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 a HBO comedy exec post festival.

ABFF Star Project:

A search for undiscovered talented actors on the verge of stardom

Submissions Open: November 19, 2018

Submissions Close: February 28, 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.

Following the festival, each Finalist will be given notes on the 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.

There will be 2 grand prize winners. Each winner will win a trip to the 2018 ABFF, a cash prize of $500 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 2018 in Miami, Florida, one (1) festival credential and airfare to the ABFF and 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 22nd Annual American Black Film Festival in Miami, Florida, taking place June 13, 2018 through June 17, 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 ABFF Awards Presentation.

ABFF Laugh Out Loud Filmmaker Fellowship:

Seeks creative script ideas for content development on Kevin Hart’s Laugh Out Loud (LOL) Network

2019 info. coming soon.

Production Budget up to 20,000