The 17th Annual American Black Film Festival (ABFF) is Now Accepting Entries for the ‘Star Project’ Acting Competition

NBCUniversal returns as competition sponsor

NEW YORK, NY, December 20, 2012 – Today, Film Life, Inc. announces that the 2013 ABFF Star Project acting competition is now open. Aspiring actors, who are serious about their craft, will once again have an opportunity of a lifetime to breakthrough and get discovered.

Launched in 2009 as part of the American Black Film Festival (ABFF), the goal of the Star Project is to provide a platform to spotlight talented, yet undiscovered actors, while supporting their career advancement. Each year, one male and one female thespian are selected as Grand-Prize winners.

To date, the Star Project has served as a catalyst for its talented winners to break into the film and television industry. The 2010, female winner, Emayatzy Corinealdi, has since landed roles in major film and television projects including the female lead in the critically acclaimed independent feature film “Middle of Nowhere.” For this performance, she won the Gotham Independent Film Award for Breakthrough Actor and has been nominated for an NAACP Image Award, as well as an Independent Spirit Award . The 2009 male winner, Bechir Sylvain, has starred in several national television commercials including a VISA commercial currently running, in which he costars with NFL legend John Madden.

“It was my goal to create a much needed pipeline for African American actors to gain exposure within the industry,” said Jeff Friday, founder and CEO of ABFF. “I could not be more pleased that our winners have achieved this level of commercial success in the three-year history of the competition. Time and time again, NBCUniversal has proven its commitment to diversity in front of the camera.”

Star Project entrants are required to submit two videotaped monologues: one of their choice, and one selected by NBCUniversal and ABFF. The Star Project Jury is comprised of an esteemed panel of accomplished actors, directors and casting executives.

“NBCUniversal is honored to partner with the ABFF Star Project to raise awareness around deserving talent and help promote career opportunities within the NBCU family and beyond,” said Kendra Carter, Director of Talent Diversity Initiatives, NBCUniversal. “We look forward to providing these actors with a fitting platform to launch their careers, and this year’s winners will also have the added opportunity to meet with Universal Pictures Casting executives.”

The Star Project winners’ prizes include a free trip to the ABFF held in Miami June 19-23, 2013, where they will be presented before the festival audience during its culminating event. Additionally, one grand-prize winner, announced at the festival, will have the opportunity to meet with casting directors for film and television at NBCUniversal in Los Angeles, and will be granted a walk-on role on the award-winning NBC daytime drama, “Days of our Lives.”

HOW TO ENTER: To enter the Contest, during the Contest Period log on to (the “Website”), click on ENTER A TALENT COMPETITION and then click on THE STAR PROJECT to access the submission form (the “Submission Form”).

Deadline for submissions: March 15, 2013

Festival passes and tickets are available now for purchase at:

Established in 1997, the core mission of the ABFF is to promote cultural diversity within the motion picture industry. Through its film showcases and special contests, it annually introduces the top echelon of emerging artists to the film and television industry.

The ABFF is a property of Film Life, Inc., a New York-based event marketing, production and film distribution company founded in 2000 by Jeff Friday (CEO).

For full details on this year’s festival, please visit

For media inquiries, contact Lisa Sorensen at 646-330-5458 or

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