Friday at the Movies

How this champion of black films keeps diversity on the screen

Three years ago, I got a call from this guy who plays with the Baltimore Ravens, Terrell Suggs. We had lunch, and he knew as much about the history and industry of cinema as I do. A light bulb went off: We have the resources we need in our community to make movies. If 1,000 creative people walk into ABFF with scripts but no money and partner with 1,000 people who have money, we can make this happen. At the festival, Suggs met a writer and ended up financing her first short from her putting a script in his hand at ABFF.

Suggs has made four short films to date. The most recent one played at the Cannes Film Festival in France. He also came on board at our highest sponsorship level this year. So we’ve reached out to the NFL as well as the NBA. And we’re talking.

What makes ABFF so successful?
When 4,000 to 5,000 people get off planes from all over the world, and they’re in the same frame of mind—to support each other, network, and take something home that will help them move their careers forward. We’re the vehicle to help them live their dreams.

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