NEW YORK, July 14, 2011 /PRNewswire/ -- Film Life, Inc., celebrated the success of its 15th annual American Black Film Festival (ABFF), wrapping in Miami, July 9. A new record of over 5,000 attendees was set and the festival showcased 30 films drawing a diversity of global brands and companies dedicated to supporting independent films. The 2011 sponsorship lineup proved that ABFF is a valued marketing platform reaching influential consumers and top industry executives. The festival created an incomparable on-site experience aligned with sponsors' overall mission.
Home Box Office, Inc. (HBO®), returned as the festival's Founding and Premier Sponsor. Since 1998, HBO has worked in many ways to enrich ABFF's platform through original programs. The HBO Short Film Competition awarded top prize of $20,000. Lucinda Martinez, VP/Domestic Network Distribution & Multicultural Marketing for HBO, and former HBO Executive Olivia Smashum presented the award. HBO Talk Series was also a highlight.
Returning for its fourth year as Premier Sponsor, Grey Goose hosted a series of hospitality receptions, sponsored the Closing Night Party and presented the Grey Goose "Rising Icon" Award to actress Naturi Naughton. Chauncey Hamlett, Grey Goose Brand Manager, and actress Mari Marrow presented the award.
New Premier Sponsor was Team Sizzle Worldwide, a film production company founded and owned by Baltimore Ravens Linebacker Terrell Suggs. Suggs sponsored the ABFF 15th Anniversary Party and the Grand Jury Prize for Best Screenplay. Suggs personally presented along with Actress Elise Neal.
"Through their ongoing support, we are now considered one of the leading film festivals in the world," stated ABFF Founder Jeff Friday.
"Official Sponsor" activations and engagements included:
- The gmc Television Network-- Launched the gmc Faith and Family Screenplay Competition with a $5,000 Grand Prize and premiered Trinity Goodheart, a gmc original production, starring Eric Benet.
- Cadillac – Hosted a vehicle showcase (The Cadillac Lounge) featuring an autograph signing with actor Laz Alonso and presented $5,000 to the winner of the Grand Jury Prize for Best Director.
- American Airlines -- Sponsored "A Conversation with Actress Paula Patton," and presented each Grand Jury Prize winner with two round-trip airline tickets.
- Gold Peak Tea --Hosted the "Gold Peak Tea Splash Party" with acclaimed Chef G. Garvin and presented $5,000 to the winner of the Grand Jury Prize for Best Actor.
- Wells Fargo – Introduced the festival's Opening Night Film, In the Hive, directed by Robert Townsend and presented $5,000 to the winner of the Grand Jury Prize for Best Film.
- AT&T–Sponsored Robert Townsend's "The Ultimate Pitch" Master Class and hosted panel entitled, "Bridging the Digital Divide: A Case Study of Robert Townsend's Web Series In the Hive and the NAACP's BOND project Builders of the Next Dream."
Additional sponsor highlights included:
- NBCUniversal (Supporting) – Sponsored the 3rd annual Star Project, an international competition for emerging actors.
- CNN (Supporting) – Presented $5,000 to the winner of the Best Documentary Award.
- Codeblack Entertainment and Grab Networks (Supporting)– Presented a panel discussion entitled "Digital Distribution 101: The New Distribution Paradigm."
- Writers Guild of America, West (Diversity Partner) – Presented Michael Elliot's "From Script to Screen" Master Class.
- Nielsen (Supporting)and Black Enterprise (Official Media Partner) –Presented panel "The Business of Reality TV."
- Codeblack Entertainment(Supporting) -- Premiered Kevin Hart's Laugh At My Pain.
- The Michael Baisden Show (Official Level Partner) –Hosted screening of Michael Baiden's Do Women Know What They Want?
- The Film Life Foundation presented Bill Duke's Actors Boot Camp.
Additional sponsors included: Nickelodeon (Supporting); Miami Beach Visitor & Convention Authority and The Greater Miami Convention & Visitors Bureau (Host Sponsors); CBS, Stella Artois, SAGIndie and Fox Searchlight Pictures (Diversity Partners). Media Sponsors included: Uptown (Official Level); AOL Black Voices, Upscale, Heart & Soul, Automotive Rhythms, Monarch and Precious Times (Supporting Level). Promotional Partners: NBC's "The Playboy Club" and HanesBrands.
SOURCE Film Life, Inc.