AMERICAN BLACK FILM FESTIVAL CREATORS JEFF AND NICOLE FRIDAY LAUNCH “SOCIAL JUSTICE NOW” FILM FESTIVAL WITH PROGRAMMING FOCUSED ON SOCIAL AND POLITICAL CHANGE; WILL RUN FROM OCTOBER 21ST TO 25TH
MICHAEL B. JORDAN AND OPAL TOMETI TO SERVE AS SOCIAL JUSTICE NOW CO-AMBASSADORS
COALITION PARTNERS INCLUDE ENDEAVOR CONTENT, ONE COMMUNITY, AND OUTLIER SOCIETY
SONY PICTURES ENTERTAINMENT IS FOUNDING SPONSOR
LOS ANGELES – August 26, 2020 – The Film Life Foundation, the nonprofit organization founded by American Black Film Festival Creators Jeff and Nicole Friday, today announced the inaugural Social Justice Now Film Festival, which will run from October 21st to 25th, 2020. The annual festival will include virtual screenings, community conversations, and impact events that confront the social and economic issues facing Black and Brown communities.
Michael B. Jordan and Black Lives Matter Co-Founder Opal Tometi will serve as Co-Ambassadors for the Social Justice Now Film Festival. Coalition Partners for the event, supporting and helping to build the first-of-its-kind festival, include Endeavor Content, One Community, and Outlier Society. Sony Pictures Entertainment is the event’s Founding Sponsor.
The mission of the Social Justice Now Film Festival is “watch, reflect, and take action,” and this year’s program will include narrative documentary features, short films and new media projects with correlating discussions on topics such as police brutality, criminal justice reform, income disparity, healthcare reform and voter reform led by the preeminent voices in their respective spaces. The festival will include online petitions, educational resources, and other interactive components with an emphasis on activating around the November 2020 Election.
“This first-of-its-kind festival will merge art and activism to drive today’s necessary conversations forward toward lasting social and political change,” said Social Justice Now Festival Co-Founders Jeff and Nicole Friday. “On behalf of our partners, we look forward to using our collective abilities to provide a platform committed to amplifying the voices of the marginalized, and educating attendees on the most pressing issues impacting these communities.”
For more than two decades, Social Justice Now Film Festival Co-Founders Jeff and Nicole Friday have worked to create opportunities for people of color in the film industry, most notably through the American Black Film Festival. They have played a vital role in strengthening the Black film community and advancing the careers of many relatively unknown emerging artists.
“I am honored to serve as an inaugural ambassador for the Social Justice Now Festival,” said Michael B. Jordan. “It was both a professional and personal achievement to have had the opportunity to portray the great Bryan Stevenson in ‘Just Mercy’ and with the help of festivals like this we will continue to bring those stories to life. Now more than ever it is important that we shine a light on those who have been marginalized by our society and I look forward to joining Jeff and Nicole as we continue the fight for social justice reform.”
“It’s an honor to serve as an Ambassador for the inaugural Social Justice Now Film Festival,” said Opal Tometi. As a media maker and a human rights advocate, I know that there’s no denying the importance of truth-telling and the power of film to facilitate that. Given the significance of these times I trust that the Social Justice Now Film Festival will provide the catalytic insight and creative inspiration we need. ”
“Film has the ability to unite, educate, and inspire action, and we are proud to support Jeff and Nicole in building a wholly unique platform for social change,” said Chris Rice and Graham Taylor, Co-Presidents of Endeavor Content.
The festival will accept submissions in the categories of: narratives, documentaries and new media projects that align with the themes of social justice and explore issues of racial justice, implicit bias, Black identity and human rights. Submission opens on August 27th via the festival website (www.socialjusticenowfilmfestival.org) or (www.filmfreeway.com). The deadline for entries is September 12th.
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About Film Life Foundation
Film Life Foundation is a nonprofit organization founded by American Black Film Festival creators Jeff and Nicole Friday. Based in Los Angeles, the organization is dedicated to spearheading diversity and inclusion initiatives in the entertainment industry as well as bringing people of different backgrounds, cultures and perspectives closer together using the transformative medium of film.
Through its cause-oriented programs – Social Justice, Education & Professional Development and Arts & Cultural Exchange – the foundation will work with underrepresented artists while aiming to bridge the gap and spark engagement between people of African descent and the broader society. The foundation also provides scholarships, grants and other resources to inspire and support minority students interested in pursuing careers in film and television in front of and behind the camera.
