Living in the Moment in Miami: My Time at the American Black Film Festival
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Living in the Moment in Miami: My Time at the American Black Film Festival

Author: Kyle Price, Contributor

I had the honor of attending this year’s American Black Film Festival in Miami, FL on behalf of GLAAD and had the time of my life! The entire experience was a showcase of the best and brightest in media, Black people sharing their projects, learning how to pitch their ideas, and making visible connections over the course of the weekend. Needless to say, everyone looked amazing doing what Black people do best: show up and show up!!

Photo courtesy of Kyle Price.

I had the opportunity to see and hear some of my favorites, including Issa Rae, Denzel Washington, Jussie Smollett, Trina, and more, drop gems, share industry knowledge, and share key insights and knowledge. In addition to a series of professional development workshops and industry-focused keynotes, the festival featured an annual epic white party, a yacht party, and a ton of daytime socials and activities to keep everyone entertained.

(L-R) Shar Jossell, Soyria Giraud, Donnie Hue Frazier III and Alexander King at GLAAD’s Queer Lens Brunch at the 2024 American Black Film Festival (ABFF). Photo by JElijahPhotos.

The highlight of the weekend was the Queer Lens Brunch, hosted by GLAAD’s Communities of Color and Media team. In addition to the brunch, the event kicked off with a preview of projects developed by the winners of the inaugural Black Queer Creative Summit (BQCS) Pitch Competition in September 2023. The projects that debuted were created and led by Black queer filmmakers and creators Alexander King (And then there was her), I am Giraud (HellaGood Podcast) and Donnie Hue Frazier III (The smell of coffee).

Kyle Price and Alexandra Grey attend GLAAD’s Queer Lens Brunch at the 2024 American Black Film Festival (ABFF). Photo: JElijahPhotos.

The event also included a keynote panel, moderated by Sidra Smith, that highlighted three key voices in the community and entertainment industry: Alexandra Grey, Jussie Smollett, and Jonica Booth. Each panelist shared their stories and insights into how they navigate the industry as queer individuals while maintaining a sense of identity throughout the process.

(L-R) Sidra Smith, Alexandra Grey, Jonica Booth, and Jussie Smollett speak on a panel during GLAAD’s Queer Lens Brunch at the 2024 American Black Film Festival (ABFF). Photo by JElijahPhotos.

What started as a panel turned into a family reunion that only GLAAD and the Communities of Color and Media team could pull off. I am grateful to have met everyone there and left this year’s festival feeling inspired and empowered to navigate my own journey in the industry.