American Black Film Festival Celebrates Eight Years Of Corporate Support And Success

Time Warner Returns as Presenting Sponsor of the Festival

New York, NY, June 15, 2004 – Film Life’s 2004 American Black Film Festival (ABFF), July 14-18, South Beach, Florida, marks the festival’s eighth year, thanks to the ongoing sponsorship support of the corporate community. This year’s sponsors are Time Warner (Presenting Sponsor), HBO (Founding Sponsor) and Lincoln (Platinum Sponsor) , who, through the ABFF, are able to gain access to established Hollywood talent, the next wave of emerging filmmakers and the festival’s audience of upscale patrons.

“Despite today’s challenging economic climate, the ABFF continues to attract top-tier corporations. We are delighted that Time Warner has returned as our presenting sponsor,” said Jeff Friday, Film Life’s CEO and ABFF cofounder. “Time Warner and HBO’s long commitment to this festival allows us to continue our mission of showcasing contemporary Black cinema.”

In addition to fiscal support, ABFF sponsors contribute to programming, providing cash awards to filmmakers. Time Warner has initiated an annual series entitled “A Conversation With…” – an intimate conversation with an accomplished actor who reflects upon their career, craft and perspective on the industry (2003 featured Laurence Fishburne). The annual HBO Short Film Award (established 1998) spotlights new talent, introducing them to both the industry and the public. The winning filmmaker is granted a $20,000 cash award.

Other sponsors benefit from participating in the ABFF, interacting directly with members of the Black film industry and other professionals. This year’s Gold Sponsors are Blockbuster, Fox Searchlight Pictures, Martell Cognac, Phat Farm, Upscale magazine and UrbanWorks Entertainment. ABC, Inc., American Airlines, BET Pictures, Daily Blossom, Enyce, Greater Miami Convention and Visitors Bureau (GMCVB), Maverick Entertainment, Miami Beach Visitor and Convention Authority (VCA), Miami Dade County Tourist Development Council (TDC) and Nielsen Media Research are Silver Sponsors. Kodak, Miami-Dade County Mayor’s Office of Film and SAGIndie are industry partners., AOL Black Focus, Black Elegance, Black Enterprise, Essence, In Focus magazine, Premiere magazine and are media partners.

The ABFF, founded in 1997, is widely recognized as the premier Black film festival. The five-day retreat and international film market is dedicated to showcasing the work of independent filmmakers, to stimulate Black film development and promote cultural diversity within the film industry. The ABFF annually attracts more than 2,500 attendees. 2004 is the festival’s third year in South Beach.

The ABFF is a property of Film Life, Inc., a New York-based film marketing and distribution company established by Jeff Friday, Founder and CEO. Its mission is to spearhead the commercial development of independent Black films. Friday is also one of the original cofounders of the ABFF.

Time Warner Inc. is the world’s leading media and entertainment company whose businesses include filmed entertainment, interactive services, television networks, cable systems and publishing.

For more information on the American Black Film Festival, visit