Jeff Friday and Nicole Friday attend 2017 American Black Film Festival “Girls Trip” Red Carpet Screening on June 14, 2017, in Miami, Florida.
Jeff Friday and Nicole Friday attend 2017 American Black Film Festival “Girls Trip” Red Carpet Screening on June 14, 2017, in Miami, Florida.
Photo: Paras Griffin (Getty Images for Universal)

For the past 23 years (with the occasional exceptions of the flagship Acapulco and subsequent New York and Los Angeles events) each summer, everyone in black Hollywood has descended unto Miami Beach to celebrate the biggest and best of both up-and-coming and established black creators and talent in film. From fabulous white parties to fashionable red carpets, the American Black Film Festival (ABFF) is the place to be.

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However, nothing has been the same since the coronavirus (COVID-19) crisis first hit, later turning into a global pandemic. In addition to thousands of people being afflicted here in the U.S., the resulting domino effect has had an impact on the general economy as several businesses and events in every industry have shut down.

Looking specifically at the entertainment industry, we’ve seen postponements and cancellations of huge events such as SXSW, Coachella and Tribeca, to name a few. Now we have another to add to the ever-growing list. Originally scheduled to occur June 17-20, the 24th Annual American Black Film Festival has been postponed until October 21-25.

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“ABFF is a destination event that attracts participants from around the world, which is why we made the difficult but necessary decision to postpone the 24th American Black Film Festival,” ABFF Ventures CEO Jeff Friday said in a statement. “While we remain committed to providing a program for storytellers who rely on ABFF to showcase their work, at this time, our main priority is the health of our staff, attendees, and corporate partners.”

According to a press release provided to The Root, “the decision was made based on guidance from the CDC, NIH, and with the support of leading sponsors, which include the Greater Miami Convention & Visitors Bureau (GMCVB), WarnerMedia, HBO, Comcast NBCUniversal, Motion Picture Association (MPA), Cadillac and Sony Pictures Entertainment.”

“The GMCVB is proud to have a long-standing partnership with ABFF”, William D. Talbert, III, CDME, President and CEO of GMCVB said in a statement. “We applaud the ABFF for being proactive during this global health pandemic and for their commitment of rescheduling the festival back in Miami at a later date. As a [premier] global events town, Greater Miami looks forward to the opportunity to roll out the red carpet and welcome ABFF.”

For those looking to purchase festival passes, they will go back on sale starting June 1st. Further updates will be posted to abff.com.

Staff Writer, Entertainment at The Root. Sugar, spice & everything rice. Equipped with the uncanny ability to make a Disney reference and a double entendre in the same sentence.

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