ABFF Festival winner ‘Curtis’ addresses dreams deferred

Curtis was the Jury Award Winner For Best U.S. Narrative at the prestigious film festival

American Black Film Festival is currently in full swing, with a massive slate of films from Black talent all over the world. One of last year’s big winners, Curtis starring Dwight Henry, is officially available to rent or purchase online.

Curtis certainly left its mark during ABFF’s 2020 ceremony. The film was the 2020 Jury Award Winner For Best U.S. Narrative, and also was an Audience Award Winner at the Atlanta Film Festival. The film from 1091 Pictures is described as a poignant drama, and marks Chris Bailey‘s directorial debut.

Photo via 1021 Pictures: Curtis

The official film synopsis describes following a former star basketball player who is, “…trapped between reality and the cobwebs of his own memory. That battle is only exacerbated when he discovers that his high school championship ring is missing. As he tries to unravel the mystery behind the disappearance of his memorabilia, Curtis befriends a neighborhood boy who helps him along the way. But even with the anchoring effect of his newfound friend keeping him in the present, the search plunges Curtis deeper into the murky space between reality and his adapted version of it.”

Director Chris Bailey shared an official statement regarding the universal themes in the film. He explained, “My whole mantra for the film is: Everybody has a story. So I’m very grateful to the entire team at 1091 Pictures for seeing the importance of sharing a story like Curtis with the world.”

1091’s head of content Eric Min also opened up about the film with a statement, sharing, “We were impressed with Chris’ vision and scrupulous storytelling in this powerful and important film and appreciated the way he was able to tackle such difficult subject matter in a relatable and heartfelt way.”

ABFF American Black Film Festival thegrio.com
Jeff Friday, founder of the American Black Film Festival, speaks onstage in Beverly Hills during “BET Presents the American Black Film Festival Honors” in Feb. 2017 in Beverly Hills. (Photo by Kevin Winter/Getty Images)

As TheGrio previously reported, that ABFF is currently underway with a hybrid in-person and virtual ceremony for 2021. The festival is celebrating its 25th anniversary this year, and as always is “showcasing emerging artists and content made by and about people of African descent.” Films like Homegoing, Voodoo Macbeth, and more, continue ABFF’s trend of selecting projects highlighting important issues.

Starting Nov. 2, 2021, Curtis has been made available to purchase and rent.

For more on ABFF and this year’s impressive lineup, head to the official site here.

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