Rick Famuyiwa‘s critically acclaimed nerds-in-the-hood drama, DOPE, will open the 19th annual American Black Film Festival (ABFF) on Thursday, June 11, 2015 at the SVA Theatre (333 West 23rd Street, NYC).
Presented by the Motion Picture Assoc. of America, Inc., ABFF’s events and screenings will take place at the New York Hilton Midtown, AMC Theatres and SVA Theatre June 11 – June 14, 2015.
DOPE‘s New York City premiere comes ahead of its nationwide theatrical release on June 19, 2015 in U.S. via Open Road Films.
“DOPE couldn’t be a more fitting film to open the festival,” said ABFF CEO and Founder Jeff Friday. “Rick Famuyiwa has taken a classic genre and told a unique story within it, combining all the elements that make a great film–outstanding writing, directing, cast and music. Our audience will truly enjoy the journey. The mission of the ABFF is to promote quality Black films to a wide range of audiences, and to encourage investment and artistic collaboration.”
“We are excited to continue enhancing our ongoing partnership with the American Black Film Festival by sponsoring this year’s Opening Night Film,” added MPAA CEO and Chairman Senator Chris Dodd. “I would like to give a big thank-you to our good friends at Open Road Films for collaborating with us to bring their fantastic film, DOPE, to the festival audience. Having a film of this caliber, as well as exclusive previews from the MPAA’s member studios’ upcoming slate of films, will ensure a wonderful experience for all those in attendance.”
Beginning the year as one of the breakout hits of the Sundance Film Festival, the comedy-drama follows Malcolm (Shameik Moore), a high school geek who is carefully navigating life in one of the toughest neighborhoods in Inglewood, California while juggling college applications, academic interviews, and the SAT.
With dreams to attend Harvard, a chance invitation to an underground party leads him into a gritty adventure filled with offbeat characters and bad choices that could allow him to go from being a geek to being dope to ultimately being himself.
Also written by director Rick Famuyiwa (The Wood / Brown Sugar), DOPE stars Tony Revolori (The Grand Budapest Hotel), Kiersey Clemons (Transparent), Blake Anderson (Workaholics), Zoë Kravitz (Mad Max: Fury Road), A$AP Rocky, Tyga, Keith Stanfield (Selma), Casey Veggies, Vince Staples, Chanel Iman and Rick Fox (Hit the Floor).
The ABFF screening will be followed by an old-school hip-hop after-party at Stage 48 (605 West 48th Street).
Hosted by the legendary Doug E. Fresh, the event will include former Boogie Down Productions member DJ D-Nice on the ones and twos and special performances by iconic hip-hop artists.
DOPE will also have an encore screening during the festival on Sunday, June 14, at the AMC Empire 25 Theatre on 42nd Street in New York City. See the full ABFF schedule at abff.com.