ABFF Awards: A Groundbreaking Celebration of Black Hollywood

O'shea Jackson Jr., actor

ABFF Film of the Year went to Straight Outta Compton, which starred O'Shea Jackson Jr. (pictured).

Last night on BET and Centric, America got a chance to experience black star magic with the ABFF Awards: A Celebration of Hollywood, brought to you by ABFF and BET.

Hosted by the hysterical comedian and actor Mike Epps, the awards show was overflowing with the highest echelon of black entertainment with appearances from Hollywood heavy-hitters, including Robert Townsend, Pharrell Williams, Lisa Raye McCoy, Ice Cube, O’Shea Jackson Jr., Kerry Washington, Tracey Edmonds, Anthony Anderson, Iyanla Vanzant, Taye Diggs and Robert Downey Jr.

[Related: Combatting #OscarsSoWhite: Russell Simmons Launching All Def Movie Awards]

The ABFF Awards was an exceptional evening of recognition, appreciation, laughter and camaraderie as actors and entertainers paid homage to those who paved roads leading to Hollywood before them, and those who carried torches of African American artistry, lighting their way.

Jamie Foxx kicked off the award presentations by honoring film producer Will Packer with the ABFF Alumni Award. “You are looking at somebody that had that opportunity. All I needed was a chance,” said Packer upon receiving his honor. “I am a product of an institution that said, ‘You are enough,’ that said, ‘What you’re doing is important,’” he continued, speaking of opportunities afforded to him by ABFF.

The award presentations continued as Taye Diggs presented the Award for Excellence in the Arts to Regina King, which was hilariously intercepted by Regina Hall. Hall then went on to present the Television Show of the Year Award to the much deserving cast of Blackish, which was succeeded by a sultry performance by striking vocalist Bozeman.

The power move-making director of Creed, Ryan Coogler, was lauded throughout the evening for his continued accomplishments in film, and he received the Rising Star Award, presented by actress Octavia Spencer.

Faizon Love and JB Smoove honored Robert Townsend’s Hollywood Shuffle with the Classic Film Award before Robert Downey Jr. hilariously presented Don Cheadle with the ABFF Excellence in the Arts Award.

One of the evening’s highlights was a moving tribute to the 2016 Legacy Award Winner, the iconic and incomparable Diahann Carroll, which was presented by Kerry Washington and Keke Palmer.

The most coveted award of the evening, Film of the Year, was presented by funnyman Anthony Anderson to none other than Straight Outta Compton.

The evening concluded with a special performance by Morris Day & The Time.

The ABFF Awards was a long overdue recognition and tribute to black television and cinema, and the celebration will continue June 15-19, 2016 in Miami Beach, Florida at the 2016 American Black Film Festival. Register now!

ABFF Awards Honors Rising Star Ryan Coogler

This time next week there will be a “Celebration of Hollywood,” Tuesday, Feb. 23 at 8 p.m. ET/PT on BET and Centric as the American Black Film Festival, BET, and Black Enterprise host ABFF Awards, an annual gala saluting excellence in motion pictures and television.

This award show is on a mission to celebrate black culture by recognizing individuals, movies and television shows that have made a significant impact on American entertainment and those who champion diversity and inclusion in Hollywood.

Hosted by actor/comedian Mike Epps, ABFF Awards honor the works and legacies of seasoned actors and creators such as film legend Diahann Carroll, who will be presented with the Hollywood Legacy Award, television and film producer, Will Packer, who will receive the ABFF Alumni Achievement Award, actor/director Don Cheadle will be the male honoree for Excellence in the Arts Award along with actor/director Regina King who will be the female honoree. The Rising Star Award honoree goes to none other than director Ryan Coogler.

In honor of our Rising Star Honoree, Ryan Coogler, please check out this award winner’s path to stardom.

Born in Oakland California, avid student-athlete Coogler earned a football scholarship to St. Mary’s College before his talent for storytelling led him to begin shooting shorts with friends and teammates. He was later admitted into the USC School of Cinematic Arts where he went on to create award winning shorts Locks, Fig and Gap. After receiving his M.F.A, Coogler went on to create his now acclaimed first feature film, Fruitvale Station, the story of the last 24 hours of the life of Oscar Grant, who was shot to death by a police officer at Oakland’s Fruitvale BART station.

Following rave reviews from his debut feature film, in 2015 Coogler released mega-hit Creed, a spin-off of the Rocky films starring Michael B. Jordan and Sylvester Stallone.

It has also been announced that Coogler will be directing action, drama, sci-fi, Black Panther, due for 2018 release.

He is truly a rising star to be honored.

Catch Coogler and countless groundbreaking stars as they are honored for the work they do in the business, Tuesday, Feb. 23rd at 8 p.m. ET/PT on BET and Centric.

