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AN INDEPENDENT SUPPLEMENT BY MIA MEDIA & COMMUNICATIONS GROUP TO THE SUN SENTINEL

WEDNESDAY, JUN 14, 2017

‘GIRLS TRIP’ PREMIERES AT ABFF

FESTIVAL AMBASSADOR REGINA HALL JOINS ALL-STAR CAST Tasha Smith: Acting ELIJAH WELLS: TEEN FILMMAKER HOSTS YOUTH FILM FESTIVAL

Coach to the Stars

WYCLEF JEAN RETURNS TO MIAMI ROOTS

MIA MAGAZINE IS THE OFFICIAL PUBLICATION OF THE 2017 AMERICAN BLACK FILM FESTIVAL


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AN INDEPENDENT SUPPLEMENT BY MIA MEDIA & COMMUNICATIONS GROUP TO THE SUN SENTINEL

WEDNESDAY, JUN 14, 2017

Editor’s Note The 2017 American Black Film Festival (ABFF) comes at a pivotal time. This last year has arguably been the best ever for black filmmaking. We watched intently as “Chiron,” a kid from Liberty City realizing his sexuality, evolved into manhood in the Oscar-winning Moonlight. We cringed as “Troy Maxon,” a Pittsburgh garbage collector in the 1950s, crushed his son’s college dreams—and his spirit—in Fences. And we cheered as three brilliant African-American women at NASA calculated flight trajectories in Hidden Figures. All are memorable performances. Now, get ready for the latest wave of black films—including several world premieres—at the 21st annual ABFF. But first, where are my manners?

Let me welcome festival-goers and visitors to South Florida as you embark on what will ultimately be one of the best times of your life. Exclusive screenings. Beautiful beaches. Tropical weather. Nonstop nightlife. What more could you ask for? As the official magazine of the ABFF, this issue of MIA will serve as a quick guide to the festival as well as a source of places to go and things to do around town. Expect the film festival to open and close with a bang. The opening night film is the World Premiere of Girls Trip, starring Queen Latifah, Jada Pinkett Smith, Tiffany Haddish and Regina Hall, this year’s ABFF Ambassador, who talked exclusively to MIA Magazine (see page 8).

Wrapping up the week is the much anticipated premiere of All Eyez on Me, as actor Demetrius Shipp Jr. becomes Tupac. Twenty-one years ago, ABFF founder Jeff Friday struggled to attract quality black films for his festival. Now he boasts nearly a dozen World Premieres followed by a slew of feature-length and short films as well as television projects. Creative content is being made. The bar has been raised. Now let’s head to the theaters and support black films!

Russell Motley Editor-in-Chief MIA Magazine

Greater Miami Convention and Visitors Bureau

GMCVB Welcome The Greater Miami Convention & Visitors Bureau (GMCVB) is excited to partner once again with the 21st Annual American Black Film Festival (ABFF)! The American Black Film Festival is highly regarded as the premier film and entertainment conference in the country dedicated to helping elevate persons of color in the industry and is definitely one of Miami’s premier events! The theme for GMCVB’s Multicultural initiatives is Engage, Embrace and Rediscover Miami’s Multicultural Jewels as it is important that all of Miami is showcased to our visitors and convention delegates. We are excited about the festivities on Miami Beach and super excited about the community day of activities scheduled at the Little Haiti Cultural Center & Marketplace which will be open to the general community to participate. Thanks to all of the visitors that decided to attend ABFF in Miami this week!! It is our hope that the hospitality shown while here in the city of Sun, Fun and Culture will exceed your expectations! In addition to the ABFF hashtags of #ABFF2017 #WeAreABFF, please also tag Miami in your social media post by using #FoundinMiami #MulticulturalMiami #MiamiFilmMonth

Yours Truly, Connie W. Kinnard Vice President, Multicultural Tourism & Development Greater Miami Convention & Visitors Bureau


WEDNESDAY, JUN 14, 2017

AN INDEPENDENT SUPPLEMENT BY MIA MEDIA & COMMUNICATIONS GROUP TO THE SUN SENTINEL

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Tasha Smith Spreads Her Wings: Acting, Coaching, Now Directing By Allison Horton

Actor Tasha Smith has made a name for herself as an actress who can play any role. From the brash, over-the-top “Angela” in Why Did I Get Married to Cookie Lyon’s reserved sister in Fox’s Empire. Now she is adding a new title to her resume--film director. Smith makes her directorial debut with TV One’s When Love Kills: The Falicia Blakely Story. It’s based on a true story about a teen mother who goes down the wrong path. “She commits a crime that gets her locked up and affects her life forever,” said Smith. When Love Kills follows Blakely (Lil Mama) who becomes an exotic dancer and meets a pimp (Lance Gross). Tami Roman (Basketball Wives) plays Blakely’s mother. A screening is scheduled at the American Black Film Festival (ABFF) June 15, 2:45 p.m. at the Colony Theater, Miami Beach. The movie premieres on TV One on Labor Day, September 4. When Smith isn’t directing and acting, she’s cracking the whip as an acting coach. Select festival-goers hone their skills will be teaching a masterclass in acting at this year’s ABFF. Her class will cover some of the techniques in the “actor’s tool box,” including the skills needed to build characters and scenes. “Just as you can’t build a house without a proper foundation, you need a solid foundation to build a character,” said Smith. Some of the actors Smith has coached include Brandy Norwood, Lauren London, Gabrielle Dennis and Lance Gross, who co-stars in Love Kills. But while she enjoys cultivating the careers of young actors, she said the best job she’s ever had has been walking onto the set of the musical drama Empire. “It has been such a joy,” said Smith. “Taraji P. Henson is the ultimate talent and Lee Daniels is brilliant. It has been such a blessing.”

