Festival opens August in Los Angeles
Film Life’s 12th annual American Black Film Festival (ABFF) opens Thursday, August 7, in Los Angeles. Festival passes and tickets can be purchased now at Ticket Web (www.ticketweb.com) or www.abff.com. “We are excited to be back in Los Angeles for our second year. We have worked very hard to make our festival accessible to everyone and hope that the Los Angeles community comes out to experience the best new work by and about people of African descent,” said Jeff Friday, founder/CEO of Film Life, Inc., and the ABFF.
Presented by Allstate®, this year’s festival will feature the ABFF Signature Events including: Off The Record: A Conversation with Young Hollywood; ABFF Remembers…Waiting to Exhale; Can We Get Some Love?–Exploring Black Sexuality & Romance in American Cinema; as well as the HBO® Short Film Competition, which is celebrating its 11th year at the Festival. Actor Dennis Haysbert has signed on to preside over the ABFF Grand Jury, Angela Bassett, Lela Rochon and Loretta Devine have been confirmed to attend ABFF Remembers and Lauren London and Anthony Mackie have been confirmed to participate on the Young Hollywood panel. The HBO Documentary, The Black List, written by film critic Elvis Mitchell, will close this year’s festival. The Black List provides a unique view into the zeitgeist of Black America, and features interviews with Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Sean “P-Diddy” Combs, Vernon Jordan, Toni Morrison, Al Sharpton, Russell Simmons and Serena Williams, among others.
Founded in 1997, the mission of the ABFF is to strengthen the Black filmmaking community through resource sharing, education, artistic collaboration and career development. Since its inception, over 500 independent films have been screened, seventy per cent of which have gone on to secure theatrical or DVD distribution. Festival alumni include director Sylvain White (Stomp the Yard) and producers Rob Hardy and Will Packer (This Christmas and Stomp the Yard), producer Roger M. Bobb (Tyler Perry’s Why Did I Get Married and Daddy’s Little Girls) and writer/director Frank E. Flowers (Haven). The ABFF was born out of the need to generate distribution opportunities for independent Black films and promote cultural diversity within the motion picture industry. It is widely considered the premier Black film market. Festival attendance is expected to exceed 5,000 people.
The ABFF’s four film sections – Shorts, Narrative Features, Documentary Features and World Showcases – will provide increased visibility to the films that will be screened this year. Filmmakers will be recognized and rewarded with cash and other prizes at the ABFF Awards Presentation on Sunday, August 10h at the WGA Theatre. Prices for tickets are: Festival Passes $500, WGA West Writers Workshop Passes $200, Opening Night Cocktail Reception & Film Screening $75, Movie Tickets $12, Allstate® and Nielsen Symposiums $30, Signature Events (HBO Short Film Competition, Black Sexuality and Young Hollywood panels) $45, Closing Night Gala (Awards Presentation and Film) $150. To purchase passes or tickets visit www.abff.com or www.ticketweb.com
“The support of our corporate partners, led by presenting sponsor Allstate®, founding and premiere sponsor HBO®, along with our other premiere level sponsors: luxury automaker Lincoln, Target, and BET J, allows the festival to continue to grow and nurture artists in a variety of disciplines,” said Friday.
Other 2008 festival sponsors include: Blockbuster, Heineken (Official); Nielsen Media Research, One Village Entertainment, Fox Searchlight Pictures, Codeblack Entertainment, Nickelodeon, Fox Entertainment Group, FOX Searchlight, Grey Goose® Vodka (Supporting); SAG Indie, Writers Guild of America West, Greater Philadelphia Film Office, Illinois Film Office, Foxx King Entertainment (Industry); Black Enterprise, Uptown, Upscale, Black Noir, Heart&Soul, Precious Times, Automotive Rhythms, Toy Box, Monarch, Hope Today Magazine, NV, Save the Date, KJLH-FM and EUR Web (Media).
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, television, events and digital content. Film Life’s key properties include the American Black Film Festival (abff.com); The Black Movie Awards (blackmovieawards.com); and the ABFF DVD Series (thefilmlife.com), a partnership with Warner Home Video.
The Allstate Corporation (NYSE: ALL) is the nation’s largest publicly held personal lines insurer. Widely known through the “You’re In Good Hands With Allstate®” slogan, Allstate helps individuals in approximately 17 million households protect what they have today and better prepare for tomorrow through approximately 14,900 exclusive agencies and financial representatives in the U.S. and Canada. Customers can access Allstate products and services such as auto insurance and homeowners insurance through Allstate agencies, or in select states at allstate.com and 1-800 Allstate®. Encompass® and Deerbrook® Insurance brand property and casualty products are sold exclusively through independent agents. The Allstate Financial Group provides life insurance, supplemental accident and health insurance, annuity, banking and retirement products designed for individual, institutional and worksite customers that are distributed through Allstate agencies, independent agencies, financial institutions and broker-dealers.
Festival and registration information is available online at www.abff.com, or by e-mail: [email protected].