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  • Writer's pictureCarl Agard

Boss XL Mag Recap of the American Black Film Festival in Miami

The 28th American Black Film Festival heated up Miami Beach again with more events and premieres than ever, and Boss XL Magazine was on hand to cover and many as possible. Issa Rae and Nice Crowd President & COO, Nicole Friday, kicked off the opening night with welcome speeches.

For the first time, the HBO Short Film Award Showcase at ABFF features films made by all Black women directors:

Chocolate with Sprinkles, a sweet family fantasy/drama, starring Reno Wilson, directed and written by Huriyyah Muhammad

Muna, United Kingdom story of British-Somali teenager explorations of grief and culture directed and written by Warda Mohamed

Once Upon a Dime, profound perspective of the unhoused community, directed and written by Lauren Julia

The Brown Dog, an animated short narrated by the late Michael K. Williams and directed by Nadia Hallgren and Jamie-James Medina

The Rebel Girls, 1960s civil rights story directed and written by Felicia D Henderson and executive produced by Mara Brock Akil

On day two, Boss XL Magazine attended a private mixer with the cast of the Jussie Smollett directed and produced film, "The Lost Holliday" at the Mondrian Hotel. Cast members Vivica A Fox, Jabari Redd and many others were on hand to give us interviews and insights on this upcoming movie.

Day two also presented a packed day of festivities with a full day of world class screenings, panels and events. The day kicked off with the world premiere screening of Unprisoned Season 2, followed by a Q&A with star Kerry Washington. Later in the day, Nia Long participated in a conversation titled Money & Mindfulness, which was followed by Tyler Perry’s Divorce in the Black: Exclusive First Look with Meagan Good and Cory Hardrict. The event featured an exclusive video message from Tyler Perry.

One of the day’s final screenings was Ol’ Dirty Bastard, a documentary about the founder of Wu Tang Clan. The film was executive produced by his son YDB who wore a custom jacket in tribute to his father. 

Closing out the white-hot second day of ABFF was Miami-Icon and rap-princess Trina, who participated in Trina: Uncensored. Trina shared stories about the music industry, the role of women in Hip Hop, her cultural impact, personal loss and more.

The night ended with a bang as Boss XL Magazine attended the Annual White Party sponsored by Pronghorn.

Checkout the Gallery of the Day Two Events

Day 3 of the 2024 American Black Film Festival featured red hot stars across film, tv and comedy. In its Creator Conversations panel, Issa Rae sat down with creator of the black-ish franchise, Kenya Barris, to discuss their journeys through their creative process. Barris commented on “cancel culture,” saying, “The idea of cancel culture is something I do not support.” He expressed that “working in fear isn’t creative.” Afterwards, he told Issa Rae that he would love to work with her and would write something for her. 

In the afternoon, the cast of All American, Daniel Ezra, Michael Evans Behling, Bre-Z, Cory Hardrict, and Geffri Maya spoke with Blavity’s Trey Mangum, reflecting on the series and its impact. P-Valley’s Nicco Annan showcased his latest project, Down in the Valley, to a full theater and rapturous applause. 

Boss XL Mag also attended the official premiere screening of Jussie Smollett's "The Lost Holliday", and in the evening ended up with the viewing of the AMC documentary "Distilled" which shines a light on the world of black owned spirits.

Checkout the Gallery of Day Three Events

We ended the whirlwind week of events with a viewing of the Independent Film "Young King" starring newcomer Vince Washington as a Army Veteran coping with PTSD. Washington won the "ABFF Best Actor Award" for his stunning portrayal, and many in attendance cannot wait for this film to hit the big screen because of it's message.

The evening was closed out by a Denzel Washington career retrospective, ABFF’s first of its kind celebrating the careers of extraordinary black artists. The multi-hyphenate star was greeted with a standing ovation from the crowd, excited to celebrate the career of one of the most prolific black actors of our time. Denzel shared an exclusive first look at his upcoming Netflix film,The Piano Lessonwith the audience. Following the clip, Mr. Washington joined Chaz Ebert on stage and theconversation celebrated his achievements on screen as well as his significant cultural impact off-screen as a director, producer, humanitarian, husband, and father.


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