Actor/Director Tasha Smith

Rising Star: Amin Joseph Makes Mark in Hollywood, Lands Key Roles By Allison Horton

In the summer movie Baywatch, actor Amin Joseph plays a gun-wielding villain who, in one scene, tussles with Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson. Let’s just say the hunky Joseph, 37, had his work cut out for him. “I am basically the muscle,” says Joseph. “It is a tongue in cheek movie that is not to be taken seriously. It was fun.” While his name may not be familiar, Joseph has been fortunate to work consistently in Hollywood over the last 15 years. Moviegoers may recall seeing him in the comedy Dope, as a bully chasing a group of teenagers around Los Angeles for a stash of drugs. Or perhaps the action thriller The Expendables and the drama Homefront, both written by Sylvester Stallone. Joseph recalls what he learned working with the legend forever known as “Rocky.” “To put humanity into your character,” says Joseph. “You are not just throwing big guys around.”

Actor Amin Joseph plays a villain opposite Dwayne Johnson in Baywatch.

Joseph landed a major role in this summer’s FX series Snowfall, created by filmmaker John Singleton, best known for directing

Boyz N the Hood. The series examines when the crack cocaine epidemic first hits Los Angeles in the 1980s.

“I play a low-level drug dealer who has already been to prison,” says Joseph. “My family economic and business opportunities end up changing far beyond what they could have imagined.” Singleton is scheduled to discuss Snowfall at the American Black Film Festival (ABFF) on June 16, 11 a.m. at the Colony Theater, Miami Beach. Look for Joseph to appear in the upcoming drama LAbyrinth, starring Johnny Depp and Forest Whitaker. The movie examines the unsolved murders of Tupac Shakur and the Notorious B.I.G. Biggie and the urder cover-up,” says Joseph. Joseph’s star power in Hollywood isn’t the only thing on the rise--so is his personal life. He recently proposed to his girlfriend of two years. The couple plans to marry next year. “I am proud and happy to embark on this new chapter with someone that I love,” says Joseph.


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AN INDEPENDENT SUPPLEMENT BY MIA MEDIA & COMMUNICATIONS GROUP TO THE SUN SENTINEL

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WEDNESDAY, JUN 14, 2017

hat's New at ABFF

Nine World Premieres; HBO Marks 20th Anniversary Sponsoring Festival

By Jose Cassola

American Black Film Festival founder and CEO Jeff Friday says Black Hollywood is experiencing a renaissance. Known as the "Empire effect," due to the success of the third-year FOX drama starring Terrence Howard and Taraji P. Henson, Friday says major networks are realizing African-American content plays well among all demographics, not just Blacks. Black content is in such huge demand, Friday says subscriber channels and major networks like HBO and NBC are spending big bucks to sponsor events that promote Black entertainment. HBO marks its 20th year sponsoring the ABFF, which runs June 14 to June 18 at the Lowes Miami Beach and other Friday says this year's festival is special because of the record number of world premieres and the anniversaries of top long-time sponsors. "This year, we have HBO supporting us for a 20th year; NBC has sponsored us for 10 years," Friday said. "For these major networks to sponsor a multicultural event of this magnitude, that's a really big deal. Being in bed with these champions of diversity is definitely something to celebrate." Friday said it's the first time nine spotlight premieres take place at the ABFF, starting with the romantic comedy "Girls Trip,” which opens the festival at the Olympia Theater Thursday. Other unreleased films and series to be screened at the ABFF include the Tupac Shakur biopic All Eyez on Me; season 2 of the HBO comedy series Insecure, starring Issa Rae; and Can't Stop, Won't Stop: The Bad Boy Story, a documentary created with Live Nation Productions about the history of Bad Boy Records and its biggest artist, The Notorious B.I.G. The film will be released in late June through Apple Music. "We have 80 events planned for four days throughout Miami Beach and Miami; nine world premieres. This will be the best ABFF yet," Friday said.

Jeff Friday with 2017 ABFF Ambassador Regina Hall

ABFF Fosters Black Talent

Before landing the lead role in STARZ "Power, Omari Hardwick, pictured with Marriott's Kristine Friend, won the Best Actor award in 2003-04 and served as the ABFF Celebrity Ambassador in 2013.

By Jose Cassola For two decades, the American Black Film Festival has been the premiere independent film festival where the most talented writers, directors, actors and actresses in Black entertainment converge annually. Now in its 21st year, the festival has cultivated a Who’s Who of successful alumni. Among them, Power lead actor Omari Hardwick who has won the ABFF’s Best Actor award and "Black Panther" writer and director Ryan Coogler who won the HBO Short Film award in 2010, back when both were virtual unknowns. Hardwick has since served as the 2013 ABFF Ambassador; Coogler won the Rising Star award in

"Black Panther" writer and director Ryan Coogler won the HBO Short Film award in 2010.

