Touching down in Miami is always a good idea. What’s even better is when you have a sure shot reason to get drippy with the sippy on Ocean Drive. This go round, we had the chance to do just that at the 2019 American Black Film Festival. The 23-year-old fest showcases established and independent film and tv creators. All of the big brands announce partnerships and productions, like Starz with Power season 6 and Oprah’s OWN on David Meets Man. The highlight of the fest (June 12 – June 16), is the ABFF Awards which gives out honors to the Best Director, Best Film, Best Actor and much more.
Before the awards brings the weekend to a close, however, there are dozens of panels and Q&As that inform the attendees of the industry they either work in or would like to be apart of in the future. One special panel (June 13) was the “Keep Rising” Keynote with Sanaa Lathan and star filmmaker/director Malcolm D. Lee (Best Man, Barbershop, Girl Trip). The talk, sponsored by Cadillac, filled the Lowes Hotel theater with valuable gems from Lathan, like, “have no problem leaning into people and their expertise”, she explained and noted by media master, Satchel Jester. “We’re all here to help. Can’t wait to hear and see more of your stories.” While giving inspiration to the aspiring creatives in the crowd, Lathan was given the inaugural Cadillac Vanguard Award for her career excellence in tv and film. General Motors’ Tamberline Golden was on hand to present the famed actress of “Love & Basketball” with the honor.
Along with Cadillac (who has a nine year partnershipwith ABFF) making moves with major movie stars, they also gave test drives to us journalists in their new XT4, XT5 and XT6 SUV/crossover models. The vehicles were smooth rides with a fun whip appeal, that turned heads while we were cruising the streets of Miami’s newest mall Aventura, and mainstay Bal Harbour Mall area. At times you would even see a few Escalades taking fest goers to various locations of the ABFF showcases in their partnership shuttle program. With luxury at the core of Cadillac’s mission, there is also safety, style and sleekness as a focus as well.
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Out in #MIA with @cadillac and @gm_diversity for @americanblackfilmfestival Got a chance to take the new #XT4 for a spin through Miami with the homie @scenebysatchel! Big shout to #MHuff & @lbookerjr77 for the links. #PanelDay tomorrow for @owntv new show #DavidMeetsMan and I’m amped for it! BTW, if you never been to the #ABFF you should come through. It’s like a family reunion for creatives. See every tv/doc/film from the urban genre early! #Blessed #MIADay #Focused!! #KeepRising
Hit up the ABFF 2020, so you can ride with us next time!