Lena Waithe will serve as the festival ambassador for this year's American Black Film Festival. This will be the festival's 27th year and will take place from June 14th-18th. There will also be an aftershow event for audiences watching the event remotely on the festival's official website from June 19th-25th. The press release reported the news.
Lena Waithe will be the founder's guest of honor and take on the ambassador duties, increasing awareness for their mission of elevating Black talent and amplifying up-and-coming voices in film.
Among its former ambassadors are "Insecure" creator and star Issa Rae, Oscar-winning actress Halle Berry, and "Empire" alumna Taraji P. Henson.
“I am excited to collaborate with the festival to shine a light on unique and groundbreaking stories and the creatives behind them,” said Lena Waithe, who recently appeared in the in the fifth and final season of Pamela Adlon’s “Better Things.”
Nicole Friday, the festival's producer and president of the American Black Film Festival, commended the woman for her promotion of unheard-of storytellers in Hollywood.
“Lena is a powerhouse in the film and television industry and a trailblazer for emerging creative artists,” she said in a statement. “Her commitment to elevate diverse voices personifies ABFF’s commitment to diversify Hollywood.”
Previously, Waithe was a recipient of the Industry Renaissance Award at the 2020 ABFF HONORS, an accolade celebrating “content creators whose exemplary work in film and television contributes to changing perceptions of people of color in the entertainment industry,” the release explains.
Lena Waithe became the first Black woman to win Outstanding Writing for a Comedy Series at the 2017 Emmys.
She wrote "Queen & Slim," Melina Matsoukas' feature directorial debut about a Black couple who go on the run after killing a white cop in self-defense. She has also created "The Chi" and "Twenties."
The ABFF is an annual event championing excellence in film and TV content by and about folks of African descent, and is “dedicated to the belief that diverse artists deserve the same opportunities as their mainstream counterparts,” per the festival’s website.