The American Black Film Festival Announces 2020 Dates and Calls for Submissions

ABFF Returns to Miami Beach June 17-21, 2020 with Presenting Sponsor, The Greater Miami Conventions & Visitors Bureau (GMCVB)

LOS ANGELES, CA, (September 27, 2019) – The American Black Film Festival (ABFF) announced its 24th annual Festival will return to Miami June 17-21, 2020. Since its inception in 1997, ABFF has been a platform for emerging artists and a pipeline for showcasing quality film and television content by and about people of African descent. Submissions for the 2020 Festival are now open in four categories: Narrative Features, Documentary Features, Web Series, World Showcase and Social Impact Showcase. Winners will be awarded at the Festival’s Best of ABFF Awards presentation on Saturday, June 20.

ABFF will continue its tradition of curating a program that unites storytellers of color as well as creating unique experiences for attendees with more than seventy events including celebrity conversations, panels, master classes, spotlight screenings, community partnerships and hospitality lounges. Filmmakers also have the opportunity to connect with some of the most influential film and television professionals in the industry during the five-day event.

The American Black Film Festival has been helmed a “top Festival” by reputable media outlets, including One of the Coolest Festivals in the World by MovieMake Magazine; 10 Best Film Festivals by USA Today; Top 100 Events in Miami by BizBash Magazine and One of the Best Events Around the World by PROHBTD. The Festival’s dynamic program continues to evolve. Next year, it will expand to include the John Singleton Award for Best First Feature Film, one of ABFF founding advisory board members; “ABFF Fit,” the festival’s new health and wellness initiative; and “ABFF Pride,” this year’s social impact showcase theme centered on the LGBTQIA community.

The 2019 Festival featured a slate of diverse films including: Jury Award winner for Best Director and Best Narrative Feature “Jezebel” written and directed by Numa Perrier; Audience Award winner for Best Narrative Feature “All In,” directed by Ibrahim Yilla and produced by Kia Freeman, Gregory Freeman, Tressa Azarel Smallwood, and Audrea Topps-Harjo; Jury Award winner for Best Web Series “Little Apple” written and directed by Riley S. Wilson; Jury Award winner for Best Screenplay “Strive,” written by Piper Dellums and Sha-Risse Smith; and Jury Award winner for Best Documentary “One Child Left Behind: The Untold Atlanta Cheating Scandal,” directed by Jodi Gomes.

In 2020, participants will compete for the following awards:

  • Jury Award – Best Narrative Feature
  • Jury Award – Best Director, Narrative Feature
  • Jury Award – Best Screenplay, Narrative Feature
  • Jury Award – Best Actor, Narrative Feature
  • John Singleton Award – Best First Feature
  • Jury Award – Best Documentary Film
  • Jury Award – Best Web Series

Submission deadline information below:

Narrative Feature and Documentary Feature

Early Submission Deadline: December 31, 2019

Regular Submission Deadline: February 1, 2020

Web Series

Regular Submission Deadline: January 31, 2020

World Showcase and Social Impact Showcase

Regular Submission Deadline: January 24, 2020

For complete submission criteria and eligibility, visit www.abff.com/submissions. Festival passes are also on sale now at www.abff.com.


The American Black Film Festival (ABFF) is an annual event dedicated to empowering black artists and showcasing quality film and television content by and about people of African descent. Committed to the belief that diverse artists deserve the same opportunities as their mainstream counterparts, ABFF founder & CEO Jeff Friday conceived the festival in 1997 as a vehicle to strengthen the black filmmaking community by encouraging resource sharing, education and artistic collaboration. He ultimately envisioned it as a cornerstone of diversity in Hollywood. Since its inception, the ABFF has been a platform for emerging black artists, having premiered the early work and showcasing the talent of many of today’s most successful actors, producers, writers, directors and stand-up comedians. Today, the festival is the pre-eminent pipeline for black artists in front of and behind the camera and has significantly expanded the range of talent working in Hollywood. For more information, please visit https://www.abff.com/miami/.


Michelle Huff Elliott
Strategic Heights Media
[email protected]