2007 American Black Film Festival Announces Sponsors


Allstate, BET J, Target, MTV and Nokia are among the new sponsors scheduled to bring innovative programs to 11 year old fest

New York, NY, September 25, 2007 – The American Black Film Festival (ABFF) today announced the sponsors for the 2007 Festival, which includes the addition of marquee brands Allstate, Nokia, Target, BET-J, as well as the continued support of numerous returning sponsors, including HBO, the ABFF’s Founding and Title Sponsor. The Festival, now in its eleventh year, will take place October 25 – October 29, 2007 in its new home, Los Angeles.

Many of the Festival’s sponsors have gone beyond the traditional boundaries of marketing partnerships by taking an active role in content integration and the creation of new programs and events that will enhance the Festival experience for filmmakers, artists, members of the film industry, and the festival attendees.

“This is a record year for new sponsors and each sponsor is an important component of the Festival brand,” said Jeff Friday, co-founder and executive producer of the ABFF. “Not only are our sponsors an integral part of supporting the infrastructure and rapid growth of the Festival, but they also bring a shared passion for and an understanding of our core values. For the past 11 years, our sponsors have enabled us to bring the ABFF to a broad audience in a very substantive way,” Friday added.

HBO is the Founding and Title Sponsor of the ABFF and this year will celebrate a decade of support of the event. Since 1998, HBO has worked in a variety of ways to enhance the festival through innovative programs like the HBO Short Film Competition and the Filmmaker Reception.

At this year’s festival, HBO will be sponsoring A Conversation With… a festival signature event, in addition to the Short Film Competition. “HBO continues to be very proud of its affiliation as Founding and Title sponsor of ABFF,” said Olivia Smashum, executive vice-president of Affiliate Marketing for HBO. “We’re especially excited about HBO’s role as patron of the 10th Annual HBO Short Film Award. As a company, HBO is committed to finding and developing the widest possible diversity in talent. The ABFF is a particularly important opportunity for us to help bring to light the creative genius of black filmmakers and to infuse the entire film industry with new ideas, perspectives and energy,” Smashum added.

The following new Premier Sponsors: Allstate and BET J; Official Sponsors: Nokia, Heineken, Kodak and Paper Cloth & Denim; and Supporting Sponsors Target, MTV Networks, Inta Juice, First Look Studios, Fox Entertainment Group, The Word Network, Sofitel LA, One Village Entertainment and Golden Street Entertainment; join longtime festival supporters: Lincoln, Blockbuster, Fox Searchlight Pictures, Vibe, Black Enterprise, Upscale, Code Black Entertainment, Nickelodeon, Nielsen Media Research, Uptown, Black Noir, Heart and Soul, DV Republic, IFP, SAG Indie and NV Magazine in continuing the tradition of honoring excellence in independent filmmaking.

Luxury automaker Lincoln returns, for the eighth consecutive year, as a leading sponsor of ABFF. Along with bringing back festival favorites, the Lincoln Lounge and the custom Lincoln shuttle service, Lincoln will join ABFF this year to debut Off the Red Carpet, intimate discussions with industry insiders influencing present-day filmmaking. “Lincoln has had a long and proud history of partnership with the film industry, said Marc Perry, multicultural marketing manager of Lincoln. “Our alliance with ABFF and Film Life is particularly special to us as it reinforces our commitment to the spirit of independent filmmaking and allows us to be part of a team that is passionate about bringing diverse voices to a broader audience,” Perry concluded.

“We are pleased to join the other marquee companies in support of the mission of the ABFF to showcase the best and brightest in contemporary Black cinema,” said Steven White, senior manager of multi-cultural marketing at Allstate. “We are equally pleased with the response to the Allstate Beyond February “Be Reel” contest-from the entries we’re clear we’ve created something that can grow with each passing year,” White added.

The ABFF, co-founded by Jeff Friday in 1997, 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, television, events and digital content. Film Life’s key properties include the American Black Film Festival (abff.com); The Black Movie Awards on TNT (blackmovieawards.com); and the ABFF DVD Series (thefilmlife.com), a partnership with Warner Home Video.

Home Box Office, Inc., is the premium television programming subsidiary of Time Warner Inc., providing two 24-hour premium television services — HBO and Cinemax-to over 40 million U.S. subscribers. The services offer the most popular subscription video on demand products, HBO On Demand and Cinemax On Demand, as well as multiplex channels and HD feeds. Internationally, HBO’s branded television networks, along with the subscription video on demand products HBO on Demand and HBO Mobile, bring HBO services to over 50 countries.

Festival information, including eligibility requirements, registration and the 2007 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.

Ghana Odet Wilson, ABFF Publicity
212.966.2411, ext. 411