EXCLUSIVE: Grammy-winning recording artist and Oscar-nominated actress Mary J. Blige has been named the ambassador for this year’s American Black Film Festival (ABFF), which will go down in Miami Beach from June 17 – 21. Under the title, Blige will help bring media awareness to the ABFF’s mission and its 24-year legacy, as well as headline a one-on-one conversation during the Center Stage Talk series on June 18. The discussion will spotlight Blige’s music career, her transition into film and television and her life’s journey as one of the most successful artists of all time.
Blige joins the list of previous ABFF ambassadors including Idris Elba, Tracee Ellis Ross, Regina Hall, La La Anthony, Jay Ellis, Morris Chestnut, Omari Hardwick, Common, and Taraji P. Henson. With a track record that includes eight multi-platinum albums, nine Grammy Awards, multiple Grammy and Oscar noms, among many other accolades, Blige has cemented herself as a global superstar.
Up next, Blige will star in Dreamworks’ Trolls World Tour movie, which is set to release this April, as well as MGM’s Aretha Franklin biopic, Respect, slated to hit theaters this October. She also stars as Monet in Power Book II: Ghost, a spin-off of Starz show, Power, debuting this summer. Under her production company, Blue Butterfly, she is currently in production on an untitled documentary about her life and legendary career directed by Vanessa Roth.
“So many incredibly talented Black filmmakers have come out of the American Black Film Festival, many of whom I’ve had the pleasure to work with and many I can’t wait to collaborate with. As an actress and producer, there couldn’t be a more important event to be a part of. I am a longtime supporter and admirer of ABFF and I am honored to be an ambassador and continue to help foster new talent,” said Blige.
“Mary J. Blige is a hip hop legend whose artistry has transcended into the film and TV industries. Her body of work personifies the ABFF mission, which is to celebrate and uplift the African American community through entertainment,” said Nicole Friday, General Manager of ABFF Ventures.
The upcoming fest will introduce the John Singleton Award for Best First Feature Film; ABFF Fit, the festival’s new health and wellness initiative programming; and ABFF Pride, this year’s social impact showcase theme centered on the Black LGBTQIA community.
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