Award winning filmmaker and hometown native, Addison Henderson’s feature film G.O.D. (GIVERS OF DEATH, shot here in the city of Buffalo) will be making its World Premiere as one of the official selected features of the 2020 American Black Film Festival (ABFF) that begins Friday August 21 through Sunday August 30.
The festival is widely considered the preeminent pipeline for Black artists in front of and behind the camera and a platform for emerging Black artists many of whom have become today’s most successful in Hollywood like Ryan Coogler (Black Panther) Issa Rae (Insecure) Omari Hardwick (Power) and countless others.
The film G.O.D. (Givers of Death) is an apocalyptic, urban sci-fi tale of redemption and an entire city’s quest for peace in a world where a virus has wiped out one third of the earth’s population. With no cure in sight and imminent, painful death befalling all victims, those who are too afraid to end their own lives hire hitmen knows as Givers to bring them relief and peace. The film was shot in various unique locations around the city of buffalo as well as local hires for crew and cast that also included Jonathan Sterritt (GOING NOWHERE), Lou Lombardi (THE SOPRANOS, 24), JJ Alfieri (CLOVER) and Lagralane principals Jason Delane Lee (CRIMINAL MINDS) and Yvonne Huff Lee (LUCKY).
We spoke to the filmmaker about what it was like having his first feature as an official selection in this year’s American Black Film Festival.
“Being in the ABFF was always part of my plan when I made this film. So many people of high regard have gotten their start at this festival.” Henderson reflected on his days as a volunteer at ABFF and his dream to make the competition. “God knows I’ve tried over the years with various short films but deep inside I knew it would be my feature that would get accepted.”
Sixteen years ago, the filmmaker screened his first narrative documentary Forgotten City with Korey Green at ABFF but missed the deadline for the competition “We would have won had we made the deadline…But now is the time for me and my team and this movie.”
Henderson’s goal with the film is clear despite the uncanny timing of its debut. “ With the film, I wanted people to examine the meaning to life, question the universe, question God, and really think about what peace means to them …What I didn’t know is when I was writing a movie about a pandemic we would be living in one.” ( click below to see official G.O.D. Trailer )
The emerging filmmaker has plans for more projects that include bringing more productions to the City of Buffalo and is hopeful to snag a win at this year’s ABFF. . “I have so many stories to tell, so many Buffalo stories I’m thankful that my plan worked out. Hopefully your hometown boy comes away with an award”!
You can log in to ABFF.com to register on Aug 21 for a free community pass that gives access to a wide selection of featured narratives, shorts documentaries, web series and over 30 celebrity conversations, panels and seminars for the festival duration.
On August 30 be sure to log in to ABFF.com or IMDB.com by 8pm for the pre-recording of the ABFF award show hosted by Boris Kodjoe & Nicole Ari Parker with celebrity presenters where you can find out if his film G.O.D. wins any awards as well as enjoy closing night virtual parties.
Henderson said that after the ABFF premiere, the production team will be looking to secure distribution for the film. He is currently participating in the Producers Guild of America Power of Diversity Master Workshop. His supernatural action television series, THE HEALER, was one of only ten projects selected for the 2020 program.
ABOUT ADDISON HENDERSON: Henderson shot his first film, THE FORGOTTEN CITY, a documentary exploring social issues and the murder of his best friend, thirteen years ago in Buffalo, NY. His second project, THE EXPERIENCE, was filmed in Buffalo and Ghana, West Africa. He has since directed and starred in several short films, stage plays, web-series and commercials. Henderson is the founder/owner of Night Owl Republic, the production company for G.O.D. www.addisonhenderson.com
ABOUT THE LAGRALANE GROUP: Lagralane is a collection of actors, creative investors and philanthropists who strive to bring diverse and truthful stories to audiences through strategic film financing and content development. Founded by Yvonne Huff Lee and Jason Delane Lee, Lagralane aims to support uncommon voices, courageous visionaries and inspirational storytellers. They are social challengers, activators and thought leaders – financing and developing diverse stories with unique characters and points of view. Lagralane seeks to evaluate cultural consciousness through the exploration of honest, raw and uncompromising human experiences. Notable titles include the 2018 Academy Award winning documentary ICARUS, Sundance 2018 narrative NIGHT COMES ON, the highest grossing biodoc of all time WON’T YOU BE MY NEIGHBOR?, and Harry Dean Stanton’s final film LUCKY. Their 2019 slate includes Sundance darling THE INFILTRATORS, THE BODY REMEMBERS WHEN THE WORLD BROKE OPEN, which world premiered in Berlin, and THE APOLLO.
ABOUT ABFF AND THE 2020 ABFF ONLINE EDITION: The American Black Film Festival (ABFF) is an annual event dedicated to recognizing black talent and showcasing quality film and television content by and about people of African descent. Dedicated to the belief that diverse artists deserve the same opportunities as their mainstream counterparts, ABFF founder Jeff Friday conceived the festival in 1997 as a vehicle to strengthen the black entertainment community by fostering resource sharing, education and artistic collaboration. After 24 years, the festival has become a cornerstone of diversity in Hollywood, providing a platform for emerging black artists – many of whom have become today’s most successful actors, producers, writers, directors and stand-up comedians .
The ABFF’s dynamic program continues to evolve. In 2020, it expanded to include the John Singleton Award for Best First Feature Film and “ABFF Pride,” a curated film section showcasing LGBTQIA content. In response to the crisis of the COVID-19 pandemic and its disproportionate impact on communities of color, the 2020 ABFF will be held as a virtual event vs its annual Miami event that happens each year attracting over 10k people. Continuing the tradition of the live festival, ABFF Online Edition will include screenings, celebrity conversations, panels and business of entertainment seminars, along with virtual networking events.
The 24th annual festival, ABFF Online Edition, will take place from Friday, August 21 through Sunday, August 30 where you can watch the award ceremony hosted on the abff.com website. and IMDB.com