Our Debut as an American Black Film Festival Premier Sponsor

As part of Turner’s commitment to expand opportunities to storytellers of all backgrounds, Turner recently launched a three-year partnership with the American Black Film Festival (ABFF).

Serving as a premier sponsor of this year’s festival, Turner hosted a variety events, starting with a Careers in Entertainment session led by Walter Newman, VP for Comedy Development at Adult Swim and Ramon Escobar, VP for Talent Recruitment and Diversity at CNN. Both shared their personal journeys to the “Senior Suite," and gave insight on how to build skills in their respective fields. The event was followed by an opportunity for festival goers to network with recruiting teams from various Turner networks.

Day two of the festival featured a VR content creation panel discussion, in which Escobar led a conversation on the impact of social media on storytelling at CNN. And Michael Quigley, EVP Commercial Operations, Content Strategy and Monetization, Turner, discussed the importance of the medium to our overall content strategy and ultimately our bottom line. Turner also hosted a screening of the opening episode of TNT's new hit series Claws. After the screening, the series' stars Karrueche Tran and Judy Reyes, along with executive producer and showrunner Janine Sherman Barrios, participated in a brief panel session moderated by popular TV host Sherri Shepherd.

The ABFF and Turner closed out the three-day fest by announcing and celebrating the two winners of the inaugural ABFF & Turner Writing Contest, in which writers with no professional television experience submitted pilot scripts for a comedy or drama series. The winners, Darrin Dortch for comedy and Derege Harding for drama, each received an all-expense paid trip to the festival, a cash prize and an opportunity to meet TBS & TNT's Jennifer Kim, VP of Original Programing for TBS, and Maura Feerick, Manager Original programming for TNT, to discuss their scripts.

Since the festival began in 1997, ABFF has become one of the leading festivals in the world to celebrate independent filmmakers, actors and Black cinema, annually attracting several thousand attendees. Turner’s investment with ABFF is a part of our effort support emerging artists and elevate a range of diverse voices and perspectives on and off camera.

For more information on diversity and inclusion at Turner, please visit: www.turner.com/diversity