2016. "Omari Hardwick came through this festival 13 years ago, and just look at him now. He is the star of a major show in a lead role on STARZ," said ABFF founder Jeff Friday. "ABFF has always fostered talent like Omari and Ryan Coogler." In addition to breakout stars, ABFF has also invited many legends of Black cinema over the years, some of whom have served as the festival's official celebrity ambassador. This year's emissary is Think Like a Man actor Regina Hall, whose Girls Trip buddy comedy officially opens the ABFF June 14 and premieres nationwide July 21. Other notables who’ve served as

"Black Panther" writer and director Ryan Coogler won the Rising Star award in 2016.

the festival's hosts and presenters include the late singer-song writer, actor and producer Isaac Hayes, comedian and actress Kym Whitley and two-time Academy Award winner Denzel Washington. Past ABFF winners include Halle Berry, Debbie Allen, Morgan Freeman and Pam Grier for artistic and career achievement awards; Samuel L. Jackson and Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. actor Henry Simmons for Best Actor; Mekhi Phifer for the Rising Star award; and Queen Latifah and Vivica A. Fox for Best Actress. "These wonderful actors are part of and have been instrumental in our legacy," said Friday.


WEDNESDAY, JUN 14, 2017

AN INDEPENDENT SUPPLEMENT BY MIA MEDIA & COMMUNICATIONS GROUP TO THE SUN SENTINEL

JUNE 16 8 PM

LAKISHA JONES IN

DREAMGIRLS

THIRD WORLD Caribbean American Heritage Celebration

10-TIME GRAMMY AWARD NOMINEE!

Miramar Cultural Center 2400 Civic Center Place Miramar, FL

JULY 22 8 PM JULY 23 2 PM

TICKETS ON SALE NOW!

954.602.4500 miramarculturalcenter.org

Sponsored in part by the State of Florida, Department of State, Division of Cultural Affairs and the Florida Council on Arts and Culture.

AN INDEPENDENT SUPPLEMENT BY MIA MEDIA & COMMUNICATIONS GROUP TO THE SUN SENTINEL

WEDNESDAY, JUN 14, 2017

/TheMIAMagazine @TheMIAMagazine #ABFF2017 #MiamiFilmMonth

Russell Motley Editor-in-Chief Denise St. Patrick-Bell PhD Copy Editor Zachary Rinkins Editor at Large Toni Harrigan Associate Editor Md Shahidullah Art Director Nestor Calixto / Intern

An independent supplement by MIA MEDIA & COMMUNICATIONS GROUP, LLC. Dexter A. Bridgeman CEO & Founder “Providing News/Information and Connecting Florida’s Black Affluencers and Influencers” Contact: dab@miamediagrp.com

Member of: Black Owned Media Alliance (BOMA)

‘GIRLS TRIP’ PREMIERES AT ABFF

FESTIVAL AMBASSADOR REGINA HALL JOINS ALL-STAR CAST Tasha Smith: Acting ELIJAH WELLS: TEEN FILMMAKER HOSTS YOUTH FILM FESTIVAL

Coach to the Stars

WYCLEF JEAN RETURNS TO MIAMI ROOTS

MIA MAGAZINE IS THE OFFICIAL PUBLICATION OF THE 2017 AMERICAN BLACK FILM FESTIVAL

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AN INDEPENDENT SUPPLEMENT BY MIA MEDIA & COMMUNICATIONS GROUP TO THE SUN SENTINEL

WEDNESDAY, JUN 14, 2017

Wyclef Jean Returns to Little Haiti, Sends Message of Hope By Russell Motley

Wyclef Jean performs in Little Haiti on May 19, 2017. Photo by: Woosler Delisfort

Seconds before his news conference at the Little Haiti Cultural Center to promote his upcoming performance, Wyclef Jean made a quick wardrobe change in front of the media. He wrapped a red and blue bandana, bearing the Haitian flag, around his head. Then, in support of a local vendor, he slid on a dark-blue T-shirt with “Haiti” emblazoned in gold on the front. The Grammy Award winner and former member of the Fugees was now ready to face the press, touting his first performance in more than 10 years in the neighborhood he calls home. “This ain’t business,” said Wyclef, suggesting his appearance at the Sounds of Haiti music showcase was not about a paycheck. “This is for the kids. It’s what you fight for. It’s really about the generation we inspire.” Wyclef is perhaps the most popular

performer to hit the stage at the showcase, which kicks off every third Friday at the Little Haiti Cultural Complex. Wyclef’s May 19 appearance marked the one-year anniversary of the outdoor concert that accepts donations for admission. “It validates all that we’re doing in the community at this critical time,” said Sandy Dorsainvil, the executive producer of Sounds of Haiti. Critical because, at the time of Wyclef’s performance, the future of tens of thousands of Haitians enrolled in the Temporary Protected Status program, or TPS, was uncertain. For years, they’ve been protected from deportation ever since an earthquake ravaged their homeland. With a July expiration date looming, activists took to the stage at Sounds of Haiti, demanding more time. “We’re using this as a tool and a vehicle to bring awareness of our issues,” said Patrick Marcelin, better-known as

Mecca a.k.a. Grimo, who moderated the media’s Q&A session with Wyclef. Days after the concert, though, the Department of Homeland Security extended the benefit for TPS recipients for six months, buying them more time to get their affairs in order and arrange travel back to Haiti. Wyclef offered hope through his music. He belted songs from the 90s during his days as one-third of the Fugees, leading up to his latest solo release, The Carnival III: Road to Clefication. Wyclef said his new tunes are inspired by a new generation of music lovers, many of whom he directly connected with while performing on stage. “For all these young Haitians in Little Haiti that’s selling drugs, that’s in a gang, I want y’all to know you ain’t got to do that no more, baby,” he told the crowd of more than 2,000 fans. “We’re out here to help y’all.”

