The American Black Film Festival (ABFF) and partners – HBO, Comcast NBCUniversal, TV One and McDonald’s – have announced talent discovery programs for up-and-coming actors, comedians, filmmakers and television hosts, for this year’s event.
“The American Black Film Festival’s Talent Discovery Programs introduce dynamic content creators and artists to a broader audience. These programs are a rich mine for discovering new talent, and offer career springboards outside of the traditional film platform and entertainment industry,” says Melanie Sharee, ABFF Programming Director.
Comcast NBCUniversal will partner with ABFF for two talent competitions at the festival this year. The Star Project will search for the next fresh face for film and television. If you are an actor ready to compete for the opportunity to audition in front of judges who are executives and casting directors from NBC, this is the competition for you. Past winners include 2011 winner Emayatzy Corinealdi. Submission and deadline info: http://www.abff.com/star-project/.
Returning to the festival is Comcast NBCUniversal’s Television Hosting Workshop designed to help emerging TV hosts sharpen their skills and identify dynamic personalities ready for on-air opportunities. Submission and deadline info: http://www.abff.com/nbcu-tv-hosting-workshop/.
ABFF’s 4th annual Comedy Wings Competition, sponsored by HBO, is a national search to identify outstanding comedic talent. The Comedy Wings Competition has been created to showcase talented yet undiscovered comedians and introduce them to the industry at large. Up to ten semi-finalists will be selected from the 2016 pool of competition entries, to perform at a renowned Los Angeles comedy club in May, to secure a position as a finalist. The four finalists will be flown to the 2016 ABFF in June to perform before a panel of judges, and one winner will be chosen. Zainab Johnson is a Comedy Wings alum, who has appeared on television comedy shows, tours and film and was a finalist on “Last Comic Standing.” Submission and deadline information: http://www.abff.com/comedy-wings/.
The HBO Short Film Competition is regarded as one of the country’s most prestigious short film screening series. Each year, five filmmakers (writers and/or directors of African descent) are selected to screen their film at the American Black Film Festival in Miami, where one winner will be selected to receive the HBO Short Film Award and cash prize of $10,000. Previous winners of this competition include Director Ryan Coogler, who won this competition in 2011 for his short film, “Fig,” and director Stephen Caple, Jr. won the competition in 2015 for his short film, “A Different Tree.” Submission and deadline information: http://www.abff.com/submissions/shorts/.
The McDonald’s Video Competition offers an exciting opportunity for aspiring filmmakers and challenges them to create a 90-second video based on the concept of McDonald’s 365Black mantra, “Deeply Rooted in Your Community.” Three finalists will be selected to attend the ABFF and screen their video before the festival audience, where one winner will be selected. In addition, finalists will attend a private “Mentor Luncheon” with director Malcolm D. Lee. Submission and deadline info: http://www.abff.com/mcdonalds-video-competition/.
TV One’s 2nd annual Screenplay Competition will highlight three new writers who will receive an all-expense paid trip to the ABFF, where each finalist will get to direct a scene from their script. Each script will be performed by professional actors in front of a live audience at TV One’s “Celebrity Scene Stealers” event during the ABFF. The 2015 TV One Screenplay Competition winner Kiki McKnight, will premiere her film “Deadbeat Dad Rehab” at this year’s festival. The film centers around four men who are in denial of their poor parenting skills and attend a rehab for deadbeat dads that uses unusual methods to help them become true fathers and real men. Submission and deadline info: http://www.abff.com/tv-one-screenplay-competition/.
The 2016 ABFF runs from June 15-19, 2016. To purchase passes, tickets and/or book hotel rooms for this year’s festival, go to www.ABFF.com.