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Lena Waithe Named Ambassador for 2023 American Black Film Festival

Lena Waithe to Serve as 2023 American Black Film Festival Ambassador
Lena Waithe photographed exclusively for EW on 4/5/21

Lena Waithe can add ambassador for the 2023 American Black Film Festival (ABFF) among her long list of accolades. Waithe will help the annual event dedicated to empowering Black talent and showcasing film and television content by and about people of African descent. In its 27th season, the 2023 ABFF season will be held June 14-18 in Miami Beach, followed by a virtual program June 19-25 on ABFF Play.

“I am so honored to have been chosen as ABFF’s 2023 Festival Ambassador,” Waithe said in a statement. “I am excited to collaborate with the festival to shine a light on unique and groundbreaking stories and the creatives behind them.”

Waithe joins a prestigious list of past ABFF ambassadors that include Issa Rae, Halle Berry, 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.

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In addition to its lineup of studio premieres, independent films, master classes, panels, talent showcases, networking and hospitality events, ABFF will introduce three new cultural initiatives to its 2023 program including “About Women,” which will highlight the work and support comraderie among women of color in the film and television industry; “Pro-Hollywood,” highlighting how professional athletes are using their platform to impact diversity in the entertainment industry; and “ABFF Pride,” a new series of screenings and talk events centered on the LGBTQIA+ community aptly timed to take place during Pride Month.

The 2023 ABFF will be Waithe’s ambassador year but it is not the first time she was honored at the festival. Waithe was presented the Industry Renaissance Award at the 2020 ABFF Honors, the festival’s annual award show that salutes excellence in television and film. The special prize is presented to content creators whose “exemplary work in film and television contributes to changing perceptions of people of color in the entertainment industry.”

“Lena is a powerhouse in the film and television industry and a trailblazer for emerging creative artists,” Nicole Friday, festival producer and president of ABFF Ventures LLC said in a statement. “Her commitment to elevate diverse voices personifies ABFF’s commitment to diversify Hollywood. We are excited to have her unique perspective and talent as our 2023 ABFF Ambassador.”

For more information and updates to the festival visit: https://www.abff.com/miami/

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