The 14th Annual American Black Film Festival Announces its Festival Line-up and Screening of TAKERS, As Opening Night Selection – Stomp the Yard: Homecoming to Debut as the Centerpiece Film – Festival Competition Awards Totaling $50,000

Stomp The Yard: Homecoming to Debut as the Centerpiece Film Festival Competition Awards Totaling $50,000

New York, NY (June 10, 2010) – The 14th Annual American Black Film Festival, taking place in Miami, June 23rd – 26th, today announced its festival film slate with, Takers (Screen Gems) as the opening night film selection. Produced by Will Packer, Tip “T.I.” Harris and Jason Geter, and Directed by John Luessenhop, Takers stars Matt Dillon, Paul Walker, Idris Elba, Jay Hernandez, Michael Ealy, and T.I. with Chris Brown & Hayden Christensen.

Takers revolves around a notorious group of criminals (Idris Elba, Paul Walker, T.I., Chris Brown, Hayden Christensen and Michael Ealy) who continue to baffle police by pulling off perfectly executed bank robberies. They are in and out like clockwork, leaving no evidence behind and laying low in between heists. But when they attempt to pull off one last job with more money at stake than ever before, the crew may find their plans interrupted by a hardened detective (Matt Dillon) who is hell-bent on solving the case. Takers releases nationwide on August 20, 2010.

ABFF Founder, Jeff Friday, states “I am honored to present Takers as the opening night film. My goal has always been to open the festival with a film that captivates the audience and represents the work of multi-ethnic filmmakers and actors. I am very grateful to Rainforest Films and Screen Gems for their continued support of the festival.”

Also a highlight of this year’s festival is Stomp The Yard: Homecoming, which will be the centerpiece film. Directed by Rob Hardy and courtesy of Stage 6 Films, RCR Partners & Rainforest Films, Stomp The Yard: Homecoming stars Collins Pennie, Pooch Hall, Terrence J, Lil Duval, Tika Sumpter, Teyana Taylor and Kiely Alexis Williams. Columbus Short will be returning to the yard for a featured cameo.

As the sequel to the box office hit Stomp The Yard, Stomp The Yard: Homecoming will follow a new group of students. Chance Harris (Collins Pennie) struggles with the dynamics of balancing life and the biggest event of the year at Truth University. School, girlfriend woes, a full-time job at his demanding father’s restaurant, and preparing his fraternity for an upcoming nationally televised step competition add drama to an already action packed weekend. Making matters worse, Chance is sidetracked by the fact he has an outstanding debt with a street thug who’s out for blood.

“ABFF is a very special festival to Rainforest Films. From the very beginning, Jeff Friday embraced us as filmmakers. Additionally, the ABFF audience provided the optimum platform to showcase our films and help elevate our careers. Now that Rob Hardy and I have grown as filmmakers, we want to give back to ABFF in whatever way we can. I am happy that we are able to use the 14th Annual American Black Film Festival to showcase both Takers and Stomp The Yard: Homecoming. I look forward to going back to Miami – where I always have an amazing time,” states Producer and Co-Founder of Rainforest Films, Will Packer.

Festival organizers also announced the HBO® SHORT FILM COMPETITION, which has been part of the festival for 13 years. Film awards presented include: The HBO® Short Film Award; Grand Jury Prizes for Best Film Sponsored by Wachovia, a Wells Fargo Company, Best Performance by an Actor, sponsored by Gold Peak Tea. Prizes range from $5,000 to $20,000. “HBO is proud of its long-standing partnership with the ABFF,” said Olivia Smashum, executive vice president, Affiliate Marketing at HBO. “With our HBO Short Film competition housed at the ABFF since its inception, our combined efforts have given much needed exposure to 60 emerging filmmakers to date. We look forward to working with the ABFF again in 2010.”



TAKERS – Opening Night Film, directed by John Luessenhop
Courtesy of Screen Gems

Enter the world of a notorious group of criminals who continue to baffle police by pulling off perfectly executed bank robberies.

STOMP THE YARD: HOMECOMING – Centerpiece Screening, directed by Rob Hardy
Courtesy of Stage 6 Films, RCR Partners & Rainforest Films

Chance Harris struggles with the dynamics of balancing life…the biggest event of the year at Truth University – Girlfriend woes, a full-time job, preparing his fraternity for a nationally televised step competition. Making matters worse, Chance is sidetracked by the fact he has an outstanding debt with a street thug who’s out for blood.


Five films compete for $20,000 grand prize sponsored by HBO.

THE CYCLE, directed by Roy Clovis (World Premiere)
Will the search for a child’s bicycle unite a gentrifying community or ignite a conflict that will tear it apart?

IF I LEAP, directed by Jackie J. Stone (World Premiere)
Zipporah, temporarily professed into the religious order ‘Sisters of Piety,’ engages in an intimate relationship and is forced to decide whether to remain in the religious life or return to the secular world.

MOTH, directed by Hilton Carter (World Premiere)
Based on the painting ‘The Young Martyr’ by Paul Delaroche, Moth tells the story of a beautiful starlet caught up in drugs and stardom.

SAY GRACE BEFORE DROWNING, directed by Nikyatu Jusu (World Premiere)
After meeting her African refugee mother for the first time in six years, 8 year old Hawa is forced to coexist with a woman teetering on the brink of insanity.

