American Black Film Festival Announces Dates and Calls for Submissions ABFF to Celebrate Its 10th Year in Miami, Fla., July 19-23, 2006



Deadline for Feature, Short & Documentary Film Entries is April 7



    NEW YORK, Feb. 7 /PRNewswire/ -- Film Life and HBO today announced the
 2006 dates of the American Black Film Festival (ABFF). The ABFF will be held
 Wednesday, July 19, through Sunday, July 23, in the South Beach district of
 Miami, Florida, where the festival will celebrate its tenth anniversary with
 the support of HBO, the ABFF's founding and title sponsor, and Wal-Mart Voices
 of Color,(TM) its presenting sponsor.
     "Although our industry has changed dramatically in the last ten years,
 particularly in the areas of digital production and distribution,
 opportunities for persons of color remain limited," said Jeff Friday, founder,
 ABFF.  "I salute our lead sponsors, HBO and Wal-Mart, for their unwavering
 support of the ABFF. It is because of these two companies and our other
 prestigious corporate partners that we have been able to showcase cinema that
 reflects the talent and true vision of Black artists, while building the
 commercial market for independent Black films."
     The 2006 ABFF program includes independent film screenings, network and
 studio premieres, panels, workshops and seminars led by accomplished industry
 professionals. Other highlights include live entertainment, exclusive
 networking events and the ABFF Awards presentation.
     "As founding and title sponsor, HBO's partnership with the ABFF has helped
 create a celebrated and influential forum where new talent can showcase their
 works in a professional and competitive-friendly environment," said Olivia
 Smashum, executive vice president, affiliate marketing, HBO.  "We salute the
 ABFF on the eve of their 10th anniversary, a landmark achievement within the
 Black filmmaking community and one which we're very proud to be a part of."
     The ABFF has four film sections: Narrative Feature Films (competitive),
 World Cinema (noncompetitive), the HBO Short Film Competition and
 Documentaries (competitive). A total of $80,000 worth of prizes will be
 awarded to films in the competitive sections. Awards include the HBO Short
 Film Award ($20,000 cash prize), Audience Award for Best Narrative Feature
 Film, sponsored by Blockbuster ($20,000 cash prize), Grand Jury Prize for Best
 Picture, sponsored by Kodak (prize: film stock valued at $20,000), and the
 Wal-Mart Voices of Color Best Documentary Award ($20,000 cash prize). Winners
 will be announced at the ABFF Awards Brunch held on the closing day of the
 festival.
     Films submitted for consideration for the 2006 ABFF must be delivered to
 the New York City office postmarked by the entry deadline: Friday, April 7,
 2006. Submission forms and eligibility requirements are available online at
 http://www.abff.com.
     The American Black Film Festival, formerly known as the Acapulco Black
 Film Festival, was founded in 1997 by Jeff Friday, president & CEO, Film Life,
 Inc. ABFF is a five-day retreat and international film market dedicated to
 strengthening the independent film community. It was born out of a belief in
 the need to stimulate independent Black film development and promote cultural
 diversity within the film industry. With limited access to images and
 opportunities for Black filmmakers in Hollywood, the ABFF created a platform
 to showcase the cinematic work of independent artists of vision and emerging
 talent.
     Since its inception, the ABFF has explored, rewarded and redefined
 artistic excellence in international Black cinema. It has grown to be
 recognized as the premier Black film festival in the United States. Its film
 slate is primarily composed of world premieres positioning it as the #1 film
 market for Black and urban content. In addition to its film showcases, the
 ABFF is committed to nurturing artists in a variety of disciplines and offers
 educational workshops and seminars for actors, filmmakers and writers
 throughout the week. The event annually attracts 2,500 attendees.
     Members of the ABFF Advisory Board, chaired by Robert Townsend, include
 Debbie Allen, Bill Duke, Eriq La Salle, Suzanne de Passe, John Singleton and
 Melvin Van Peebles.
     Other festival sponsors include: AXE, Lincoln, Time Warner (Platinum),
 Black Enterprise, Kodak and Vurv, Inc. (Gold), Nielsen Media Research
 (Silver). Media sponsors include: EURweb, Upscale, Uptown magazine and
 Socialstep.com.
     Wal-Mart, in partnership with Time Warner's Global Marketing group, has
 created the Voices of Color(TM) Film Series designed to support African
 American filmmaking and highlight the range and depth of the African American
 experience. It is a unique program that aims to give "voice" to a more
 positive depiction of African American images via a wide range of quality
 programming for the whole family.
     Home Box Office, Inc. is the premium television programming subsidiary of
 Time Warner Inc., providing two 24-hour premium television services, HBO and
 Cinemax. Together, both networks reach approximately 39 million subscribers in
 the United States via cable and satellite delivery.  Home Box Office's
 international joint ventures bring HBO branded services to more than 50
 countries around the globe.
     The ABFF is a property of Film Life, Inc., a New York-based film marketing
 and distribution company. Its mission is to spearhead the global distribution
 of quality Black films and be the leading American brand producing Black
 movies and related entertainment content.
     Festival information, including eligibility requirements, registration and
 the 2006 schedule of events, is available online at http://www.abff.com, via
 phone 212.966.2411 ext. 400, or by e-mail: abff@thefilmlife.com
 
 

SOURCE Film Life

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