Submissions Open For 2020 American Black Film Festival’s HBO Short Film Competition

NEW YORK, NY, (December 12, 2019) – Film submissions are now open for the American Black Film Festival (ABFF)’s 23rd Annual HBO Short Film Competition. The five filmmakers selected as finalists will receive a trip to the festival in Miami Beach, Florida (including airfare and hotel accommodations), which runs from June 17-21, 2020. The winning prize for the ABFF’s HBO Short Film Award is $10,000 and each finalist will receive $5,000. In addition, all five films will be made available to stream on HBO.

The HBO Short Film Competition is regarded as one of the most prestigious short film showcases in the country. Prior winners include Ryan Coogler (“Black Panther”), Steven Caple Jr (“Creed II”), Kiel Adrian Scott (“The Bobby Brown Story”), Saladin K. Patterson (“The Big Bang Theory”) and Ben Watkins (“Burn Notice”).

HBO has been a presenting sponsor of ABFF since its inception in 1997 and is dedicated to furthering ABFF’s mission to showcase quality film and television content by and about people of African descent. Last year’s five finalists included “Cap,” written and directed by Marshall Tyler, “Wednesday,” written by Jessica D. Shields and directed by Daniel Willis, “Fisherman,” written and directed by Zoey Martinson, “Evelyn x Evelyn,” written and directed by Eric Pumphrey and “Flight,” written by Kia Moses and codirected by Kia Moses and Adrian McDonald.

Hosted by Bevy Smith (“Page Six TV”), the competition will be held in the New World Center Performance Hall on Friday, June 19, at 4:30 p.m. The winner will be announced during the Best of the ABFF Awards Presentation on Saturday, June 20 at 9:30 p.m.

For complete submission criteria and eligibility visit Submission deadline is February 15, 2020 at 11:59 PT.


Presenting Sponsors for the 2020 American Black Film Festival include HBO (Founding); Greater Miami Convention & Visitors Bureau and WarnerMedia.

ABFF Ventures LLC (ABFFV) is a Los Angeles-based entertainment company founded by Jeff Friday as a platform to produce live events, television and film focused on African American culture. Its mission is to entertain and inspire communities of color while promoting diversity and inclusion in Hollywood. Its tent-pole properties are the American Black Film Festival (ABFF), cited by MovieMaker magazine as “One of the Coolest Festivals in the World;” and “ABFF Honors,” an annual awards ceremony saluting career achievement in film and television. In creating ABFF Ventures, CEO Jeff Friday channeled his passion for entertainment as well as his discomfort with the under-representation of people of color in Hollywood to create an organization with the ultimate goal of advocating for diversity within the industry. Through his vision and perseverance, ABFFV has become a highly respected enterprise, generating goodwill throughout the Hollywood and corporate communities. ABFF’s momentum continues to build. In 2019, the company expanded its international footprint with the highly successful launch of ABFF London as part of its Global Film Series. In addition, the National Museum of African American History and Culture (NMAAHC) in Washington, D.C., has acquired ABFF photographs and other archival materials to be included in its permanent collection. With the support of major entertainment, media and consumer product companies, the ABFF continues to lead the way promoting diversity and inclusion, helping to open doors to opportunities in the motion picture and television industries.

HBO® is one of the most respected and innovative entertainment brands in the world, serving iconic, award-winning programming to 140 million subscribers globally. A subsidiary of WarnerMedia, HBO is the world’s most successful pay TV service with an extensive array of programming that includes some of the most notable titles to be on television including Game of Thrones®, Big Little Lies®, Westworld®, The Sopranos®, Sex and the City®, Band of Brothers®, and The Wire®. In the United States, HBO® and sister network Cinemax® are available across multiple platforms including HBO On Demand®, Cinemax On Demand®, HBO GO® and MAX GO®, as well as HBO NOW®. Internationally, HBO branded services, including television networks and the standalone streaming product HBO GO®, are available in more than 70 countries across Asia, Europe, Latin America and the Caribbean. HBO and Cinemax programming is also sold into more than 150 countries worldwide.

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