The American Black Film Festival (ABFF) has a rich history of prestigious talent pipeline programs designed to identify, introduce and showcase talented artists — including directors, actors, writers and other content creators — to the industry at large. These unique programs are partnered with major entertainment media companies (i.e., HBO, NBCUniversal, Turner, BET, truTV, etc.) heightening the industry awareness of untapped talent and offering cash prizes along with career-enhancing opportunities for up-and-coming artists in mainstream Hollywood.

Born from ABFF founder Jeff Friday’s conviction that black artists deserve the same opportunities as their mainstream counterparts, the talent pipeline programs act as a valuable conduit between Hollywood and emerging talent. Ryan Coogler (Black Panther), Stephen Caple, Jr. (Creed II), Clement Virgo (Greenleaf), Omari Hardwick (Power), Emayatze Corinealdi (Ballers), Kiel Adrian Scott (The Bobby Brown Story), Ben Watkins (Hand of God), Saladin K. Patterson (The Big Bang Theory) and Stephen Hill (Magnum P.I.) are among the festival’s beneficiaries of these unique opportunities.

The 2019 Talent Pipeline Programs are as follows. Full details will be available starting November 1.




ABFF Comedy Wings Competition:

Identifies emerging stand-up comics; presented in association with HBO

Submissions Open: November 19, 2018

Submissions Close: February 28, 2019

One winner is selected to receive $5,000 and has the opportunity to meet with an HBO executive post festival.

ABFF Star Project:

A search for undiscovered talented actors on the verge of stardom

Submissions Open: December 1, 2018

Submissions Close: January 31, 2019

To Be Announced

ABFF Greenlighters Academy

2019 info. coming soon

Selected college students participate in a series of meetings and discussion with top studio and network executives with the goal of securing an internship or entry level position at a major entertainment company.

BET ColorCreative Script to Screen Contest:

Talented episodic television writers compete to have their idea developed into a pilot ready script.

2019 info. coming soon

Three (3) finalists will be given notes on their pilot and have several weeks to submit a revised draft. The Grand Prize winner will have their pilot script purchased for $25,000 and a chance for the script to be produced by ColorCreative for BET.

ABFF truTV Comedy Writers Competition:

Designed to find comedy writers with a distinct POV

2019 info. coming soon

One winning content creator will be presented an award before the festival audience, a development prize of $5,000 with an opportunity to receive an additional $10k for a total potential development prize of $15k along with and the potential to further develop an original project in partnership with truTV.

ABFF Turner TV Writing Contest:

Discovers quality diverse writers for television

2019 info. coming soon

Two Grand Prize winners will each receive a trip to the 2019 ABFF (including roundtrip airfare and hotel accommodations), two festival credentials, a cash prize and a meeting with Turner Original Programming executives.

NBCUniversal Hosting Workshop:

A competitive workshop to cultivate on-camera host talent for news- and entertainment-formatted shows

2019 info. coming soon

Top selected participant(s) will receive the opportunity to conduct media and/or celebrity interviews during the ABFF 2019 in Miami, Florida, one (1) festival credential, roundtrip airfare to the ABFF and a meeting with NBCU Talent Executives.

TV One Narrative Screenplay Competition:

Feature-length screenplays are submitted for an opportunity to be produced for network television

2019 info. coming soon

Three Finalists will receive a trip to the 23rd Annual American Black Film Festival in Miami, Florida, taking place June 12, 2018 through June 16, 2018 from which One screenwriter is selected by TV One to receive $5,000 and the opportunity to have their screenplay produced for TV One. Winner is announced at the Best of the ABFF Awards Presentation.