Black Enterprise and Film Life Inc. Join to Form ABFF Ventures

Partnership set to expand resources and platform for black filmmakers and actors

Jeff Friday, of Film Life Inc., and Earl Graves, Jr., of Black Enterprise (Images: File)
Jeff Friday, of Film Life Inc., and Earl Graves, Jr., of Black Enterprise (Images: File)

Two power brands, Black Enterprise and Film Life Inc., have come together to create a dynamic partnership that uplifts communities of color through film and TV. Known as ABFF Ventures, the equity partnership combines Black Enterprise’s dedication to empowering and educating black entrepreneurs with Film Life’s mission — through the American Black Film Festival— in giving content makers of color from the worlds of film and TV a supportive platform for networking, learning, and showcasing art. “Joining with Black Enterprise represents an unprecedented opportunity to take our world-renowned American Black Film Festival to another level, with a multimedia company that brings the print, television, and social media reach to extend both the visibility and cultural impact of the event,” says Jeff Friday, founder and CEO of Film Life Inc. “Also, Black Enterprise’s track record as a producer of top-notch national events is unparalleled in its own right.”

Joining forces with Film Life to produce ABFF makes sense for Black Enterprise, which has found ongoing success through its yearly special events like the Women of Power Summit, Entrepreneurs Summit, and the Golf & Tennis Challenge. Adding ABFF to its power family of live events like the Baltimore African American Festival and the 20/20 Vision Forum is a natural extension of what BE has already done so well. “Our live events business continues to expand to become a true revenue driver for our company, and for the media business in general,” said Black Enterprise’s CEO Butch Graves. “Bringing the American Black Film Festival into the Black Enterprise family is a significant coup for us, and will provide excellent opportunities for our clients and sponsors to establish and expand their engagement with the upscale, forward-thinking African American consumer audiences both our companies have served for decades.”

Scheduled to take place June 11-14, 2015, in New York City, ABFF plans to include four days of film screenings, panels, and networking events focused on giving filmmakers of color and those who work in TV, the same opportunities as those in the mainstream. Since 1997, the festival has served as a valuable pipeline for black entrepreneurs in the movie business looking to open doors.

For 44 years, Black Enterprise has educated and motivated black entrepreneurs. Extending the brand into event production and TV with shows like Women of Power and Our World adds to the overall goal of strengthening and empowering the black community. The addition of ABFF into the BE Family of special events will now help further take the world of film, TV and entrepreneurs of color creating diversified cinematic content to a new, improved, world-renowned level.