2007 American Black Film Festival Announces Film Sections, Competitions & Awards

New York, NY, July 26, 2007 – Film Life’s 11th annual American Black Film Festival (ABFF) today announced its film sections, competitions and festival awards. The ABFF is the premier international marketplace for films that showcase the best new work by and about people of African descent. The festival will run from October 25 to 29 in Los Angeles. HBO® is the festival’s founding and title sponsor.

ABFF’s competitions reward excellence in independent Black cinema. The HBO Short Film Competition is now going into its tenth year. With the support of major U.S. corporations, the festival awards cash and other prizes valued in the six figures. The competition categories are comprised of four film sections: Short Films, U.S. Features, International Features and Documentaries. There are seven festival awards:

HBO Short Film Award
Jury Prize for Best Screenplay, sponsored by Allstate
Jury Prize for Best Director
Jury Prize for Best Actor
Jury Prize for Best Picture, sponsored by Kodak
Audience Award for Best U.S. Feature, sponsored by Blockbuster
Best Documentary

In addition, ABFF has recently launched an exciting national consumer contest The 2007 Allstate® Beyond February “Be Reel” Contest. To enter you must create a 5-90 second commercial/film answering either or both of the following questions: 1) Why is it important to be involved in the community year round? and/or 2) What are you doing or would you do to strengthen the growth and success of the community? Each entrant enters for the chance to win a trip to the 2007 ABFF and a grand prize of $5,000.

“The ABFF’s monetary awards are unsurpassed on the film festival circuit. The festival gives independent filmmakers exactly what they need, 1) a forum to showcase their films to an appreciative audience and 2) money… says former ABFF multiaward winner Roger Bobb (Producer: House of Payne, Daddy’s Little Girls and Madea’s Family Reunion). The relationships that I have made as an ABFF award winner are directly responsible for the success that I have had as a filmmaker.”

Melanie Sharee, the festival’s director, added, “We are particularly proud of new talent discovered through our competitions and continue to work to assist those and other filmmakers to generate exposure. ABFF provides a much needed launch pad for Black filmmakers’ careers.”

This year’s award winners will be announced at a press conference on the closing day of the festival, Monday, October 29, at the WGA Theater.

Film submissions for consideration for the 11th annual ABFF are being accepted now through August 15 2007. For detailed information on competitions, eligibility criteria, deadlines, awards and downloadable submission forms visit www.abff.com.

Sponsors on board for the 2007 ABFF include HBO (Founding & Title), Lincoln, Allstate and BET J (Premier), Blockbuster, Nokia, Paper Denim & Cloth, VIBE, Black Enterprise and Upscale (Official), Nielsen Media Research, Fox Searchlight Pictures, Codeblack Entertainment, Nickelodeon, Golden Street Entertainment, The Word Network, UrbanWorks Entertainment, Heineken, Inta Juice, Uptown, Black Noir, heart&soul, 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 submission and registration information is available online www.abff.com, via phone 212.966.2411, ext. 400, or by e-mail: abff@thefilmlife.com.