McDonald’s USA to Send Three Rising Filmmakers to 20th Annual American Black Film Festival

‘Barbershop: The Next Cut’ film director, Malcolm D. Lee, to mentor finalists; One will win film equipment package valued at $2,500

Style Magazine Newswire | 6/2/2016, 5:24 p.m.
McDonald’s USA and the American Black Film Festival (ABFF) have chosen the top three filmmakers who entered their nationwide call ...

OAK BROOK, Ill. (June 1, 2016) –McDonald’s USA and the American Black Film Festival (ABFF) have chosen the top three filmmakers who entered their nationwide call for entries into the McDonald’s “My Community” Video Competition. Submissions were judged by a panel of film industry experts and three finalists rose to the top: Travis Dent of Baton Rouge, for his video, “Rhythm;” Marshalle Montgomery of Detroit for her video, “Rise Above;” and Tyshun Wardlaw of Milwaukee for her video “Be the Seed.” Each filmmaker received an all-expense paid trip to attend the highly-anticipated 20th ABFF in Miami, June 15-19, where their short videos will premiere.

Additionally, the finalists will have an exclusive opportunity to be mentored by critically-acclaimed film director Malcolm D. Lee (The Best Man; The Best Man Holiday; Barbershop: The Next Cut), who will provide invaluable industry tips and advice. One finalist will take home the grand prize – a film equipment package valued at $2,500 and an opportunity to have the winning video featured on McDonald’s More information regarding the competition can be found at

“Mentoring the finalists in this competition is such a great opportunity for me to be able to give back and encourage the next crop of filmmakers coming up behind me. I look forward to spending time with them at ABFF,” said Lee.

“We love having the chance to work with young filmmakers and seeing the great content they create,” said Jeff Friday, ABFF founder and CEO. “We’re proud to partner with McDonald’s again on this initiative and hope the finalists take away constructive information from participating in the competition and attending the festival.”

In February, McDonald’s and ABFF returned for the second year with a call to entries for up-and-coming filmmakers nationwide to create one 90-second video illustrating McDonald’s 365Black platform mantra, “Deeply Rooted in Your Community.” By focusing on ‘my community,’ the campaign provides an opportunity for the filmmakers to showcase and celebrate the diverse communities they represent. Not confined to just the neighborhood in which they live, ‘my community’ includes shared passions, hobbies, interests and social organizations.

“At McDonald’s, we are thrilled to be able to support filmmakers with this platform,” said William Rhodes, McDonald’s U.S. marketing director. “Partnering with ABFF again this year helps us to continue to assist in cultivating the talents of people from the communities we serve.”

The ‘My Community’ Video Competition and ABFF’s vision to promote diversity in the film and television industry align with McDonald’s 365Black platform — an initiative that celebrates the pride, heritage and achievements of African-Americans year round. McDonald’s encourages those interested in the competition to follow @365Black on Twitter and join the conversation using #365BlackFilm. To learn more about the 365Black initiative, visit

To learn more about the American Black Film Festival and the ‘My Community’ Video Competition, visit Follow @ABFF on Twitter and @AmericanBlackFilmFestival on Instagram and join the conversation using #ABFF20.

About McDonald’s

McDonald's USA, LLC, serves a variety of menu options made with quality ingredients to more than 27 million customers every day. Nearly 90 percent of McDonald's 14,000 U.S. restaurants are independently owned and operated by businessmen and women. Customers can now log online for free at approximately 11,500 participating Wi-Fi enabled McDonald's U.S. restaurants. For more information, visit, or follow us on Twitter @McDonalds and Facebook To learn more about the 365Black initiative, visit and follow @365Black on Twitter.

About The American Black Film Festival

The American Black Film Festival (ABFF) is a four-day event dedicated to showcasing quality film and television content by and about people of African descent. Annually held during the month of June, the ABFF is committed to the belief that Black artists and content creators deserve the same opportunities as their mainstream counterparts. ABFF founder Jeff Friday, conceived the festival in 1997 as a vehicle to promote diversity in the motion picture industry. Today, the festival is widely recognized for showcasing established and new Black talent, both in front of and behind the camera, and is regarded as one of the leading film festivals in the world. The ABFF is produced by Film Life, Inc. and Black Enterprise.