ABFF Ventures, LLC today announced Oscar-winning actress and director Halle Berry as ambassador for the 2021 American Black Film Festival (ABFF). Along with her ambassador functions, Berry will headline ABFF’s popular talk series, an intimate one-on-one conversation that will spotlight her distinguished 30-year career. This year’s festival will be a worldwide virtual experience hosted on the festival’s custom-built platform ABFF PLAY November 3–28.
Berry, who is a long-time supporter of the festival, is notably the festival’s first recipient of the ABFF Rising Star Award which was presented at the inaugural ABFF in 1997. Her return to this milestone ABFF with her directorial debut of BRUISED, in which she also stars, is the result of a 25-year relationship with the festival and captures a full circle moment. The feature film is being released on the Netflix streaming platform on November 24, 2021.
“I couldn’t be more thrilled to have Halle as the ABFF Festival Ambassador for our 25th anniversary year said Jeff Friday, founder ABFF and CEO Jeff Friday Media. “When we met her in 1997, she was a talented emerging actor with a bright future. Today, she is an Academy Award-winner, cultural icon and inspiration to women of color across our industry and the world.”
“For 25 years this festival has consistently supported emerging Black filmmakers,” said Berry. “I was honored to be recognized by ABFF early in my career and could not be prouder to return to the festival as its ambassador to help ABFF’s ongoing efforts to provide opportunities for emerging Black creators. I’m also thrilled to present my directorial debut BRUISED to the ABFF audience.”
The first Black actress to win an Oscar in the Best Actress category for her role in MONSTER’S BALL, Berry also earned an Emmy, Golden Globe, SAG and NAACP Image Award for her extraordinary performance in HBO’s telefilm, INTRODUCING DOROTHY DANDRIDGE, which she also produced.
Berry’s career has spanned three decades, with performances in DIE ANOTHER DAY, JUNGLE FEVER, LOSING ISAIAH, BULWORTH, SWORDFISH and JOHN WICK: CHAPTER 3 – PARABELLUM.
In her current film, the gripping sports drama BRUISED, Berry stars as a fighter who reclaims her power, in and out of the ring, when everyone has counted her out.
Former ABFF ambassadors include Mary J. Blige, Idris Elba, Tracee Ellis Ross, Regina Hall, La La Anthony, Jay Ellis, Morris Chestnut, Omari Hardwick, Common, Taraji P. Henson and Earvin “Magic” Johnson.
The 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.