Star Jones, Al Roker and his wife, Deborah Roberts, Gayle King and Phylicia Rashad all attended the swanky affair.
The night started with the festival's founder, Jeff Friday, presenting the director and his wife Tonya Lewis Lee with portraits by artist Nathaniel Mary Quinn.
Guests then entered the dining area, where they ate boneless beef short ribs, Chilean sea bass, vegan grilled grit cakes and Hennessy dark chocolate mousse for dessert.
Jones, who underwent cardiac surgery in 2010, sat with Roker and talked about heart health advocacy and her love of Soul Cycle. Roker dipped out early in order to catch some sleep for his wake-up call at the Today show.
The festival starts on June 19 with the premiere of Think Like a Man Too and will end on June 22 with Lee's latest feature, Da Sweet Blood of Jesus.