Digging the South Florida Scene

DINING

CULTURE

The House of Wings 1039 NW 3rd Ave Miami, Florida 33136

Black Archives Historic Lyric Theater Cultural Arts Complex 819 NW Second Ave Miami, FL 33136

Expect great service and fresh food at House of Wings. The hometown eatery offers over 60 original signature sauces, seafood, and amazing fries.

The Lyric Theater was built in 1913 and quickly became a major entertainment center for blacks in Miami. Renamed the Black Archives Historic Lyric Theater Cultural Arts Complex it offers event space, museum exhibits and signature programming including Lyric Live Amateur Night Monthly Showcase, Expressions, an Evening of Spoken Word and Live Jazz, and The South Florida Marching Band Precision Camp, among others.

Little Greenhouse Grill 1300 NW 3rd Ave, Miami, FL 33136 Lil Greenhouse Grill is a family-owned and –operated restaurant serving up edgy neo-soul cuisine in the heart of Miami. The dinner offers soul food, in-house smoked ribs, seafood and its original seafood cake.

African-American Research Library and Cultural Center 2650 Sistrunk Boulevard, Fort Lauderdale, FL 33311 African-American Research Library and Cultural Center (AARLCC) is an integral part of the community, offering

classes in computer technology and educational, recreational, and cultural programs on a regular basis. AARLCC has displayed over 38 major exhibits and offered 184 cultural programs to over 895,000 customers,celebrities, noted authors and international speakers who have made AARLCC a thriving center and a vital component of our community.

ENTERTAINMENT

LIV on Sunday 4441 Collins Ave, Miami Beach, FL 33140 Headliner Market Group takes over LIV nightclub every Sunday evening. On these nights, it’s not unusual to find your favorite celebrities partying at Fontainebleau Miami Beach and enjoying one of South Florida’s premiere live experiences. Enjoy the drinks, music, vibe and interesting people.


WEDNESDAY, JUN 14, 2017

AN INDEPENDENT SUPPLEMENT BY MIA MEDIA & COMMUNICATIONS GROUP TO THE SUN SENTINEL

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American Black Film Festival, Turner Announce Writing Contest Winners The American Black Film Festival (ABFF) and Turner, a global entertainment, sports and news company announced Derege Harding and Darrin Dortch as the winners of the inaugural writing contest. The ABFF & Turner Writing Contest is part of a three-year partnership between Turner and ABFF to promote greater diversity and inclusion within the film industry. Turner received more than 250 submissions. “ABFF is appreciative of Turner’s investment and commitment to the American Black Film Festival to explore ways to grow and bring visibility to a wide range of diverse perspectives behind the scenes” said Melanie Sharee, head of programming, ABFF. “We look forward to continuing our partnership with Turner to elevate emerging talent like Derege and Darrin.” Harding, the winner for the drama entry, gave judges a twist in his script “Fulfillment.” Harding’s script provided a strong plot, writing and creative characters. Dortch was selected as the winner for comedy, given his strong writing and humor in his script “Short Changed.” As part of their prize packages, both winners will receive a free trip to this year’s ABFF in Miami which takes place June 14-18, as well as a cash prize and the opportunity to meet with TBS and TNT programming executives. “Diversity fuels our stories,” said Angela Santone, executive vice president and global chief human resources officer for Turner. “We would like to congratulate our winners and we’re looking forward to supporting them.” As a premier sponsor of ABFF, Turner will support a variety of the organizations’ initiatives to foster diversity and inclusion within the film industry. During the festival, all registered ABFF attendees will have the opportunity to attend a recruitment fair, receive career coaching and grow writing and production skills directly from Turner executives. For more information on how to participate, please visit: www.abff.com.


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WEDNESDAY, JUN 14, 2017

ABFF Ambassador Regina Hall Takes Center Stage Girls Trip Co-star Calls Movie a ‘Celebration of Friendship and Womanhood’

By Jose Cassola

ABFF Ambassador Regina Hall hosts the first-ever televised ABFF Awards on BET in February.

Actor Regina Hall has come a long way in Hollywood since playing what’s perhaps her most recognizable role. In the horror-spoof comedy Scary Movie, she transformed into the obnoxious, sex-crazed “Brenda Meeks.” In her latest role, Hall is packing her bags and heading to New Orleans with a few close friends in the comedy Girls Trip, which premieres at the American Black Film Festival (ABFF). "I'm so excited to be a part of ABFF," says Hall. "For my film to be the one to open the festival this year, that's a big deal. It's an amazing honor." In the movie, Hall and three lifelong friends--played by Queen Latifah, Jada Pinkett Smith and Tiffany Haddish--reunite after 5 years during a trip to the annual Essence Festival. Hall says the film demonstrates how estranged friends can pick up years after they left off, if the bond is strong enough. "You can't choose your family but you can certainly choose your friends," says Hall.. "Having good friends, the ones who would do anything for you and stick by you through thick and thin, that's

Lifelong friends take a flight to the Essence Festival in New Orleans in 'Girls Trip'. (l to r) Regina Hall, Tiffany Haddish, Jada Pinkett Smith, Queen Latifah

important to have in your life. Those kind of friends are often times the ones who remind you of your authentic self. The women in this film go on a journey, not just in the literal sense on a road trip, but on an emotional and spiritual level, too.” Although the on-screen girlfriends have known each other in real life for years, it's the first time the actors have worked together on the big screen.

