The ABFF Launches an Array of Talent Competitions in Partnership with HBO®, Comcast NBCUniversal and McDonald’s

FESTIVAL EXTENDS ITS LEGACY OF DEVELOPING TALENT IN FRONT OF AND BEHIND THE CAMERA

THE 19TH ANNUAL ABFF RETURNS TO NEW YORK CITY FROM JUNE 11 – 14, 2015

February 19, 2015, New York, New York – Being the largest and longest running film festival for African American filmmakers, the American Black Film Festival (ABFF) prides itself on carving out unique opportunities and partnerships. With this being said, ABFF has partnered with HBO, Comcast NBCUniversal and McDonald’s, to create showcases for up and coming actors, comedians, filmmakers and television hosts. These platforms provide exposure for tomorrow’s rising stars and leaders in television and film.

“The opportunities for minorities in Hollywood are still marginalized, and it’s as necessary as ever to push to promote diversity throughout the industry, from the images projected on screen, to the creative forces behind the scenes. We work with our partners to help advance talented newcomers with their careers,” stated ABFF Founder & CEO, Jeff Friday.

Comcast NBCUniversal is partnering once again with the American Black Film Festival on The Star Project, to find the next fresh face for daytime television.

If you are an actor ready to compete for the opportunity to audition in front of executive judges and casting directors from NBC, perform two of NBC’s selected monologues on videotape and submit by March 20, 2015. Visit http://www.abff.com/festival-program/talent-contests/ for full details.

New to ABFF this year, Comcast NBCUniversal will launch a Television Host Workshop designed to help emerging TV hosts sharpen their skills, and identify dynamic personalities ready for on-air opportunities. Details to be announced at www.abff.com by mid-March.

ABFF’s 3rd annual Comedy Wings Competition, sponsored by HBO, is a national search to identify outstanding comedic talent. People who demonstrate a natural ability to be funny! The Comedy Wings Competition has been created to showcase talented, yet undiscovered comedians and introduce them to the industry at large.

Up to ten semi-finalists will be selected from the 2015 pool of entries, to perform at a renowned NYC comedy club in April/early May and will prove themselves funny to secure a position as a finalist.

The four finalists will be flown to the 2015 ABFF in June, to perform before a panel of esteemed judges, where one will be crowned the winner. Enter by March 20, 2015. Visit http://www.abff.com/festival-program/talent-contests/ for full details.

The HBO Short Film Competition is regarded as one of the most prestigious short film showcases in the country. Each year five filmmakers (writers and/or directors of African descent) are selected to screen their film at the American Black Film Festival in NYC, where one winner will be selected to receive the HBO Short Film Award and cash prize of $10,000. Submission deadline is March 10, 2015. Visit http://www.abff.com/festival-program/talent-contests/ for full details.

The inaugural McDonald’s Lovin’ Video Competition offers an exciting new opportunity for aspiring filmmakers. McDonald’s is challenging you to create a 90-second to 2-minute video, based on their “Lovin” concept. Use your imagination and show us what “Lovin” means to you!

Three finalists will be selected to attend the Festival, screen their “Lovin” video before the festival audience, where one winner will be selected. In addition, finalists will attend a private “Mentor Luncheon” with Director Malcolm D. Lee (The Best Man, The Best Man Holiday). Submit your video by March 24, 2015. Visit http://www.abff.com/festival-program/talent-contests/ for full details.

Sponsors of the 2015 American Black Film Festival are: HBO (Presenting & Founding), Cadillac, Comcast NBCUniversal and Prudential Financial Services (Premier Sponsors), AMC, American Airlines and McDonald’s (Signature Sponsors), MPAA (Supporting), Black Enterprise and Uptown Magazine (Media).

For Festival passes and ticket information, visit www.ABFF.com.

About ABFF:

The American Black Film Festival (ABFF) is a four-day event dedicated to showcasing quality film and television content by and about people of African descent. Annually held during the month of June, the ABFF is committed to the belief that Black artists and content creators deserve the same opportunities as their mainstream counterparts. ABFF founder Jeff Friday, conceived the festival in 1997 as a vehicle to promote diversity in the motion picture industry. Today, the festival is widely recognized for showcasing established and new Black talent, both in front of and behind the camera, and is regarded as one of the leading film festivals in the world. The ABFF is produced by Film Life, Inc. and Black Enterprise.

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