Congrats to the 4 finalists! See you in June!
THE 17TH ANNUAL AMERICAN BLACK FILM FESTIVAL (ABFF) ANNOUNCES FINALISTS IN THE COMEDY WINGS COMPETITION // FOUR EMERGING COMEDIANS WILL COMPETE FOR TOP SPOT AT ABFF IN JUNE
New York, NY (April 22, 2013) – Film Life, Inc., producers of the American Black Film Festival (ABFF), announced today the selection of the four finalists who competed in The Comedy Wings Competition semi-finals round held last night at the world-famous Comedy Store in Los Angeles, CA. The four finalists, who received the highest scores out of nine semi-finalists, are: LA’s own Raneir Pollard, Bronx native Trev Houston, Michael Head from Cleveland, OH and New York City’s Zainab Johnson. Selected from an incredibly talented group, these charismatic and gregarious comics will travel to Miami Beach to take the stage in front of a lively festival audience in the final round of the The Comedy Wings Competition.
Sponsored by HBO, the final round will take place on Friday, June 21st from 9:30PM – 11:00PM in the Main Hall at the Ritz Carlton, South Beach Hotel.
The participating comics were judged by the industry’s foremost artists and industry experts, including Anthony Anderson, Brely Evans and Affion Crockett, casting director, Robi Reed and “Def Comedy Jam” producer Bob Sumner, along with senior talent executives from HBO, NBCUniversal, Nickelodeon, TBS and Comedy Central, on their overall performance, originality of material and audience reaction. The show was attended by some of the top names in comedy, including Damon Wayans and Robert Townsend.
“One of our goals is to highlight new talent in creative and relevant ways, both in front and behind the camera,” states Jeff Friday, ABFF Founder and CEO of Film Life, Inc. “The Comedy Wings Competition is an extension of this goal, with hopes of creating pathways to opportunities within the industry for emerging comedians.” He adds, “The concept of this competition and the talent discovered through this process is unique and transfers to other mediums, such as television and even as a web series.”
The Comedy Wings Competition is one of several platforms innovated by the ABFF designed to uncover talent and introduce them to a broader audience. ABFF has always participated in the cultivation of Black talent and has provided a stage over the years for dynamic performers such as Kevin Hart, Cedric the Entertainer, Craig Robinson, Tommy Davidson and Bill Bellamy.