2008 American Black Film Festival Announces Dates and Calls For Submissions

Allstate® signs on as festival Presenting Sponsor

New York, NY, April 1, 2008 – Film Life’s 12th annual American Black Film Festival (ABFF) will take place August 7-10, 2008, in Los Angeles, CA, it was announced by the festival founder and CEO of Film Life, Inc., Jeff Friday. “We are very exited about once again being in Los Angeles and providing the opportunity to link the independent Black film community with Hollywood,” Friday stated.

Festival activities will be centered in West Hollywood and Beverly Hills. Allstate® has signed on as the 2008 presenting sponsor. HBO®, the festival’s founding sponsor, returns along with BETJ and Lincoln as premiere sponsors. Film submissions for consideration for the 2008 ABFF are being accepted from now through June 3, 2008. Submission forms, deadlines and eligibility criteria are available online at www.abff.com.

“We are excited about moving up to the presenting sponsor level and taking the film screenings to several local communities,” said Raleigh Floyd, communications manager for Allstate. “As part of our “Beyond February” initiative, the 2008 Allstate Be Reel Film Contest is an acknowledgement of the important role the arts play in strengthening communities, and another way Allstate demonstrates its commitment to the African-American community year-round,” he added.

The mission of the festival, which was founded in 1997, 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 having gone on to secure theatrical or DVD distribution. Festival alumni include director Sylvain White (Stomp the Yard) and producers Rob Hardy and Will Packer (This Christmas and Stomp the Yard), producer Roger M. Bobb (Tyler Perry’s Why Did I Get Married and 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 theme of this year’s festival is Exploring Black Sexuality in Cinema. We plan to present an exciting panel as well as screen several films with sexuality at their core,” said Reggie Scott, executive director of the ABFF. “Additionally, we intend to work closely with the studios to create a potent marketplace for buyers and producers of independent Black cinema,” Scott added.

In addition to its cinematic showcases, the ABFF nurtures artists in a variety of disciplines, offering workshops, symposiums, exclusive parties, high-level networking and signature events including: panel discussions, ABFF Honors, the HBO Short Film Competition and “A Conversation with…” For the past eleven years, HBO has collaborated with the ABFF to bring the best emerging Black filmmakers to the forefront.

Official festival screenings are organized into four sections, Short Films, feature length Narratives, Documentaries and Animation,. The best films of the ABFF are recognized at the ABFF Awards Announcement (August 10) and rewarded with the ABFF Independent Film Award, 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.

Additional sponsors and media partners include: Heineken and Blockbuster (Official); Nielsen Media Research and One Village Entertainment (Supporting); Black Enterprise, Uptown Magazine, Heart & Soul, Upscale, Black Noir, EUR Web, Monarch and Toy Box (Media)

The Allstate Corporation (NYSE: ALL) is the nation’s largest publicly held personal lines insurer. Widely known through the “You’re In Good Hands With Allstate®” slogan, Allstate helps individuals in approximately 17 million households protect what they have today and better prepare for tomorrow through approximately 14,900 exclusive agencies and financial representatives in the U.S. and Canada. Customers can access Allstate products and services such as auto insurance and homeowners insurance through Allstate agencies, or in select states at allstate.com and 1-800 Allstate®. Encompass® and Deerbrook® Insurance brand property and casualty products are sold exclusively through independent agents. The Allstate Financial Group provides life insurance, supplemental accident and health insurance, annuity, banking and retirement products designed for individual, institutional and worksite customers that are distributed through Allstate agencies, independent agencies, financial institutions and broker-dealers.

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 is the producer of the American Black Film Festival (abff.com), The Turks & Caicos International Film Festival (turksandcaicosfilmfest.com), The Black Movie Awards (blackmovieawards.com), and the ABFF DVD Series (thefilmlife.com), a partnership with Warner Home Video.

Festival and registration information is available online at www.abff.com, or by e-mail: abff@thefilmlife.com.