If you haven’t gotten the chance to check out Coogler’s first feature film Fruitvale Station here’s a little of what you’ve missed below. Check it out.

BET Networks Partners With American Black Film Festival For 2016 ABFF Awards

It has officially been announced that ABFF Ventures and BET Networks have partnered to produce the “ABFF Awards:  A Celebration of Hollywood,” hosted by actor and comedian Mike Epps and premiering on BET and Centric Tuesday, February 23rd at 8 p.m. ET/PT.

The Awards celebrates black culture and recognizes individuals, movies and television shows of the past year that have had a significant impact on American entertainment, as well as the people who have been proponents in championing diversity and inclusion in Hollywood. “Twenty years ago, I created the American Black Film Festival to spotlight the rich diversity of talent and achievement. It was born out of my love for film and desire to ensure that Black people gained opportunity and equity in every arena of Hollywood,” says Jeff Friday, ABFF founder and CEO. “I am truly honored to partner with BET to showcase the work of our most talented artists.”

[RELATED: American Black Film Festival Picks Up Where Oscars Left Off]

“It’s clear that there’s a need for this show,” adds Stephen Hill, president of programming, BET Networks. “BET is very excited to partner with Jeff and ABFF to present ‘A Celebration of Hollywood.’ We will unabashedly acknowledge performances and achievements of African-Americans on screen from this past year and give special honor and recognition to artists that have thrilled us during their highly-acclaimed careers. 2015 was ripe with tremendous and inspiring performances by African-Americans and we are beyond thrilled to be the ones to recognize them with class and admiration.”

In addition to recognizing the top television shows and films of the year, the “ABFF Awards: Celebration of Hollywood” will pay tribute to inspiring film legends Diahann Carroll,  who will be presented with the Hollywood Legacy Award, and television and film producer Will Packer who will receive the Distinguished ABFF Alumni Award.

It is also revealed that the Excellence in the Arts Award male honoree is Actor/Director Don Cheadle while the female honoree goes to Actors/Director Regina King. The Rising Star Award honoree is for the ceremony is Director Ryan Coogler.

“The ABFF Awards: A Celebration of Hollywood,” presented by the American Black Film Festival and BET Networks, will be one of the highlights of the Hollywood Awards season and Black History Month. The event is an ABFF Ventures production and is executive produced by show creator Jeff Friday, Debra Lee, Stephen Hill, Jesse Collins, Suzanne de Passe and Connie Orlando. Sponsors are Cadillac (Presenting Sponsor), Hilton Worldwide, Moet Hennessy, and Prudential Inc. (Gold Sponsors), and Morgan Stanley and Verizon (Silver Sponsors).

For more information on the American Black Film Festival and the ABFF Awards:  A Celebration of Hollywood, go to www.ABFF.com, www.ABFF.com/ABFFAwards, www.BET.com and BET.com/ACelebrationOfHollywood.

For information about the 2016 American Black Film Festival check out Black Enterprise (@BlackEnterprise) via social media for constant news and updates. Use hashtags #ABFFHonors and #ABFF20 to remain in the loop.

Black Enterprise’s Most Anticipated Movies Of 2015

If the players in Tinsel Town handle their cards right, 2015 promises to be one of the best years for cinema in quite some time.

Celebrated releases from Gus Van Sant, Martin Scorsese, Steven Spielberg, J.J. Abrams and others are just a tip of the iceberg of movies we’re looking forward to this year. The calendar is simply jammed to the hilt with huge projects. Some might be good. Others might be trash. Either way, you can guarantee that this year over others will make cinephiles reserve seats at their local theater to see these pictures.

With all the studios beginning to slate their franchises, sequels, and reboots, 2015 is shaping up to be a high-profile year. Consider that there will be three superhero movies in comparison to 2016’s six, plus the return of Steven Spielberg science-fiction megablockbuster, and you can smell just how major this calendar year will be for movies. These are films that audiences are excited to see. In addition to that, we here at Black Enterprise are counting on a few of these to be huge for the box office.

Keep in mind, we’re not making any early predictions on what films will be the “best,” but at the time of this publication, we are listing the projects we’re extremely anticipating to see. Some of these flicks don’t even have an official trailer, yet! From comedies to dramas to—gasp—even a couple of original stories, 2015 is going to be an incredibly talented year for fans of cinema. So, without further ado, Black Enterprise’s Kevin L. Clark (@KevitoClark) has put together some of the most anticipated movies set for release this year.

Peruse through the weighted selections on the following pages. Voice your own choices in the comments section below.

7 Highest-Paid Black TV Actors

They are the people who light up the screen every day or each week on your TV. But how much do they get paid to make sure you are entertained or informed?

