Actor Jay Ellis, best known for his role on HBO’s Insecure, has been named the 2018 celebrity ambassador for the American Black Film Festival, which was launched by Jeff Friday over two decades ago.
“Jeff’s vision for ABFF and his continued passion to create a platform for storytellers and content creators of color has been inspiring to me and many others,” Ellis said in a press release. “I’m grateful for the opportunity to be a part of building on the mission of ABFF.”
The festival returns to Miami next spring for its 22nd year, June 13 to June 18. Recognized as one of the leading film festivals in the world, ABFF is dedicated to fostering talent of African descent—both in front of and behind the camera.
“Diversity and equal opportunity for people of color are just some of ABFF’s main goals for film and television,” Ellis elaborated, in a statement on Instagram. “It’s a platform with a mission to keep moving forward.”
Thank you guys for bringing me in and making me part of the family!! Looking forward to 2018 https://t.co/zF0tlc0His— Jay Ellis (@JayREllis) October 27, 2017
“We are delighted to welcome Jay Ellis to the ABFF family. His commitment to new and diverse stories embodies the mission of this festival,” said Jeff Friday, CEO of ABFF Ventures, in a press release.
In addition to his role as Lawrence on the critically acclaimed Insecure, which screened at ABFF this year, Ellis has a number of impressive acting credits. He starred as Bryce “Blue” Westbrook on the hit BET series The Game and had roles on Masters of Sex, Grace and Frankie, How I Met Your Mother, Grey’s Anatomy, and NCIS.
Ellis is currently on location in Cape Town, South Africa, filming Sony Pictures’ The Maze, for the big screen with producer Neal Moritz. He recently wrapped production on the indie film A Boy. A Girl. A Dream: Love on Election Night, co-starring Omari Hardwick and Meagan Good and directed by Qasim Basir.
“Jay’s career trajectory exemplifies the importance of supporting and uplifting our own. We feel very fortunate to have him as our 2018 ambassador and are excited about what his participation will bring to our event.”