LOS ANGELES – October 20, 2020 – The Social Justice Now Film Festival (SJNFF) organized by the Film Life Foundation today announced their panel lineup, which will include discussions that aim to fulfill the festivals’ goal: to watch, to listen and to take action. Renowned journalist Soledad O’Brien, actress Kerry Washington, and Black Lives Matter co-founder Opal Tometi (who is also a Co- Ambassador of the festival) are among the speakers at the event.

Panel programming will include:

On-Demand Conversations

I WANT MY WHOLE DOLLAR, presented by Advancing Black Pathways, JP Morgan Chase
Always Available

  • Renowned journalist Soledad O’Brien, and The SpringHill Company’s COO, Devin Johnson, talk candidly with Sekou Kaalund, Head of Chase Consumer Banking, Northeast Division. , about the importance of entrepreneurship when it comes to economically leveling the playing field in the realm of social justice and equality. They discuss the autonomy and empowerment of building wealth on one’s own terms, as well as share insights and lessons learned from their respective business journeys.
  • Speakers: Soledad O’Brien (CEO, Soledad O’Brien Productions), Devin Johnson (COO, The SpringHill Company), Sekou Kaalund (Head of Chase Consumer Banking, Northeast Division.

THE ORIGINS OF OUR DISCONTENTS
Always Available

  • Pulitzer prize-winning author Isabel Wilkerson discusses her new book CASTE: The Origins of Our Discontents, which examines the unspoken caste system that has shaped America and shows how our lives today are still defined by a hierarchy of human divisions. Interviewed by actor/producer and former NFL player Nnamdi Asomugha, with special appearance by Kerry Washington.
  • Speakers: Isabel Wilkerson (Author: Caste), Nnamdi Asomugha (Actor/Producer), Kerry Washington (Actor/Producer)

Wednesday, October 21

ON THE FRONT LINE OF JUSTICE
3:00 PM EST

  • Ben Crump has dedicated his career, as a trial attorney, to fighting for civil rights and justice. Join him, in conversation with Laura Coates to hear about his path, and what happens when life brings you the unexpected and unthinkable.
  • Speakers: Ben Crump (Attorney) and Laura Coates (CNN Legal Analyst, SiriusXM Radio Host, Bestselling Author)

FROM SHIRLEY TO KAMALA: The Rise of Black Women’s Political Power
Impact Partner: Higher Heights
7:00 PM EST

  • Fifty-one years after Rep. Shirley Chisholm (D-NY) became the first Black woman elected to Congress, a record-breaking number of Black women are running for political office including Kamala Harris’ history making run to be the first woman Vice President. Black women are shaping and building political power for themselves and their communities. In this panel, we will explore the role of Black women’s voices – and their votes – on the final push to Election Day 2020.
  • Speakers: Glynda Carr (Co-Founder and President, Higher Heights for America), A’Shanti Gholar (President, Emerge), Tishaura Jones (Treasurer, City of St. Louis), Alencia Johnson (Founder, 1063 Broad Street)
  • Moderator: Cheslie Kryst (Miss USA 2019, Attorney)

Thursday, October 22

DO OUR LIVES MATTER? LGBTQ
3:00 PM EST

  • Black LGBTQ individuals face multiple intersectional structural adversities relating to their sexual orientation, gender and racial identities. This election is especially important to the LGBTQ community as it fights to uphold that Black Lives Matter but to also ensure that the gains that they have made in the LGBTQ community are not turned back.
  • Speakers: David Johns (Executive Director, National Black Justice Coalition), Raquel Willis (Award-winning Writer/Trans Activist), Twaun Samuel (Chief of Staff, Congresswoman Maxine Waters)
  • Moderator: Aisha Milles (Political Strategist)

