HBO to Host Annual Short Film Award & 3rd Annual Comedy Wings Competition

HBO, the founding sponsor of Film Life's American Black Film Festival (ABFF), will once again have a major presence at the premier urban event, which will be held for the second consecutive year in New York City on June 11-14, 2015. Following tremendous success in New York City last year, ABFF and HBO will continue the original goal of supporting aspiring actors and filmmakers in urban landscapes such as NYC.

"HBO has a long-standing tradition of discovering, supporting and cultivating new and diverse talents," said Dennis Williams, vice president of Corporate Social Responsibility, HBO. "ABFF is the perfect platform to shine the spotlight on the many creative talents within the Black filmmaking community."

This year, HBO will present two key events:

The 18th Annual HBO(R) Short Film Competition

Saturday, June 14th, 8:45 p.m. - 11:00 p.m.

AMC EMPIRE 25: 234 West 42nd Street

HBO's prestigious award, which has been part of the ABFF's competitive film program since it was established in 1998, will honor the writing and directing talents of up-and-coming Black filmmakers. This year's event will be hosted by Harlem native and host on Bravo's Fashion Queens, Bevy Smith. A special screening will showcase THE FIVE films selected for the final round of competition:

1. BLACK CARD, directed and produced by Pete Chatmon

In a culture requiring an ID card and commitment to the code, an African-American couple is about to find out just how far the boundaries can be pushed. [14:07]

2. CHAINING DAY, written and produced by Chris Bailey, directed by Dominic Haxton

A young boy commits an accidental murder, causing a stir in the community and forcing him to choose between his loyalty to the gang and saving what's left of his innocence by turning himself into the police. Inspired by the true story of Robert 'Yummy' Sandifer, a tragic event that was featured on the cover of Time magazine. [11:02]

3. FIRST DATE, LAST DATE, directed by Derege Harding

A drama about finding your soulmate at the worst possible time - the end of the world. Sara and Michael are on their first date when all hell breaks loose just outside their window, but they manage to suppress their fear as the world crumbles around them. [06:34]

4. JOY, directed by Solomon Onita Jr.

A Nigerian middle-aged woman living in America, struggles to convince her traditionalist husband not to circumcise their ten-year-old daughter. [15:00]

5. STANHOPE, directed and written by Solvan Naim

Stanhope, a teenage inner city kid from Brooklyn, NY gets caught up in a web of violence as a paid assassin. [18:23]

A $10,000 grand prize will be awarded to the top winner during the Best of the ABFF Awards Ceremony on closing night.

The 3rd Annual ABFF Comedy Wings Competition

Friday, June 12th, 8:00 p.m. - 10:00 p.m.

Hilton Grand Ballroom: 1335 Ave of the Americas

Four finalists - Chastity Washington, Dino Vigo, Kareem Green and Mike Merrill - will compete for the ABFF Comedy Wings title. Hosted by HBO, the competition is in partnership with the ABFF to create a pathway to opportunities for rising comedic talent across all mediums: film, television and the web. Serving as the master of ceremony is Rickey Smiley, actor, comedian and host of THE RICKEY SMILEY SHOW on TV One. The grand prize winner will be awarded $2,500 at the conclusion of the competition.



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