The American Black Film Festival (ABFF) 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.

After 24 years, the festival has become a cornerstone of diversity in Hollywood, providing a platform for emerging black artists – many of who 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). The ABFF is 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 world’s largest community of black film and television enthusiasts” the ABFF attracts a broad audience of celebrity talent, emerging artists, upscale consumers, and industry stakeholders. Approximately 7,000 to 10,000 people travel to Miami Beach each year for the five-day event. The festival opens with the premiere of an upcoming Hollywood release followed by a full schedule of intriguing independent film screenings, master classes, panels, celebrity talks, live entertainment, and a variety of networking and hospitality events.

The ABFF’s dynamic program continues to evolve. In 2020 it will expand to include the John Singleton Award for Best First Feature Film; "ABFF Fit,” the festival’s new health and wellness initiative; and “ABFF Pride,” this year’s social impact show-case theme centered on the LGBTQIA community. In addition, the National Museum of African American History and Culture (NMAAHC) in Washington, D.C., recently acquired ABFF photographs and other archival materials to be included in its permanent collection. With the support of the world’s leading 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). ABFFV is a multifaceted entertainment company specializing in the production of live events and branded content. Its mission is to entertain and inspire communities of color while promoting diversity in Hollywood. Headquartered in Los Angeles, ABFFV was formed to stimulate business growth through expansion into other events and services. Its tent-pole properties are the American Black Film Festival (ABFF), cited by MovieMaker magazine as “One of the Coolest Festivals in the World;” and “ABFF Honors,” a televised annual awards gala saluting the top stars of film and television. In creating ABFF Ventures, CEO Jeff Friday channeled his passion for film and television, as well as his discomfort with the under representation of people of color in Hollywood, into an organization with the ultimate goal of advocating for diversity within the entertainment industry. Through his vision and perseverance, ABFF Ventures has become a highly respected enterprise, generating goodwill throughout the Hollywood and corporate communities.

The 24th annual ABFF will be held in Miami Beach October 21–25, 2020.


Jury Award -- Best Narrative Feature
Jury Award -- Best Director, Narrative Feature
Jury Award -- Best Screenplay, Narrative Feature
Jury Award -- Best Actor, 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
Audience Award -- Best Narrative Feature

For specific rules and terms, please visit

Overall Rating
  • 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
  • Lisa Koffler

    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
  • In Hollywoodland

    A truly incredible festival that really cares about its filmmakers. It was an honor to be selected. They went above and beyond, especially since it had to be virtual this year (2020). Definitely well worth the application. Thank you for your commitment to filmmakers.

    September 2020