A VIEW FROM INSIDE: Criminal Justice Reform
7:00 PM EST

  • Ending mass incarceration has been called the civil rights issue of our time. Through the experience of formerly incarcerated, this panel will explore how to create a system that respects human dignity and avoid recidivism by removing barriers to opportunity.
  • Speakers: Topeka K. Sam, (Founder and Executive Director, The Ladies of Hope Ministries), Shaka Senghor (President of Shaka Senghor, Inc. and Founder of Redeemed Sole) ), Isaac Wright, Jr. (Attorney-Subject of “For Life”)
  • Moderator: Jeff Johnson (Journalist, Producer and TV Host)

Friday, October 23

WAR ON VOTING: Voter Suppression Past and Present: Rights Restoration and How We Fight Back
Impact Partner: Advancement Project
3:00 PM EST

  • Not long ago, there were poll taxes and literacy tests, while sheriffs stood outside of polling places preventing Black people from voting. Volunteers who registered Black people to vote were persecuted and even killed. The remnants of these practices remain today, but better disguised. Rather than wielding weapons or physically blocking people from voting, state, local, and federal governments are enacting policies and practices to curtail the growing political power of voters of color as they emerge into the new American majority. Leaders in the fight for voting rights from Advancement Project National Office, New Georgia Project, New Florida Majority, and Florida Rights Restoration Coalition will discuss the past and present forms of voter suppression, and what we can do to eliminate these wrongs once and for all.
  • Speakers: Judith Browne Dianis (Executive Director, Advancement Project National Office), Desmond Mead (Executive Director, Florida Rights Restoration Coalition), Moné Holder (Senior Program Director – Policy, Advocacy & Research, New Florida Majority), Nse Ufot (Executive Director, New Georgia Project)
  • Moderator: Kendis Gibson (MSNBC, Weekend Anchor)

Saturday, October 24

SOCIAL JUSTICE & CINEMA, presented by ShivHans Pictures
6:00 PM EST

  • One of the powers of storytelling is its ability to ignite public consciousness, and when it comes to social justice – it serves as a critical tool to spotlight systemic issues, analyze often tragic moments in history, and share real-life stories that might otherwise remain largely unknown. This conversation will explore the making of content that seeks to educate and inspire change.Speakers: Justin Brooks (Director and Co-Founder of the California Innocence Project and criminal defense attorney for Brian Banks), Nadia Hallgren (College Behind Bars), Muta’Ali (Yusuf Hawkins: Storm Over Brooklyn), Shola Lynch (Free Angela) and TJ Martin (LA 92).

Sunday, October 25

RISING TIDE: The New Wave of Allyship, presented by Sony Pictures Entertainment
Impact Partners: LA Collab, IllumiNative, Gold House
6:00 PM EST

  • OIn an era where power truly resides in numbers (and voices), active allyship continues to be the differentiating variable to eradicating systems that seek to oppress and suppress the world’s most marginal and vulnerable communities. Much of the progress gained in the U.S. through countless civil rights battles were brought via applied intersectional pressure, where marginalized peoples across sub-demographic lines joined forces to push back against the larger institutionalized system that, by design, seeks to keep them separate. As movements ebb and flow, the tide begins to rise when marginalized people alike recognize that they truly have the most in common in their collective fight for equitable incorporation and agency. The traumatizing events of 2020 demonstrated both the power and necessity of converting multicultural allies into accomplices, where the passive Ally of yesteryear takes on new form as an Accomplice for justice in the ongoing battle for equal rights and protection under the law.
  • Speakers: Ivette Rodriguez (Co-Founder, LA Collab), Crystal Echo Hawk (Founder & CEO, IllumiNative), Bing Chen (Chairman & Co-Founder, Gold House), Matt McGorry (Actor & Activist)
  • Moderator: Ellene V. Miles, SVP, Intersectional Marketing, Sony Pictures Entertainment

FILMMAKER TALK BACKS

Social Justice Now Film Festival will host four spotlight screenings followed by filmmaker talk backs, to advance the dialogue on racial and social justice in the United States. Talbacks will occur daily at 9:00 p.m. EST:

Wednesday, October 21
40 Years a Prisoner, with director, Tommy Oliver

Friday, October 23
Reefa, with director, Jessica Kavana Dornbusch and cast: Clara McGregor, Cinthya Caromona, Tyler Dean Flores

Sunday, October 25
Us Kids, with director Kim A. Snyder

The festival can be accessed via www.socialjusticenowfilmfestival.org.

