Film Life’s American Black Film Festival (ABFF) kicked off yesterday and runs through June 23 in Miami’s South Beach. The ABFF, of which HBO is the founding and premier sponsor, calls attention to the universality of black cinema through a variety of industry events, including competitions, workshops, panel discussions and more.
This year, in recognition of its long-standing partnership with the festival, HBO is hosting key events, beginning tonight with a special screening to showcase five films selected for the final round of the 16th Annual HBO Short Film Award. Established in 1998 as part of ABFF’s competitive film program, the award honors emerging black filmmakers. The grand prize winner will be announced during the festival’s closing night awards ceremony and will be awarded $10,000.
Other events presented by HBO include the ABFF Comedy Wings Competition Finals on Friday, which highlights up-and-coming comedians, and in conjunction with Macy’s, a panel discussion on Saturday that explores the impact of on-screen fashion in film and television.
In addition, three cast members from HBO’s award-winning original series – Nelsan Ellis (True Blood), Sufe Bradshaw (VEEP) and Michael K. Williams (Boardwalk Empire) – will also be on-site during the festival.
Get the full schedule of festival events here, and if you’re in the South Beach area, passes and tickets are on sale through June 22 at the American Airlines Festival Center in the Ritz Carlton, Miami Beach.