ABFF 2021: November 3-14

The American Black Film Festival is an annual event dedicated to recognizing Black talent and showcasing quality film and television content by and about people of African descent. Dedicated to the belief that diverse artists deserve the same opportunities as their mainstream counterparts, ABFF Founder Jeff Friday conceived the festival in 1997 as a vehicle to strengthen the Black entertainment community by fostering resource sharing, education and artistic collaboration.

Twenty-five years later, the festival has become a cornerstone of diversity in Hollywood, providing a platform for emerging Black artists – many of whom have become today’s most successful actors, producers, writers, directors and stand-up comedians – including Ryan Coogler (Black Panther), Will Packer (Girls Trip), Issa Rae (Insecure), Kevin Hart (Night School), Omari Hardwick (Power) and Steven Caple Jr. (Creed II). Today, the ABFF is widely considered the preeminent pipeline for Black artists in front of and behind the camera, and has significantly expanded the range of talent working in the entertainment Industry.

As “the nation’s largest gathering of Black film and television enthusiasts” the ABFF attracts a broad audience of celebrity talent, emerging artists, upscale consumers and industry stakeholders. Historically, 7,000 to 10,000 people have traveled to Miami Beach each year for the event. The festival opens with the debut of an upcoming Hollywood release followed by a robust lineup of Hollywood premieres, independent film screenings, master classes, panels, celebrity talks, live entertainment, and a variety of networking and hospitality events.

In response to the crisis of the COVID-19 pandemic and its disproportionate impact on communities of color, in 2020 the ABFF program was presented virtually, attracting online attendees from 90 countries around the world. The program included the first presentation of the John Singleton Award for Best First Feature Film (established in 2020) and a LGBTQIA film section, “ABFF Pride.”

With the support of a global network of major entertainment, media and consumer product companies, the festival continues to lead the way promoting diversity in the motion picture and television industries.

The American Black Film Festival is a property of ABFF Ventures LLC (ABFFV), a Los Angeles-based entertainment company founded by its CEO Jeff Friday, as a platform to produce live and digital events focused on African American culture and achievement.

The 25th annual American Black Film Festival is scheduled to take place from November 3-14, 2021, with live events in Miami November 3-7, and virtual events streaming on ABFFPlay.com November 8-14.

Jury Award -- Best Narrative Feature
Jury Award -- Best Director, Narrative Feature
Jury Award -- Best Screenplay, Narrative Feature
Jury Award -- John Singleton Award for Best First Feature
Jury Award -- Best Documentary
Jury Award -- Best Web Series
Jury Award -- HBO Short Film Competition Award

Eligibility criteria is found listed under each category and summarized on ABFF.com/miami/submissions/

Important Notice: Films submitted to the Narrative Features Competition or Documentary Features Competition must be a U.S. festival premiere. If your film is not eligible, please submit to the World Showcase section for consideration.

Overall Rating
  • Amazing experience, I am happy to have my movie as part of this festival. Already submitted my next movie and will be submitting the 3rd movie. Hope to attend in person in the near future when life is normal again. Great job, keep it up.

    April 2021
  • Michiel Thomas

    Excellent organization and very friendly and warm team. Wish I could've attended in person, but the virtual experience was still amazing!

    November 2020
  • This festival was informative and provided valuable information to help filmmakers get to the next level. This is one of THE best film festivals for learning your craft!

    November 2020
  • An amazing experience! Nicole and Jeff make us feel at home.

    September 2020
  • Star Victoria

    Such a wonderful festival! They truly do all they can to help the emerging directors who screen at the festival with opportunities to meet people in the industry. Truly appreciative and honored to be a member of the ABFF family!

    September 2020