ABFF Ventures, in association with de Passe Jones Entertainment, announced Thursday that actor and Emmy-winning writer Lena Waithe will present Ava DuVernay with the “Industry Visionary Award” at the 2018 American Black Film Festival (ABFF) Honors on Sunday, February 25.
Held at the Beverly Hilton Hotel in Los Angeles, the annual gala will celebrate the best in Black movies and television, particularly those individuals and projects that have had a significant impact on entertainment and culture. As a champion of diversity and inclusion in Hollywood, ABFF Honors is set to award iconic actor and singer Billy Dee Williams, Power’s Omari Hardwick, Girls Trip breakout star Tiffany Haddish and, of course, award-winning writer and director Ava DuVernay.
Just in case it wasn’t already obvious, DuVernay’s hot streak post-Selma has been marching along with one successful project after another in TV and film, including the highly-anticipated film adaptation, A Wrinkle in Time. Thursday’s announcement confirming Waithe as a presenter is pretty exciting, especially coming on the heels of her historic 2017 Emmys win for comedy writing. And this presenter-recipient mash-up couldn’t be more perfect, as Waithe actually worked as an assistant on DuVernay’s directorial debut, I Will Follow.
ABFF Honors has also chosen a legendary host to complement its star-studded guest list and honorees—comedian and actor Cedric the Entertainer.
“I am thrilled to honor Ava DuVernay,” wrote ABFF Ventures CEO Jeff Friday in a press release. “She is the embodiment of the importance of inclusion in Hollywood and deserves recognition as a creative force, as well as a forward-thinking leader in our industry. I’m equally excited to have the incomparable Cedric the Entertainer at the helm of what will be an enlightening and entertaining show.”
ABFF Honors is one of the more celebrated, illustrious events of the Hollywood Awards season and Black History Month. The evening will begin with red carpet arrivals, followed by an elegant dinner and the awards presentation.