Grammy-winning, Oscar-nominated singer and actress Mary J. Blige will serve as the ambassador for the 2020 American Black Film Festival (ABFF), taking place in Miami Beach from June 17–21.
Blige will headline an in-depth conversation about her music career, transitioning into film and TV, and her life journey, according to MSN.com. “So many incredibly talented black filmmakers have come out of the American Black Film Festival, many of whom I’ve had the pleasure to work with and many I can’t wait to collaborate with,” she said in a statement. “As an actress and producer, there couldn’t be a more important event to be a part of. I am a longtime supporter and admirer of ABFF and I am honored to be an ambassador and continue to help foster new talent.”
Past ambassadors include Idris Elba, Tracee Ellis Ross, Regina Hall, Jay Ellis, Morris Chestnut, Omari Hardwick, and Common. ABFF celebrates black filmmakers and promotes diversity in film and TV. In its 24th year, the festival has expanded its program to include the John Singleton Award for Best First Feature Film and initiatives focused on health (“ABFF Fit”) and social impact centered on the black LGBTQIA community (“ABFF Pride”).
Blige is booked and busy. This year she will star in Dreamworks’ Trolls World Tour movie, MGM’s Aretha Franklin biopic, Respect, and the Power spin-off series, Power Book II: Ghost, as Monet. She is also currently in the production phase for an untitled documentary directed by Vanessa Roth about her legendary life and career, under her production company, Blue Butterfly.
With eight multiplatinum albums, nine Grammy Awards, two Academy Award nominations, two Golden Globe Award nominations, Blige has always served as a figure of inspiration and empowerment through her music and films.