Lena Waithe Named Ambassador of 2023 American Black Film Festival

Lena Waithe at the 2020 Palm Springs International Film Festival Gala Arrivals at the Conventional Center on January 2, 2020 in Palm Springs, CA — Photo by Jean_Nelson/Deposit Photos.

Emmy-winning writer and actor Lena Waithe has signed on as ambassador of the 2023 American Black Film Festival.

In the role of ambassador, Waithe will help ensure ABFF’s mission of showcasing Black talent and discovering new voices.

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

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As founder and chair of Hillman Grad productions, Waithe oversees a slate of projects that give marginalized storytellers access to the industry. She created and executive produced the critically acclaimed Showtime series The Chi. She also brought semi-autobiographical series Twenties to BET.

Recently, Waithe executive produced the film Beauty for Netflix, and she is currently working on producing a Sammy Davis Jr. biopic. Her other upcoming projects include producing the feature directorial debut of A.V. Rockwell’s A Thousand and One, which is set for a March 2023 release; Chang Can Dunk for Disney+; and Being Mary: The Mary Tyler Moore Documentary, directed by James Adolphus.

She will collaborate with ABFF organizers as they map out the 27th edition of the festival.

“Lena is a powerhouse in the film and television industry and a trailblazer for emerging creative artists,” said Nicole Friday, festival producer and president of ABFF Ventures LLC. “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.”

The 2023 American Black Film Festival takes place June 14-18 in Miami Beach, followed by a virtual event June 19-25 on ABFF PLAY.