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Black Movie Awards
Wed., Oct. 18, at 10/9c


Jeff Friday
Creator and Executive Producer

Jeff Friday is one of the most innovative and visionary entrepreneurs in the entertainment industry today.  Leading what he calls a quiet revolution, his company, Film Life, Inc., positioned to become the leading American film brand offering fresh, innovative Black films and related entertainment content is changing the face of Hollywood.

Friday entered the film business in 1996, when he became president of UniWorld Films, a division of UniWorld Group, Inc.  Under his direction, the company founded the American Black Film Festival and assisted studios in marketing movies to the African-American audiences. Friday acquired UniWorld Films, renaming it Film Life, Inc.  Today, Friday has grown Film Life into a major entertainment conglomerate, adding the star-studded Black Movie Awards as the company’s second signature event property. This year, he executive-produces the 2006 BLACK MOVIE AWARDS as it is broadcast for the second time to a national television audience on TNT.

Friday (cum laude graduate of Howard University and MBA graduate of New York University’s Leonard Stern School of Business) boasts seventeen years of success as a product marketer, entertainment executive and entrepreneur. A champion of social change and a proponent of diversifying the images of African Americans in film, Friday is highly sought after as a public speaker.

Suzanne de Passe
Executive Producer

Suzanne de Passe, chief executive officer of de Passe Entertainment Group, LLC, began her career at Motown Records as creative assistant to company founder Berry Gordy and subsequently rose to the position of president of Motown Productions.  She later formed Gordy/de Passe Productions with Gordy prior to establishing her own company in 1992.

de Passe is the recipient of many professional awards, including two Emmys®, six NAACP Image Awards, three Peabody Awards and a Golden Globe®.  She received an Academy Award® nomination for co-writing Lady Sings the Blues.  Some of her productions include Lonesome Dove, Small Sacrifices, The Jacksons: An American Dream, Buffalo Girls and The Temptations.  Additionally, Motown 25: Yesterday, Today, Forever and Motown Returns to the Apollo led a number of Motown related television specials.

A veteran of three decades in Hollywood, de Passe has received countless honors for her contribution to the television, movie, and music industries.  Her extraordinary career has been recognized with an American Women in Radio and Television Silver Satellite Award, an Essence Award, the Revlon Business Woman of the Year Award, the Women in Film Crystal Award and induction into the Black Filmmakers Hall of Fame.  Community honors include the 2003 Whitney M. Young Award, the Los Angeles Urban League’s highest accolade. 

In 2004, Ebony Magazine selected her for its highest honor, presenting her with the Madame C.J. Walker Award, and she was the recipient of the 2006 Producer of The Year Award from the Caucus for Television Producers, Writers & Directors.

de Passe was executive producer of the long running series Sister, Sister and Smart Guy and currently serves as executive producer of the syndicated program Showtime at the Apollo.  In 2005, de Passe served as both executive producer and head writer of THE BLACK MOVIE AWARDS, which received NAACP Image Award and NAMIC Vision Award nominations.

de Passe has also been the subject of two Harvard Business School cases and held the Time Warner Endowed Chair as Visiting Professor to the John H. Johnson School of Communications at Howard University.  In March 2006, she received an honorary Doctorate of Humanities during Howard University’s 138th Charter Day celebration.

de Passe resides in both Los Angeles and New York City.

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