Home Box Office Opens 10th Annual HBO Short Film Award Call For Entry

Five finalists to be chosen to compete for $20,000 grand prize at Film Life’s 2007 American Black Film Festival in Los Angeles this October 25-29

New York, NY, May 17, 2007 – Home Box Office announced it is now accepting entries for its 10th Annual HBO Short Film Award at Film Life’s 2007 American Black Film Festival (ABFF). The competition honors the writing and directing talents of Black filmmakers. A grand prize of $20,000 will be presented by HBO at the ABFF, taking place in Los Angeles, October 25-29.

The HBO Short Film Award has been presented as part of the ABFF’s competitive film showcase since its inception in 1998. This year also marks the 10th anniversary of HBO as founding and title sponsor of the festival.

“HBO has long had a reputation of embracing Black stories and Black filmmakers,” said Olivia Smashum, executive vice president, Affiliate Marketing at HBO. “We are extremely proud of our role at the ABFF and the opportunity that the festival continues to give us to nurture new talent.”

Five films will be chosen by a panel of industry professionals based on artistic excellence, with the finalists participating in a special screening and final round of competition at the festival. The grand prize of $20,000 will be awarded to one filmmaker by HBO at the ABFF’s awards press conference. A prize of $5,000 will also be given to each of the four runners-up.

“Over the years HBO has provided an unprecedented platform for many African Americans in film; in front of and behind the camera,” said Jeff Friday, ABFF Co-Founder. “The HBO Short Film Award is just another example of their commitment to artistic diversity. The competition is the cornerstone of the ABFF film program and has unveiled some truly talented artists.”

The HBO Short Film Award competition is open to U.S. and international filmmakers of African descent, 18 years of age or older, who have directed and/or written a short film of 20 minutes or less. All films must have been produced after January 1, 2006 in English or contain English subtitles. Deadline for entries is Wednesday, July 11 and all entries must arrive at the ABFF office postmarked by that date.

Additionally, all entries must qualify as a festival premiere, with no festival screenings planned through the scheduled ABFF screening dates of October 25-29. Short films that have won awards at other festivals or those that have previously been submitted to the HBO Short Film Award competition, under its current or any former title, are not eligible. Films must also not have had previous cable broadcast screenings.

Submissions will be accepted on DVD only, accompanied by official HBO/ABFF entry form, $40.00 submission fee and other pertinent materials. For entry forms and rules and regulations, visit www.abff.com.

The 2006 HBO Short Film Award grand prize of $20,000 was presented to writer/director Moon Molson for his film “Pop Foul,” a coming-of-age story about a boy who must choose between staying loyal or being honest after witnessing his father’s beating by a local thug.

The ABFF, founded 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.

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.

Contact: Jodie Hauptmann, 212-512-5431