American Black Film Festival returns to Miami in 2016

by LP Green, II

The American Black Film Festival is returning to its former Miami Beach home in time for its 20th anniversary.

Festival founder Jeff Friday announced at a press conference on Aug. 11 that with the help of the Greater Miami Convention & Visitors Bureau, the event had secured dates on South Beach for the next three years, beginning with 2016.

The festival, which caters primarily to aspiring filmmakers and industry executives, offers a mix of screenings, workshops, master classes and award shows. Previous attendees include Spike Lee, Robert Townsend, Anthony Anderson, Lee Daniels and Rosario Dawson.

“I am so happy to celebrate the American Black Film Festival’s 20th anniverary in Miami next year,” Friday said. “Aside from being one of the most desirable destinations in the world and a big attraction for festival-goers, the community has always embraced ABFF and its mission to showcase and provide a platform for African Americans in film and television. …We look forward to the celebratory four-day weekend with tremendous enthusiasm. It’s great to be back.”

2016 will mark the eleventh time the ABFF has been held in Miami. From 1997-2001, it was known as the Acapulco Black Film Festival and took place in Mexico. In 2002, under the leadership of new director Jeff Friday, the event was rechristened the American Black Film Festival and relocated to South Beach, where it remained for the next four years.

In 2007, Friday moved the show to Los Angeles in hopes of attracting more big-name talent. In 2010, the event returned to Miami and stayed for the next four years. The 2014 and 2015 editions were held in New York City.

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