Lena Waithe Named Ambassador of 2023 American Black Film Fest

Lena Waithe will serve as an ambassador for next year’s American Black Film Festival (ABFF). The 27th edition of the fest is scheduled to take place in Miami Beach from June 14-18, followed by a virtual event on June 19-25 at ABFF PLA. A press release announced the news.

As ambassador, the Emmy-winning writer, actor, and producer will raise awareness for the fest’s mission to raise black talent and budding voices in cinema. Former ambassadors include “Insecure” producer and star Issa Rae, Oscar-winning actress Halle Berry and “Empire” alumnus Taraji P. Henson included.

“I’m excited to collaborate with the festival to shed light on unique and unprecedented stories and the creatives behind them,” said Waithe, who recently appeared on the fifth and final season of Pamela Adlon’s “Better Things.”

Festival producer and ABFF president Nicole praised the multi-hyphenate on Friday For his advocacy for underrepresented 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. “Their commitment to raising diverse voices reflects ABFF’s commitment to bringing diversity to Hollywood.”

Previously, Waithe was the recipient of the Industry Renaissance Award at the 2020 ABFF Honors, an honor “content creator whose exemplary work in film and television contributes to changing perceptions of people of color in the entertainment industry,” states the release.

Waithe made history at the 2017 Emmys when she became the first black woman to win Outstanding Writing for a Comedy Series for her work on “Master of None.” His other small screen credits include “The Chi” and “Twenties”, both of which he produced. He directed “Queen and Slim,” Melina Matsukasa’s debut about a black couple who run away after killing a white cop in self-defense.

ABFF is an annual event for excellence in film and TV content by and about people of African descent, and is “dedicated to the belief that diverse artists deserve the same opportunities as their mainstream counterparts.” According to the festival’s website.