ABFF Founders Jeff and Nicole Friday Launch Social Justice Now Film Festival, Michael B. Jordan and BLM's Opal Tometi Named Co-Ambassadors

Nicole and Jeff Friday attend the American Black Film Festival Honors Awards Ceremony on February 23, 2020; Michael B. Jordan attends the 51st NAACP Image Awards on February 22, 2020; Opal Tometi attends the Premiere of “Harriet” on October 29, 2019.
Nicole and Jeff Friday attend the American Black Film Festival Honors Awards Ceremony on February 23, 2020; Michael B. Jordan attends the 51st NAACP Image Awards on February 22, 2020; Opal Tometi attends the Premiere of “Harriet” on October 29, 2019.
Photo: Amy Sussman/Getty Images (Getty Images), Leon Bennett/Getty Images for BET (Getty Images), Frazer Harrison/Getty Images (Getty Images)

Art often imitates life and social justice is a huge part of our lives right now...in fact, at this very moment. Just ask the NBA.

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In the spirit of creating art as an expression toward social justice, American Black Film Festival (ABFF) co-founders Jeff and Nicole Friday have launched the Social Justice Now Film Festival, which “will include virtual screenings, community conversations, and impact events that confront the social and economic issues facing Black and Brown communities.”

Per the press release sent to The Root:

The mission of the Social Justice Now Film Festival is “watch, reflect, and take action,” and this year’s program will include narrative documentary features, short films and new media projects with correlating discussions on topics such as police brutality, criminal justice reform, income disparity, healthcare reform and voter reform led by the preeminent voices in their respective spaces. The festival will include online petitions, educational resources, and other interactive components with an emphasis on activating around the November 2020 Election.

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“This first-of-its-kind festival will merge art and activism to drive today’s necessary conversations forward toward lasting social and political change,” the founders said in a statement. “On behalf of our partners, we look forward to using our collective abilities to provide a platform committed to amplifying the voices of the marginalized, and educating attendees on the most pressing issues impacting these communities.”

The Fridays have ample backup, too, as Michael B. Jordan and Opal Tometi (co-founder, Black Lives Matter) have joined the effort as co-ambassadors.

“I am honored to serve as an inaugural ambassador for the Social Justice Now Festival,” Jordan said in a statement. “It was both a professional and personal achievement to have had the opportunity to portray the great Bryan Stevenson in ‘Just Mercy’ and with the help of festivals like this we will continue to bring those stories to life. Now more than ever it is important that we shine a light on those who have been marginalized by our society and I look forward to joining Jeff and Nicole as we continue the fight for social justice reform.”

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“It’s an honor to serve as an Ambassador for the inaugural Social Justice Now Film Festival,” Tometi added. “As a media maker and a human rights advocate, I know that there’s no denying the importance of truth-telling and the power of film to facilitate that. Given the significance of these times, I trust that the Social Justice Now Film Festival will provide the catalytic insight and creative inspiration we need.”

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Sony Pictures Entertainment is this festival’s founding sponsor and coalition partners include Endeavor Content, One Community and Outlier Society.

The Social Justice Now Film Festival will run Oct. 21-25. Those interested in submitting content to the festival can do so now through Sept. 12 at the official website or via Film Freeway.

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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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