"For my film to be the one to open the festival this year, that's a big deal. It's an amazing honor." "We had so much fun on set. Making this film with these amazing women and legends of Hollywood was truly a 'trip’," says Hall.

ABFF founder Jeff Friday visited Hall on the set of Girls Trip and made her an offer she couldn't refuse: to serve as the 2017 ABFF Ambassador. Hall jumped at the chance. "I'm so excited to be a part of ABFF," said Hall, who hosted the first televised ABFF Awards program, which aired on BET in February. For Hall, starring in Girls Trip is a full-circle moment in her career. The film’s director, Malcolm D. Lee, wrote Hall's first feature film, The Best Man, a 1999 romantic comedy-drama which spawned the 2013 Christmas-themed sequel The Best Man Holiday. Girls Trip premieres at the ABFF June 14 at the Olympia Theater, 174 E Flagler St., in downtown Miami. Hall will discuss the making of the film with Lee and producer Will Packer on June 15 at the New World Center, Performance Hall. Tickets can be purchased at ABFF.com. The movie opens in theaters nationwide on July 21.


WEDNESDAY, JUN 14, 2017

AN INDEPENDENT SUPPLEMENT BY MIA MEDIA & COMMUNICATIONS GROUP TO THE SUN SENTINEL

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EVENT SCHEDULE

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AN INDEPENDENT SUPPLEMENT BY MIA MEDIA & COMMUNICATIONS GROUP TO THE SUN SENTINEL

WEDNESDAY, JUNE 14 9:30 AM – 10:45 AM ELISE NEAL’S BODY BOOTCAMP Loews Hotel Exhale Spa *Separate ticket required via Eventbrite.com 11:00 AM – 8:00 PM REGISTRATION WELCOME CENTER Loews Hotel 1:00 PM – 4:00 PM WELCOME TO MIAMI MIXER courtesy of Peter Lik Miami Lik Galleries 6:00 PM SHUTTLE BUS PICK-UP TO OPENING NIGHT FILM Loews Hotel Driveway 8:00 PM OPENING NIGHT REMARKS presented by Hilton Olympia Theater 8:30 PM GIRLS TRIP (Opening Night Film) presented by the Motion Picture Association of America (MPAA) Olympia Theater 10:30 PM – 3:00 AM OPENING NIGHT RECEPTION River Yacht Club Presented by Comcast Spotlight

THURSDAY, JUNE 15 7:30 AM – 8:00 PM REGISTRATION WELCOME CENTER Loews Hotel Americana 2 8:00 AM – 11:00 AM MASTER CLASS IN ACTING led by actress Tasha Smith presented by Prudential The Gallery @ the Betsy (“Conservatory” Entrance) 10:00 AM – 1:00 PM

INDUSTRY EXPO Loews Hotel Rotunda Stop by to meet ABFF partners, on-hand to share information about their companies’ initiatives and available opportunities. • TV One • Atlanta Mayor’s Office of Film & Entertainment (See Industry Expo page for details)

11:00 AM SPOTLIGHT SCREENING: TALES followed by Q & A with Irv Gotti courtesy of BET Colony Theatre 11:00 AM – 6:00 PM POWER LOUNGE hosted by Cadillac (Deco passholders only) Daily refreshments and celebrity discussion at 3:00 pm 12 NOON ABFF FIRST LOOK PANEL: “GIRLS TRIP THE ANATOMY OF A SCENE” presented by the MPAA in association with Universal Pictures New World Center Performance Hall 12 NOON – 4:30 PM AMERICAN AIRLINES PASSHOLDER LOUNGE New World Center Sun Trust Pavillion 1:30 PM SPOTLIGHT ON CLASSIC CINEMA presented by the Smithsonian National Museum of African American History & Culture MB Cinematheque

CAREERS IN ENTERTAINMENT CENTER The Gallery @ the Betsy (Conservatory” Entrance) • 1:30 PM TECHNOLOGY & THE FUTURE OF ENTERTAINMENT presented by Aspire • 3:30 PM DECODING TECH: THE NEXT GENERATION OF STEAM PROFESSIONALS presented by Google 2:45 PM SPOTLIGHT SCREENING: WHEN LOVE KILLS: THE FALICIA BLAKELY STORY followed by Q & A with director Tasha Smith courtesy of TV ONE Colony Theatre 3:00 PM – 6:00 PM

INDUSTRY EXPO Loews Hotel Rotunda • Motion Picture Editors Guild • UMC-Urban Movie Channel • Black Enterprise (See Industry Expo page for details)

10:00 AM – 10:00 PM FILM SCREENINGS Colony Theatre, MB Cinematheque & Loews Hotel

5:00 PM THE BUSINESS OF ENTERTAINMENT with Mona Scott-Young presented by Verizon New World Center Performance Hall

11:00 AM SPOTLIGHT SCREENING: STEP courtesy of Fox Searchlight Pictures MB Cinematheque

