19th Annual

American Black Film Festival

June 11, 2015 to June 14, 2015

Add to Watchlist Qualify this Project
Film Market
Submit Online
c/o Film Life, Inc.
New York NY 10013
Phone: 646 922 8129 ext 1

CLOSED FOR THE SEASON • Information may be outdated. Add this event to your Watch List and set a Remind-Me if you want to be notified when the next Call For Entries is posted.

Narrative Features
Live Action or Animation
HBO Short Film Competition
The HBO Short Film Competition is regarded as one of the most prestigious short film showcases in the country. Each year five filmmakers are selected to screen their film at the American Black Film Festival in NYC during the month of June, where one winner will be selected to receive the HBO Short Film Award and cash prize of $10,000.

Filmmakers must upload a signed HBO Competition Release Form (available at abff.com) with their submission in order to qualify for consideration.
Web Originals
Entrant must submit three original episodes of a Web series for consideration.
Merged Shorts


The ABFF (American Black Film Festival) is a four-day event dedicated to showcasing quality films by and about people of African descent. It is the preeminent pipeline to new Black talent in front of and behind the camera, and is regarded as the nation’s largest gathering of Black film and TV enthusiasts, as well as one of the leading film festivals in the world.

Each year the ABFF commissions a screening committee to evaluate all film submissions based on the following criteria:

World Premiere Status/Limited Screening History Preferred
Artistic and Technical Merit (script, direction, acting, production value, uniqueness etc.)


Committed to the belief that Black content creators and artists deserve the same opportunities as their mainstream counterparts, ABFF founder Jeff Friday conceived the festival in 1997 as a vehicle to promote diversity in the film and television industry.

Since its inception, the ABFF’s film program has provided a platform for more than 800 narrative feature films, documentaries, shorts and web originals, offering a consistent means to reward and encourage artistic excellence. Alumni success stories range from veteran producer Will Packer (Ride Along) to young auteur Ryan Coogler (Fruitvale Station) – testimony to the festival’s mission to introduce and connect talented newcomers to the industry-at-large.

In addition, the ABFF presents over 30 exciting events and networking activities designed to foster career development and inspire festival attendees. The festival traditionally opens with a Hollywood movie premiere, followed by independent film screenings, master classes, panels, celebrity talks, entertainment and talent showcases co-programmed with leading media companies (HBO, Comcast/NBCUniversal and CNN). In 2015, the festival is expanding its program to showcase diversity in television by featuring more television-related content. Activities will include a Writers Lab, TV Expo, and case studies of popular current television shows.

The festival annually attracts a core audience of artists, entertainment executives, A-list celebrities and upscale film enthusiasts.
The American Black Film Festival is produced by Film Life, Inc., a multi-faceted entertainment company and Black Enterprise, the leading media company providing business information and services to African Americans, both headquartered in New York. The 19th annual ABFF will be held in New York City, June 11-14, 2015.


Jazmin Washington (Assistant to the Founder & CEO); Jeff Friday (Founder & CEO); Melanie Sharee (Sr. Director of Programming)



- Electronic Press Kit inclusive of film's synopsis, key crew bios etc.
- Upload Film online via Withoutabox only
- Entry fee payment


Running Times:
Narrative Features - minimum of 72 minutes
Documentaries - minimum of 45 minutes
Web Originals - maximum of 8 minutes in length
HBO Short Film Competition - maximum of 20 minutes in length

- Films/Web Originals must have been completed post January 1, 2014

- Films/Web Originals must be written, produced or directed by a person of African descent, feature a person of African descent in a leading role

- Films/Web Originals must not have had any commercial theatrical or television play or broadcast on the internet and must not have distribution

- Films/Web Originals in a language other than English must be subtitled in English for festival presentation


American Black Film Festival is hereby granted the right to utilize an excerpt from any film submitted and accepted for exhibition at the Festival for promotional purposes.

The individual or corporation submitting the film hereby warrants that it is authorized to commit the film for screening, and understands and accepts these requirements and regulations.

The undersigned shall indemnify and hold harmless American Black Film Festival from and against any and all claims, liabilities, losses, damages, and expenses (including but not limited to attorney's fees, and costs of the court) which may be incurred by reason of any claim involving copyright, trademark, credits, publicity, screening, and loss of or damage to the screening videos entered.