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 23 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 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. 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), a multifaceted entertainment company specializing in the production of live events, television and film focused on African American culture. Headquartered in Los Angeles, the company is a joint venture of Jeff Friday Media and Black Enterprise, two prominent media and event companies, each with a legacy of showcasing the best of African American culture and achievement.
The 24th annual ABFF will be held in Miami Beach June 17–21, 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
Audience Award -- Best Narrative Feature
See each category for specific rules and terms.