Relive ABFF: Celebs Discuss Film Festival’s Importance


Spike Lee at the 2014 American Black Film Festival (Photo: Soul Brother)

Missed the 2014 American Black Film Festival? 

No problem; we’ve got you covered.

XFINITY was there and is providing you with exclusive coverage of the hot film festival. We’re talking about red carpet interviews at the “Think Like a Man Too” New York City premiere, sitdowns with the stars of the James Brown biopic “Get on Up” and insightful conversations with stars like “CBS This Morning” co-anchor Gayle King, actress Phylicia Rashad and director Spike Lee.

Dedicated to the very best in black cinema, ABFF kicked off its 18th annual jubilee on June 19 with the New York premiere of Screen Gems’ “Think Like a Man Too” and concluded June 22 with the world premiere of Lee’s “Da’ Sweet Blood of Jesus.” It also premiered other films, including “Life’s Essentials with Ruby Dee,” a documentary that spotlights the “lasting love, conscious art and undying activism” of late actors Ruby Dee and Ossie Davis; “Muted,” starring “Grey’s Anatomy’s” Chandra Wilson and Malcolm-Jamal Warner; “Blackbird” starring Mo’Nique and Isaiah Washington; and “Una Vida,” starring Aunjanue Ellis and Andre Royo 

While several of your favorite actors and filmmakers like Lee, Kevin Hart and Vanessa Bell Calloway have attended ABFF for years, a few others like King and Tatyana Ali were newcomers.  We had a chance to speak with them about the importance of this film festival–which had been in Acapulco and Miami before coming to the Big Apple for the first time–and why you need to be there in 2015. 

“This is the type of thing that’s so important that even if it’s not in your city, you need to figure out a way to get there. And I’m almost embarrassed that this is my first time coming,” King shares.

Lee echoes similar thoughts: “ABFF is very important because young filmmakers need a platform especially African American filmmakers [and] filmmakers of color. So, if you’re a filmmaker, you’ve got to get your work seen and for the most part film festivals are a great vehicle, a great platform to show your work to the world.”

Check out other stars discussing ABFF’s significance below.

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The opinions expressed are solely those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of Comcast.

The opinions expressed are solely those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of Comcast.

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