The 18th Annual American Black Film Festival (ABFF) prepares for its New York City arrival. After years taking over Miami, the festival which has always been a supportive place for filmmakers of color, will take place in NY from June 19 through June 22. And it appears to be ready to make a memorable bang.

The Will Packer produced and Tim Story directed Think Like a Man Too will open the festival with an East Coast premiere. Based upon Steve Harvey’s hit book, the follow up to the hit comedy features an all-star cast including Kevin Hart, Taraji P. Henson, Michael Ealy, Regina Hall, Gabrielle Union, Jerry Ferrara, Meagan Good, Romany Malco, Terrence J., Jennifer Lewis and Dennis Haysbert. “ABFF is the premiere film festival showcase for filmmakers of color,” says Packer, who’s been associated with ABFF for 15 years. “It has been instrumental in my career and many others. Tim Story and I are proud to be able to showcase Think Like a Man Too there.”

Naming Morris Chestnut as its 2014 Celebrity Ambassador, ABFF’s strong start will be rivaled by a hefty finish with Spike Lee’s Kickstarter-funded film Da Sweet Blood of Jesus closing out the festival with its world premiere. “We human beings can have various addictions; addictions to drugs, alcohol, money, food, sex, power, Air Jordans and nicotine. In my new Spike Lee joint, we examine human beings who are addicted to BLOOD.  They are not vampires either. This is not Blacula,” said Spike in a press release. “I'm proud to have the world premiere of Da Sweet Blood of Jesus at the American Black Film Festival. It feels great to be the closing night film for the ABFF’s move from Miami to the greatest city in
the world – NUEVA YORK.”

“Spike and Will are two of the most talented and dynamic filmmakers working in Hollywood.  I am honored that they have chosen to present their most recent work at the American Black Film Festival.  Their mainstream success and ongoing support underscores the importance of diverse film festivals like the ABFF,” said Jeff Friday, ABFF founder and CEO of Film Life, Inc.  “We are also thrilled that Spike would choose us as a platform for the sale of the distribution rights for his newest film and look forward to building our festival into a destination for the acquisition of commercial films.”

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With screenings and happenings taking place at NY’s Metropolitan Pavilion and SVA Theater, those eager to attend the exciting combination of movies, workshops, panels, and mixers should step up the pace and head to ABFF.com.