(photo: John Boyega, Nicole Friday, Jeff Friday, Images Courtesy of the American Black Film Festival)
The 27th edition of the American Black Film Festival (ABFF) kicked off in style on a scorching opening night, as the festival ambassador, Lena Waithe, and Nicole Friday, President & COO of Nice Crowd (formerly ABFF Ventures), delivered stirring welcome speeches to inaugurate this year’s momentous event. The festivities began on the heels of an exciting announcement regarding the expansion of the group’s event offerings under the Nice Crowd banner.
The spotlight of the evening was seized by the premiere and screening of Netflix’s satirical conspiracy caper film, “They Cloned Tyrone.” Esteemed personalities, including Juel Taylor, Teyonah Parris, John Boyega, Charles King, Terrence J, Tabitha Brown, Chance Brown, Kym Whitley, Donkmaster, and Mayor Dan Gelber, graced the occasion, joining in the celebration.
“They Cloned Tyrone” follows an unusual trio consisting of Boyega, Parris, and Foxx, who find themselves entangled in a web of eerie events that unveils a nefarious government conspiracy in this gripping mystery caper. Prior to its launch on Netflix on July 21, 2023, the film will enjoy a limited theatrical release.
The film marks the directorial debut of Juel Taylor, renowned for his work on “Creed II,” and is co-written by Taylor and Tony Rettenmaier. The production boasts an impressive lineup of producers, including Charles D. King, MACRO, Stephen “Dr.” Love, Tony Rettenmaier, Juel Taylor, Jamie Foxx, and Datari Turner. Executive producers of the film include Mark R. Wright, Kim Roth, Jack Murray, Federal Films, Dana Sano, Monte Lipman, with co-executive producers James Lopez and Poppy Hanks.
Glendon Hall, Chair of the Miami Beach Black Affairs Advisory Committee, expressed his support for the American Black Film Festival, stating, “The ABFF plays a valuable role in the entertainment industry and has the strong backing of the Miami Beach Black Affairs Advisory Committee and the city. Under the leadership of Jeff and Nicole Friday, the festival proudly highlights the importance of black storytelling and the consistent need for black voices to find avenues of expression. Today, I am honored to declare it American Black Film Festival Day.”
Lena Waithe, the festival ambassador, shared her sentiments, acknowledging the festival’s significance during these turbulent times. She said, “These festivals are like a family reunion; it’s not just any festival. To see these filmmakers pursue and realize their dreams is a blessing. The ABFF reminds us to come together, lift each other up, and truly see one another. Chasing dreams is fun, but catching them is hard. Filmmakers and storytellers, we do it all for you. Thank you for having me.”
The American Black Film Festival has established itself as one of Miami Beach’s premier cultural anchor events, embodying the spirit of black storytelling and providing consistent outlets for black voices. With an electrifying opening night and the promise of compelling films, the ABFF is set to captivate audiences throughout its duration, offering a platform for diverse stories and voices to shine.