6:30 PM – 8:30 PM COCKTAILS, CONVERSATION & FINANCIAL FACTS with PRUDENTIAL The Conservatory @ the Betsy

6:30 PM – 8:30 PM LINCOLN ROAD DINE AROUND Lincoln Road 8:00 PM 20TH ANNUAL HBO SHORT FILM COMPETITION Colony Theatre 10:30 PM – 3:00 AM ABFF WHITE PARTY Nikki Beach

WEDNESDAY, JUN 14, 2017

• 2:00 PM Turner presents... A DAY IN THE LIFE OF A DEVELOPMENT EXECUTIVE followed by TALENT RECRUITMENT & DEVELOPMENT AT CNN 3:00 PM SPOTLIGHT SCREENING: DOWNSIZED Colony Theatre 3:00 PM –6:00 PM

INDUSTRY EXPO

FRIDAY, JUNE 16

Loews Hotel Rotunda

7:30 AM – 5:30 PM REGISTRATION WELCOME CENTER Loews Hotel Americana 2

5:00 PM THE BUSINESS OF ENTERTAINMENT WITH TERRENCE HOWARD presented by Verizon New World Center

8:00 AM – 11:00 AM MASTER CLASS IN PACKAGING YOUR TV SHOW IDEA presented by Prudential The Gallery @ the Betsy (“Conservatory” Entrance)

6:00 PM HBO presents... THE DEFIANT ONES Colony Theatre

10:00 AM –1:00 PM

INDUSTRY EXPO Loews Hotel Rotunda • Turner • Jaro Media Services (See Industry Expo page for details) 10:00 AM – 10:00 PM FILM SCREENINGS Colony Theatre, MB Cinematheque, & Loews Hotel 10:00 AM – 6:00 PM ABFF STYLE LOUNGE presented by SheaMoisture Loews Hotel Cowrie 2 11:00 AM SPOTLIGHT SCREENING: SNOWFALL followed by Q & A with John Singleton courtesy of FX Colony Theatre 11:00 AM – 6:00 PM POWER LOUNGE hosted by Cadillac (Deco passholders only) 12 NOON CELEBRITY SCENE STEALERS presented by TV ONE New World Center 12 NOON – 4:30 PM AMERICAN AIRLINES PASSHOLDER LOUNGE New World Center Sun Trust Pavillion 1:45 PM SPOTLIGHT SCREENING: LA 92 courtesy of Lightbox & National Geographic MB Cinematheque

CAREERS IN ENTERTAINMENT CENTER The Gallery @ the Betsy (Conservatory” Entrance)

11:00 AM – 6:00 PM POWER LOUNGE hosted by Cadillac (Deco passholders only) 11:30 AM THE VIRTUAL REALITY EXPERIENCE MB Cinematheque 12 NOON PANEL DISCUSSION “THE NEW FACES OF TV” presented by American Airlines New World Center Performance Hall 12 NOON – 4:30 PM AMERICAN AIRLINES PASSHOLDER LOUNGE New World Center Sun Trust Pavillion

CAREERS IN ENTERTAINMENT CENTER The Gallery @ the Betsy (Conservatory” Entrance) • 1:30 PM PRODUCING NETWORK SPECIALS & ORIGINAL PROGRAMMING presented by BET • 3:30 PM COMPOSING MUSIC FOR FILM & TV WORKSHOP

6:30 PM – 8:30 PM COCKTAILS, CONVERSATION & FINANCIAL FACTS with PRUDENTIAL The Conservatory @ the Betsy 6:30 PM – 8:30 PM LINCOLN ROAD DINE AROUND Lincoln Road 8:45 PM HBO SHORT FILMS — ENCORE SCREENING Colony Theatre 9:00 PM ABFF COMEDY WINGS COMPETITION presented by HBO New World Center

SATURDAY, JUNE 17 7:30 AM – 5:30 PM REGISTRATION WELCOME CENTER Loews Hotel Americana 2 8:00 AM – 11:00 AM MASTER CLASS IN PRODUCING The Gallery @ the Betsy (“Conservatory” Entrance) 10:00 AM – 6:00 PM ABFF STYLE LOUNGE presented by SheaMoisture Loews Hotel Cowrie 2 10:00 AM – 10:00 PM FILM SCREENINGS Colony Theatre, MB Cinematheque, & Lowes Hotel 10:30 AM SPOTLIGHT SCREENING: BIGGIE: THE LIFE OF NOTORIOUS B.I.G. followed by Q & A with Faith Evans courtesy A+E Networks Colony Theatre

presented by ASCAP • 2:30 PM SPOTLIGHT ON WOMEN IN CINEMA Sponsored by Facebook in association with Daughters of Eve Media MB Cinematheque 2:30 PM SPOTLIGHT SCREENING: CLAWS courtesy of Turner Colony Theatre 4:00 PM THE BUSINESS OF ENTERTAINMENT with JOHN SINGLETON presented by Verizon New World Center 5:30 PM SPOTLIGHT SCREENING: QUEEN SUGAR (Season 2 Premiere) Colony Theatre 6:30PM – 8:30 PM LINCOLN ROAD DINE AROUND Lincoln Road 8:00 PM SPOTLIGHT SCREENING: INSECURE courtesy of HBO Colony Theatre 9:15 PM ALL EYEZ ON ME (Closing Night Film) Regal Cinemas 11:00 PM – 3:00 AM CLOSING NIGHT PARTY The Paris Theateraa

