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ABFF 2012: Kimberly Elise, Isaiah Washington, Common, S. Epatha Merkerson Are Grand Jury Nominees

ABFF 2012: Kimberly Elise, Isaiah Washington, Common, S. Epatha Merkerson Are Grand Jury Nominees

NEW YORK, NY, May 16, 2012 – Film Life Inc., today announced the Narrative Features Competition selections and Grand Jury Award nominees for the 16th Annual American Black Film Festival (ABFF) taking place in South Beach Miami, FL, June 20th – 23rd.  Kimberly EliseIsaiah WashingtonCommon and S. Epatha Merkerson are among the stellar list of thespians nominated to receive the Grand Jury prize for their work.

The films in ABFF’s 2012 Narrative Features section reflect a creative multiplicity which can be seen, felt and heard in controversy through rhythmic Jamaican patois (Better Mus’ Come) to a young Parisian woman’s search for her father (Elza).  Struggle and disappointment between generations is candidly explored (LUV) and two men of the cloth face consequences (The Undershepherd).

Each film in the narrative features section 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 that are submitted for consideration are reviewed by a team of film industry professionals, which comprises the ABFF’s screening committee. Each film is graded on artistic merit and impactful subject matter.  As this year’s Grand Jury President, Actor, Mekhi Phifer (“Lie to Me,” “ER”), will serve as a judge and will present prizes in front of the festival audience at The Winners Circle awards presentation on the closing day of the festival.

The specific nominees are as follows:

 Grand Jury Prize for Best Screenplay, presented by Ciroc

Storm Saulter – BETTER MUS’ COME

Matthew Cherry – THE LAST FALL

Mariettte MonPierre and Mama Keita – ELZA


Grand Jury Prize for Best Director, presented by Cadillac

Sheldon Candis – LUV

Matthew Cherry – THE LAST FALL


Storm Saulter – BETTER MUS’ COME

Grand Jury Prize Best Performance by an Actor (Male or Female), presented by Gold Peak Tea

Common – LUV

Lance Gross – THE LAST FALL

Sheldon Sheppard – BETTER MUS’ COME

Isaiah Washington – THE UNDERSHEPHERD

Nicole Behari – THE LAST FALL

Kimberly Elise – TIES THAT BIND

Malinda Williams – THE UNDERSHEPHERD

Grand Jury Prize for Narrative Feature, presented by BET Networks




THE UNDERSHEPHERD               

Grand Jury Prize for Documentary

THE CONTRADICTIONS OF FAIR HOPE, co-directed by S. Epatha Merkerson and Rockell Metcalf

FORCE M.D.s RELIVED, directed by Frazier Prince

THINK NFL, LOVE DAD (The DeSean Jackson Story), co-directed by Byron Jackson and Kern Konwiser

SOUL FOOD JUNKIES, directed by Byron Hurt

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