American Black Film Festival 2011 [Review/Photos]

Posted on July 12, 2011 /Uncategorized


The 15th annual American Black Film Festival has wrapped up in Miami, Florida over the past weekend. The event [held from July 6- July 9]  featured works of art created by American black folks. Currently in it’s 15th year, the festival is still held in high regard for being one of the only premiere film festivals of its kind. A few A-list actors were in attendance as well. Mekhi Phifer, Paula Patton, Laz Alonso, Vivica A. Fox, Michael Clarke Duncan, and  a slew of other well known actors were also there.

According to numerous reports,  the highlights of the event were Keenen Ivory Wayans‘ acceptance of the Entertainment Icon award, Robert Townsend’s The Ultimate Pitch masterclass, The Star Project competition, the exclusive HBO short film award, Naturi Naughton‘s acceptance of the Grey Goose Future Icon award, and the premiere of the new film Dysfunctional Friends.

Although we couldn’t make it to Miami this year, we have a good idea of what went on at the festival. Read the reviews, view the photos, and watch video footage from the event below.


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• HBO® Short Film Competition – FIG, written by Alex George Pickering and directed by Ryan Coogler. Award presented by Lucinda Martinez of HBO and Olivia Smashum. Grand prize of $20,000.

• Best Documentary, presented by CNN – BROWN BABIES, directed by Regina Griffin. Award presented by Janet Rolle, EVP and Chief Marketing Officer of CNN Worldwide and Actor Dennis White. Grand prize of $5,000.

• Grey Goose “Rising Icon” Award – Actress Naturi Naughton. Award presented by Chauncey Hamlett, Grey Goose Brand Manager and Actress Mari Marrow.

• The Star Project Winners, presented by NBC Universal – Sheaun McKinney of Los Angeles and Tiffany D. Hobbs of Dallas. Award presented by Kendra Carter, Director of Talent Diversity Initiatives, NBCUniversal Casting; Debra Langford, VP of Inclusion and Business Diversity, NBCUniversal; and Actor Mekhi Phifer. Grand prize winner to receive walk-on role on NBC’s daytime drama “Day of Our Lives.”

• The gmc Television Network Screenplay Competition – David Martyn Conley for RAISING IZZIE. Award presented by Singer Eric Benet. Grand prize of $5,000.

Grand Jury Prizes:

• Best Screenplay presented by Team Sizzle Worldwide – BLACK GOLD, directed by Jeta Amata. Award presented by Team Sizzle Worldwide CEO Terrell Suggs of the Baltimore Ravens and Actress Elise Neal. Grand prize of $5,000.

• Best Actor, presented by Gold Peak Tea (tie) – Lonyo Engele for his role as David Brown in DAVID IS DYING and Persia White for her role as Trenyce in DYSFUNCTIONAL FRIENDS. Award presented by Mark Pitts, VP and General Manager of Coffee and Tea for Coca-Cola and Actress Terri J. Vaughn. Grand prize of $5,000.

• Best Director, presented by Cadillac – Stephen Lloyd Jackson for DAVID IS DYING. Award presented by Dave Fitzwater, Regional Sales & Marketing Manager SE Region at General Motors and Actor Laz Alonso. Grand prize of $5,000.

• Best Film, presented by Wells Fargo – THE TESTED, directed by Russell Constanzo. Award presented by Alisa Joseph, VP of Marketing & Communications and Actress Jaszmine Leiws. Grand prize of $5,000.

• Special Grand Prize Jury winners’ gift present by American Airlines for Best Screenplay, Best Actor, Best Director and Best Film. Each awardee received two round-trip airline tickets courtesy of American Airlines.


Keenen Ivory Wayans Accepts the Entertainment Icon Award

Robert Townsend Premiers New Film ‘In The Hive’

The films stars Vivica A. Fox and Michael Clarke Duncan.

Dysfunctional Friends

Directed by Corey, produced by Datari Turner and Greg Carter.

Starring in the film are Keith Robinson, Meagan Good, Stacey Dash, Tatyana Ali, Essence Atkins, Vanessa Simmons, Hosea Sanchez, Wesley Jonathan, Jason Weaver, Datari Turner, Reagan Gomez, Persia White, Stacy Keibler, Rodney Jerkins, Dennis White, Antwon Tanner, and Christian Keys. NFL Superstar Terrell “T.O.” Owens makes his big screen debut

Screenwriter Michael Elliot (‘Brown Sugar’) sat down with’s Wilson Morales. The writer also held a masterclass on screenwriting.

Elv8 Interviews Robert Townsend

Aspiring screenwriter Suntrana T Allen describes her experience at actor Robert Townsend’s Masterclass

And guest enjoyed some tropical food and beverages.


Photos and Video:, Shadow And Act, TheYBF, and other sources.