American Black Film Festival

(redirected from Acapulco Black Film Festival)
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American Black Film Festival

Date Observed: Five days in July
Location: Miami/South Beach, Florida

The American Black Film Festival (ABFF), formerly known as the Acapulco Black Film Festival, is an annual five-day retreat and international film market held in Miami/South Beach, Florida. It aims to provide the most prestigious platform for Pan-African films garnered from around the world, competitively screening features, shorts, and documentaries from both known and rising industry talents.

Historical Background

In 1997, three men co-founded the Acapulco Black Film Festival. Jeff Friday (president and CEO of Film Life, Inc.), Bryon Lewis (chairman and CEO of UniWorld Group, Inc.), and Warrington Hudlin (president of the Black Filmmakers Foundation) united for a common purpose: to create a forum that would provide a springboard for black cinematic achievement while simultaneously broadening public perception of their accomplishments.

Creation of the Festival

The festival was held in Acapulco for its first five years. In 2002, Film Life, Inc. acquired sole rights to the festival, which was then renamed the American Black Film Festival. Since then, the festival has been held in the South Beach/Miami area of Florida.


Since its inception, ABBF has shown more than 350 films, including full features, shorts, and documentaries. Attendance in 2005 topped 2,500.

Both industry professionals and consumers are welcomed at the various events that include not only the film screenings but also workshops, seminars, lectures, classes, interactive discussions, and more. In an effort to fulfill its mission, the festival designs a week-long program to expose attendees to all facets of the industry. In doing so, the goal is to break down barriers to opportunity (for example, offer access for sharing talent resources and artistic guidance) and to debunk myths of minority marginalization and stereotyping.

The festival concludes with a gala awards ceremony at which independent film awards and cash prizes are announced. In 2005, for instance, the film On the One, directed by Charles Randolph-Wright, won best feature award and a cash prize of $20,000. At earlier festivals such celebrities as Spike Lee, Rosario Dawson, Russell Simmons, and Gabrielle Union have been honored.

Contacts and Web Sites

c/o Film Life P.O. Box 688 New York, NY 10012

Black Hollywood Education & Research Center 1875 Century Park E., Ste. 6th Fl. Los Angeles, CA 95067 310-284-3170; hotline: 323-957-4747; fax: 310-284-3169

Further Reading

"Filmmaker Spike Lee and Actress Rosario Dawson Honored at American Black Film Festival." Jet, August 16, 2004. Mottesheard, Ryan. "Urban Heats Up with ABFF; Miami-based Festival Increases Awareness for Segment." Daily Variety, July 11, 2005. "Russell Simmons and Gabrielle Union Saluted at American Black Film Festival." Jet, August 4, 2003.
References in periodicals archive ?
Screenings: The 2001 Acapulco Black Film Festival, June 4-June 9.
Says Jeff Friday, the executive producer and producer of the Acapulco Black Film Festival and president of UniWorld Films, "Scary Movie was never intended to be positioned as a black movie.
The Acapulco Black Film Festival, sponsored by the Black Filmmaker Foundation and UniWorld Films, requires that a film be directed or written and produced by a person of African descent to gain entry to the festival.
The Acapulco Black Film Festival (ABFF), to be held June 4-9, 2001, will celebrate its fifth anniversary thanks to the ongoing sponsorship support of the corporate community.
With a penchant for film that stems back to his work on the 1971 cult classic, Shaft, to promotions and public relations for films such as Amistad and X, Lewis launched the Acapulco Black Film Festival in 1996.
The Acapulco Black Film Festival (ABFF), held June 5-10, 2000, has attracted backing from top-tier companies seeking to enhance their brand profiles through film industry tie-ins.
We'll offer our services to the Hollywood community and leverage UniWorld's experience in mass-marketing existing films," says Friday, who previously served as executive director and producer of the Acapulco Black Film Festival.
Winners of the 1999 Black Film Awards and HBO Short Film Award were announced at the third annual Acapulco Black Film Festival.
and founder of the Acapulco Black Film Festival for his many contributions to ethnic advertising and film marketing.
THE BUZZ ABOUT THE ROMANTIC COMEDY Hav Plenty started in June at the first-ever Acapulco Black Film Festival.
They were so impressed, Hudlin insisted Cherot debut his film at the Acapulco Black Film Festival.