SUNDAY, JUNE 18 10:00 AM – 11:30 AM ABFF FILMMAKER AWARDS PRESENTATION New World Center 3:00 PM – 10:00 PM ABFF COMMUNITY DAY Little Haiti Cultural Complex


WEDNESDAY, JUN 14, 2017

AN INDEPENDENT SUPPLEMENT BY MIA MEDIA & COMMUNICATIONS GROUP TO THE SUN SENTINEL

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YOUR ADVERTISEMENT

COULD BE HERE Contact Editor-in-Chief Russell Motley 305-412-9600 Ext. 701 rm@miamediagrp.com

LAKISHA JONES IN

DREAMGIRLS

#BROADWAYFESTIVAL2017

JULY

21-23 Miramar Cultural Center 2400 Civic Center Place Miramar, FL

Audition Workshops Master Classes Broadway Idol Broadway on the Plaza Poster Design Contest

Tickets on Sale Now! 954.602.4500 MiramarCulturalCenter.org

JULY

22, 8 PM 23, 2 PM

This program is supported in part by the State of Florida, Department of State, Division of Cultural Affairs and Florida Council on Arts and Culture. Funding for this event is provided in part by the Broward County Board of County Commissioners as recommended by the Broward Cultural Council and Greater Fort Lauderdale Convention & Visitors Bureau.


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Finding Helpful Resources to Start Filming in South Florida By Zach Rinkins What do Miami Vice, Bad Boys and Moonlight have in common? They were all filmed on the sunny shores of South Florida. In addition to featuring this postcard-perfect region around the world, the film and entertainment industry contributes to the area’s multi-billion dollar tourism industry. Here are three resources that can help filmmakers bring their productions to the big screen. Miami-Dade County, the City of Miami Beach, and several county municipalities joined efforts to fuel Filmiami (www.FilMiami.org). Filmiami is a one-stop permit process that allows production clients the ease of applying for multiple local permits in one place. Each jurisdiction requires a separate certificate of insurance and approves their permits. Sandy Lighterman is the Film Commissioner. Greater Fort Lauderdale/Broward Office of Film, Music & Entertainment (www.Sunny.org/Film) promotes Broward County as a filming, music and entertainment destination. Noelle P. Stevenson is vice president. In Broward County, film permits are free and can be issued in 24 hours. Miami Beach Visitor and Convention Authority (MBVCA) funds production incentive grants for qualified projects that film in Miami Beach. MBVCA and the City of Miami Beach Film and Print Office reviews applications and awards grants in three periods throughout the fiscal year. The incentive is only available to scripted feature film, television and online streaming productions, as defined in the state incentive. The maximum grant is $30,000. The film budget must be at least $120,000. Apply at www.MiamiBeachVCA.com To learn more about filming around the state, Film Florida is a not-for-profit entertainment trade association representing Florida’s film, TV and digital media production industry. www.FilmFlorida.org.

Celebrate Caribbean American Heritage Month with Third World at the Miramar Cultural Center MIRAMAR, FL - June 7, 2017 – Ten-time Grammy-nominated Jamaican reggae band Third World celebrates Caribbean American Heritage Month on the Miramar Cultural Center stage with their internationally-acclaimed reggae fusion sound on June 16 at 8 PM. Third World has been performing since 1973, first finding fame with "96 Degrees in the Shade" and "Now That We Found Love." Third World band members Richie Daley and AJ Brown reflect on the evolution of their sound, how it’s changed over time, and their highly-anticipated upcoming performance at MCC. “This is something that is very dear to us, not only from the point of view that it is a Heritage event. We have always been proponents of thinking that where you're coming from has so much to do with where you're going, and, on top of that, Miramar is somewhere we love to perform all the time and we have many fans in the Caribbean diaspora there,” said bassist Richie Daley.

Third World takes center stage in Miramar on June 16. Daley and Brown say their performance at the Miramar Cultural Center is filled with surprises sure to have the crowd on their feet.

"We are going to do some special works for this occasion, some surprises we have planned. You know, our presentation and some new music and

all the favorites through the years, and we have Omari Banks, our young entertainer from Anguilla. We also have a touch of a surprise, a female singer called Tamara B. She's introducing our new EP, so she will do a couple of songs," said vocalist AJ Brown. Known as the “Reggae Ambassadors”, whose signature sound combines elements of R&B, funk, pop, rock, dancehall and rap, say it’s their exposure to a variety of cultures and genres of music from a young age that influenced their unique, globally-recognized sound. "Reggae at the time was a little bit more narrow. We took chances. We didn't set any barriers," said Brown, "We are ambassadors because we not only fly the Caribbean flag, but also the regular flag, and that's the whole diasporic expression of Caribbean peoples." Tickets to Third World on June 16 at 8 PM, sponsored in part by Rubenstein Law, are available at MiramarCulturalCenter.org or by phone at 954.602.4500.


