LOS ANGELES, CA (FNN NEWS) Today, the American Black Film Festival (ABFF) announced the 2016 ABFF Honors’ television and film nominees. ABFF Honors is an annual gala saluting excellence in motion pictures and television. Its mission is to celebrate Black culture by recognizing individuals, movies and television shows that have had a significant impact on American entertainment, as well as those who are proponents of championing diversity and inclusion in Hollywood. Actor and comedian Mike Epps will host this year’s ceremony on February 21 at the Beverly Hilton in Los Angeles.
The winners of both the television and film categories will be determined by the 2016 ABFF Honors Awards Jury, a blue ribbon panel of actors, filmmakers, film critics and entertainment diversity executives. To qualify for nominations, a film must feature a lead actor of African descent and have had a U.S. theatrical release in 2015. Television nominees must feature a lead actor of African descent or be created by a person of African descent. The show must also have had a U.S. season premiere in 2015.
This year’s “Film of the Year” nominees addressed many current political, social and economic issues. Included are two biopics: one about hip-hop’s most revolutionary rap group, and the other about a doctor who challenged the NFL. Two nominees take us on the journey through the eyes of a child: one into the life of a child soldier, while the other follows a student from being a geek to being dope. Another contender stepped into the ring to give us a reboot of the “Rocky” franchise. Our final nominee pushed the envelope in a satire, which focused on the violence in Chicago based on an ancient Greek comedy. Our nominees for “Film of the Year” are:
BEASTS OF NO NATION (Netflix)
CHI-RAQ (Amazon Studios, Roadside Attractions)
CONCUSSION (Sony Pictures Entertainment)
CREED (Warner Bros. Entertainment)
DOPE (Open Road Films)
STRAIGHT OUTTA COMPTON (Universal Pictures)
Many television shows over the past year have had us glued to our screens. There are five that topped our list to receive the “Television Show of the Year” honor. Four had us tuned in weekly to see what will happen next in the lives of the Lyons and Johnson families, as well as asking ourselves “Will Mary Jane ever find true love?” and “Will Ghost continue to live a double life?” Our final nominee gives new definition to “innocent until proven guilty.” The nominees for “Television Show of the Year” are:
BEING MARY JANE (BET)
HOW TO GET AWAY WITH MURDER (ABC)
“I have always believed that the Black artists in Hollywood would be more empowered if they were more committed to supporting one another, attending celebrations of their culture and relied less on mainstream validation of their work. I hope that the success of ABFF Honors will change things,” said Jeff Friday, President and CEO, ABFF Ventures and Creator of ABFF Honors.
In addition to recognizing the top television shows and films of the year, ABFF Honors will pay tribute to film legends, along with today’s creative forces, who together inspire the filmmakers and entrepreneurs of tomorrow. Iconic actress Diahann Carroll will be presented with the Hollywood Legacy Award, and television and film producer Will Packer will receive the Distinguished ABFF Alumni Award at the 2016 ABFF Honors. The Excellence in the Arts Award and Rising Star Award honorees will be announced in the coming weeks.
ABFF Honors will be one of the highlights of the Hollywood Awards season and Black History Month. The event is produced by ABFF Ventures (a partnership between Film Life and Black Enterprise) in association with de Passe Jones Entertainment. The 2016 ABFF Honors sponsors are Cadillac and BET Networks (Presenting Sponsors), Prudential Inc. and Moet Hennessy (Gold Sponsors) and Hilton Worldwide and Morgan Stanley (Corporate Sponsor).
Florida House Democratic Leader-Designate Fentrice Driskell Announces Leadership Team
TALLAHASSEE, Fla. – Florida House Democratic Leader-Designate Fentrice Driskell (D-Tampa) today announced the appointment of the following Democratic Representatives to serve on the House Democratic Caucus leadership team for the 2022-24 legislative term:
- Leader Pro Tempore: Representative Dotie Joseph (D-Miami);
- Policy Chair: Representative Kelly Skidmore (D-Boca Raton);
- Floor Leader: Representative Michael “Mike” Gottlieb (D-Davie); and
- Whip: Representative Christine Hunschofsky (D-Parkland).
“The House Democratic Caucus is made up of some of the strongest, most fierce champions of the people in the entire state,” said Leader-Designate Driskell. “It is an honor and great pleasure to work with these individuals in this new capacity, and all of them are prepared to lead the Caucus in the face of the challenges that lie ahead of us.”
As Leader Pro Tempore, Representative Joseph will assist the Democratic Leader in carrying out designated responsibilities and perform such Leadership responsibilities as are assigned, including stepping in for the Leader as needed.
