At the heart of the American Black Film Festival (ABFF), is its commitment to community, bringing together artists to share their work – challenging, encouraging, appreciating and uplifting one another.


The American Black Film Festival (ABFF) is an annual event dedicated to recognizing black talent and showcasing quality film and television content by and about people of African descent. Dedicated 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 entertainment community by fostering resource sharing, education and artistic collaboration.

After 24 years, the festival has become a cornerstone of diversity in Hollywood, providing a platform for emerging black artists – many of whom have become today’s most successful actors, producers, writers, directors and stand-up comedians – including Ryan Coogler (Black Panther), Will Packer (Girls Trip), Issa Rae (Insecure), Kevin Hart (Night School), Omari Hardwick (Power) and Steven Caple Jr. (Creed II). Today, the ABFF is widely considered the preeminent pipeline for black artists in front of and behind the camera, and has significantly expanded the range of talent working in the entertainment Industry.

As “the world’s largest community of Black film and television enthusiasts” the ABFF attracts a broad audience of celebrity talent, emerging artists, upscale consumers and industry stakeholders. Approximately 7,000 to 10,000 people travel to Miami Beach each year for the five-day event. The festival opens with the debut of an upcoming Hollywood release followed by a robust schedule of Hollywood premieres, independent film screenings, master classes, panels, celebrity talks, live entertainment, and a variety of networking and hospitality events.

The ABFF’s dynamic program continues to evolve. In 2020, it expanded to include the John Singleton Award for Best First Feature Film and “ABFF Pride,” a curated film section showcasing LGBTQIA content.

With the support of a global network of major entertainment, media and consumer product companies, the festival continues to lead the way promoting diversity in the motion picture and television industries.

The American Black Film Festival is a property of ABFF Ventures LLC (ABFFV), a Los Angeles-based entertainment company founded by its CEO Jeff Friday as a platform to produce live events, television and film focused on African American culture.


In response to the crisis of the COVID-19 pandemic and its disproportionate impact on communities of color, the 2020 ABFF will be held as a virtual event. Continuing the tradition of the live festival, ABFF Online Edition will include screenings, celebrity conversations, panels and business of entertainment seminars, along with virtual networking events. The 24th annual festival, ABFF Online Edition, will take place from Friday, August 21 through Sunday, August 30 and hosted on the abff.com website.