American Black Film Festival (ABFF) 2017 Awards Winners

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American Black Film Festival (ABFF) 2017 Awards Winners
Posted by Wilson Morales

June 19, 2017

The 21st Anniversary of the American Black Film Festival (ABFF) announced the winners of their independent film awards in the New World Center in South Beach, Miami on June 18, 2017. would like to thank The ABFF and The Greater Miami Convention & Visitors Bureau (GMCVB) for hosting us at this year’s American Black Film Festival. Having us stay at the Hyatt Centric South Beach Miami provided us the opportunity to not only be within walking distance to festival, but enjoy the comforts of the pool, bar, and working atmosphere.

Hosted by comedian Chris Spencer, the event was filled with awards and music by the ladies of Fox’s hit series Star (Jude Demorest,Brittany O’Grady and Ryan Destiny)

The HBO Short Film Award was given to ‘Amelia’s Closet,’ which was written and directed by Halima Lucas. The $10,000 grand prize award was presented by Dennis Williams, Vice President, Cultural and Social Responsibility of HBO.

Amelia steals items from her classmates in retaliation for being bullied. After she’s caught, her father gives her the tools to gain true empowerment.

This year’s NBC Universal Star Project grand-prize winner was Duain Richmond, whose film and theater credits include Stomp The Yard (2007), Daddy’s Little Girls (2007), Drumline A New Beat (2014) and Fela on Broadway(2012). The award was presented by Karen Horne, vice president, Programming Talent Development and Inclusion for NBC Entertainment and Universal Television Studios.

Star Project is an international acting competition for emerging multicultural artists. The winner will receive $1,000 towards performance training classes, $500 towards professional headshots and VIP access to the NBCU Short Film Festival Finals.

In the TV One Screenplay Competition, the winner was Tim Folsome for his dramatic feature film screenplay entitled, ‘Down For Whatever.’ The $5000 Grand Prize award was presented by  D’Angela Proctor, Senior Vice President of Original Programming and Production of TV One. The grand prize winner will receive a $5,000 cash prize and development of their screenplay that will premiere on TV One and at next year’s ABFF.

In “Down For Whatever,” a young female doctor who works at a prestigious hospital learns that her newly-found biological teen sisters are ruthless cop killers that her detective husband is hunting down.

The winner of the ABFF & Turner Writing Contest were Darrin Dortch & Derege Harding. The inaugural writing contest is part of a three-year partnership between Turner and ABFF to promote greater diversity and inclusion within the film industry.

Harding, the winner for the drama entry, gave judges a twist in his script “Fulfillment.” Harding’s script provided a strong plot, writing and creative characters. Dortch was selected as the winner for comedy, given his strong writing and humor in his script “Short Changed.”

As part of their prize packages, both winners will receive a cash prize and the opportunity to meet with TBS and TNT programming executives.

Presented by Comcast Xfinity’s Karen Horne, the winner of the ABFF Web Originals was Brooklyn.Blue.Sky, created by Rhavynn Drummer & Dui Jarrod.

Brooklyn.Blue.Sky. is a web series about two execs who reluctantly come together to create a pilot for a ‘Netflix and Chill’ TV competition.

The cast includes Jenelle Simone Valle, Michael Oloyede, LA Rivers, Roland Lane, Maggie Bell Caplis, Adiagha Faizah, Nicollete Ellis, Shannon Wallace, Ahni Bright, Donovan Christie Jr., and Briana Swann-Christie.

Presented by Lester Booker Jr. of Cadillac , the Grand Jury Prize for Best Director went to Eden Marryshow for ‘Bruce!!!.’ Marryshow will receives film stock valued at $25,000.

Let’s be real: Bruce is an asshole. He’s shitty to his friends. He’s shitty to pretty much every woman in his life. He has no job. He has no career. And his parents are tired of lending him money. And you know what? Honestly, all of this was working out pretty well for him, until he meets Kiera, falls hopelessly in love and is finally forced to grow up…in his thirties. .

Written by Marryshow, the film stars Eden Marryshow, Jason Tottenham, Mlè Chester, & Cesa Pledger.

Presented by Chele Carrie of Prudential, The Grand Jury Prize for Best Narrative Feature went to ‘Ambition’s Debt,’ which was directed by Devin E. Haqq.

The film stars Nathan Darrow, Peter McRobbie, Kathleen Chalfant, Billy Eugene Jones, Carra Patterson, & Pernell Walker.

Written by William Shakespeare and adapted by Haqq, the film is set against the backdrop of a post-apocalyptic world, the story follows the downfall of Rome’s most honored citizen, Marcus Brutus, as he conspires to assassinate Julius Caesar.

Following the awards, the audience were treated to a performance by the ladies of Lee Daniels’ hit TV series Star.


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