Chyna Robinson Named “Female Filmmaker to Watch,” Debuts First Film at ABFF

Woman wearing a hat smiling
Filmmaker Chyna Robinson

The industry celebrated as the American Black Film Festival (ABFF) announced yesterday their lineup for this year’s highly anticipated festival including the U.S. Narrative Feature film No Ordinary Love from Award-Winning Director Chyna Robinson. The first-ever digital fest for the company will showcase 90 films from across the globe (August 21 – 30, 2020) selected from a record number of entries featuring the best of independent Black cinema.

When asked about her film being selected as part of the American Black Film Festival, Chyna Robinson said, “It seems surreal. This is a filmmaker’s dream and an amazing opportunity to showcase our work at such a prestigious festival.”

Called “Chilling” by CW Orlando, No Ordinary Love is a romantic thriller that follows the lives of two female protagonists who plot a potentially deadly escape from their manipulative partners. The themes of the film have resonated with filmgoers and festival juries alike with an impressive award-winning showing across the festival circuit including: Robinson’s personal win of the coveted Duncan-Williams Scriptwriting Award, Indie Memphis (2019) plus overall film awards including Audience Choice Awards , Indie Memphis (2019); Worldwide Women’s Film Festival (2020); Best Feature Film, National Black Film Festival (2020); Best Edit, International Film Festival, Nice (France, 2020) and several other awards.

“The more than 90 films in this year’s festival are the work of a group of powerful and passionate storytellers who reflect the diversity of voices in our industry,” said Jeff Friday, founder and CEO ABFF Ventures.  “Creating an opportunity for these filmmakers to reach a broader audience is our core mission. We are thrilled to have IMDb on board to simulcast the Awards Show.”

For many Black filmmakers and creatives, participation in ABFF’s premier festival is a major career milestone. The festival is designed to bring a National spotlight on projects and talent often overlooked by Hollywood. As both the film’s screenwriter and director, Chyna Robinson has set her sights on expanding both the voice and representation in the world of filmmaking.

“As a Black, female director I have faced a number of challenges in finding opportunities in the film industry. I think when you look at the fact that last year, out of the 100 top grossing films, women only represented 12% of the directors and even less were Black women, that says a lot. We have certainly come a long way, but we still have so far to go. American Black Film Festival is unquestionably playing a huge role in creating opportunities for Indie filmmakers,” said Robinson.

In addition to Chyna’s role as the film’s auteur, she made it a priority to assemble a creative team that includes women and people of color in numerous key roles for production including the project’s producer, executive producer, director of photography, editor, and 1st AD.