American Black Film Festival Culminates 25th Anniversary with
The American Black Film Festival (ABFF) today announced the winners of the competitive film selections and talent pipeline programs during the Best of the ABFF Awards ceremony. Hosted by comedian, actress and author Amanda Seales (Insecure), the ceremony was presented virtually for the second year on ABFF’s custom-designed streaming platform ABFF PLAY. ABFF winners receive a combined total cash prize of over $55,000 along with two actors cast in an upcoming original series. Oscar-winning actress Halle Berry served as this year’s ABFF ambassador.
Known for showcasing Black talent and discovering new voices, the month-long festival featured an unprecedented number of independent films -- 102 -- representing the best in Black cinema. The festival’s international film entries hailed from 32 countries, including Angola, Brazil, Cameroon, Canada, Ghana, Germany, Haiti, Namibia, Portugal, Saint Croix, South Africa and the United Kingdom. This year’s jury president was producer and ABFF alum Will Packer (Girl’s Trip, Ride Along).
Complementing ABFF’s wide range of films, the festival’s lineup of events included spotlight screenings, networking events and talks featuring Debra Martin Chase, Morris Chestnut, Colman Domingo, Meagan Good, Regina King, MC Lyte, Niecy Nash, Michael Rainey Jr., Larenz Tate, Flex Alexander and Shanice Wilson. A festival highlight was a one-on-one conversation with Halle Berry where she discussed her career and directorial debut Bruised. All events were presented free of charge reaching a global audience from 95 countries around the world during the festival which ran November 3-28.
Along with ABFF Ventures Founder and CEO Jeff Friday, featured presenters at the award ceremony were film and television industry executives representing ABFF’s impressive roster of partners and sponsors including: Karen Horne SVP, Equity + Inclusion, WarnerMedia; Sirius XM “Bevelations” host Bevy Smith on behalf of HBO; Juanita Slappy, Head of Multicultural Marketing, Cadillac; Dupe Bosu, Vice President, Strategic Communications (Diversity, Equity & Inclusion), NBCUniversal; Keith Le Goy, Chairman, Distribution & Networks, Sony Pictures Entertainment; Yahoo National Reporter and Fellow, Garin Flowers.
The 2021 Jury Award winners are:
HBO Short Film Award, presented by HBO
Prize: $10,000 for winner, $5,000 each for four finalists
When the Sun Sets, written and directed by Phumi Morare
Jury Award - Best Director, presented by Cadillac
Trees of Peace, directed by Alanna Brown
John Singleton Award - Best First Feature, presented by Netflix
Trees of Peace, directed by Alanna Brown
Jury Award - Best Narrative Feature, presented by Sony Pictures Entertainment
Trees of Peace, produced by Ron Ray, Barry Levine, Mike Bundlie, Brian Baniqued, Jeff Spiegel, Vicky Petela and Alanna Brown
Jury Award - Best Documentary Feature, presented by Yahoo
The Neutral Ground, directed by CJ Hunt, produced by Darcy McKinnon
Jury Award - Best Web Series, presented by Comcast NBCUniversal
True Story: I Feel, directed and written by Matthew Law
The 2021 Talent Pipeline Program winners are:
WarnerMedia Access Writers Competition – Drama
Soul City Texas, Tony Clomax
WarnerMedia Access Writers Competition – Comedy
Crazy in Love, Marcus Stricklin
ALLBLK’s Shoot Your Shot Casting Call
Prize: Role in upcoming original series, West Philly, Baby
Virginia Watson and Harrison White
The 2021 Fan Favorites as determined by the ABFF’s virtual audience are:
Fan Favorite Narrative Feature, B-Boy Blues
Fan Favorite Documentary, 100 Years From Mississippi
Fan Favorite Web Series, Last Bodega in Brooklyn
Fan Favorite ABFF Pride, Everyday Black Matter
Fan Favorite World Showcase, Coffee
Fan Favorite New Voices, Pickney
“We wrapped our 25th year on an incredibly exhilarating high as we honored some of the most talented and promising filmmakers who are sharing authentic stories about experiences from a Black and Brown perspective,” said Jeff Friday, Founder and CEO, ABFF Ventures LLC. “Showcasing this content and uplifting Black creatives is what ABFF is all about. As we close out this landmark year, fraught with uncertainty, with a highly successful virtual celebration we are honored and encouraged. We extend profound thanks to our corporate partners and supporters, our worldwide audience and celebrity participants and look forward to continuing the ABFF legacy in Miami in 2022.”
