ABFF Ventures LLC announced today that the 2021 American Black Film Festival (ABFF) will open its milestone 25th year with Warner Bros. Pictures’ eagerly anticipated film King Richard. The expanded 2021 festival will be available as a worldwide digital experience November 3-28 via its online platform ABFF PLAY. King Richard will be available by special invitation to a limited audience.
King Richard stars two-time Oscar nominee Will Smith, who also is the film’s producer, as Richard Williams, the determined father of Venus and Serena Williams. The story follows the journey of their family, whose unwavering resolve and unconditional belief ultimately creates two of the world’s greatest sports legends. Also starring are Aunjanue Ellis as the girls’ mom, Oracene Wlliams, Saniyya Sidney as Venus Williams and Demi Singleton as Serena Williams, with Tony Goldwyn and Jon Bernthal as coaches Paul Cohen and Rick Macci. Directed by Reinaldo Marcus Green (Monsters and Men) from a script written by Zach Baylin, King Richard will be released in U.S. theaters and stream exclusively on HBO Max, November 19.
“It is with pride and excitement that we mark our 25th year opening with Warner Bros.’ King Richard, a film that is a touchstone of ABFF’s legacy of showcasing extraordinary Black talent and inspiring storytelling reflecting the brilliance of diversity in Hollywood,” said Nicole Friday, president and general manager, ABFF Ventures LLC. “We’re especially gratified to have the film’s director, Reinaldo Marcus Green, a previous finalist in HBO’s prestigious Short Film Competition, return to ABFF as feature film director — demonstrating the importance of the HBO pipeline in advancing the careers of Black artists. This event is simply a grand slam on every level.”
“Having King Richard at ABFF this year is truly a full circle moment,” stated Reinaldo Marcus Green. “Back in 2013, my short film Stone Cars, that I made while studying at NYU screened in competition and was distributed on HBO — so opening up the festival for ABFF’s 25th anniversary means a lot to me. It’s an absolute honor to return this year with our film. Thank you to Warner Bros. and the whole filmmaking team, the family we built on set, the Williams family for allowing us to tell their groundbreaking story and, of course, our wonderful crew and cast led by none other than Mr. Will Smith.”
ABFF 2021 worldwide virtual experience will include over 100 independent films from 35 countries, spotlight screenings, talks and networking events featuring creators, artists and industry executives. Access to the festival is free. To register, visit https://abff.com.
ABFF sponsors to date include WarnerMedia and HBO® (Founding); Cadillac, Greater Miami Convention & Visitors Bureau and Amazon Studios (Presenting); Comcast NBCUniversal, Sony Pictures Entertainment, American Airlines, AT&T, Facebook, and IMDb (Premier); ALLBLK, HBOMax, City of Miami Beach, Netflix, Prudential Financial, TBS, Warner Bros., Variety and Yahoo! (Official); Accenture, AspireTV, Motion Picture Association (MPA) and Morgan Stanley (Supporting). Media partners include BIN: Black Information Network, TheGrio and Rolling Out.