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Los Angeles - R&B singer turned actor Chris Brown will help welcome the American Black Film Festival (ABFF) to Los Angeles this week. The festival, which will enjoy its first year in LA, opens Thursday, October 25 - Sunday, October 28. Brown stars in the opening night film, THIS CHRISTMAS.
Written and directed by Preston A. Whitmore and produced by STOMP THE YARD’s Will Packer, THIS CHRISTMAS features an all-Black ensemble cast including Brown, Loretta Devine, Idris Elba, Regina King, Delroy Lindo, Sharon Leal, Lauren London, Mekhi Phifer, Keith Robinson and Columbus Short. Most of the cast members are expected to attend the opening night festivities.
The movie is about The Whitfields, a Black family and their first reunion in four years. All the siblings have come home for Christmas for the first time in years and they’ve brought plenty of baggage with them. As the Christmas tree is trimmed and the lights are hung, secrets are revealed and family bonds are tested. Somehow within all the drama, they manage to discover the true meaning of family. Brown plays Michael “Baby” Whitfield - the youngest son in the family. THIS CHRISTMAS, although featured at the festival, opens nationwide November 21.
Other highlights of the festival include: Award-winning producer and President/COO of the new Our Stories Film, Tracey Edmonds will be one of the many industry insiders featured at the new Lincoln “Off the Red Carpet” series.
“Off the Red Carpet” is an intimate and lively discussion with individuals influencing present day filmmaking. Along with Edmonds, others showcased will include multi-talented husband & wife directing and writing team, Reggie Bythewood (Biker Boyz, Get on the Bus, and Notorious B.I.G.) and Gina Prince Bythewood (Love & Basketball), Norman Vance (Pride, Beauty Shop and Roll Bounce) and Casting Director Robi Reed (Do the Right Thing, Antwone Fisher, Soul Food, Set It Off and Malcolm X).
ABFF is a five-day international film market with a mission to strengthen the Black filmmaking community. The festival’s film slate is primarily composed of world premieres (shorts, narrative features, and documentaries). Since its inception, the ABFF has screened more than 400 films and has rewarded and redefined artistic excellence in independent filmmaking.