Sony Pictures Entertainment and Jeff Friday Media, Production House of the American Black Film Festival Founder, Announce Unique First-Look Deal
Under the Multi-Year Partnership, the Studio Secures First Access to Festival Content and Top Emerging Filmmakers
Culver City, CA – Sony Pictures Entertainment (SPE) signed a unique first-look deal with Jeff Friday Media (JFM), the newly-formed production house launched by Jeff Friday, founder of the American Black Film Festival (ABFF) -- the leading annual film festival for Black content creators. Under the multi-year deal, the studio will be offered first consideration for narrative feature films submitted to the Festival, and year-round access and introductions to emerging filmmakers discovered by Jeff Friday, CEO of JFM.
The deal will broaden SPE’s pipeline, ushering in the next generation of storytellers, and accelerating exposure and opportunity for filmmaking talent of color. Friday will produce original films helmed by talent he discovers.
“Diverse voices and stories propel our studio and the industry at large. We are grateful to Jeff for opening up his vast rolodex to us and are looking forward to meeting and working with these brilliant, creative minds,” said Josh Greenstein, Sony Pictures Motion Picture Group President.
“We are very excited to grow our partnership with SPE and create opportunities for emerging writers and directors of color to produce studio films,” said Jeff Friday, founder and CEO of Jeff Friday Media. “Our goal is to aggressively expand the market for Black and Brown content and demonstrate that diversity is great for the motion picture business.”
“This distinct partnership accelerates relationship-building, inroads and opportunity on both sides, which is critical for a sustainable pipeline,” said Paul Martin and Keith Weaver, co-chairs of Sony Pictures Action, the studio’s racial equity and social justice initiative. “We are energized about capturing the breadth of emerging storytellers and content and bridging the gap; funneling creators and projects directly into the hands of our engaged studio executives.”
For over two decades, Jeff Friday – distinguished producer and film financier – has supported the early work of many of the industry’s most successful Black artists and content creators through ABFF such as Anthony Anderson, Issa Rae, Ava DuVernay, Kevin Hart, Omari Hardwick, Kerry Washington, Halle Berry, Ryan Coogler (Black Panther), Will Packer (Girls Trip), Saladin K. Patterson (The Big Bang Theory) and Ben Watkins (Hand of God) to name a few.
This partnership furthers SPE’s long-standing relationship with Friday. SPE most recently became the founding sponsor of Friday’s latest endeavor, the Social Justice Now Film Festival (SJNFF). The inaugural festival will take place virtually October 21 through October 25, 2020, and showcase content to heighten awareness, inspire action, and confront the social and economic issues disproportionately impacting communities of color.
ABOUT JEFF FRIDAY MEDIA:
Jeff Friday Media (JFM) is a production company founded by American Black Film Festival creator Jeff Friday in 2019 as a platform to license and produce a diverse portfolio of feature films, unscripted television and digital content. The studio’s output will focus on Black and Brown audiences, and is designed for dissemination across an array of platforms including major studio partnerships, streaming platforms, traditional broadcast and cable television networks. The company maintains its headquarters in Los Angeles, Calif.
ABOUT SONY PICTURES ENTERTAINMENT:
Sony Pictures Entertainment (SPE) is a subsidiary of Tokyo-based Sony Corporation. SPE's global operations encompass motion picture production, acquisition, and distribution; television production, acquisition, and distribution; television networks; digital content creation and distribution; operation of studio facilities; and development of new entertainment products, services and technologies. Sony Pictures Television operates dozens of wholly-owned or joint-venture production companies around the world. SPE’s Motion Picture Group production organizations include Columbia Pictures, Screen Gems, TriStar Pictures, 3000 Pictures, Sony Pictures Animation, Stage 6 Films, AFFIRM Films, and Sony Pictures Classics. For additional information, visit http://www.sonypictures.com/corp/divisions.html