*Spike Lee has joined the American Black Film Festival (ABFF) in support of the Pro-Hollywood Initiative.   The Pro-Hollywood Initiative (PHI) is a pilot program created to encourage professional athletes to explore careers in the motion picture industry.  

The program’s main objectives are to stimulate athletes’ interest in the movie business, connecting them with talented filmmakers, educating them about the workings of the industry and promoting their involvement in the production of quality independent films.  

The inaugural program will be held during the 14th Annual American Black Film Festival June 23-26, 2010 in Miami, FL.

The PHI was inspired by the 2009 meeting between ABFF founder Jeff Friday and Baltimore Ravens All-Pro linebacker Terrell Suggs, who attended the festival for the first time that year after launching a film production company.

“I am proud to provide a platform for professional athletes to learn about the filmmaking process,” says festival founder Jeff Friday. “The dedication, focus and commitment to detail exhibited by most great athletes in their careers will suit them well in the film industry, regardless of whether their interest lies in front of or behind the camera. We hope to see more sports stars like Terrell engaged in the film arena as part of their off the field agendas.”