ABFF sponsors to date include WarnerMedia and HBO® (Founding); Cadillac, Greater Miami Convention & Visitors Bureau, Amazon Studios (Presenting); Comcast NBCUniversal, Sony Pictures Entertainment, American Airlines, AT&T, Meta and IMDb (Premier); ALLBLK, HBOMax, City of Miami Beach, Netflix, Prudential Financial, TBS, Yahoo, Starz, Warner Bros. Pictures, Disney Television Studios, National Geographic, and Variety (Official); Accenture, AspireTV, Motion Picture Association (MPA), Morgan Stanley, OWN (Oprah Winfrey Network), and Sephora (Supporting). Media partners include BIN: Black Information Network, TheGrio and Rolling Out.
For festival information, visit and follow @ABFF on Twitter and @AmericanBlackFilmFestival on Instagram and Facebook. Join in on the conversation by using #ABFF.
PRESS RELEASE: ABFF PRESS
October and November have been dubbed as Miami’s Entertainment Months by Greater Miami Convention and Visitors Bureau, marketing sponsor for the 6th Annual iGen
Film Festival. The 6th Annual and consecutive iGen Film Festival takes place in the sunny landscape of Miami's Historic Overtown. This festival is a multi-day event that features programming of screenings of international films, masterclasses, workshops, panel discussions, and an annual award show. In the past, we have featured celebrities and influencers such as Romeo Miller, Sope Aluko, Jo Marie Payton, Cee Lo Green, Reggie Scott, and Ghana Wilson. Produced by Miami Filmmaker Elijah Wells, of Elijah Wells Films, this event is an artistic excellence by bringing together cinema enthusiasts, filmmakers, and industry influencers. This year’s ambassador is actress, and youth talent Charity Joy Harrison and will feature the likes of Sandra Justice, Njie Sabik, Tracy Wilson-Mourning, and Tyler Watts. The various master classes, panel discussions, and other events will feature: Ms. Liberty Hull (Miss Black International Ambassador), Tyler Watts (Actor, Rapper, Singer), The Pablo and Paco Youtube Show, Eric Knowles, Nadia Adelay, and more. Each year the festival honors icons, trailblazers, and rising stars in the entertainment
industry. We salute our 2021 honorees: Dr. Dorothy Field Jenkins (Icon Achievement Award), Stamaya Verneret (Rising Star), and Kaige Brown (Rising Star), and more.
The event will take place on October 29th – 31st, 2021 in Historic Overtown, Miami, Florida.
The host venue is Black Archives Historic Lyric Theater Culture Arts Complex located at 819 NW 2nd Ave, Miami, FL 33136.
The festival begins with our Reel to Reel Youth Day featuring the Booker T. Washington Marching Band and local middle and high school students. The iGen Film Festival will screen 20 films that include shorts, features and documentaries. There were more than 3,000 international submissions from youth filmmakers. The iGen Film Festival is set to promote and encourage the next generation of young filmmakers who will inspire, lead, and entertain with their stories. For a complete list of films and ticket
information go to www.iGenFilmFestival.com
The festival’s line up this year include directing, content creation, acting for film, and music for films. The iGen Film Festival list of heavyweight film and entertainment industry influencers include Antwan Smith ( Vigorous Films), Wils Felin(CEO-Jitta Flixx, LLC), Passion Roosevelt (P-Say Entertainment) and Shawnnette Longley.
The iGen Mom Manager Talk & Brunch will take place on Sunday, October 31st, 2021 at 2 pm and will feature Keynote Speaker and 2021 iGen Honoree Ms. Tracy Wilson-Mourning. Complimentary bites and cocktails will be provided by our host venue and sponsors Red Rooster Overtown and E11Even Vodka. The panel will be hosted by Ms. Danielle Forbes featuring Martha Wells, Tina Brown, JacQuanda Jackson, and Carmen Morris.
Sponsors for the 2021 iGen Film Festival include: Elijah Wells Film, Simkins Family Foundation, E11EVEN Vodka, Greater Miami Convention and Visitors Bureau, Commissioner Keon Hardemon, Commissioner Watson, SEOPWCRA, Black Archives Historic Lyric Theater Culture Arts Complex, Miami Dade County Public Schools, MIA Magazine, Urban Philanthropies, Overtown Children & Youth Coalition, Overtown Optimist Club, and Miami Dade Chamber of Commerce.
UMC and Partners in Rhyme (MC Lyte & Bentley Kyle Evans) have teamed up for a national casting call for a leading role in the new UMC series.
6:00 pm EST: Immediately followed by IG Live Takeover with MC Lyte.
This year the festival will host its Legendary All-White Party on opening night. Join us in your White Attire. Celebrity drop-ins include MC Lyte to announce the winner of the Partners in Rhyme National Casting Call.
Music by: DJ Kiss & M.O.S.
Join Zoom Meeting: https://abff.zoom.us/j/81480038171
Meeting ID: 814 8003 8171
Saturday, August 22
A conversation with Kenya Barris on his career as writer/producer and creator of the hit television series black-ish, which generated two spin-offs, grown-ish and mixed-ish, and the Netflix original series #blackAF, his life behind and now in front of the camera, as well as his new projects.
