Ever heard of the Cannes Film Festival? The American Black Film Festival is just that for African Americans. It happens every year for four days in Miami. It kicked off today and will last through June 26th. Directors, writers, actors, producers, film lovers, etc. all converge to discover new talent, learn, network, and to enjoy new cinema. The annual $20,000 short film competition always brings out the best in new undiscovered talent but that’s not all this festival has to offer.
This year’s lineup includes events such as:
Converstions and discussions with various black actors from all across the business
Classes taught by Spike Lee on film direction as well as the art of filmmaking
MTV bootcamp on film production
Networking cocktail parties
Not to mention all of the many films being screened. The South Beach environment makes it a great atmosphere to enjoy yourself. If you have a passion for film this is definitely where you want to be.Â The spirit behind all of this, instilled by the founder, is one of giving; sewing back into new talent is what this is all about andÂ that’s madeÂ very clear when you take a look at not only the events going on, but also if you know anything about the founder of the festival.
Jeff Friday is one of the most influential black entrepreneurs who holds the title of CEO of Film life Inc.Â This company has changed the face of the film industry and has its hands in black entertainment on a global scale. The mantra for this company: “Because Hollywoodn’t” shows thatÂ they are committed to independent elevation of blackÂ cinemaÂ apart from the major film studios and execs.
To be a part of the festival would definitely be an unforgettable experience, but it does cost.Â The marquee pass which grants access to every event goes for a cool $1300, but that’s VIP and everything.Â You can check out more about the festival including the offical lineup for each day and the 2010 film selectionsÂ at abff.com/festival