Film Life Foundation is the festival organizer, with Coalition Partners to include ABFF Ventures, Endeavor Content, One Community, and Outlier Society. Sony Pictures Entertainment is the Founding Sponsor, with Principal Sponsors being K Period Media and ShivHans Pictures. The Official Sponsors are Advancing Black Pathways – JP Morgan Chase & Co., Amazon Studios, HEINEKEN USA Inc. and Amazon Alexa. Impact Partners include the Advancement Project, Color of Change, GoldHouse, Higher Heights for America, IllumiNative, LA Collab, and When We Vote. BlackLove.com and Black Information Network are Marketing Partners.

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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 additional information go to www.filmlifefoundation.org

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

DRIVE-IN SHOWING OF “FRUITVALE STATION” AND “JUST MERCY” WILL BE PART OF INAUGURAL FILM FEST SET TO RUN OCTOBER 21ST TO 25TH

LOS ANGELES – October 12, 2020 – The Social Justice Now Film Festival (SJNFF) organized by the Film Life Foundation today announced that the spotlight screenings for the forthcoming festival will bethe documentaries “40 Years A Prisoner,” courtesy of HBO, “Us Kids,” and “SNCC,” executive produced by Pharell Williams and I Am Other., along with narrative feature “REEFA,” The festival also announced that “Just Mercy,” and Ryan Coogler’s award-winning “Fruitvale Station” (both starring SJNFFC Co-Ambassador Michael B. Jordan) will screen opening night at Paramount’s Drive-In Theater on Wednesday, October 21st, sponsored by Amazon Studios. All official selections and spotlight screenings will be available to stream for FREE on abffplay.com, a new digital platform, powered by Endeavor Streaming from October 21st to 25th, 2020.

Additional films to be screened as part of the festival include narrative features “The Obituary of Tunde Johnson,” “Even In Darkness, Cities of Dreams Are Born,” “Raise Your Hand,” and “Riding With Sugar.” The documentaries include “Big Chief, Black Hawk,” “Growing Up Milwaukee,” “HBCU Storytellers: Confederate Monuments – Heritage or Hatred?,” “Hope Village,” “Negros,” “Public Enemy Number One,” “PUSHOUT: The Criminalization of Black Girls in Schools,” “The Prison Within,” “Sankofa,” “Unlearning Sex,” “When Liberty Burns,” and “Writing on the Wall.” Short films at the festival will include “A Million Eyes,” “Augustus,” “Backwards God,” “Black Unscripted,” “Black.Matters,” “Broken,” “Catch A Girl,” “Eavesdropping on the Elders,” “First Day Back,” “Four Women,” “Free To Be,” “Hermanos,” “In Hollywoodland,” “Man Down,” “Promise Me,” “WBLS,” “Who Will Survive America,” and “White Noise.” In the new media category, “All Things Undone” podcast will be showcased. The slate of films were selected by a jury of industry executives including Endeavor, the parent company of Endeavor Content, which is a Coalition Partner on the event.

“Through these films, we hope to advance the dialogue and help to reshape the narrative of racial and social justice in this country. The festival’s mission is to encourage people to recognize the fierce urgency of now—to watch, reflect, and take action,” said SJNFF creators Jeff and Nicole Friday.

Previously announced, Michael B. Jordan and Black Lives Matter Co-Founder Opal Tometi serve as Co-Ambassadors for the Social Justice Now Film Festival.
The festival can be accessed via www.socialjusticenowfilmfestival.org.

