Future NBA hall-of-famer Dwyane Wade retired earlier this month after an illustrious 16 year career. Wade — who will go down as one of the game’s greatest shooting guards ever — left an impact on teammates, opponents, fans and the league as a whole that will be hard to replicate. His legacy however extended far beyond the arena and will be felt long after the last buzzer has sounded.
In an ad released by Budweiser, Wade does a ‘jersey swap’ not with his fellow NBA players, but everyday people whose lives he’s impacted beyond measure. One person in particular offers a glimpse into Wade’s upbringing and what he went through that few would have known beforehand.
This is one of the most moving ads I’ve seen in sometime and shows the power and impact that brands can create when they tell a story from a unique perspective.
The American Black Film Festival kicks off this week in its 22nd year and the festival really does give black filmmakers a chance to laugh, celebrate, and fellowship around film and cinema.
The festival is back to its original home of Miami after taken a two-year hiatus up north in New York a few years back. ABFF brings industry insiders and newcomers together for a chance to really talk about what projects are going on and how to break into the industry.
I actually had the privilege of attending the festival in 2015, one of the two years it was held in New York (2014 being the other) and had a really good time. In addition to meeting people like Andrea Lewis (you may remember her from her role on Degrassi) and Sali Richardson-Whitfield (she played ‘Angela’ in A Low Down Dirty Shame), I got to meet people like Pete Chatmon, an up and coming director who actually directed an episode of the hit series Insecure for season 3. Seeing these people in the industry and being able to speak with them made the dream of working full-time in the entertainment field feel more real.
In addition to networking opportunities, there were informative panels, the comedy show and plenty of vendors as well. It was at one of the vendor stations that I got to interact with former NFL running back turned actor Thomas Jones. I remember him telling me that acting was always something he felt he could do and once his football career ended, it seemed only logical to pursue it full-time.
Me at ABFF in 2015
There was a panel with Kenya Barris and Tracy Ellis-Ross emceed by Larry Wilmore that talked about the behind the scenes work that went in to making Blackish a hit sitcom. It got a lil awkward though when during the question and answer session someone from the audience asked Kenya if he was hiring.
For any reading this who has even an inkling of wanting to attend an event where they’ll get a chance to learn about film and interact with people doing the work they envision themselves doing, I definitely recommend going to ABFF. I definitely hope to be back next year.