Ava DuVernay and Kenya Barris Join Issa Rae for Inaugural 'Creator Conversations' Talk at American Black Film Festival

The live event will be held on Friday, June 14th at the New World Center.

By: Jun. 10, 2024
Ava DuVernay and Kenya Barris Join Issa Rae for Inaugural 'Creator Conversations' Talk at American Black Film Festival
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The 28th Annual American Black Film Festival (ABFF) has announced that acclaimed artists Ava DuVernay and Kenya Barris will join festival creative director Issa Rae for “Creator Conversations.” The live event will be held on Friday, June 14th at the New World Center. The 2024 Creator Conversations program is the first of its kind, celebrating the careers of extraordinary artists. This year’s festival takes place live in Miami Beach June 12-16, followed by an online segment June 17-24 on ABFF PLAY HERE.

“We are truly delighted to get a rare glimpse into the minds of three trailblazers who are reshaping the landscape of film and television. Ava DuVernay, Kenya Barris and Issa Rae are incredibly talented creators whose work and careers we admire tremendously,” said NICE CROWD President Nicole Friday. “ This on-stage conversation will provide the audiences with in-person access to these iconic creatives, allowing them to engage and hear directly from these celebrated artists.”

The 2024 ABFF Creator Conversations with Issa Rae featuring Ava DuVernay and Kenya Barris will take attendees on a journey through their processes and careers, including recent work such as Ava DuVernay’s ORIGIN and Kenya Barris’ black-ish franchise, his feature directorial debut, You People, and producorial projects, Diarra From Detroit and The Vince Staples Show.

Ava DuVernay’s ORIGIN, now streaming on Hulu, is the acclaimed film from Academy Award® nominated filmmaker Ava DuVernay, that explores the mystery of history, the wonders of romance, and a fight for our future. While investigating the global phenomenon of caste and its dark influence on society, a journalist faces unfathomable personal loss and uncovers the beauty of human resilience.

Kenya Barris is an Emmy and Peabody award-winning writer, producer, director and actor, whose innovative approach to comedy has firmly cemented his place as one of Hollywood’s great modern storytellers. Best known as the creator behind the groundbreaking black-ish franchise and the Netflix original series #blackAF, Barris has built a career telling powerful stories that reflect our culture and fearlessly tackle an array of social issues.

Barris’ recent television credits are two new series that have quickly become critical darlings: Diarra From Detroit (BET+), a dark comedy from creator Diarra Kilpatrick that follows a divorcing schoolteacher who refuses to believe she’s been ghosted by her rebound Tinder date, and The Vince Staples Show (Netflix), a scripted series loosely inspired by the life of multi-hyphenate musician Vince Staples. This year Barris also served as a producer on The Underdoggs, an Amazon original sports comedy starring Snoop Dogg as a youth football team coach, as well as brought the -ish franchise to a close after a decade with the series finale of grown-ish. Last year, Barris and his production company, Khalabo Ink Society, also celebrated Emmy nominations for two projects -- Entergalactic, a first-of-its-kind adult animated music project that featured new music from the Grammy Award-winning musician Kid Cudi, and CIVIL, a documentary that offered an intimate portrait of groundbreaking civil rights attorney, Ben Crump.

Additionally, Barris’ resume is packed with an impressive and varied list of projects, including: Netflix’s hit comedy, You People; the Emmy Award-winning animated series, We The People, executive produced alongside Barack and Michelle Obama; the box-office record-breaking comedy Girls Trip; and Amazon Prime Video’s smash hit Coming 2 America, among many others.

For festival information, visit www.abff.com

Since its inception, the highly anticipated American Black Film Festival has premiered the work and supported the careers of many of today’s most successful filmmakers, actors, writers and stand-up comedians and is recognized as a standard-bearer of excellence for Black creativity. Continuing its legacy to empower Black artists and showcase a wide range of entertainment content will feature studio premieres, independent films, master classes, panels, talent showcases, networking and hospitality events.

ABFF sponsors and partners to date are Warner Bros. Discovery and HBO® (Founding), Cadillac, Comcast NBCUniversal, Walmart, Ally (Presenting), City of Miami Beach, Greater Miami Convention & Visitors Bureau (GMCVB), Sony Pictures Entertainment, TV One Networks, American Airlines, IMDbPro, Meta, Onyx Collective, Pronghorn (Official), Amazon MGM Studios, Miami Beach Visitors and Convention Authority (MBVCA), Motion Picture Association (MPA), New World Symphony, STARZ, Fulton Films, Procter & Gamble, Northwestern Mutual (Supporting), A&E Network, Getty Images, NYFA, GLAAD, WME, Digital Media Systems, Netflix, Planned Parenthood (Industry), Variety, LA Times (Media).

Photo credits: Cheryl Sanchez and Matt Sayles



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