Morris Chestnut

The American Black Film Festival (ABFF) has announced today that actor Morris Chestnut (star of The Best Man Holiday, which will be in theaters this weekend), will be the festival's 2014 Celebrity Ambassador, and that author/producer Tonya Lewis Lee (producer of The Watsons Go To Birmingham most recently) its Host Committee chair

Tonya Lewis Lee
Tonya Lewis Lee

This news comes a week after the festival made it official that, beginning with its next installment, it will call New York City home.

“It’s an honor and privilege to be the ambassador of the ABFF, taking place this year in New York -- a city that has inspired and cultivated so much great talent in all areas of film,” says Chestnut.

“Morris Chestnut is a beloved and charismatic actor,” adds Jeff Friday, ABFF founder,  as well as CEO of Film Life, Inc., which produces the festival. “The role of the ABFF Ambassador is to broaden public awareness of the festival as well as its mission, and you are about to see Morris everywhere with this week’s release of The Best Man Holiday -- a must-see! I deeply appreciate both Morris and Tonya’s commitment to advance opportunities for Black artists in our industry.” 

The 18th annual ABFF, presented by Film Life, Inc. will take place from June 19-22, 2014, in New York City. 

Festival passes and tickets are on sale now. For more information visit

The four-day festival event, conceived by Jeff Friday in 1997, and recognized as a leader in its industry, is dedicated to showcasing and promoting quality films by and about people of African descent, motivated by the belief that Black content creators and artists deserve the same opportunities as their mainstream counterparts.

Sponsors to date include: HBO (Founding and Premier) and Nielsen (Supporting).