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Keenen Ivory Wayans To Be Honored w/ Entertainment Icon Award At 2011 American Black Film Fest

by Tambay A. Obenson
May 20, 2011 2:10 AM
5 Comments
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I plan on being there this year; missed it the last couple of years. I might actually be on a panel... details on that later, once everything is worked out finalized; regardless, I'll be there, panel or not. Maybe I'll run into some of you... maybe not.

The premiere black film festival in this country, the American Black Film Festival (ABFF), runs from July 6th through July 9th this year. Their lineup has yet to be announced, though I expect we'll know what to expect in the next 2 to 4 weeks. I wouldn't be surprised to see a few of this year's Sundance and Tribeca entries screen there, as was the case last year. But I'm hoping that there'll be some brand new titles we've never heard of nor written about on this site. That's the fun part of all this... discovering new, exciting, thrilling talent and their films.

As we wait for the official lineup announcement... I received the below press release earlier today, announcing this year's festival honoree in this, the festival's 15th year - Mr Keenen Ivory Wayans.

Keenen will be honored with the Entertainment Icon Award at the festival’s culminating event, ABFF Honors, hosted by Anthony Anderson, taking place on Saturday, July 9, at the Fillmore Miami Beach - Jackie Gleason Theater in Miami, FL.

The rest below...

EMMY AWARD-WINNING PRODUCER & DIRECTOR KEENEN IVORY WAYANS TO BE HONORED AT THE 15TH ANNUAL AMERICAN BLACK FILM FESTIVAL (ABFF)

HOSTED BY ACTOR ANTHONY ANDERSON, ABFF HONORS WILL BE HELD ON SATURDAY, JULY 9, ENDING THE
THREE-DAY FESTIVAL (JULY 6 – 9) IN MIAMI, FL

NEW YORK, May 19, 2011 – Film Life, Inc., CEO, Jeff Friday, is pleased to announce Emmy Award-winning producer/director Keenen Ivory Wayans as honoree at the landmark 15th Annual American Black Film Festival (ABFF). In recognition of his success in the film and television industry for nearly 25 years, Wayans will be honored with the Entertainment Icon Award at the festival’s culminating event, ABFF Honors, taking place on Saturday, July 9, at The Fillmore Miami Beach - Jackie Gleason Theater in Miami, FL. Keenen Ivory Wayans’ award presentation will be the highlight of ABFF’s annual awards show, where the festival’s independent film awards are presented and artists are saluted for their achievement in cinema and passionate portrayal of stories about people of color. Past honorees have included Morgan Freeman, Lee Daniels, Spike Lee, Robert Townsend, Russell Simmons and Halle Berry.

Originally noted for his infamous stand-up routines, Keenen Ivory Wayans was the first from his famed comedic family to gain notoriety. After years of performing on the circuit, in 1987 Wayans produced and co-wrote the hugely successful feature film Eddie Murphy Raw, catapulting his career to the next level. Having established himself as a talented entertainment visionary, Wayans followed up with a successful string of hits including the indie film Hollywood Shuffle and the classic parody of “blaxploitation” films, I’m Gonna Get You Sucka.

Continuing his success and adding acting to his credits, Wayans broke new ground in television with the Emmy Award-winning Fox comedy series In Living Color. The series single-handedly is credited with launching the careers of such A-list actors Jim Carrey, Jamie Foxx, Jennifer Lopez and Damon Wayans. The show also introduced the television audience to brothers Shawn and Marlon Wayans.

“Keenen Ivory Wayans is a trailblazer in the truest sense of the word,” states ABFF founder Jeff Friday. “In fact, very few people in the industry have provided such a dynamic platform in cultivating such notable talent and revolutionizing comedy and comedic television. Beyond that, Wayans has proven to be an amazing mentor to his family by nurturing the careers of his siblings in the industry, and we are proud to bestow him with the festival’s highest distinction, especially on our anniversary year.”

Wayans other film credits include The Five Heartbeats with Robert Townsend; A Low Down Dirty Shame; Most Wanted; The Glimmer Man; the hit “coming of age in the ‘hood” movie Don’t Be a Menace to South Central While Drinking Your Juice in the Hood, in which brothers Shawn and Marlon starred; the nearly $120 million worldwide grossing film, White Chicks; followed by Little Man and most recently, Dance Flick.

In 2000, Wayans wrote and directed the international box office smash hit Scary Movie, a parody of slasher movies, for Dimension Films. The movie went on to break several box office records including biggest opening for an R-rated movie and highest grossing film for an African American director. The film grossed over $300 million worldwide and led to a successful sequel, Scary Movie 2, which Wayans wrote, directed and produced.

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5 Comments

  • Donnie Leapheart | May 20, 2011 4:02 AMReply

    This is well deserved...Few people know that he is the first African American director to write and direct a film to make over 100 million at the box office...I've been biggin' KIW up for years just for this very reason. Big accomplishment and inspirational.

  • JMac | May 20, 2011 3:59 AMReply

    Long overdue. Congrats to Keenan. He needs to get back to television. The censors seem to be a lot more forgiving than they were when In Living Color was on.

  • Tamara | May 20, 2011 3:55 AMReply

    Congrats to him. Definitely well deserved. *cues up I'm Gone Git You Sucka for weekend viewing. :)

  • Nadell | May 20, 2011 2:54 AMReply

    He certainly is a trailblazer! The entire Wayans family are iconic!
    It's about time Keenen Ivory Wayans is honored and acknowledged. And the acknowledgement should go beyond the ABFF - this man was/is very pivotal or responsible for many of the acting/singing/comedic careers we see today.
    A legend indeed!

  • Dankwa Brooks | May 20, 2011 2:48 AMReply

    As described in the press release above KIW has been making moves in Hollywood for YEARS!

    Years ago, I remember him telling a story on the Tonight Show I think about how he was on a 'Dukes of Hazzard' ripoff and how they didn't know how to make up black people so they just put a lot of Vaseline on his face. That shows how long he's been grinding.

    Congrats to him!

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