20th Annual

American Black Film Festival

June 15, 2016 to June 19, 2016

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Film Market
Submit Online
c/o ABFF Ventures
New York NY 10016
Phone: 212 886 9581

CLOSED FOR THE SEASON • Information may be outdated.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
Web Originals
Entrant must submit two original episodes of a Web series for consideration.
HBO Short Film Competiton
Short films for consideration for the 2016 ABFF are being accepted now until April 1 only via WITHOUTABOX.com.
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 Miami, where one winner will be selected to receive the HBO Short Film Award and cash prize of $10,000.


The ABFF (American Black Film Festival) is a five-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 several screening committees to evaluate the year's 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 900 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 writer/director Ryan Coogler (Creed, 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 conversations, entertainment and talent showcases co-programmed with leading media companies (HBO, Comcast NBCUniversal and TV One).

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 ABFF Ventures, a partnership between Film Life, Inc. and Black Enterprise, the leading media company providing business information and services to African Americans. The 21st annual ABFF will be held in Miami, dates to be announced.


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 10 minutes in length
Short Films - maximum of 20 minutes

- Films/Web Originals must have been completed post January 1, 2015

- 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.