2007 American Black Film Festival Announces Dates and Calls for Submissions

Festival Relocates to Los Angeles

New York, NY, April 19, 2007 – Film Life’s 11th annual American Black Film Festival (ABFF) announced its 2007 dates: October 25-29. The festival, which had been held for the past five years in South Beach, Miami, has relocated to the West Coast with festival activities centered in West Hollywood and Beverly Hills. HBO& is the festival’s founding and title sponsor. 2007 marks HBO’s tenth year of support.

Film submissions for consideration for the 2007 ABFF are being accepted from now through July. Submission forms, deadlines and eligibility criteria are available online at www.abff.com.

Founded in 1997, the mission of the festival is to strengthen the Black filmmaking community through resource sharing, education, artistic collaboration and career development. Since its inception, over 400 independent films have been screened, seventy per cent of which have gone on to secure theatrical or DVD distribution. Festival alumni include director Sylvain White (Stomp the Yard) and producers Rob Hardy and Will Packer (Stomp the Yard), producer Roger M. Bobb (Daddy’s Little Girls) and writer/director Frank E. Flowers (Haven). The ABFF was born out of the need to generate distribution opportunities for independent Black films and promote cultural diversity within the motion picture industry. It is widely considered the premier Black film market. Festival attendance is expected to exceed 5,000 people.

“The move to Los Angeles is an important part of the festival’s evolution. We intend to work more closely with the studios and create a more potent marketplace for buyers and producers of independent Black cinema. With the support of our corporate partners, led by HBO, Lincoln and Allstate&, we will continue to facilitate distribution opportunities for these films,” said Jeff Friday, Founder/CEO of Film Life, Inc.

In addition to its cinematic showcases, the ABFF nurtures artists in a variety of disciplines offering workshops, a symposium and talk series (Access ABFF), exclusive parties, high-level networking and signature events including: ABFF Feature Panel Discussion, A Conversation With…, and the HBO Short Film Competition.

“For the past ten years, HBO has proudly collaborated with the ABFF to bring the best emerging Black filmmakers to the forefront,” said Olivia Smashum, executive vice president, Affiliate Marketing at HBO. “In turn, with the financial support, industry recognition and respect they receive at the festival, these talented filmmakers have emerged further inspired to continue practicing their craft.”

The ABFF’s four film sections – Shorts, U. S. Features, International Features and Documentaries – have been created to provide visibility to new films. Filmmakers are recognized at the ABFF’s Independent Film Awards (Oct. 29) and rewarded with cash and other prizes. Through the support of Film Life and a wide variety of corporate partners, the American Black Film Festival continues with its mission to fortify the Black filmmaking community, and make films by and about people of color more accessible to mainstream audiences.

Sponsors aboard the 2007 ABFF include HBO (Founding & Title), Lincoln and Allstate (Premier), Nokia, Blockbuster, Paper Denim & Cloth, VIBE, Black Enterprise and Upscale (Official), Codeblack Entertainment, Nickelodeon, UrbanWorks Entertainment, Uptown, Black Noir and the Sofitel LA (Supporting).

Home Box Office, Inc. is the premium television programming subsidiary of Time Warner Inc., providing two 24-hour pay television services – HBO and Cinemax – to over 40 million U.S. subscribers. The services offer the most popular subscription video on demand products, HBO On Demand and Cinemax On Demand, as well as multiplex channels and HD feeds. Internationally the subscription video on demand products HBO On Demand and HBO Mobile, along with branded joint ventures, bring HBO services to over 50 countries. HBO programming is sold into over 150 countries worldwide.

The ABFF, cofounded by Jeff Friday in 1997, is a property of Film Life, Inc., a New York-based film marketing and distribution company. Its mission is to spearhead the global distribution of quality Black films and be the leading American brand producing Black movies, television, events and digital content. Film Life’s key properties include the American Black Film Festival (abff.com); The Black Movie Awards on TNT (blackmovieawards.com); and the ABFF DVD Series (thefilmlife.com), a partnership with Warner Home Video.

Festival and registration information is available online www.abff.com, via phone 212.966.2411, ext. 400, or by e-mail: abff@thefilmlife.com.

Jana Elise Taylor
212.966.2411, ext. 406