“I have had the distinct pleasure of knowing Representative Joseph for over 20 years. From the time we were at Georgetown Law to now, she has always been a consistent champion for justice. The issues she advocates for on behalf of all Floridians makes Representative Joseph an invaluable asset in defending Floridians against extremist Republican policies,” said Leader-Designate Driskell. “I look forward to Representative Joseph’s leadership as a key member of my team over the next two years.”
In her role as the Caucus Policy Chair, Representative Skidmore will be responsible for ensuring the Caucus continues to champion legislation that positively impacts all Floridians, and will lead discussions about bills before the House at Caucus meetings.
“As the previous Policy Chair for the Caucus, I know what is needed to do this job. Appointing Representative Skidmore as Policy Chair was an easy choice,” said Leader-Designate Driskell. “She stood out as a prime member in understanding policy during the last legislative term. Representative Skidmore also brings with her a wealth of experience as both a former House and Senate staffer and House member. Applying her unique skillset to this new role will benefit the Caucus and all Floridians.”
In his role as Floor Leader, Representative Gottlieb will be responsible in interpreting the House Rules, ensuring the Caucus adheres to the agreed upon rules, and working with his Republican counterpart in advocating for fair amounts of time be allotted to the Caucus in debating different pieces of legislation.
“Two things I greatly appreciate about Representative Gottlieb are his refreshing candor and strong fortitude,” said Leader-Designate Driskell. “As the minority party in the Legislature, we’re aware of the challenges that lie ahead of us. What we need right now is someone who is unwavering under extreme pressure to help guide our Caucus during difficult moments. Representative Gottlieb is perfectly suited for this role.”
As Whip, Representative Hunschofsky will be responsible for keeping all Democratic Caucus members apprised of Caucus policy on any bills or issues before the House.
“Representative Hunschofsky has an amazing ability to get things done,” said Leader-Designate Driskell. “Not only does Representative Hunschofsky possess a wealth of knowledge due to her experience as the former mayor of Parkland, Florida, she is also a champion of many initiatives close to Floridians’ hearts, such as expanding access to quality mental health care. I know Representative Hunschofsky’s knowledge and ability will help prepare our Caucus for the challenges of the next two year.”
The Florida House Democratic Caucus will convene during Organizational Session taking place Nov. 21-22, 2022 in advance of the 2023 Legislative Session scheduled to begin on March 7, 2023.
VIDEO: State Rep. Dianne Hart elected chair of the Florida Legislative Black Caucus
ORLANDO, Fla. (FNN) – State Representative Dianne Hart (D-Tampa), incoming Chair of the Florida Legislative Black Caucus, talks briefly with Florida National News on the importance of the Florida Blue Florida Classic at Camping World Stadium in Orlando Saturday. The Florida Classic is an annual college football rivalry game between Bethune–Cookman University and Florida A&M University.
Hart’s Twitter Statement:
Hart’s statement: “I’m honored to have been elected as the Chair of the Florida Legislative Black Caucus.” “I’m grateful to my colleagues for their support and for trusting me to move this important caucus forward.”
During the 2021 and 2022 Legislative Sessions, Rep. Hart served on the following House committees, including Democratic Ranking Member of the Infrastructure and Tourism Appropriations Subcommittee, Judiciary Committee, Joint Committee on Public Counsel Oversight, Ways & Means Committee, Criminal Justice & Public Safety Subcommittee, State Legislative Redistricting Subcommittee and Select Subcommittee on Authorized Gaming Activity.
Hart was first elected to the Florida House of Representatives in 2018. She is also the CEO of the East Tampa Business and Civic Association.
Former State Rep. Bruce Antone Ready To Rejoin Florida House
ORLANDO, Fla. (FNN) – Former Florida State Representative Bruce Antone served 12 years (six terms) in the Florida House of Representatives and defeated incumbent Democratic Rep. Travaris McCurdy during the August primary election to represent Orange County in the newly draw District 41 House seat.
Antone was among eleven candidates seeking election to county, state and Congressional seats participating in a candidate forum hosted by CFABJ, NAACP and the Florida Voters League, Wednesday, October 19, 2022.
Green Party nominee Robin Denise Harris is the only potential road block in Antone’s return to Tallahassee and faces off with him in the November general election. The District 41 House seat has an overwhelmingly Democratic voter base.
During his time in the Florida House, Antone was elected by his colleagues to serve as the Chairman of the 29-member Florida Legislative Black Caucus.
The general election is Tuesday, November 8, 2022.
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