The Greater Miami Convention & Visitor’s Bureau (GMCVB) has had two major milestones over the past couple of months – they finally created a dedicated Multicultural Tourism Department and hired a new VP, Connie Kinnard, to lead that department, and also convinced the American Black Film Festival (ABFF) that they belong in Miami. Like a runaway child, ABFF took a brief hiatus and headed north last year for New York City but quickly realized that home is where the heart is, and that Miami is home. And like a proud parent welcoming their child back home, the GMCVB and community leaders welcomed back ABFF with press conference on Tuesday, August 11 at the Historic Lyric Theater in Historic Overtown. The icing on the cake is that next year’s ABFF is the festival’s 20th year celebration, and the date has been set for June 15-19, 2016.
To put all of this in perspective, having the ABFF in our backyard is a pretty big deal. The week long celebration brings together the industry’s biggest names in film, TV, and entertainment as well as up and coming aspiring film makers. There’s special events, film screenings, parties, and lots of fun during ABFF weekend. Besides the festival itself, having film-related events in Miami helps to push the agenda to create incentives for the film industry. In other words, the reason why there’s a noticeable amount of films and reality TV shows shot in Atlanta is because the State of Georgia offers very competitive incentives for the industry. We need that badly here in Florida.
Overall, this is good news for Miami, and ABFF’s return is secured with a three-year commitment. For the Black community, we need as many festivals and major events here to add to the current lineup of events like Jazz in the Gardens. Welcome back ABFF!