurs in the entertainment industry today. Television and film producer, festival trailblazer, champion of diversity and mentor to many, Friday has established a unique legacy in Hollywood building a tremendous amount of goodwill and garnering respect in both the corporate milieu and the creative community.

In 2019 Friday formed Jeff Friday Media (JFM), a Los Angeles-based entertainment company that produces film, television and digital content as well as events focused on Black and Brown culture. As CEO, Friday oversees all of JFM’s businesses, including Jeff Friday Productions; ABFF Play, a live and on-demand streaming platform; and ABFF Ventures LLC, an established live event company acquired by JFM in 2021. ABFF Ventures brands include the American Black Film Festival (ABFF), ABFF Honors, ABFF Comedy Festival and ABFF London Film Festival.

Since establishing JFM, Friday has executive produced the acclaimed feature documentary Yusuf Hawkins: Storm Over Brooklyn, currently airing on HBO Max. The next project, The Donyale Luna Story, will be distributed in 2022 by WarnerMedia. The digital production Hollywood Homecoming, a reunion series that features the directors and casts of iconic Black films, premiered on IMDb to over 2MM viewers, with more episodes planned for 2022.

Further advancing its position as critical to the movement toward diversity and inclusion in Hollywood, JFM recently secured output partnerships with major media companies, including WarnerMedia, Sony Pictures Entertainment and Endeavor Content.

The passion that propelled Jeff Friday to become a driving force advocating for diversity in Hollywood was born twenty-five years ago following his first visit to a major film festival. Pursuing his love of African American films and frustrated by the limited opportunities available to view them, an inspired Friday took a blind leap of faith and left his lucrative position at a prominent multicultural advertising agency and c0-founded the Acapulco Black Film Festival in 1997. He later acquired full rights to the festival renaming it the American Black Film Festival and moving it stateside. The festival gained immediate recognition among filmmakers, audiences and the industry, which included HBO signing up as a founding sponsor. The growing attention and support positioned Friday at the forefront of the Black film movement and fueled his commitment to promote diversity throughout the industry.

Now ABFF is acknowledged as a leading platform for Black film and television and an important conduit continuing to provide filmmakers and content creators of color worldwide inroads to the entertainment industry. In 2019, the ABFF was honored to have historical photographs and other archival material be included in the permanent collection of the Smithsonian National Museum of African American History & Culture (NMAAHC) in Washington D.C.

At the core of Friday’s legacy is his track record and keen instinct for identifying artists who have the talent and commitment to succeed in Hollywood. Further expanding his efforts to provide opportunities for new voices in entertainment, Jeff created the NFL Pro-Hollywood Boot Camp, an intensive film education workshop for National Football League players aspiring to start a career in the motion picture industry, post-sports career.

In every facet of his professional endeavors Friday is committed to the belief that Black artists deserve the same opportunities as their mainstream counterparts and devotes his time and energy working to fulfill that belief. He is often called upon to speak about film marketing and distribution and issues related to diversity in Hollywood to students from Howard to Harvard universities, as well as to industry executives – continuing to strive to promote diversity, uplift the community and expand the definition of culture.

Friday’s professional efforts have been covered in numerous publications, including Variety, The Hollywood Reporter, Crain’s, Inc, Black Enterprise, The New York Times, The Los Angeles Times and The Chicago Tribune. He has been profiled on NBC’s Good Day New York, Fox Business and ABC’s Here and Now. Friday has also been featured in print advertising campaigns for such brands as Walmart, Allstate and Chanel. He was named one of Black Enterprise magazine’s “Top 50 Hollywood Power Brokers” and among Ebony magazine’s “150 Most Influential Blacks In America.” Friday’s other honors include ringing the NASDQ closing bell to celebrate the American Black Film Festival, receiving the key to the city of Miami and Miami Beach and Kean University’s Outstanding New Jerseyan Award. In addition, “Jeff Friday Day” was proclaimed in his hometown of Newark, NJ.

Friday is a cum laude graduate of Howard University with a degree in finance. He received his MBA from New York University’s Leonard N. Stern School of Business. Friday resides in Los Angeles with his wife Nicole and their two teenage sons.