During opening night of the 26th Annual American Black Film Festival (ABFF), Issa Rae, this year’s festival ambassador, thanked ABFF for “Creating a space for creatives like me to meet my potential collaborators and my inspirations and for a supportive space for me to showcase my work.”

After operating virtually for the last two years, the festival resumed in-person, and from June 15-19, actors, producers, filmmakers, and aspiring creatives descended on Miami Beach in what many festivalgoers see as a kind of family reunion among Black creators.

ABFF festival founder Jeff Friday and his wife Nicole Friday, who serves as ABFF President, have helped catapult the careers of many Black artists, including Rae who screened the first episode of Season 2 of Insecure during the 2017 festival. It was a full-circle moment as Rae’s new series Rap Sh!t, which she shared was inspired by her first trip to ABFF, closed out this year’s festival.

From stirring documentary screenings to hilarious cast panels, keep reading to find out what else went down at this year’s star-studded festival event.

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