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Film Life’s 16th Annual American Black Film Festival Announces Its Highly Anticipated Talk Series
NEW YORK, June 14, 2012 – Film Life, Inc. is proud to announce its lineup of the acclaimed Talk Series to be held during the 16th annual American Black Film Festival (ABFF) in Miami, Florida, June 20 – 23. This year’s Talk Series will feature some of the most influential and creative industry leaders and talent. Aspiring filmmakers will share new learning experiences and gain a better understanding of how to navigate the movie business. Highlights to include: various aspects of the film industry such as producing, cinematography, digital technology and the role of African-American women within the industry. The panels will take place at The Ritz-Carlton, South Beach – 1 Lincoln Road, Salons 2 and 3.
“The $300,000 Feature: A Master Class in Line Producing,” led by Dianne Ashford of Symmetry Entertainment. Scheduled to take place June 20 at 1:30pm, this Master Class will outline a film producer’s core responsibilities (creative, executive and technical) through the phases of production and distribution.
“Camera Basics & Cinematography Master Class,” led by Charles Swanson, Associate Professor of Cinematography, Chair of the Production Department, School of Film and Television, Loyola Marymount University. Scheduled to take place June 21 at 9am, this Master Class will provide filmmakers with a basic education on entry-level digital cameras as well as more advanced digital capture cameras and formats.
“The Future of Black Entertainment: Using the Digital Space to Create Buzz and Distribute Content.” Taking place on June 21 at 1pm, this panel, sponsored by Nielsen and Black Enterprise magazine, will be moderated by Cindi Smith of Nielsen. Invited panelists are Monique Kelley of Warner Bros. Digital Distribution, Nikkole Denson-Randolph of AMC Theatres, Barion Grant of TheGrio.com/NBCUniversal and Issa Rae, creator and producer of the hit webisode series, “The Misadventures of Awkward Black Girl.” The panelists will discuss recent blockbusters and the social buzz around them. There will be a focus on the increase in consumer-generated content on the web by producers of color and how they can monetize web content and cultivate success with major brands.
“Beyond the Barriers & Biases: Black Women in Hollywood.” Taking place on June 23 at 10:30am, this panel is sponsored by The Webber Group, in association with Daughters of Eve Productions. Moderated by Michele Prettyman Beverly, African American Cinema Scholar, the discussion will feature Twinkie Byrd, casting director and producer, Elizabeth Hunter, writer, Angi Bones, SVP of Development (BobbCat Films) and actors Malinda Williams and Tracey Heggins. The festival audience will be introduced to a lineup of women who have built diverse careers in film despite the odds. They will offer how they have successfully navigated their professional journeys beyond the barriers and biases.
Rounding out the panel discussions will be “HBO Presents…” Taking place on June 23 at 1pm, this panel, sponsored by HBO, will be moderated by Cori Murray, Entertainment Director of Essence Magazine, and will feature JB Smoove, “Curb Your Enthusiasm,” Nelsan Ellis, “True Blood,” Michael K. Williams, “Boardwalk Empire,” and Sufe Bradshaw, “Veep.” This panel will highlight the talents of the panelists as they talk about their backgrounds, acting careers and their very unique experiences working on an HBO series.
“A Conversation with Salim and Mara Brock-Akil,” sponsored by American Airlines, is a special festival event taking place on June 22 at 12:30pm. It will feature an in-depth interview with husband-wife team Salim and Mara Brock-Akil, whose joint credits include: hit TV shows “Girlfriends,” “The Game” and films “Jumping the Broom” and the upcoming “Sparkle.” Trina Robinson of NBC South Florida Today Show will facilitate the conversation.
******“ABFF Celebrates “Think Like A Man,” sponsored by Crown Royal Black, is another special festival event taking place on June 22 at 8:45pm. This unique presentation will feature an onstage interview with Will Packer, producer and Rob Hardy (executive producer), Tim Story (director) and cast members of the hit film, “Think Like A Man,” which has grossed over 90 million dollars at the box office. Moderated by radio host Malikha Malette.
“The Talk Series is one of the most substantive parts of the festival. Filmmakers and film enthusiasts join in conversations that allow for the exploration of many disciplines within the film industry,” states Jeff Friday, CEO of Film Life and ABFF founder. “Topics that are relevant to the business of film, like marketing and distribution as well as the creative component, such as writing and directing, are discussed in a very innovative and important way.”
The festival’s on-site registration center will open Wednesday, June 20 at 9am at Ritz Carlton-South Beach, located on the 2nd floor. A limited quantity of passes and tickets will be available for purchase on a first-come, first-serve basis.
*Panelists subject to change.
HBO (Founding and Premier Sponsor); Gold Peak Tea (Premier); gmc Television Network, American Airlines, Cadillac, CNN and Ciroc (Official Sponsors); Grab Media, NBCUniversal, Nickelodeon, smartwater, Nielsen, BET Networks, Stella Artois and Wells Fargo (Supporting Sponsors); The Greater Miami Convention & Visitors Bureau, Miami Beach Visitor & Convention Authority and Miami Community Redevelopment Agency (Host Sponsors) and SAGIndie, One Village Entertainment, Miami Film Month, thirdREEL, Huffpost Blackvoices and The Webber Group (Promotional Partners); Media Sponsors include: Black Enterprise, Uptown (Official Level); Jones Magazine and Precious Times (Supporting Level).
Established in 1997, the core mission of the ABFF is to promote cultural diversity within the motion picture industry. Through its film showcases and special contests, it annually introduces the top echelon of emerging artists to the film and television industry.
The ABFF is a property of Film Life, Inc., a New York-based event marketing, production and film distribution company founded in 2000 by Jeff Friday (CEO). For full details on this year’s festival, please visit www.abff.com.
For media inquiries, contact Lisa Sorensen at 646-330-5458 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Think Like a Man #1 at the Box Office Mojo- The Numbers are In!
WEEKEND REPORT- THE NUMBERS ARE BETTER THAN ANTICIPATED!!!!
Think Like a Man opened to an estimated $33 million from just 2,015 theaters. The movie’s $16,377 per-theater average is third-highest for a nationwide release so far this year behind The Hunger Games ($36,871) and The Lorax ($18,830) and significantly above huge hits like The Vow, Safe House and 21 Jump Street. Its opening was also better than nearly all comparable titles, including all Tyler Perry movies except Madea Goes to Jail ($41 million). Finally, it topped 2009’s Obsessed ($28.6 million) to become Screen Gems’ highest opener ever targeting African-American audiences (overall, it’s their second-best opening ever behind The Vow).
In hindsight, the initial success of Think Like a Man shouldn’t be all that surprising. The marketing suggested that the movie had successfully developed an entertaining story built around Steve Harvey’s popular self-help book Act Like a Lady, Think Like a Man, which made it an enticing option for the millions of people who have already read the book (Lionsgate, the distributor of next month’s What to Expect When You’re Expecting, is probably watching this movie’s performance very closely). Since the book is clearly geared towards women, the movie’s audience wound up overwhelmingly female (63 percent) and also skewed much older (62 percent over 30 years of age). Coming out of Friday’s screenings, the movie had an “A” CinemaScore, which went up to an “A+” among men and those under the age of 25.
So far, Sony is having a pretty great year. The studio has released four number one movies, which is more than any other studio (Universal has three). Its Screen Gems label accounts for three of these, including Think Like a Man,