By Florence Anthony
The final day of the 16th Annual American Black Film Festival (ABFF), on Miami’s South Beach, was one filled with reward, recognition, and of course “Raising Izzie.” Cadillac, which was an official sponsor, contributed to the supercharged day with a series of events that included a media brunch with Don Butler, U.S. Marketing Vice-President and the culmination of the Black Movie Trivia Contest sponsored by Robert Townsend. The winner went home with an Ipad. During the course of the day there was a panel entitled HBO Presents, The Winner’s Circle, this year’s awards presentation where Cadillac presented a $5,000 check to Russ Parr for the Outstanding Director Award for his film “The Undershepherd.” The evening ended with the Cadillac VIP Reception honoring all the Best Director nominees on the roof of the Hotel Victor. Earlier in the week, ABFF’s founder Jeff Friday told me that the opening film, “Beasts of the Southern Wild, which opens on June 29, could win an Oscar. As soon as I got home, I read an article that said the film’s star, 8-year-old Quvenzhane’ Wallis, who plays the lead character Hushpuppy, is getting buzz she could be the youngest actor to win an Oscar since Tatum O’Neal in 1973. That’s what the American Black Film Festival is all about, introducing Black talent to the world.
Celebrity stylist and Fashion Star cutie Jeannie Mai held court recently at Haven’s Kitchen in New York City for the launch of Be. Wines – a new line of wines for the 20- something set. Well, I may be a “few” years past 20, but I’ll tell you one thing, that Be Chardonnay is off the chain!
50 Cent became the second rapper to crash his high-end vehicle the week of June 25 after he was rear-ended by a truck. Soulja Boy crashed his Bentley earlier in the week. 50 was rushed to a Queens, New York hospital on a stretcher to check for neck and back injuries, then released. A source said the rapper was ‘fine.” The accident occurred along New York’s Long Island Expressway. 50 was not driving his bullet-proof SUV at the time of the accident.
According to Tyler Perry, although Gayle King made it to his premiere of “Madea’s Witness Protection” on June 25 at the AMC Lincoln Square Theater in New York City, her BFF Oprah Winfrey got stuck in Miami. Tyler told me: “Oprah is trying to make it here. But, she was in Miami interviewing LeBron James and the parade ran late. She’ll get here if she can.” Oprah missed a great evening. Celebs on hand for the night included the movie’s cast members Eugene Levy, Marla Gibbs, Romeo, Denise Richards, Tom Arnold, Doris Roberts and John Amos, Tika Sumpter, Matt Barnes and Gloria Govan and Tommy Davidson.
New York Giants Quarterback Eli Manning took to the diamond to test out his pitching arm on Father’s Day in an effort to help Pampers pay homage to all the “Most Valuable Dads” out there. Accompanied by his 1-year-old daughter Ava, Eli took to the field – this time a baseball field – to throw out the ceremonial first pitch at Citifield before the New York Mets Father’s Day Game. Pampers is continuing the celebration of dads beyond Father’s Day. Families can log onto the Pampers Facebook page for a chance to win exciting prizes.