*The American Black Film Festival (ABFF) Honors took place in Beverly Hills CA this past Sunday. The gala awards show celebrates Black culture and artists who have made distinguished contributions to the entertainment industry.
This year’s honorees are Academy AwardⓇ winner Louis Gossett, Jr. (“Watchmen,” “An Officer and a Gentleman”) receiving the Hollywood Legacy Award; EmmyⓇ Award-winning producer, writer, and actress, Lena Waithe (“The Chi,” “Boomerang,” “Queen & Slim”) for the prestigious Industry Renaissance Award, Academy Award nominee Cynthia Erivo (“Harriet”) with the Rising Star Award, Academy Award winner Jamie Foxx (“Ray,” “Just Mercy,” “Django Unchained”) with the Excellence in the Arts Awards, and the cast of the former hit HBO show “The Wire” with the Classic Television Award. The evening was hosted by actor/comedian Deon Cole (Black-ish.) and featured a surprise appearance from actor Leonardo DiCaprio.
With that type of star power on stage, the red carpet before the show was packed with some of your favorite celebrities. “SnowFall’s” Damson Idris, Amin Joseph and Angela Lewis, Black Lighting’s Nafessa Williams, Dondre Whitfield (“Queen Sugar,”) Mike Colter (Black and Blue,) Javicia Leslie (BET’s Sistas,) legendary actor Glynn Turman, Michael. K. Williams (The Wire, Boardwalk Empire,) Jamie Hector and Andre Royo reflected on the impact of “The 17 years later, actress LisaRaye, Head of Fox Soul, James Dubose and more. EURweb’s Jill Munroe was there and spoke with a few about what they do to celebrate “Black History Month.”
Bryan Stevenson – the producer and public interest lawyer who was the inspiration for “Just Mercy” – shared what it has meant for him to see the project, not just in theatres, but receiving awards this season.
“It’s very affirming, the team and the cast have worked so hard to bring this story to life, it’s wonderful to see them recognized.”
ABFF founder and CEO Jeff Friday, discussed how gratifying it is that 24 years later the idea evolved from just a film festival to an awards showcase, and now the future extends the festival internationally.