The Film Life and HBO American Black Film Festival Culminates in Hollywood Style with the Independent Film Awards

Honors Handed to Mario Van Peebles, Warrington Hudlin and Winners of ABFF’s Independent Film Competitions

MIAMI, FL (July 19, 2005) – The American Black Film Festival (ABFF) wrapped up its 9th year with the ABFF Independent Film Awards, which honored actor/director Mario Van Peebles (Baadasssss!) and producer/director Warrington Hudlin (Boomerang, House Party). In addition, awards were given to winners of ABFF’s independent film competitions. The ABFF Independent Film Awards, sponsored by Time Warner, was held Saturday, July 16, 2005, in the Lincoln Theatre in South Beach, Miami.

The ABFF Independent Film Awards was designed to celebrate and honor ABFF independent films and filmmakers as well as pay tribute to outstanding members of the film community.

ABFF Independent Film Awards
Hosted by actor Anthony Anderson (Hustle & Flow), the show featured A-list Hollywood celebrities including, John Singleton, Nia Long, Tracee Ellis Ross and Melvin Van Peebles. Other celebrities in attendance included, Bill Duke, Bokeem Woodbine, Victoria Rowell, Nelson George, Antoine Fuqua, Elise Neal and Paula Jai Parker. The show also included a special performance by the Black Violin Duo.

Winners and Recipients of Special Tributes. Independent Film Awards

  • The HBO Short Film Award to Shards, directed by Jonathan Levine. The screenplay was by Jonathan David Boyce and Jonathan Levine. The Award was presented by Olivia Smashum, executive vice president, affiliate marketing at HBO. The winner received a cash prize of $20,000.
  • The award for Performance by an Actor, presented by AXE Unlimited went to Biloah Greene for his role in On the One, directed by Charles Randolph-Wright.
  • The Voices of Color Best Documentary presented to Bastards of the Party, directed by Cle Sloan and produced by Antoine Fuqua. This award was presented by Wal-Mart for the best nonfiction film of the festival. The winner receives a cash prize of $10,000.
  • The Audience Award for Best Narrative Feature was presented to On the One. Presented by Blockbuster, the award was determined by popular vote of the festival. The winner received a cash prize of $20,000.
  • The Grand Jury Prize for Best Picture went to On the One. Presented by Kodak, the award was for the best film of the festival. The winner received 35-mm film stock valued at $20,000.
  • Melvin Van Peebles Trailblazer Award presented to Warrington Hudlin. The award was presented by legendary filmmaker Melvin Van Peebles (Sweet Sweetback’s Baadasssss Song).
  • The Filmmaker Trophy for Director of the Year was presented to Mario Van Peebles Baadasssss! by actress Nia Long (Big Momma’s House). The Filmmaker Trophy, sponsored by Lincoln, honors a director whose film received critical and/or commercial success in the 12 months leading up to the festival. Lincoln also presented Van Peebles with a 2005 Lincoln Navigator.

ABFF Independent Film Awards
Dedicated to strengthening the independent film community, this year ABFF, recognized as the premiere Black film festival, attracted more than 3,000 attendees.

Sponsors of ABFF include: HBO, Founding and Title Sponsor; Time Warner and Wal-Mart Voices of Color, Presenting Sponsors; Lincoln Mercury and AXE Body Spray, Platinum Sponsors; BET, Blockbuster, Kodak, Starbucks and UrbanWorks Entertainment, Gold Sponsors; Akademiks, American Airlines, Daily Blossom, ENYCE, Fox Searchlight Pictures, Greater Miami Convention and Visitors Bureau (GMCVB), Landmine Design, Miami-Dade County Tourist Development Council (TDC), Nickeloden, Nielsen Media Research, Turner Classic Movies and Vurv, Inc., Silver Sponsors; Black Elegance, Black Enterprise, EURWeb.com, IN FOCUS magazine, UPTOWN magazine, Urban America Newspaper, Media Partners; and 11:24 Design, Falcon Films, Gallery 61, Image Entertainment, Maverick Entertainment, ProductionHUB.com, SAGIndie, Soulfilms.com and Virginia Key Beach Park, Industry Partners.

Home Box Office, Inc., is the premium television programming subsidiary of Time Warner, Inc., providing two 24-hour premium television services, HBO and Cinemax. Together, both networks reach approximately 39 million subscribers in the United States via cable and satellite delivery. Home Box Office’s international joint ventures bring HBO branded services to more than 50 countries around the globe.

The ABFF is a property of Film Life, Inc., a New York-based film marketing and distribution company. Its mission is to spearhead the global distribution of quality Black films and be the leading American brand producing Black movies and related entertainment content.