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The American Black Film Festival

The American Black Film Festival is an annual independent film festival which takes place in Miami and celebrates works by African American members of the film industry. The festival began in 1997 as a way for African Americans in cinema to meet and collaborate and as a celebration of Black cinema and diversity. The festival is held annually for four days in Miami's popular South Beach neighborhood at venues such as the Ritz Carlton and the Colony Theater.

The American Black Film Festival is organized during the months of June or July and showcases works by and/or featuring Black filmmakers, actors, ad writers. There is a wide variety of film genres which are screened during the festival, such as full length films, shorts films and mobile entertainment such as music videos, webisodes and experimental movies.

The American Black Film Festival was born out of the Black community's frustration at being left out of Hollywood and only meagerly represented at competitions such as the Oscars. The ABFF is aimed at facilitating distributions and providing many opportunities for career development especially for independent Black films that wouldn't have other means of developing on their own. Since its inception, the ABFF as it is commonly referred to, has featured over 600 films and attracts over 5,000 filmmakers, film enthusiasts and artists every year.

The American Black Film Festival

The American Black Film Festival was originally called the Acapulco Black Film Festival and was held in Acapulco in Mexico until 2002, when it moved to Miami and changed names and sponsorship. It remained in South Beach until 2007 when it was moved to Los Angeles in an attempt to draw in more Hollywood stars and filmmakers. The festival experienced a decline in attendance in Los Angeles, so the organizers decided to move it back to Miami's original South Beach location in 2010.

The American Black Film Festival features a wide range of events and activities such as panel discussions, official film screenings, parties, and celebrity conversations. The festival also has workshops by both actors and directors and various symposia. The show culminates with an awards ceremony giving out prizes and awards for the Grand Jury Prizes for Best Screenplay, Best Director, Best Actor, and for Best Film.

Other awards are provided during the festival such as the highly anticipated Short Film Award presented by HBO, the oldest and premiere sponsor of the ABFF. Five finalists show their films in hopes of winning $20,000 in prize money. Another major award at the festival is the Best Documentary Award which is presented by CNN, another prominent event sponsor. Other awards which are organized by the GMC television network and NBC Universal for the Star Project.

The American Black Film Festival

The American Black Film Festival has had many prominent award winners and honorees throughout the years such as Halle Berry, Denzel Washington, Nia Long, Sanaa Lathan, Mekhi Phifer, Angela Bassett, Samuel L. Jackson, Queen Latifa, Vivica A. Fox, Morgan Freeman, Keenen Ivory Wayans, and Robert Townsend who is also a festival presenter and is on the Advisory Board.

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