June 17 | 9:00 am – 12 noon | Venue: Ritz Ballroom, Salon 2 & 3
Sharpen your acting skills in this intensive two-day class on the business and craft of acting through scene study and lively discussion with Bill Duke and several guests from the world of film and television.
The Power Lounge
Hosted by Cadillac
June 17 | 9:00 am – 5:00 pm | Venue: Loews Hotel, Cowrie 2
Catered breaks and celebrity meet & greet with Omari Hardwick at 4 pm. This event is a perk for Deco passholders.
American Airlines Passholder Lounge
June 17 | 12 noon – 5:00 pm | Venue: Ritz Carlton Hotel, Salon 1
An oasis amidst the festival for ABFF passholders to network and experience American Airlines’ brand of hospitality.
Official Film Screenings
Narrative Feature & Documentary Sections
June 17 | 11:00 am – 11:00 pm | Venue: Regal Cinemas (Screens 17 & 18)
Attend world premieres of dynamic new content by Black writers, directors and producers.
ABFF FIRST LOOK: THE BIRTH OF A NATION
Presented by the MPAA, Courtesy of Fox Searchlight
June 17 | 11:30 am | Venue: Loews, Americana 3 & 4
An enlightening conversation with The Birth of a Nation director, writer filmmaker and actor Nate Parker (Beyond the Lights, Red Tails), along with actress Aja Naomi King (How To Get Away with Murder) and actress Gabrielle Union (Being Mary Jane, Bad Boys II). They will and will showcase behind-the-scenes clips on the making of the film, as well as discuss the film’s incredible journey to date.
Moderator: Star Jones, journalist & author
Industry Coaching Seminar with Akil Productions
June 17 | 1:30 pm | Venue: Ritz Ballroom, Salon 2 & 3
Mara Brock-Akil and Salim Akil discuss how to navigate a career in screenwriting, and announce the ABFF Writers Lab – a new ABFF women’s initiative.
Ladies First: Emerging Black Women in Cinema
***ABFF Women’s Initiative
Produced by Daughters of Eve Media, Presented by Facebook & The Root
June 17 | 2:00 pm | Venue: Colony Theatre
Celebrate Black women working behind the camera as two rising filmmakers whose work includes documentaries, shorts and web series are recognized by the Kathleen Collins/ABFF Women’s Initiative. Lorna Lowe (Shelter, Romeo) and Crystle Clear Roberson (Next Doors Next, The End Again) share highlights of their work and discuss their experiences as women in the industry.
The Making of ALMOST CHRISTMAS
Presented by Comcast NBCUniversal, Courtesy of Universal Pictures
June 17 | 3:00 pm | Venue: Loews, Americana 3 & 4
An inside look at Universal’s new comedy with writer/director/executive producer David E. Talbert (Baggage Claim), producer Will Packer (Ride Along, Think Like a Man series) and actress and executive producer Gabrielle Union (Being Mary Jane).
Moderator: Buzzfeed Pop Culture Editor, Sylvia Obell
Spotlight Alumni Screening: THE LAND
Written & Directed by Steven Caple, Jr.
June 17 | 4:00 pm | Venue: Regal Theatre 17
Followed by Q & A with writer, director and ABFF alum Steven Caple, Jr. The story of four teenage boys who devote their summer to escaping the streets of Cleveland, Ohio, to pursue a dream life of professional skateboarding.
STEPPING UP: Stories of Jazz and Caregiving lovingly opens a door into the lives of four musicians and their families as they struggle to balance the roles of artist, caregiver and patient. Narrated by multi-award-winning actor Wendell Pierce (The Wire, Treme, Selma) and filled with great music, dance and laughter, the film moves from Brooklyn to New Orleans to shed light on the pain, poignancy and joy that is woven into what it means to be a caregiver today.
A post-cocktail reception will follow the screening, both Courtesy of AARP.
Comedy Wings Pre-Show Mixer
Hosted by MillerCoors
June 17 | 7:30 pm | Venue: Loews Hotel, Americana Foyer
Passholders are invited to stop in for a beer before the start of the show
Spotlight Alumni Screening: 86-32
Directed by Randy Wilkins
June 17 | 8:00 pm | Venue: Regal Theatre 18
86-32 is the story of 19-year-old boxing Olympian Roy Jones, Jr. and the harrowing lesson that all that glitters ain’t gold.
Followed by Q & A with director and ABFF alum Randy Wilkins.
ABFF “Comedy Wings” Competition
Presented by HBO
June 17 | 8:30 pm | Venue: Loews Hotel, Americana 3 & 4
The festival’s hilarious comedy night, where five of the funniest new comics from around the country battle it out to take home the 2016 Comedy Wings “Winner” title and have meetings with HBO’s creative executives.