For more than two decades, co-founders Jeff and Nicole Friday have worked to create opportunities for people of color in the film industry. They have played a vital role in strengthening the black film community and advancing the careers of many relatively unknown emerging artists, introducing them to the industry at-large. Through the American Black Film Festival, launched in 1997, they provided a platform that showcased the early work of many of the industry’s most successful actors and content creators including Omari Hardwick (Power), Issa Rae (Insecure), Ryan Coogler (Black Panther), Steven Caple Jr. (Creed II), Will Packer (Girls Trip) and Ben Watkins (Hand of God), to name a few.
About Endeavor Content
Endeavor Content is a global leader in the development, financing and sales of premium film, television, theater and audio content. Endeavor Content seeks to facilitate more ownership and creative freedom for artists, creators and production companies in an ever-evolving media landscape. Endeavor Content is a division of Endeavor, a global entertainment, sports and content company.
About One Community
One Community is a film, television and new media co-financing company that harnesses the power of storytelling to inspire and encourage positive change in the world. Founded and led by entertainment industry veteran and activist Scott Budnick (THE HANGOVER franchise; Founder, Anti-Recidivism Coalition), One Community invests in projects with the power to change hearts and minds on critical issues of equity and equality, and designs robust social impact campaigns to amplify and align the work of philanthropy and policy experts and convert audience empathy into action. The company’s first project was Warner Bros.’ JUST MERCY, starring Michael B. Jordan, Jamie Foxx and Brie Larson based on the true story of attorney and civil rights activist Bryan Stevenson’s fight to free a wrongfully convicted man on death row. Additional projects include KING LEOPOLD’S GHOST, currently in development, to be directed by Ben Affleck and produced by Affleck’s Pearl Street Films, Martin Scorsese and Emma Tillinger Koskoff through Sikelia Productions, and Harry and Gina Belafonte.
About Outlier Society
Outlier Society is a cutting-edge production company focused on bringing an eclectic and inclusive lineup of diverse stories and voices to market, meeting the viewers where they are. The company was founded by Michael B. Jordan in 2016 and was one of the first companies to publicly adopt the inclusion rider. In February 2019, Jordan and Outlier launched the Outlier Fellowship – an internship and mentorship program providing access, opportunity and community to underrepresented young people entering media, arts and entertainment.
Outlier Society has co-produced the Emmy-nominated HBO Films’ adaptation of “Fahrenheit 451”, which netted Jordan a Producers Guild Award, and the critically-acclaimed Warner Bros. film, “Just Mercy”, which was awarded a number of accolades including the NAACP Image Award for ‘Best Picture’, the ABFF Award for ‘Movie of the Year’, and a BET Award nomination for ‘Best Movie’. Their impressive slate of upcoming projects includes Amazon Studios’ ‘Without Remorse’, the Denzel Washington-directed feature ‘Journal for Jordan’, and the Danny Boyle-directed ‘Methuselah’, with Jordan set to star in each. Additionally, Outlier Society’s upcoming slate includes the film adaption of the fantasy novel ‘Black Leopard, Red Wolf’ by acclaimed author Marlon James; an untitled original monster movie from ‘Kong: Skull Island’ filmmaker Jordan Vogt-Roberts; a WWII action drama ‘The Liberators’; psychological thriller, ‘The Ancestors’, starring Tika Sumpter for HBO Max; ‘61st Street’ for AMC; and the second season of the OWN drama series ‘David Makes Man’ from Oscar-winning MOONLIGHT co-writer Tarell Alvin McCraney. The first season was nominated as “Best Drama Series” for a Critics’ Choice Award and a Broadcast Film Critics Association Award, as well as for a Peabody Award and a Gotham Award.
About Sony Pictures Entertainment
Sony Pictures Entertainment (SPE) is a subsidiary of Tokyo-based Sony Corporation. SPE’s global operations encompass motion picture production, acquisition, and distribution; television production, acquisition, and distribution; television networks; digital content creation and distribution; operation of studio facilities; and development of new entertainment products, services and technologies. Sony Pictures Television operates dozens of wholly-owned or joint-venture production companies around the world. SPE’s Motion Picture Group production organizations include Columbia Pictures, Screen Gems, TriStar Pictures, 3000 Pictures, Sony Pictures Animation, Stage 6 Films, AFFIRM Films, and Sony Pictures Classics. For additional information, visit http://www.sonypictures.com/corp/divisions.html