Due the closures brought on by COVID-19, or the novel coronavirus, pandemic, many major events have been forced to cancel or postpone until next year. Others have decided to experiment with a different route and develop virtual events as a way to still interact with their consumer base.
The American Black Film Festival (ABFF) was started 1997 as a way to strengthen the black entertainment community and provide a platform for emerging artists often ignored on mainstream platforms. The film festival is usually held in Miami Beach, Florida, and typically attracts 7,000 to 10,000 attendees. Now it is going virtual for a free event open to all.
It was announced this week that the 24th annual American Black Film Festival (ABFF) will take place online August 21-30, 2020. The online show will continue all of the traditions of the live festival while highlighting the best independent filmmakers out today in addition to conversations and panels surrounding different topics in film as well as virtual networking events.
“While we will surely miss being with our ABFF community in Miami Beach this year and connecting in person, what truly binds us together is our shared commitment to ensure inclusion in Hollywood and sustaining a place of inspiration for diverse storytellers. We will persevere through this year and end up a stronger community on the other side of this crisis.” said ABFF Ventures CEO Jeff Friday in a press statement.
In the meantime, the organization will be using its platform to promote social change in response to the recent protests and deaths of several unarmed black civilians at the hands of police officers including George Floyd and Breonna Taylor and call for an end to racial injustice in the U.S.