ABFF and BET Networks Team Up to Announce the 2017 Television and Movie of the Year Nominees for “BET Presents The American Black Film Festival Honors”

ABFF Honors Logo


Show Tapes Friday, February 17 in Los Angeles and will air on BET Wednesday, February 22 at 8:00 PM ET


Los Angeles, CA (January 26, 2017) – Today, the American Black Film Festival (ABFF) and BET Networks announced the 2017 ABFF Honors television and movie nominees. ABFF Honors is an annual gala saluting excellence in motion pictures and television. Its mission is to celebrate Black culture by recognizing individuals, movies and television shows that have had a significant impact on American entertainment, as well as those who are proponents of championing diversity and inclusion in Hollywood. “BET Presents American Black Film Festival Honors” will tape in Los Angeles at the Beverly Hilton on Friday, February 17 and will air on BET and Centric, Wednesday, February 22 at 8:00PM ET.

Actress Regina Hall will bring her lively and energetic personality to the stage as host of this year’s annual event. Regina has emerged as one of Hollywood’s most sought after comedic actresses and is well known for her roles in such blockbusters as: Scary Movie, Think Like A Man, When the Bough Breaks, Barber Shop 3 and Universal Pictures’ Girls Trip, to be released June 2017.

This year’s “Movie of the Year” nominees touch on political, social and economic issues. Included are two biopics: one focuses on a Ugandan girl whose world changes after being introduced to the game of chess, and the other tells the story about a group of African-American women who worked with NASA to launch the programs first successful space missions. Another nominee is a period drama based on the story of Nat Turner, an enslaved man who led a slave rebellion. Our final nominees are dramas that deep dives into the concept of choice, decisions and acceptance.

Nominees for “Movie of the Year” are:

  • THE BIRTH OF A NATION (Fox Searchlight)
  • FENCES (Paramount)
  • HIDDEN FIGURES (20th Century Fox)
  • QUEEN OF KATWE (The Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures)

The “Television Show of the Year” nominees are smart, funny and authentic. From an awkward Black girl who navigates the racy tribulations of modern-day love and friendships and an ambitious college dropout and his cousin, who suddenly becomes a rap star, to a family struggling to gain a sense of cultural identity, a complicated story of three siblings who inherited a sugarcane farm and a night club owner leading a double life as a drug kingpin – television over the past year has been captivating and honest.

Nominees for “Television Show of the Year” are:

  • BLACK-ish (ABC)

“We are excited to partner with BET again for the 2017 American Black Film Festival Honors. The show is a crucial platform, highlighting the efforts and successes of African American talent in film and television. This year will celebrate the remarkable works of some of today’s most sought after actors, directors and producers,” says Jeff Friday, ABFF Ventures CEO.

In addition to recognizing the top television shows and films of the year, ABFF Honors will pay tribute to industry legends, along with today’s creative forces, who together inspire the actors and content creators of tomorrow. Honorees to be revealed soon.

The winners of both categories will be determined by the popular vote of the 2017 ABFF Honors Awards Jury, a blue ribbon panel of actors, filmmakers, film critics and entertainment diversity executives, and the general public with public voting scheduled to begin Tuesday, January 26 at ABFFHonors.com/vote. To qualify for movie of the year, the film must have been directed by or feature a person of African descent in the leading role and had a U.S. theatrical release or broadcast premiere on a domestic television network/streaming platform during the 2016 calendar year. To qualify for television show of the year, the scripted television series (comedy or drama) must be created by or feature a person of African descent in the leading role and had a season premiere on a domestic television network or streaming platform during the 2016 calendar year.

ABFF Honors will be one of the highlights of the Hollywood Awards season and Black History Month. The event is executive produced by ABFF Ventures founder Jeff Friday, Suzanne de Passe and Madison Jones for de Passe Jones Entertainment, Jesse Collins for Jesse Collins Entertainment, and Connie Orlando, Stephen G. Hill and Debra Lee for BET Networks.

The 2017 ABFF Honors sponsors are Cadillac and Prudential Financial Services (Red Carpet Partners) and Hennessy (Official Spirit).


For media inquiries and to apply for media credentials for the 2017 ABFF Honors, please log on to http://abffhonors.com/contact.html.

The American Black Film Festival (ABFF) is an annual event dedicated to showcasing quality film and television content by and about people of African descent. It supports emerging artists to foster a wider range of images, stories and storytellers represented in the entertainment industry. The festival is committed to the belief that Black artists and content creators deserve the same opportunities as their mainstream counterparts. ABFF founder Jeff Friday conceived the festival in 1997 as a vehicle to promote diversity in the motion picture industry, and strengthen the Black filmmaking community through resource sharing, education, artistic collaboration and career development. Today, the ABFF is recognized as the preeminent pipeline to new Black talent, both in front of and behind the camera, and is regarded as one of the leading film festivals in the world. The ABFF is a property of ABFF Ventures LLC, a multifaceted entertainment company specializing in the production of live events, television and digital content targeted to upscale African American audiences.

For additional information about the festival, visit www.ABFF.com/.

BET Networks, a subsidiary of Viacom Inc. (NASDAQ: VIA, VIA.B sted NYSE: VIA, VIA.B), is the nation’s leading provider of quality entertainment, music, news and public affairs television programming for the African-American audience. The primary BET channel reaches more than 90 million households and can be seen in the United States, Canada, the Caribbean, the United Kingdom and sub-Saharan Africa. BET is the dominant African-American consumer brand with a diverse group of business extensions: BET.com, a leading Internet destination for Black entertainment, music, culture, and news; CENTRIC, a 24-hour entertainment network targeting the African-American Woman; BET Music Networks – BET Jams, BET Soul and BET Gospel; BET Home Entertainment; BET Live, BET’s growing festival business; BET Mobile, which provides ringtones, games and video content for wireless devices; and BET International, which operates BET around the globe.

Michelle Huff Elliott
Strategic Heights Media

Terrece Walker
BET Communications