The American Black Film Festival annually showcases dynamic new content by and about people of African descent from around the world. The festival has four main categories: Short Films, Narrative Feature Films, Documentaries and Web Originals.

Each year the ABFF commissions several screening committees to evaluate the year’s film submissions based on the criteria below, and the highest scoring entries earn screening slots in each category:

World Premiere Status/Limited Screening History Preferred
Artistic and Technical Merit (quality of script, direction, acting, production value, uniqueness, etc.)


2018 Deadline


Web Originals

Opens October 24

Best Web Original


Opens October 24

Grand Jury Award for Best Documentary

HBO Short Film Competition

Opens October 24

HBO Short Film Award

Narrative Features

Opens October 24

Grand Jury Award for Best Narrative Feature Film

  • Best Actor (Narrative Feature Actors only)
  • Best Director (Narrative Features Directors only)
  • Best Screenplay (Narrative Feature Writers only)

ABFF Audience Award (Narrative Features In-Competition Only)