Movie heavy hitter Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson, the action hero who the Hollywood Reporter says “got $12 million to make Hercules,” usually commands up to $15 million for pics in his wheelhouse.

Other stars like Denzel Washington and Will Smith crush banks every time they make a movie. But how much are black actors making for starring in many of our favorite television shows?

TV Guide put out the list of highest paid actors and celebrities on the small screen. Here’s a snapshot of the African-American actors who made the list:

Tracee Ellis Ross, Black-ish
Salary: $50,000 per episode

She’s baaack!!

The talented Tracee Ellis Ross plays Anthony Anderson‘s wife in ABC’s new Black-ish. It also stars Lawrence Fishburne.

It is produced by Fishbourne and executive produced by Anderson. It tells the story of an upper middle class African American man struggling to raise his children with a sense of their cultural identity.

Emmy Nominations: Don Cheadle, Idris Elba and Kerry Washington Among Nominees

Don Cheadle smiling

Actor Don Cheadle has been nominated for an Emmy for his role on "House of Lies." (Image: File)

The Emmy nominations for the 2014 television and cable and yeah, Netflix, season were announced the morning of July 10 and top black actors are among the nominees.

This year, Chiwetel Ejiofor, Idris Elba, Don Cheadle, Cicely Tyson, Kerry Washington, and Angela Bassett are leading the pack.

Cheadle is nominated for best actor for his role as Marty Kaan in the hit show “House of Lies.” Ejiofor and Elba go toe-to-toe against each other for Best Actor in a miniseries or movie for their roles in the BBC America series “Luther.

Washington is up for Best Actress as the lead character in “Scandal.” It’s her second nomination as the popular character Olivia Pope. Andre Braugher is up for best supporting actor in “Brooklyn Nine-Nine” and Cicely Tyson for Best actress in a miniseries or movie for her role in “The Trip to Bountiful.

RELATED: Miles Davis Biopic: Don Cheadle Set to Expand Career Profile with Directorial Debut

Reg E. Cathey and Joe Morton are nominated for Guest Actor in a Drama series for “House of Cards” and “Scandal.

Uzo Aduba and Laverne Cox are both nominated for Guest Actress in a Drama Series for “Orange is the New Black.

Oscar nominee Chiwetel Ejiofor also earned a nomination for “Dancing on the Edge.

In more Emmy news, the nominations opened with a speech about all the new platforms available today to showcase content. AMong these platforms is Netflix with hit shows “House of Cards” and “Orange is the new Black” scoring multiple nominations. HBO’s “Game of Thrones” locked down 19 nominations including Outstanding Drama Series and Outstanding Supporting Actress.

HBO’s “Whoopi Goldberg Presents Moms Mabley” is also nominated in the Outstanding Documentary or Nonfiction Special category.

Don Cheadle Announces IndieGogo Campaign For Miles Davis Biopic

With a goal of raising $325,000 by July 6, actor Don Cheadle is hoping his fans and well-wishers will help to make a Miles Davis biopic a reality.

The “Iron Man 3″ actor who has already announced plans to star and direct “Miles Ahead” has turned to Indiegogo to raise capital funds to produce his dream biopic project. Formerly titled “Kill the Trumpet Player,” Cheadle has a pretty strong ensemble cast, as Ewan McGregor is set to co-star as a journalist who helps Davis.

Unlike the recently released “All Is By My Side” picture, “Miles Ahead” has the support and blessings of the late musician’s family, as you’ll see in the video below:



For interested participants, prizes range from “exclusive updates” ($5) and T-shirts ($65), to a role as an extra ($8,000) to a co-producing credit ($12,500). There are some awesome goodies that should appeal to fans of Miles Davis, which are outlined in full on Cheadle’s Indiegogo site.

“Miles Ahead” is a non-traditional biopic in the way that it doesn’t cover Davis’ entire life, but rather just “a few dangerous days” in his life. Cheadle’s goal of $325,000 is pretty modest when compared to others who are asking for major bucks. Should Cheadle reach his figures, then the actor and newly minted director plans on shooting this summer.

Don Cheadle and Denzel Washington Among 2013 Golden Globe Nominees

The 2013 Golden Globe nominations are in and some of black Hollywood’s best and brightest are in the running for statues.

Denzel Washington received a nod for his performance in Flight. Don Cheadle snagged a nomination for his leading role in the Showtime series House of Lies.

Jamie Foxx did not get a nomination for his title role in Django Unchained, but the film itself as well as Leonardo DiCaprio, Chritoph Waltz and director Quentin Tarantino all received nominations.

Golden Globe winners are typically favorites for the Oscars.

For the full list of Golden Globe nominees, head to EURWeb.