The 18th annual American Black Film Festival (ABFF) – which will now call New York City home, starting next month (June 19-22) – will open this year’s event with Think Like A Man Too, the sequel to 2012’s box office smash, Think Like A Man, directed by Tim Story, and produced by ABFF alum, Will Packer.

The film is set to open in theaters wide on June 20th, courtesy of Screen Gems, so it looks like its June 19 ABFF screening will be a world premiere.

Closing the festival, on June 22, will be Spike Lee’s mysterious Kickstarter-funded project, Da Sweet Blood Of Jesus (a film that I suggested is likely inspired by Ganja & Hess). The 40 Acres and a Mule Filmworks project, which doesn’t have an official release date yet, will likely also be making its world premiere at the festival (Spike did say that he planned to release it theatrically during the summer).

You can guarantee that one of us will be at that screening!

Other festival highlights this year include:

– A conversation with the cast and director of Universal’s upcoming James Brown biopic, Get On Up – Chadwick Boseman, Viola Davis, Octavia Spencer, director Tate Taylor, etc. 

– A Spike Lee retrospective.

– The season 2 premiere of the Black Dynamite animated series, courtesy of Adult Swim.

 Bill Duke’s Actors Boot Camp

– “Robert Townsend’s The Ultimate Pitch

– Panels/Master Classes on a variety of industry-related subjects, like: diversity in Hollywood, writing for television, an overview of a producer’s core responsibilities and how to avoid common mistakes when filmmaking, and more.

Of course there’s always the popular annual HBO Short Film Competition.

The festival’s full lineup of 2014 feature and short films should be announced soon, with June 19 on the horizon. Once that happens, we’ll certainly have everything right here for you!

From a blogger and black film fan’s POV, I’m certainly glad that the ABFF will now take place in my backyard – NYC. It saves me a trip. And given the above 2 early screening announcements (Think Like A Man Too and Da Sweet Blood Of Jesus), Jeff Friday (the festival’s founder and Film Life, Inc CEO) and company, have snagged what will likely be 2 of the highest profile black films of the year.

The American Black Film Festival is presented by Film Life, Inc., a multifaceted entertainment company headquartered in New York City. 

Festival passes and tickets are on sale now. For more information visit