The 13th Annual American Black Film Festival Culminates with its Awards Presentation and Screening of “Black Dynamite”

The Roe Effect Wins the HBO® Short Film Award and Mississippi Damned Wins Best Narrative Feature

Miami, FL – June 29, 2009 – Film Film Life’s 13th annual American Black Film Festival (ABFF) announced the winners of their Independent Film Awards at the Colony Theatre on June 27, 2009. The ABFF is the premier destination marketplace for films that showcase the best new work by and about people of African descent. The Best Narrative Feature winner was Mississippi Damned which also took home the prize for Best Actor. HBO® is the festival’s Founding and Premier sponsor.

“The ABFF Independent Film Awards continues to celebrate the best independent films produced and directed outside of Hollywood. We are committed to providing new opportunities each year for emerging talent and bringing the best work of these gifted filmmakers to a broad audience,” said Jeff Friday, CEO of Film Life and founder of the American Black Film Festival.

The award winners are as follows:

HBO Short Film Award, presented by HBO (award includes a $20,000 cash prize)
The Roe Effect directed by Kiel Adrian Scott

Best Narrative Feature, presented by BET Networks (award includes a $5,000 cash prize)
Mississippi Damned directed by Tina Mabry

Best Documentary
Len Bias directed by Kirk Frasier

Audience Award
Blue directed by Ryan Miningham

Allstate Beyond February “Be Reel” Contest Winner, presented by Allstate (award includes a $5,000 cash prize)
The Broken Sole directed by Travis Trent

Best Actor
Tessa Thompson in Mississippi Damned

Star Project Winner, presented by Vibe magazine
Khalilah Joi Dubose, female winner
Bechir Sylvain, male winner

“The talent this year was impressive and I believe that the lineup of films and programming is the best we’ve had in 13 years,” said Melanie Sharee, ABFF programming director.

As part of the closing night festivities, the SONY Pictures World Wide Acquisitions Group film Black Dynamite, starring Michael Jai White, was screened to a full audience. “As a part of our closing night presentation, we always try to give our audience a memorable experience, and judging from the fact that we screened to a packed house for both showings, I think we accomplished our goals,” said Friday.

Founded in 1997, the American Black Film Festival is an industry retreat and competitive marketplace for films by and about people of color. The festival’s mission is to facilitate distribution opportunities for quality films and introduce the top echelon of emerging artists to the industry at large. Since its inception, the ABFF has premiered over 600 films, positioning it as the leading film festival for Black and urban content. The ABFF is a property of Film Life, Inc., a New York-based event marketing, production and distribution company founded in 2002 by Jeff Friday (CEO).

HBO® is the ABFF’s Founding and Premier Sponsor. Other corporate supporters include: Premier Sponsor BET Networks; Official Sponsors: Allstate, City of Miami Community Redevelopment Agency (CRA) and Greater Miami Convention and Visitors Bureau (GMCVB); Supporting Sponsors: Nielsen Media Research, Nickelodeon, HSBC Bank USA, ESPN, TNT, Miami Beach Visitor and Convention Authority (VCA) and Parish-Nation; Industry and Marketing Partners: One Village Entertainment, Stella Artois, Fox Searchlight Pictures, Soblu Inc., Codeblack Entertainment, Tyler Perry Studios, SAGIndie, Writer’s Guild of America West, New York Women in Film & Television, Final Draft, FilMiami: Miami-Dade Office of Film & Entertainment, The Governor’s Office of Film & Entertainment, the Broward Alliance, the City of Miami Mayor’s Office of Film & Cultural Affairs, Film in Florida, GMCVB Miami Boutique Hotels, Film Florida; Vegas Style Entertainment and Vitaminwater; Media Partners: Essence, Vibe, Black Enterprise, Uptown, Upscale, Heart & Soul, Automotive Rhythms, Monarch, Black Noir, Precious Times and EUR Web.

For additional information please contact Ghana Wilson via phone 646.375.2144 or by e-mail: [email protected]. Photos from the festival can be found at www.abff.com.