June 25th, 2010
05:19 PM ET
To the creator of the American Black Film Festival, it feels like things have come full circle.
Jeff Friday, who is also the chief executive officer of Film Life, said he’s awed by the fact that in 1998, Will Packer and Rob Hardy had to flip a coin to determine which one of them would bring their film “Trois” to the film festival currently running in Miami.
“We gave them a platform and it makes me proud,” Friday said. “Now they have a $40 million film which opened the festival ['Takers'] and is being distributed by Screen Gems, and 'Stomp the Yard: Homecoming' is our centerpiece film. It’s astounding how far they have come.”
The pair head up Rainforest Films and Hardy said they were excited to “come back home and get some of that love” at the ABFF.
“Will and I got our start here and it’s really a launching pad for us,” Hardy said. “To be able to be back with not just one, but two films is a huge deal for us.”
"We have to, as filmmakers, we have to give back," said Packer, who won the coin toss all those years ago. "This is the premiere event for directors, writers, actors and producers of color. We would be remiss if we didn't take our work and show it here."
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