ABOUT THE AMERICAN BLACK FILM FESTIVAL (ABFF®)
The American Black Film Festival (ABFF) is an annual event dedicated to empowering black artists and showcasing quality film and television content by and about people of African descent. Committed to the belief that diverse artists deserve the same opportunities as their mainstream counterparts, ABFF founder Jeff Friday conceived the festival in 1997 as a vehicle to strengthen the black filmmaking community by encouraging resource sharing, education and artistic collaboration. He ultimately envisioned it as a cornerstone of diversity in Hollywood.
For more than two decades the festival has been a platform for emerging black artists — premiering the early work and showcasing the talent of many of today’s most successful actors, producers, writers, directors and stand-up comedians — including Halle Berry (Monsters Ball), Ryan Coogler (Black Panther), Anthony Anderson (Black-ish), Will Packer (Girls Trip), Issa Rae (Insecure), Kevin Hart (Night School), Kerry Washington (Scandal), Omari Hardwick (Power) and Steven Caple Jr. (Creed II). ABFF is the pre-eminent pipeline for black artists in front of and behind the camera, and has significantly expanded the range of talent working in entertainment.
As “the nation’s largest gathering of black film and television enthusiasts” the festival attracts a broad audience of A-list talent, emerging artists, upscale consumers and industry stakeholders. Approximately 7,000 to 10,000 people travel to Miami Beach each year for the event. The five-day festival opens with the premiere of an upcoming Hollywood release followed by independent film screenings, master classes, panels, celebrity talks, live entertainment, and a variety of networking and hospitality events.
The ABFF’s dynamic programming continues to evolve. In recent years, it has extended beyond the inclusion of television-related content to launch the Business of Entertainment seminar series co-programmed with leading media and technology companies.
In 2017, the ABFF launched its Greenlighters Academy, a pipeline program for students attending Historically Black Colleges and Universities with an interest in pursuing corporate careers in film, television and entertainment media. The 2019 festival will introduce About Women, a global initiative focused on empowering and inspiring women of color in the film and television industry. ABFF will also unveil a new section showcasing films based on cause-related topics impacting communities of color.
The American Black Film Festival is a property of ABFF Ventures LLC (ABFFV), a multifaceted entertainment company specializing in the production of live events, television and film focused on African American culture. Headquartered in Los Angeles, the company is a joint venture of Film Life Inc. and Black Enterprise, two prominent media and event companies, each with legacies of showcasing the best of African American culture and achievement.
The 23rd annual American Black Film Festival will be held in Miami Beach June 12–16, 2019.