Major Media Organizations to Present Panel Discussions at 2002 American Black Film Festival in South Beach

HBO, AOLTW, ABC and Nielsen Media to Participate in Efforts to Develop and Encourage Black Filmmakers

New York – Executives from HBO, AOLTW, ABC and Nielsen Media will present panels designed to assist aspiring black filmmakers in bringing their talents to major studios and television networks during the American Black Film Festival (June 26-30, South Beach, Miami) it was announced today.

HBO’s panel, “Pitching to HBO,” will provide valuable information on the appropriate procedures for submitting scripts, developing sales strategies and creating the successful pitch. Moderated by Shelby Stone, producer of “Drop Squad” and HBO Films’ “Boycott,” the panel will include executives from various divisions of the network.

In addition, a second panel, made up of AOLTW companies including New Line Cinema, Turner Broadcasting, Warner Bros. as well as HBO, will focus on the art of pitching a completed film.

ABC Inc., will present insights into talent development with panelists Carmen Smith, VP ABC Entertainment Talent Development and Quin Taylor, VP ABC Movies and Miniseries.

“The Insiders,” will feature a panel of Hollywood decision-makers, agents and attorneys who will provide behind-the-scenes realities of the film business. Moderated by Eddie Arnold, Nielsen Media Communications Counsel, the panel will include: Oscar Turner, VP, Finance, Paramount Pictures; Jeanen Glover, agent, William Morris Agency and Zola Mashariki, Fox Searchlight Pictures.

The American Black Film Festival, formerly the Acapulco Black Film Festival, will be held in South Beach, Miami from June 26 – 30. Since its inception in 1997, ABFF has redefined, questioned, discovered and encouraged all aspects of independent black filmmaking. Attracting annual attendance of over 2500 participants, the Festival presents seminars, panel discussions, workshops in writing and acting and competitive film showcases, culminating with the awarding of the HBO Short Film Award and the Lincoln Filmmakers Trophy.

Jeff Friday, President of Film Life Inc. is the Executive Producer of the American Black Film Festival.