The American Black Film Festival (ABFF) will open its 25th year with Warner Bros. Pictures’ King Richard starring Will Smith. The 2021 fest will be available digitally November 3-28 via its online platform ABFF PLAY. King Richard will be available by special invitation to a limited audience.
In addition to starring in the film as Richard Williams, the determined father of Venus and Serena Williams, Smith also produces. King Richard follows the journey of their family, whose unwavering resolve and unconditional belief ultimately creates two of the world’s greatest sports legends. The film also stars Aunjanue Ellis as Oracene Wlliams as well as Saniyya Sidney as Venus Williams and Demi Singleton as Serena Williams. Tony Goldwyn and Jon Bernthal star as coaches Paul Cohen and Rick Macci. The film is directed by Reinaldo Marcus Green (Monsters and Men) from a script written by Zach Baylin, King Richard will be released in U.S. theaters and stream exclusively on HBO Max, November 19.
“It is with pride and excitement that we mark our 25th year opening with Warner Bros.’ King Richard, a film that is a touchstone of ABFF’s legacy of showcasing extraordinary Black talent and inspiring storytelling reflecting the brilliance of diversity in Hollywood,” said Nicole Friday, president and general manager, ABFF Ventures LLC. “We’re especially gratified to have the film’s director, Reinaldo Marcus Green, a previous finalist in HBO’s prestigious Short Film Competition, return to ABFF as feature film director — demonstrating the importance of the HBO pipeline in advancing the careers of Black artists. This event is simply a grand slam on every level.”
“Having King Richard at ABFF this year is truly a full circle moment,” stated Reinaldo Marcus Green. “Back in 2013, my short film Stone Cars, that I made while studying at NYU screened in competition and was distributed on HBO — so opening up the festival for ABFF’s 25th anniversary means a lot to me. It’s an absolute honor to return this year with our film. Thank you to Warner Bros. and the whole filmmaking team, the family we built on set, the Williams family for allowing us to tell their groundbreaking story and, of course, our wonderful crew and cast led by none other than Mr. Will Smith.”
ABFF 2021 worldwide virtual experience will include over 100 independent films from 35 countries, spotlight screenings, talks and networking events featuring creators, artists and industry executives. Access to the festival is free. To register, visit abff.com.