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US black film festival to launch series in London

FILM FESTIVAL: The ABFF global series programme includes the gala premiere of Naomie Harris' new film Black and Blue

THE AMERICAN Black Film Festival (ABFF) will make a historic entrance into the UK later this month, staging the first instalment of its Global Film Series in London.

ABFF London, will take place at Picturehouse Central in London’s West End, and is an integral part of an international screening series and extension of the American Black Film Festival, the leading event in the US showcasing black filmmakers.

The three-day event is in association with Screen Nation, the UK platform that works to raise the profile of black British and international film and television talent of African Caribbean heritage.

The launch comes amid the well-documented recent success of black actors and filmmakers who have collectively reimagined the Hollywood landscape, especially at the box office.

The weekend of screenings and panel discussions are aimed at encouraging collaboration and promotion between filmmakers throughout the African diaspora.

ABFF festival founder and ABFF Ventures CEO, Jeff Friday, who will appear in one of the festival’s panel discussions, said: “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, said: “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 14 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 programme boasts an impressive line-up with the gala premiere screening of action thriller Black and Blue starring Naomie Harris and Tyrese Gibson. The line-up also features 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 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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