2006 Film Life & HBO American Black Film Festival Announces Film Sections and Competitions

Competitions Provide for Broad Range of Independent Films with Prizes Worth Over $200,000

New York, NY, (March 21, 2006) – Film Life, Inc., today announced a diverse array of film submission categories for the 2006 Film Life & HBO American Black Film Festival (ABFF). The six film sections and nine competitions offer a compelling showcase for feature-length films, shorts and documentaries from emerging independent filmmakers as well as prizes totaling over $200,000.

The ABFF, regarded as the premier international marketplace for Black and urban-inspired cinema, will be held Wednesday, July 19 through Sunday July 23, 2006, in South Beach, Miami, Florida. The ABFF’s founding and title sponsor is HBO. Wal-Mart is the presenting sponsor.

“Over the past 10 years, we have provided a platform for the best of independent cinema. What’s most significant is that through this showcase we’ve helped to build consumer audiences for Pan-African films and infused the market with theatrical and numerous DVD releases,” said Melanie Sharee, festival director. “Our competition categories are designed to provide an international platform for independent filmmakers who have innovative and original stories to share, whether it be a feature-length, animated or short film. Annually, we unveil high caliber films from emerging filmmakers and spotlight compelling new actors.”

ABFF has six distinct film sections: American Showcase, Animation, Documentaries, Narrative Feature Film, Short Film and World Cinema (international).

Films accepted to the Narrative Feature Film Section are eligible for four awards, which are determined by the festival’s Grand Jury. These awards are: Grand Jury Prize – Best Picture, presented by Kodak with a prize of $20,000 worth of film stock; Grand Jury Prize – Best Performance by an Actor presented by Boost Mobile; Grand Jury Prize – Best Director and Grand Jury Prize – Best Screenplay.

The ABFF also presents other prestigious awards including: Blockbuster Audience Award presented by Blockbuster with a prize of $20,000, “Voices of Color” Documentary Award presented by Wal-Mart with a prize of $20,000 and the HBO Short Film Award presented by HBO and with a prize of $20,000.

The presentation of all awards will take place at the ABFF Awards brunch held the closing day of the festival, Sunday, July 23.

Films submitted for consideration for the 2006 ABFF must be received by Friday, April 7, 2006. For more details about ABFF competition categories, submission forms and eligibility requirements, visit www.abff.com.

New to the ABFF this year are a screenplay and digital commercial contest sponsored by AXE Bodyspray and Lincoln respectively. The AXE Black Filmmaker Series seeks original screenplays focusing on life experiences of young African American males. Three finalists will be selected and will each receive a $40,000 production award to produce their film. Automaker Lincoln introduces “Define Lincoln Luxury,” a contest for the best 30-60-second digital commercial. The winner will be awarded $10,000 or a 2-year lease on a 2006 Lincoln Zephyr.

The ABFF 2006 sponsors include: HBO (Founding & Title), Wal-Mart Voices of Color Film Series (Presenting), AXE Bodyspray, Boost Mobile, Eastman Kodak Company, Lincoln and Time Warner (Platinum), American Airlines, Black Enterprise, Blockbuster, Goseeblackmovies.com, Greater Miami Convention and Visitors Bureau (GMCVB) and Vurv, Inc. (Gold), Fox Searchlight Pictures and Nielsen Media Research (Silver). Media sponsors include: DVRepublic.com, EURweb, Landmine Design, Upscale magazine, Uptown magazine and Socialstep.com.

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 www.abff.com, via phone 212.966.2411, ext. 400, or by e-mail at abff@thefilmlife.com


Chelsye. J. Burrows
212.966.2411, ext. 417, or 303.250.3668