NICE CROWD, the preeminent events company showcasing BIPOC creators named writer, producer and multi-hyphenate entrepreneur, Issa Rae, to the newly created position of Creative Director for the 2024 American Black Film Festival (ABFF). As the ABFF Creative Director, Rae, who has been an outspoken advocate for under-represented creators in Hollywood, will work closely with ABFF co-founders and producers, Nicole and Jeff Friday, in programming the festival lineup, and will help bring awareness to the Festival’s mission of showcasing Black talent and discovering new voices.

The 28th annual ABFF will be held June 12–16 in Miami Beach.

NICE CROWD, formerly ABFF Ventures, offers year-round events including comedy, health and wellness, food, and fine art events. Dedicated to highlighting BIPOC culture and achievements, the events company’s name, NICE CROWD, emphasizes the power of gathering.

“Throughout the course of her career, Issa Rae has made an indelible impact within the entertainment ecosystem ranging from her wide array of roles — in front of and behind the camera — to her fierce advocacy for equitable representation and opportunities for Black creatives,” said ABFF co-founders and producers, Nicole and Jeff Friday. “We couldn’t think of a better partner to help us continue to embody the ABFF mission of showcasing Black talent — and discovering and amplifying new voices.”

“I’m honored to join NICE CROWD as Creative Director for the 2024 American Black Film Festival. As one of the first major festivals to showcase my work, ABFF continues to elevate Black creatives from the ground up, and I’m excited to join its co-founders and producers, Nicole and Jeff Friday, in that mission,” said Issa Rae.

“The Greater Miami Convention & Visitors Bureau(GMCVB) is proud to once again join in support of the ABFF and the incredible impact this festival has on Greater Miami’s tourism landscape,” said Connie Kinnard, Senior Vice President of Multicultural Tourism & Development for the GMCVB. “With Nicole and Jeff Friday at the helm, ABFF continues its commitment to shining a light on diverse, up-and-coming talent, ultimately benefiting the Greater Miami and Miami Beach community at-large.”

Since its inception, the highly anticipated annual ABFF has become a cornerstone for diversity in Hollywood. It has premiered the work and supported the careers of many of today’s most successful filmmakers, actors, writers and stand-up comedians and is recognized as the standard bearer of excellence for Black creativity.

Rae’s connection to the ABFF brand was previously established when the festival showcased some of her earlier work at the American Black Film Festival, and in 2022, she served as the Ambassador. With her own unique flare and infectious sense of humor, Rae first received attention for her award-winning web series and the accompanying New York Times best-seller, “The Misadventures of Awkward Black Girl.” She created and starred in the Peabody-award-winning HBO series Insecure which garnered her multiple Emmy® and Golden Globe® nominations. Rae has also made her mark on the big screen, starring in BARBIE, INTO THE SPIDERVERSE, and the upcoming release AMERICAN FICTION.

In 2020 Rae formed HOORAE, a multi-faceted media company that develops content across mediums in an effort to continue to break boundaries in storytelling and representation. HOORAE is comprised of HOORAE Media for film, TV and digital; Raedio, the music label, music supervision company, and “audio everywhere” company; and ColorCreative, its management division. Via HOORAE’s WarnerMedia deal, Issa has also expanded her Executive Producer slate with the Emmy-award nominated A BLACK LADY SKETCH SHOW, and the critically acclaimed MAX series, RAP SH!T.

The 2024 ABFF sponsors and partners to date are Cadillac, Comcast NBCUniversal (Presenting); City of Miami Beach, Greater Miami Convention & Visitors Bureau (GMCVB), (Major); American Airlines, Sony Pictures Entertainment (Official).

The American Black Film Festival will take place June 12–16 in Miami Beach, Florida. For festival information, including submission deadlines and how to obtain an ABFF pass, visit And follow @AmericanBlackFilmFestival on Instagram and Facebook for the latest updates.

About ABFF

The American Black Film Festival (ABFF) is an annual event dedicated to recognizing Black talent and showcasing quality film and television content by and about people of African descent. ABFF was created in 1997 as a vehicle to strengthen the Black entertainment community by fostering resource sharing, education and artistic collaboration. Now in its 28th year, the festival has become a key proponent of diversity in Hollywood, providing a platform for emerging Black artists. ABFF, the company’s flagship event, is a property of NICE CROWD, formerly ABFF Ventures LLC, a leading entertainment company in the event tourism arena. To learn more about NICE CROWD events, visit


NICE CROWD, formerly ABFF Ventures, is a leading entertainment company in the event tourism arena. NICE CROWD specializes in the development and marketing of festivals and other live experiences that showcase BIPOC culture and achievement while promoting travel to leading destinations around the world. To learn more about NICE CROWD events, visit


Photo Courtesy of NICE CROWD

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