By Zebrina Edgerton-Maloy

Celebrate film and television crafted by talented Black filmmakers, directors and actors at the American Black Film Festival (ABFF) from June 14-18, 2023, in the heart of Miami Beach. Soak in the creativity at ABFF’s five-day celebration as the festival celebrates 27 years of showcasing film and television content created by and about people of the African diaspora while cultivating a community of Black creatives from around the world. Explore a robust selection of Hollywood screenings, celebrity conversations, master classes and exclusive networking events. Continue the festivities during the virtual segment of the festival June 19-25 on ABFF PLAY and watch films from the U.S. and internationally.

Movie Screenings & Award-Winning Talent

Film enthusiasts can get an insider’s look at a noteworthy lineup of film debuts before they hit the big screen and see the most-highly anticipated Black films of the year starring critically acclaimed actors. ABFF is renowned for being a pivotal platform for emerging Black artists to kick-start their careers. ABFF is also home to some of Hollywood’s most-distinguished talent, including Ryan Coogler (“Black Panther”), Steven Caple Jr. (“Creed II”), Issa Rae (“Insecure”), Kevin Hart (“Night School”) and Omari Hardwick (“Power”).

Festival Opener

The festival will open with one of the most notable premieres for Netflix: “They Cloned Tyrone,” starring Golden Globe winner John Boyega (“Star Wars,” “Small Axe,” “Attack the Block”), Teyonah Parris (“The Marvels,” “WandaVision”) and Oscar winner Jamie Foxx (“Ray,” “Just Mercy”), who also produced the film. The satirical conspiracy film follows the trio as they uncover a government conspiracy that monitors and clones Black people. “They Cloned Tyrone” won’t be released in theaters until late July, so the festival is your chance to view the movie before anyone else.

Additional World Premieres

Get your popcorn ready for more world premieres with the 2023 lineup, including:

  • “Murder City,” produced by filmmaker Oz Scott and Kevin Garnett, starring Michael Colter.
  • “Phels High,” starring Omari Hardwick, Allen Maldonado and Elise Neal.
  • “Cinnamon,” a highly anticipated feature film starring Pam Grier and Damon Wayans.

Narrative & Documentary Features Competition

ABFF is known for celebrating Black storytelling, especially during the “Best of ABFF Awards,” hosted by Emmy-nominated actor and author Dondré Whitfield. This year, ABFF’s narrative and documentary features competition has doubled the number of submissions from the year before. The awards show will be on Saturday, June 17.

The competition’s feature films include:

  • “A Song from the Dark,” which follows a woman with a dark family secret who hires a spirit hunter to expel a spirit tormenting her family.
  • “Jagged Mind,” in which a woman is plagued by blackouts and strange visions after she starts dating a mysterious new girlfriend and discovers she’s stuck in a series of time loops.
  • “Playing Sam,” chronicling the life of a Latina actress who channels her turbulent love life for inspiration.

The competition’s thought-provoking documentaries include:

  • “Bad Things Happen in Philadelphia,” highlighting the effects of gun violence on young men, women and mothers living in Philadelphia.
  • “Birthing Justice,” showcasing how America’s medical establishment has turned the process of birth into a battleground for Black women and their babies.
  • “Black Barbie,” in which viewers will get an insider’s look at Mattel, delving into the representation of Black women and how they elevated their voices through merchandise.

Celebrity Panel Discussions

At the festival, movie fans can listen in on panel discussions with some of their favorite A-lister actors and the most-talented film creatives in the industry. There will be panel conversations about the impact of Black cinema on popular culture, the challenges Black filmmakers face and what it takes to craft story-driven motion pictures that leave a lasting impression.

You won’t want to miss the ABFF Talk Series, featuring Emmy Award-winning writer, actor and screenwriter Lena Waithe, who is the creator of the Showtime drama series “The Chi” and the BET comedy series “Boomerang” and “Twenties” and writer/producer of the crime film “Queen & Slim.” Waithe is an influential advocate for underrepresented storytellers in Hollywood, and her talk series will shine a light on groundbreaking stories and the creatives behind them.

Exclusive Networking & Parties

Each year, networking events and parties at ABFF give film aficionados and aspiring filmmakers the chance to rub shoulders with industry insiders and celebrities. More details about networking and parties will be released closer to the event dates.