*NEW YORK, NY – Film Life Inc. announced that the American Black Film Festival (ABFF) will be returning to South Beach for the 17th annual event and has named actor Omari Hardwick (Sparkle, Middle of Nowhere and For Colored Girls) as the 2013 Festival Ambassador.
The ABFF is a five-day retreat and international film market dedicated to strengthening the Black filmmaking community. Established in 1997, the core mission of the festival is to showcase quality Black films and promote cultural diversity in front of and behind the camera. ABFF’s winning formula comes from the quality of its programming and expert production. Films, coupled with panels, master classes, celebrity conversations and high profile social events hosted by leading media companies, attract top-tier talent and approximately 5,000 festival goers to the annual event. HBO is the festival’s founding and premier sponsor.
“Omari Hardwick is one of the most talented actors in Hollywood. He shares our vision for Black cinema and understands the importance of nurturing new artists and maintaining diverse voices in this business that sometimes overlooks those outside the mainstream;” states Jeff Friday, festival founder and CEO of Film Life, Inc. “the role of the ABFF Ambassador is to broaden public awareness of the festival as well as its mission, which is to encourage collaboration and support between Hollywood and the independent film community.”
“I am beyond humbled for being asked to be the ambassador of such a legendary and established film festival that has been around for 17 years and counting,” says Hardwick. “I have always been a fan of the work Jeff Friday has done within the film community and I look forward to sharing the wisdom, experience, creativity, and passion that I have to offer to the American Black Film Festival in 2013.”
The ABFF’s film program is primarily composed of world premieres of narrative, documentary and short films. As such, it is the leading film festival in the world for African American and urban content. Since its inception, the ABFF has showcased more than 600 films, rewarding and redefining artistic excellence in independent filmmaking.
ABFF is currently accepting submissions to the narrative feature and documentary film categories. Films submitted to the Narrative Feature Competition must be directed by a person of African descent, tell a story of the Black experience or feature a person of African descent in a leading role. Films submitted to the Documentary Competition, must be directed by a person of African descent or tell a story of the Black experience.
For submission criteria and guidelines please visit: http://www.abff.com/festival.
Deadlines for submissions:
Narrative Features: March 1, 2013
Documentaries: March 8, 2013
ABFF/American Black Film Festival