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Tuesday, October 23, 2007

American Black Film Festival Starts Up This Thursday...

The 11th Annual American Black Film Festival (ABFF) gets rolling this week in Los Angeles after being in South Beach, Miami for for the past five years. The festival will run from Thursday, October 25th through Sunday, October 28 and will screen 36 official selections and 11 special screenings including 27 world premieres, four docs and five shorts.

The opening film of the festival is Sony/Screen Gems, "This Christmas," produced by Rainforest Films' Will Packer and starring Delroy Lindo, Idris Elba, Loretta Divine, Chris Brown, Mekhi Phifer and Regina King. The closing films are "Cover," directed by Bill Duke and starring Vivica A. Fox, Louis Gossett, Jr., Paula Jai Parker, Patti LaBelle and Aunjanue Ellis, and "Three Can Play That Game" directed by Moddy Mod and starring Vivica A. Fox, Tony Rock, and Jazsmine Lewis.

A highlight of the festival is the celebration of the 10th anniversary of the HBO Short Film Competition which awards a $20,000 prize. “Looking back on 10 years of the HBO Short Film Award, we have had the privilege of supporting 45 filmmakers at the beginning of their careers. Many have gone on to garner other awards, directed their first feature or studio film. We add five more to the competition this year and one distinguished winner. This has been one of the most rewarding endeavors in which HBO has been involved,” said Olivia Smashum (?!), executive vice-president of Affiliate Marketing for HBO.

Among the other ABFF highlights includes "Redrum" starring Jill Marie Jones, and "The Box" starring Gabrielle Union.

In addition to the film screenings, which will run daily from 12 noon to 10pm at the Mann Theatres in The Beverly Center, there will be special screenings of four titles on the ABFF DVD Series-- a partnership with Warner Home Video, as well as screenings sponsored by Codeblack Entertainment and First Look Studios.

A new program, “Off The Red Carpet", will spotlight industry insiders such as producer Tracey Edmonds, writer/directors Kasi Lemmons and Reggie Rock Blythewood, writer Norman Vance, Jr., and actor and Geffen recording artist Common.

For more info:


Qadree said...

I've been doing a great deal of thinking with regard to black films, film festivals, and distribution. Think about the black films you admire most and look at how many of those won awards at a top tier festival, or any other festival for that matter. Now look at the black films that did win awards at well known festivals and look at the type of distribution deals they got, that's if they got any.

Hustle and Flow is about the only recent film that I can think of that won awards and got decent distribution, but they went in with Hollywood names attached and the lead role is a pimp. Look at Slam, it won at Cannes and Sundance and got next to no distribution. Love Jones won awards and got distribution but didn't do well, overall, at the box office and I don't think that had anything to do with the film itself.

I'm going to take a hard look at festivals and what purpose they are serving for black films, but for now I don't know. I do believe that black film festivals are a necessity at this point in time though.

Invisible Woman said...

I think I'll bring this up when I write about the festival.