Actress Sanaa Lathan has been named president of the 2009 American Black Film Festival’s (ABFF) Grand Jury. The ABFF celebrates independent films by and about people of color.

Founded in 1997, the ABFF was born out of the need to generate distribution opportunities for independent Black films and promote cultural diversity within the motion picture industry. This year’s festival will take place in Miami, from June 24-27.

Lathan can be seen starring alongside Matthew Broderick in the upcoming film “Wonderful World,” and lends her voice to FOX’s upcoming “The Cleveland Show,” a spin-off of “Family Guy.” Known for her roles in “A Raisin in the Sun,” “Something New,” “Nip/Tuck,” “Love and Basketball” and “The Family That Preys,” Lathan has been in her share of both blockbuster and independent projects.

“I’m thrilled and honored to serve as the jury president for the 2009 ABFF. I’ve had the pleasure of attending the festival over the years, and have been so impressed by the work they do to nurture and encourage our up-and-coming filmmakers. The world of independent film is key to pushing the boundaries of our industry, and I find lately the films that excite me the most are coming out of the film festivals. I look forward to helping discover and showcase the future artists of Hollywood,” Lathan said.