Moderator: Angela Rye, Host, On 1 podcast
Sunday, August 23
Join NBC and Universal Television’s senior executives for an illuminating conversation as they walk aspiring show creators through the progression of a TV series from both the network and studio perspectives. Get an inside look at how these separate entities work together from development to series pick-up and what decision-makers are looking for when considering a project. This crash course on the pitch-to-production cycle will also touch on how to transform a story for episodic life after the festival circuit.
Comedian/Actor Yvonne Orji (Insecure) hosts a funny and insightful discussion with Lil Rel Howery (LIVE in Crenshaw, HBO Comedy Special) and four of the former winners of the Comedy Wings Competition.
Monday, August 24
AspireTV presents the short film Endangered with a talk-back discussion featuring the writer, director, producer and lead actors of this relevant, powerful and provocative film.
Nakia Stephens, Writer
Shanay Campbell, Producer
Kiana Woodson, Director
Abdul Quddus, Lead Actor
Bianca Bethune, Lead Actor
Senior Black executives from across the WarnerMedia brands discuss their careers and trajectories in entertainment. While people of color experience significant adversity in this industry, many have and continue to climb the corporate entertainment ladder to break glass ceilings for future executives and creators.
Courtney Armstrong, EVP, Worldwide Business Affairs, Warner Bros. Pictures
Kalia Booker, VP, Drama Programming, HBO
Kevin Fortson, EVP, Production, Warner Horizon Television
Natasha Foster-Owens, VP, Production, HBO
Niija Kuykendall, EVP, Film Production Warner Bros. Pictures
Michael Quigley, EVP, Content Acquisitions for TNT, TBS, truTV, HBO and HBO Max
Moderator: Abby Phillip, Political Correspondent, CNN
Tuesday August 25th
A candid conversation with content creators who have current and upcoming projects at Amazon. Each will highlight their Prime Video titles as well as their respective experiences across the entertainment industry and the importance of diverse and inclusive representation.
Little Marvin (THEM) Creator, Writer and Executive Producer
Lena Waithe (THEM) Executive Producer
Tracy Oliver (Untitled Tracy Oliver Project) Creator, Writer and Executive Producer
Barry Jenkins (The Underground Railroad) Writer, Director, Executive Producer
Tayarisha Poe (Selah and the Spades) Writer, Director
Eugene Ashe (Sylvie’s Love) Writer, Director
Moderator: Latasha Gillespie, Head of Amazon Studios Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion
Wednesday, August 26
Romany Falco, Night School
Carlos Watson, Host of “The Carlos Watson Show”
Lamorne Morris, Actor, Woke, New Girl
Moderator: Ramcess Jean-Louis, Global Head, Diversity & Inclusion, Verizon Media
Thursday, August 27
Moderator: Delvin Joyce, Managing Director of the South Florida Financial Group, Prudential Financial
Friday, August 28
Curtis “50 Cent” Jackson – Executive Producer
Michael Rainey Jr. – Actor/ portrays Tariq St. Patrick
Naturi Naughton – Actor/ portrays Tasha St. Patrick
Mary J. Blige – Actor/ portrays Monet Stewart Tejada
Cliff “Method Man” Smith – Actor/ portrays Davis MacLean
Moderator: Yohana Desta, Editor, Vanity Fair
Saturday, August 29
Sunday, August 30
Garcelle Beauvais from “The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills”
Gizelle Bryant from “The Real Housewives of Potomac”
Kandi Burruss from “The Real Housewives of Atlanta”
Dr. Simone Whitmore from “Married to Medicine Atlanta”
Salena Rochester, Director, Current Production, Bravo
Moderator: Alicia Quarles, Senior News correspondent for DailyMailTV
Best Director – Telva Mcgruder, Cadillac; Lee Daniels, Director (The United States vs. Billie Holliday)
Best U.S. Narrative – Salene Hitchcock-Gear, Prudential Financial and La La Anthony, Actor (The Chi)
Best Screenplay – Sinqua Walls, Actor (BET’s American Soul)
John Singleton Award for Best First Feature – Spike Lee, Director (Da 5 Bloods) and Jeff & Nicole Friday (ABFF)
Best International Narrative – Keith La Goy, Sony Pictures Entertainment and Boris Kodjoe & Nicole Ari Parker
HBO Short Film Award – Bevy Smith, Television Personality (Bevelations sirusXM)
Best Web Series – Keesha Boyd, Comcast and Logan Browning, Actor (Dear White People)
Best Documentary – Latasha Gillespie Amazon Studios and Laz Alonso, Actor (The Boys)
EVENTS PRIOR TO #ABFF EVENTS, PANELS, AND SCREENINGS
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