NEW YORK -- Film Life, Inc., has announced its 15th annual American Black Film Festival (ABFF) to be held in Miami, Florida, July 6-9, 2011. The ABFF is an industry retreat and competitive showcase of independent Black film. Home Box Office, Inc. (HBO®), returns for the fourteenth year in support of the festival's mission to strengthen the Black filmmaking community through resource sharing, education, artistic collaboration and career development.
The 2011 festival will feature the return of the acclaimed Actors Boot Camp led by actor/director Bill Duke, and Robert Townsend's "The Ultimate Pitch" Master Class as well as film screenings, celebrity conversations, panel discussions and hospitality events. "For a decade and a half, the ABFF and its sponsors have been committed to showcasing the works of the best and brightest independent filmmakers, while entertaining and enlightening our audience," said ABFF Founder Jeff Friday. "It has been a true privilege to be part of the continuing evolution of Black cinema," Friday added.
"HBO® is proud of its long-standing partnership with the ABFF. Our combined efforts have given much needed exposure to 65 emerging filmmakers to date," said Dennis Williams, Director of Corporate Social Responsibility at HBO®. "We are committed to the representation of diverse stories and bringing attention to talented individuals whose voices might not otherwise be heard were it not for the ABFF and the HBO® Short Film Competition," Williams added.
ABFF submissions are now open in the Narrative and Documentary Feature sections. Call for entries for the Short Film Competition and Mobile Entertainment sections are scheduled to open February 1. Festival Awards include: The HBO® Short Film Award; Grand Jury Prizes for Best Screenplay, Best Director, Best Film and Best Performance by an Actor, as well as the ABFF Audience Award for Best Mobile Content. Festival prizes range from $5,000 to $20,000. Discounted festival passes and tickets are on sale through January 31 at www.abff.com
HBO is the festival's Founding and Premier Sponsor. Other sponsors to date include: Grey Goose (Premier Sponsor), The Gospel Music Channel, Gold Peak Tea and American Airlines (Official Sponsors), Nickelodeon and The Nielsen Company (Supporting Sponsors). Media Sponsors include: AOL Black Voices, Black Enterprise and Uptown (Official Level), and Heart & Soul (Supporting Level).
Established in 1997, the core mission of the ABFF is to promote cultural diversity within the motion picture industry. Through its film showcases and special contests, it annually introduces the top echelon of emerging artists to the film and television industry.
The ABFF is a property of Film Life, Inc., a New York-based event marketing, and production and film distribution company founded in 2000 by Jeff Friday (CEO).