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"Dope," Taraji P. Henson, "Black-ish" & More

Get ready, NYC film lovers—this summer’s about to be insanely busy. In a great way.

With popular series like Rooftop Films and BAMcinemaFest on the horizon, New York’s cinephile community will have plenty of screenings, panels, and outdoor events to attend in the coming months, and now they can add one more must-attend fest to their increasingly bloated calendars. Running from June 11 through June 14, this year’s edition of the American Black Film Festival is stacked with major highlights. It'll all kick off with the New York premiere of director Rick Famuyiwa’s buzzy Dope, a breakout hit at this year’s Sundance Film Festival and executive-produced by Diddy and Pharrell Williams.

Living up to its opening film’s title, the ABFF will then keep its high profile going with a special conversation between Gayle King and Empire scene-stealer Taraji P. Henson, who’s also the festival’s 2015 Ambassador; a panel titled “How to Create & Monetize a Web Series,” moderated by Issa Rae, the comedic mastermind behind the online sensation The Adventures of an Awkward Black Girl; the “Hot in Hollywood” panel, featuring rising stars Tessa Thompson (Dear White People, Selma) and Jesse Williams (Grey’s Anatomy); and ABFF’s annual HBO Short Film Competition, which has helped launched the careers of now-in-demand filmmakers like Fruitvale Station director Ryan Coogler.

Check out the American Black Film Festival’s entire lineup and schedule on the fest's official site.