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American Black Film Fest Returns To Miami For Good

Ginny Gutierrez
ABFF and GMCVB representatives pose with Miami City Commissioner Keon Hardemon (far left)

The American Black Film Fest has announced its return to Miami Beach for its 20th anniversary next year. 

Originally envisioned as a destination event, founder Jeff Friday says the festival may be ready to settle down here.

Friday cited Miami’s “culture, logistics, and accessibility” as fitting the needs of the festival’s community, and as the main reason for his decision to choose the city as a permanent home.

He says this time around, the festival will try to more heavily promote a part of it that was overlooked in previous years — its engagement with and benefit to the local community.

“This event is not just a bunch of Hollywood types coming together for five days and leaving, but it is really a merging of cultures and it has a really strong community benefit,” Friday says.

This engagement will flow in two ways: bringing the festival’s content to the Miami community and bringing festival-goers to some of the city’s less visited cultural neighborhoods. The festival will have satellite film screenings at the Lyric Theater in Overtown and provide transportation for its attendees to visit and explore neighborhoods like Overtown and Little Haiti.

Connie Kinnard, the vice president of Multiculturalism Tourism and Development at the Greater Miami Convention & Visitor’s Bureau believes this is a big deal for multicultural tourism in the city.

“Our goal is to promote the heritage neighborhoods and communities that don’t always feel the effects of Miami’s tourism business,” says Kinnard. “This is a great opportunity to do that.”

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