ABFF “American Black Film Festival” Announces Move To New York City And 2014 Dates

by LP Green, II

Film Life is pleased to announce that the 18th annual American Black Film Festival (ABFF) will be held June 19-22, 2014, in New York City. The ABFF is the leading U.S. festival presenting films by or about people of African descent, and is widely recognized and respected as a pipeline for Black talent.

Committed to the belief that Black content creators and artists deserve the same opportunities as their mainstream counterparts, Film Life CEO and ABFF founder Jeff Friday conceived the festival as a vehicle to promote diversity in film and television. Established in 1997, the ABFF has showcased over 700 films to date, and through its selective competitions annually introduces the top echelon of emerging artists to the industry at large. Past alumni who can attribute their career success to the ABFF include Will Packer (Think Like a Man), Roger M. Bobb (For Colored Girls), and Ryan Coogler (Fruitvale Station).

“New York offers a much larger gateway for us to further our mission,” said Jeff Friday, “it is our goal to not only support Black filmmakers, but to promote their work for everyone’s enjoyment!  Ultimately, we’d like to see Black film have as great an impact on American culture as we have had in music, fashion and sports. I am truly honored to have HBO as a collaborative partner for the past seventeen years and salute them for their support of the ABFF and other festivals of this nature.”

“HBO is proud of the small role we have played in ABFF’s emergence as a preeminent film event,” said Dennis Williams, vice president, Corporate Social Responsibility.  “Their move to NY elevates ABFF to an even grander stage, allowing it to tap intoNew York’s expansive creative community. A perfect pairing!”

The hub of the festival will be Manhattan’s Chelsea neighborhood between the Metropolitan Pavilion and the SVA Theatre. Activities during the four-day event will include screenings, panels, workshops, talent showcases and celebrity conversations. The culminating ceremony, “ABFF Honors,” is a star-studded awards presentation whose past honorees include Halle Berry,Lee Daniels, Spike Lee, Keenen Ivory Wayans and Morgan Freeman. Sponsors to date include: HBO (Founding and Premier) and Nielsen (Supporting). It is anticipated that the ABFF will attract more than 30,000 attendees.

“As one of the most popular film locations in the world, we are pleased to welcome the American Black Film Festival to New York City next June. We cannot think of a better backdrop than NYC for the American Black Film Festival to host its 18th annual event and we look forward to welcoming former and new attendees to the City for this high caliber event,” said NYC & Company CEOGeorge Fertitta.


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