STAG & DOE, directed by Daniel Patterson & John Staley (World Premiere)
On the eve before their wedding night, a young engaged couple decides to put their relationship to the test at a joint bachelor/bachelorette party.


Four films compete for the Grand Jury Prize for Best Film, sponsored by Wachovia, a Wells Fargo Company.

EVERYDAY BLACKMAN, directed by Carmen Madden
A small time grocer has to become the man he used to be when his store is taken over by a drug dealer.

THE INHERITANCE, directed by Robert O’Hara
Friends and Family gather for a “Secret Family” reunion. The reunion turns deadly.

LEGACY, directed by Thomas Ikimi
Idris Elba stars as a black ops soldier who returns home after a set of mysterious circumstances botch his mission.

NIGHT CATCHES, directed by Tanya Hamilton
In 1976 forces are set in motion when a young man returns to the race torn Philadelphia.

NARRATIVE FEATURES (Out of Competition)

BREAKING UP IS HARD TO DO, directed by Tabari Sturdivant
When what looks like the end of the road could be the beginning of a whole new journey.

CONSINSUAL, directed by Paul D. Hannah (World Premiere)
Walk into this seemingly normal marriage where romance quickly turns to lust and morality across the line of corruption.

JOY ROAD, directed by Harry A. Davis (World Premiere)
Public defender Tony Smalls is called to defend his sisters’ boyfriend, a dangerous gang leader.

SUICIDE DOLLS, directed by Keith Shaw (World Premiere)
Two lonely girls plan to commit suicide and decide to film their last 24 hours.


ONE NIGHT IN VEGAS, directed by Reggie Rock Bythewood
Tells the story of that infamous fight night – (Sept. 7, 1996) when Mike Tyson, the WBC heavyweight champion, attempted to take Bruce Seldon’s WBA title at the MGM, and the remarkable friendship between Tyson and Tupac, and the tragedy that ensued.

SWEET SCIENCE, directed by Chris Howell
Documents the progress and price paid by 11 boxers as members of the United States Olympic Boxing Team.

THE AVON BARKSDALE STORY, directed by Bruce Brown (World Premiere)
True story of the life of the character played by actor Wood Harris in the HBO series, The Wire.


LEFT UNSAID, directed by Nelson George (World Premiere)
15 women meet via Facebook for Sunday brunch in a Brooklyn brownstone.

B.U.R.N.S, directed by Phil Reid (Festival Premiere)
The story of Kenny Burns’ grind. Showing you don’t have to be somebody’s slave to make it in the entertainment business.

GANGS OF LA 1991, Lamonte Moore (World Premiere)
Follows gang activity during the heightened gang warfare in Los Angeles in 1991.


THE CONFIDANT, directed by Alton Glass (World Premiere)
Courtesy of Codeblack Entertainment

When your closest friend becomes your worst enemy.

Additional festival highlights include:

  • Actor Idris Elba named ABFF Ambassador for the 2010 festival.
  • Oscar Nominated Producer-Director, Lee Daniels will be presented with “Career Achievement Award.”
  • Spike Lee to lead The Art of Filmmaking Master Class.
  • The Pro-Hollywood Workshop (PHI) will launch at ABFF this year-a workshop for professional athletes looking for a comprehensive overview of the creative and business disciplines related to the film industry.
  • Inside Nickelodeon with Janice Burgess, creator of The Backyardigans.
  • CNN Symposium with Soledad O’Brian.
  • HBO’s short film competition awards a $20,000 grand prize.

Movie tickets go on sale June 15. Ticket prices range from $12 – $20.

Advance tickets for screenings held at the Colony Theater will go on sale June 15th and can be purchased at www.ticketmaster.com. Walk up tickets will be on sale at the Colony Theater box office day of show only.

Walk up tickets will be on sale at the Miami Beach Cinematheque box office day of show only. There are no advance sales of screenings held at this theater.

*Further information regarding movie tickets can be found at www.abff.com.

About ABFF:
Established in 1997, the core mission of the ABFF is to promote cultural diversity within the motion picture industry by strengthening the Black filmmaking community through resource sharing, education, artistic collaboration and career development. Through its film showcases and special contests, it annually introduces the top echelon of emerging artists to the film and television industry. The ABFF is a property of Film Life, Inc., a New York-based event marketing, production and distribution company founded in 2000 by Jeff Friday (CEO).

ABFF Sponsors:
HBO® is the festival’s Founding and Premier Sponsor. Other sponsors on board this year include: Grey Goose and Wachovia, a Wells Fargo Company (Premier Sponsors); American Airlines and BET Networks (Official Sponsors); CNN, Codeblack Entertainment, Gold Peak Tea, Nickelodeon, The Nielsen Company, and Stella Artois (Supporting Sponsors); City of Miami Community Redevelopment Agency, Greater Miami Convention & Visitors Bureau, and Miami Beach Visitor and Convention Authority (Host Sponsors); Fox Searchlight Pictures, Halle Berry Pure Orchid, MTV Networks, SAGIndie and the Writers Guild of America, West (Industry Partners). Media Sponsors: AOL Black Voices, Black Enterprise (Official Level); Automotive Rhythms, Heart & Soul, MIA, Monarch, Precious Times, Upscale and Uptown magazines (Supporting Level).

For media inquiries, call Lisa Sorensen (LSPR) at (646) 330-5458 or via email at [email protected]. General registration information can be obtained by visiting www.abff.com, calling 646-375-2144, ext 1, or contacting the festival via email at [email protected].