SHAFT Selected As Opening Night Film at the 2019 American Black Film Festival


New Line Cinema’s action comedy Shaft will open the 2019 American Black Film Festival (ABFF) on June 12 at the New World Center in Miami. Opening nationwide on June 14, the latest film in the popular franchise is directed by Tim Story (“Ride Along,” “Think Like a Man” franchises) and stars three generations of John Shaft: Samuel L. Jackson (“Avengers: Infinity War,” “Glass”), Jessie T. Usher (“Independence Day: Resurgence”) and Richard Roundtree (“What Men Want”); along with Regina Hall (“Girls Trip”). The ABFF runs from June 12-16.

The new film follows JJ—aka John Shaft, Jr. (Usher)— as he works to uncover the truth behind his best friend’s untimely death. For this he will need an education only his dad can provide. Absent throughout JJ’s youth, the legendary locked-and-loaded John Shaft (Jackson) agrees to help his progeny navigate the streets of Harlem. And while JJ’s own FBI analyst’s badge may clash with his dad’s trademark leather duster, there’s no denying family. Besides, Shaft’s got an agenda of his own, and a score to settle that’s professional and personal.

Shaft also stars Alexandra Shipp (“X-Men: Apocalypse”), Titus Welliver (“Argo”) and Cliff “Method Man” Smith (“The Deuce,” “Keanu”). The screenplay is written by Kenya Barris (“Black-ish”) & Alex Barnow (“The Goldbergs”). John Davis produced the film, with Richard Brener, Josh Mack, Tim Story, Ira Napoliello, Kenya Barris, Marc S. Fischer serving as executive producers. Shaft will be in theaters nationwide June 14, 2019 and distributed in North America by Warner Bros. Pictures.

“We are thrilled Shaft will be the opening night film at the 2019 ABFF. The original classic film helped to define a genre that revolutionized black storytelling, not only for its powerful imagery and style, but also for Isaac Hayes’ award-winning soundtrack. Its impact is still significant in our culture today, and we are extremely excited to see Tim Story’s rendition of this brand new multi-generational feature,” says Nicole Friday, General Manager of ABFF Ventures.

ABFF remains committed to introducing emerging content creators of African descent to the industry at large and is recognized as one of the leading film festivals in the world. Festival passes are on sale now at, and offer five (5) different levels of access to festival events.

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