In 1997, Jeff Friday had a bold vision to inspire, support and showcase Black actors, directors and industry professionals. In June of that year, the Aculpoco Black Film Festival (ABFF) was born. Now 23 years later, ABFF now stands for the American Black Film Festival and it is the launch pad for a plethora of Black cinematic and television excellence and a driving force behind growing diversity in Hollywood. We were excited to join Cadillac in Miami Beach for its ninth year of sponsoring this important event that serves as a platform for telling our unique stories.
Opening night festivities included a star-studded red carpet with big and small screen celebrities and personalities. The room buzzed with excitement as the cast from Shaft made their way down the carpet. Samuel L. Jackson, Jessie T. Usher, Richard Roundtree, Regina Hall, Alexandra Shipp, Method Man, ABFF 2019 Ambassador LaLa Anthony and a number of actors from HBO, NBC, BET and TV One programs posed for photogs and shared their thoughts on three generations of Shaft, gains for African Americans in Hollywood and the importance of ABFF. Tammy Golden, Plant Director of Warren Transmission Operations at General Motors, had the best line of the night. When asked about General Motors and Cadillac’s commitment to ABFF, she said, “It is important for us to have a presence here, especially from a multicultural perspective. We believe in Jeff Friday’s vision and that’s why we have been a partner for nine years. We want to keep rising, we want to have a presence and continue to raise the bar.”