Film Life Foundation is the festival organizer, with Coalition Partners to include ABFF Ventures, Endeavor Content, One Community, and Outlier Society. Sony Pictures Entertainment is the Founding Sponsor, with Principal Sponsors being K Period Media and ShivHans Pictures. The Official Sponsors are Advancing Black Pathways – JP Morgan Chase & Co., Amazon Studios, Peacock, HEINEKEN USA Inc.,, and Amazon Alexa. Impact Partners include the Advancement Project, Color of Change, GoldHouse, Higher Heights for America, IllumiNative, LA Collab, NBJCand When We Vote. BlackLove.com and Black Information Network are Marketing Partners.

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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 additional information go to www.filmlifefoundation.org

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

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

AMERICAN BLACK FILM FESTIVAL FOUNDERS LAUNCH NONPROFIT TO SHOWCASE BLACK HUMANITY AND ADVANCE SOCIAL JUSTICE AND RACIAL EQUALITY

 Sony Pictures Entertainment On Board As First Major Donor 

Social Justice Now Film Festival To Be Signature Initiative  

LOS ANGELES, CA, June 18, 2020 – With a 24-year track record of creating opportunities for people of color in the film industry, American Black Film Festival (ABFF) founders Jeff and Nicole Friday today announced the launch of Film Life Foundation (FLF), a nonprofit dedicated to spearheading diversity, inclusion and social justice initiatives. Sony Pictures Entertainment, which has been an ongoing supporter of the American Black Film Festival, is on board as the first major donor for the foundation.

The Fridays plan to use their event expertise and passion for the transformative medium of film to bring people of different backgrounds, cultures and perspectives closer together to tackle important social issues and to spark engagement between people of African descent and the broader society.

“Seeking industry diversity and inclusion has been the core mission of ABFF, which we established to create opportunities for Black artists and to celebrate their success, but the times call for more which is why we decided to launch a nonprofit,” said Film Life Foundation co-founder Nicole Friday. “Film Life Foundation will enable us to work with like-minded partners to focus on the broader issue of social justice, joining others in the heavyweight fight against the scourge of racism.” 

“It is important now more than ever to expand our long-standing partnership with ABFF by supporting Film Life Foundation and its mission to heighten awareness and inspire action in response to social justice issues that disproportionately affect people of color,” said Paul Martin, Chief Diversity Officer, Sony Pictures Entertainment.

Social Justice Now Film Festival (SJN) will become the foundation’s annual signature initiative.  A combination of online and live-streamed events, the inaugural SJN will take place October 15-19, 2020 in the days leading up to the 2020 presidential election.  It will showcase content that confronts racism and heightens awareness of the social and economic issues that negatively affect people of color in the United States. The festival will also use its platform to push for voter registration and turnout across the country.

In addition, FLF will become the umbrella for the Fridays’ on-going commitment to education and professional development, providing scholarships for college students of African descent with an interest in pursuing executive careers in film, television and media. Other initiatives will include a film finishing fund and an arts exchange program to encourage creative collaborations between filmmakers from the U.S. and abroad.

ABOUT FILM LIFE FOUNDATION
Film Life Foundation is a nonprofit organization founded by Jeff and Nicole Friday 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.  For additional information go to www.filmlifefoundation.org.

ABOUT JEFF AND NICOLE FRIDAY
Co-founders Jeff and Nicole Friday 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 for over two decades. Through the American Black Film Festival, launched in 1997, they provided a platform that showcased the early work of talent such as Kerry Washington, Anthony Anderson, Kevin Hart, Omari Hardwick and Issa Rae; and fostered the careers of many content creators including Ryan Coogler (Black Panther), Steven Caple Jr. (Creed II), Will Packer (Girls Trip) and Ben Watkins (Hand of God), to name a few. Their ultimate goal is to provide a platform for people of color to tell their stories through the medium of film, to raise awareness of the challenges of racism and empower our community of artists, entrepreneurs and activists to take a stand for racial justice and the freedom to “speak truth to power.”

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PRESS CONTACT:
MPRM Communications
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