As the world perspective shifts and a reckoning continues to pulsate through the country when it comes to the social and economic issues facing Black and Brown communities, American Black Film Festival creators Jeff and Nicole Friday are launching the very first Social Justice Now Film Festival through their non-profit The Film Life Foundation. The event is set to take place October 21-25 with actor and producer Michael B. Jordan and Black Lives Matter Co-Founder Opal Tometi serving as co-ambassadors.
The Social Justice Now Film Festival is the first of its kind and will feature virtual screenings, community conversations and impact events that confront issues facing disenfranchised communities. Jordan’s Outlier Society is set as a partner for the event alongside Endeavor Content and One Community. Sony Pictures is the event’s Founding Sponsor.
The Social Justice Now Film Festival’s mantra is: “watch, reflect, and take action” — and that timeliness and urgency will be felt with its programming of narrative documentary features, short films and new media projects that align with discussions on topics such as police brutality, criminal justice reform, income disparity, healthcare reform and voter reform led by the preeminent voices in their respective spaces. The festival will include online petitions, educational resources, and other interactive components as they put an emphasis on activating around the November 2020 Election.
“This first-of-its-kind festival will merge art and activism to drive today’s necessary conversations forward toward lasting social and political change,” said Jeff and Nicole Friday. “On behalf of our partners, we look forward to using our collective abilities to provide a platform committed to amplifying the voices of the marginalized, and educating attendees on the most pressing issues impacting these communities.”
“I am honored to serve as an inaugural ambassador for the Social Justice Now Festival,” said Jordan. “It was both a professional and personal achievement to have had the opportunity to portray the great Bryan Stevenson in Just Mercy and with the help of festivals like this we will continue to bring those stories to life. Now more than ever it is important that we shine a light on those who have been marginalized by our society and I look forward to joining Jeff and Nicole as we continue the fight for social justice reform.”
“It’s an honor to serve as an ambassador for the inaugural Social Justice Now Film Festival,” added Tometi. “As a media maker and a human rights advocate, I know that there’s no denying the importance of truth-telling and the power of film to facilitate that. Given the significance of these times I trust that the Social Justice Now Film Festival will provide the catalytic insight and creative inspiration we need. ”
For more than two decades, Jeff and Nicole Friday have worked to create opportunities for people of color in the film industry, most notably through the American Black Film Festival. They have played a vital role in strengthening the Black film community and advancing the careers of many relatively unknown emerging artists.
The festival will accept submissions starting August 27 in the categories of narratives, documentaries and new media projects that align with the themes of social justice and explore issues of racial justice, implicit bias, Black identity and human rights. The deadline for entries is September 12.
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