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Teen Filmmaker Defies Odds, Establishes Youth Indie Festival By Jose Cassola When film student Elijah Wells was in his early teens, he always found himself to be the youngest person in the room when attending film festivals. The Miami Arts Charter School graduate was fortunate to be mentored by an impressive list of filmmakers and industry executives including Robert Townsend and ABFF founder Jeff Friday. But Wells says some adults he encountered had a hard time seeing past his age to truly recognize his talents. "No one took me seriously, man. I was either too young or too inexperienced or I was in over my head," says Wells, 19, who is currently enrolled at the New York Film Academy. "After a while, that got a little tiresome to hear. So I decided to do something about it." It was then that the Elijah Wells Indie Youth Film Festival (EWIYFF) was born. The platform was created by Wells to give young, Black aspiring filmmakers like himself an opportunity to network with other young, brilliant minds in the industry. Launching in 2016, the inaugural festival drew at least 300 children from the urban parts of Miami-Dade County, including Overtown, Liberty City and

Elijah Wells Introduces Black Miami Kids to Hollywood

Filmmaker Elijah Wells (right) introduces the panel at his 2nd annual Youth Indie Film Festival on June 3, 2017, at the Lyric Theater in Overtown. Miami Gardens and Latino-centric Hialeah. Now in its second year, the EWIYFF received support from local organizations and schools including the Overtown Youth Center, Urgent Inc., Booker T. Washington High School, William H. Turner Technical Arts High School and HBCUs Florida Memorial University and Florida A&M University. Wells says attendance at this year’s festival, which ran June 2-3, surpassed last year’s numbers. Among those in the audience: Moonlight star Jaden Piner

and fellow Norland Middle School student Wesley Wray, 12, an aspiring singer-songwriter. Much like Wells, Wray says he was bitten by the performance bug at an early age. "I've been singing since I was 3 years old," Wesley said. "I sang the 'Star Spangled Banner' at a family gathering and I've been addicted to performing ever since. I'm happiest in life when I perform." The EWIYFF attracted some celebrities along the way who took part

in a master class film, editing and distribution sessions. Attendees learned the business side of the industry from a handful of film professionals, including rapper and actor Romeo Miller and Family Matters matriarch Jo Marie Payton. "I met Elijah four years ago when he was a little bitty thing,” says Payton. “His passion was contagious then and it's contagious now. That boy's gonna go places." Through his company Elijah Wells Films, Wells already has three projects under his belt--The Gift, Welcome to Miami and Color Town. In his latest project, the teen entrepreneur plans to star in and co-direct Reflections of the Sun, a Christian-based short film about a family whose faith is tested. "It's a touching story about a father who gambles, a son who is on drugs and a mother struggling with cancer," Wells says. "But in the face of all this adversity, they never lose their faith and God shines a light on them." Wells’s Reflections of the Sun is in pre-production this summer. It is scheduled to premiere in 2018.

Rising Star: KJ Smith Lands Sweet Role in ‘Queen Sugar’ By Allison Horton KJ Smith can still recall when she thought of giving up her dream of being an actress. Several years ago, the Tallahassee, Fla. native was struggling to make it in the industry while living in Los Angeles with graduates of her alma mater, Florida State University. “We were in debt up to our eyeballs and didn’t know where our rent was going to come from,” Smith said. “I contemplated going home.” Until Smith spoke to a neighbor, who had given up being an actress to become a pharmaceutical sales manager. “She told me she regretted it every day of her life,” Smith said. “I can’t live with that kind of regret. I am going to die trying. I’d rather be happy doing what I love.”

Actor © 2015 KJCarl Smith Juste / Miami Herald Staff

Smith’s persistence paid off. She was cast in a recurring role in the hit OWN TV series Queen Sugar, created by Ava DuVernay, director of the Academy Award nominated movie Selma. “Ava DuVernay handpicked me herself,” Smith said. “My jaw hit the floor.”

and Tina Lifford. Although Smith only appears in the first season of Queen Sugar, she’s staying busy in Hollywood. For the past three seasons, Smith has played a recurring role in the Bounce TV series Family Time, starring Omar Gooding. Fans can also see Smith in two upcoming

"We were in debt up to our eyeballs and didn't know where our rent was going to come from. I contemplated going home." Following a special screening of Queen Sugar, the cast, is scheduled to appear at the American Black Film Festival (ABFF) on June 17, 5:30 p.m. at the Colony Theater, 1040 Lincoln Road. Expect to see Dawn Lyen-Gardner, Kofi Siriboe, Rutina Wesley, Omar Dorsey

movies: Hallmark’s Love at the Shore, a romantic comedy which premieres in July, and the upcoming film Madea’s Family Funeral. “In the future, I want to continue to hone my craft and produce my own projects,” Smith said.


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2nd Annual Elijah Wells Youth Indie Film Festival (June 2-3, Lyric Theater, Historic Overtown)

Bla G, Wills Felin, Elijah Wells, Romeo Miller, Marco Mall

Moonlight's Jaden Piner; mother, Natalie Piner; Jordan Piner, Elijah Wells, singer Wesley Way

Filmmaker Jalen James Acosta, Cathleen Dean, Sally Crespo, Jaden Piner, Elijah Wells

Martha Whisby, Elijah Wells' mother

Actor Jo Marie Payton

Keith Harrell, Elijah Wells, Eric Knowles

Elijah Wells, Jaden Piner

Elijah Wells, Jo Marie Payton, Romeo Miller

Collins Williams, director of Freedom Plantation Church Film Ministry


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Caribbean Cultural Ambassador Giselle _The Wassi One_ Blanche

Profile for miamediagrp

2017 Official publication of the American Black Film Festival - MIA Magazine  

2017 Official publication of the American Black Film Festival - MIA Magazine  

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