Slate of films in 2019 American Black Film Festival competition announced

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(Last Updated On: May 11, 2019)

Emerging and established filmmakers bring innovative storytelling and diverse perspective to the festival lineup

The annual festival takes place June 12-16 in Miami Beach

LOS ANGELES, May 10, 2019 The 23rd Annual American Black Film Festival (ABFF) is excited to announce their distinctive 2019 lineup of narrative features, documentaries and short films in competition. Films are set to screen in Miami from June 13-15 at the Regal Cinemas South Beach and the New World Center.

Adhering to its mission of providing a platform for diverse voices in cinema, the festival is set to showcase 25+ films and web series to a record number of attendees through its narrative, documentary, web series and HBO® Short Film Competition. The slate will boast an array of genre’s surrounding the black diaspora and feature a multitude of emerging and veteran filmmakers. Each of this year’s selections tackle topical issues including, survival, violence, parenthood, health, love, forgiveness, mental illness and friendship. These stories continue to illustrate the Festival’s commitment in being the cornerstone for emerging content creators of color, as well as highlight empowering stories pertinent to today’s society.

The winners of each category will be announced during the “Best of ABFF” Awards, presented by Dream in Black | AT&T, on the evening of Saturday, June 15th at the Loews Miami Beach Hotel. The nominees for Best Director, Best Narrative Feature, Best Actor and Best Screenplay will be announced on Friday, May 17th.

The complete list of films in competition at the 23rd Annual American Black Film Festival is listed below:

The following films are the 2019 official selections in the Narrative Features category. Films in this category are eligible to be nominated for the following Jury Awards – Best Director (presented by Cadillac, prize is $5,000), Best Narrative Feature (presented by Prudential Financial, prize is $5,000), Best Actor (presented by AT&T), and Best Screenplay (prize is $2,500). In addition, each film will compete for the ABFF Audience Award (presented by BET Networks, prize is $10,000).

All films in this section will screen at the Regal Cinemas 18 Theater June 13 – June 15.

2019 | USA | 105 min
Directed & Written by: Charles Murray
Produced by: Jackie Stone
Cast: Dorian Missick, Simone Missick, Michael Beach, Terrell Tilford, Victoria Platt
Logline: After a journalists’ cousin commits suicide, he investigates what caused her to take her life and the people he believes are responsible.

ALL IN (World Premiere)
2018 | USA | 105 min
Directed by: Ibrahim Yilla
Written by: Tressa Azarel Smallwood, Iman Smallwood, Leslie Allen
Produced by: Kia Freeman, Gregory Freeman, Tressa Azarel Smallwood, Audrea Topps-Harjo
Cast: Niatia “Lil Mama” Kirkland, Elise Neal, Robert Christopher Riley, Lyric Hurd, Lena Anthony, Jim Jones, Traci Braxton
Logline: A dysfunctional single mother gets pulled back into a life of crime while trying to make a better future for her three children.

HIS, HERS & THE TRUTH (World Premiere)
2018 | USA | 90 min
Directed & Written by: Coke Daniels
Produced by: Vanzil Burke, Victor Burke, Cristina Davis, Errol Sadler
Cast: Brad James, Ashley A. Williams, Terri J. Vaughn, Dorien Wilson, Cocoa Brown Dawn Halfkenny, Duane Finley, Kaye Singleton, Edsel Love Patterson, Shacai O’Neal, Karon Riley, Erin Elizabeth Feest
Logline: Alan and Tanya have been acquaintances for years, but have yet to become romantically involved, until now.

IF NOT NOW, WHEN? (World Premiere)
2019 | USA | 126 min
Directed by: Meagan Good, Tamara Bass
Written by: Tamara Bass
Produced by: Meagan Good, Tamara Bass, Sway Calloway, LaMyia Good, Datari Turner
Cast: Meagan Good, Meagan Holder, Mekia Cox, Tamara Bass, Valarie Pettiford
Logline: A story about love, forgiveness, sisterhood and second chances.

2018 |USA | 88 min
Directed & Written by: Numa Perrier
Produced by: Numa Perrier, Winter Dunn, Dwayne Dugger II
Cast: Tiffany Tenille, Numa Perrier, Stephen Barrington, Bobby Field, Brett Gelman
Logline: In the last days of her mother’s life, 19-year old Tiffany crashes with five family members in a Las Vegas studio apartment. In order to make ends meet, her older sister, a phone sex operator, introduces her to the world of internet fetish cam girls.

2018 | USA | 106 min
Directed & Written by: Stephanie Turner
Produced by: Angie Edgar, Louise Shore, Stephanie Turner, Glynn Turman
Cast: Glynn Turman, Stephanie Turner, Darby Stanchfield, Josh Stamberg, Cleo King, Bridget Kallal, Ravi Cabot-Conyers
Logline: A single mom of two takes a job as a nanny to an 8-year old girl with spina bifida. At first an unlikely pair, the two end up helping one another overcome personal obstacles.

2019 | USA | 98 min
Directed by: Charneice Fox
Written by: Charneice Fox, Michelle Sewell
Produced by: BK Fulton, Jacquelyn E. Stone, Monty Ross, Michele Lopez, Kimberly C. Gaines, Charneice Fox
Cast: Brave Williams, Tobias Truvillion, Kym Whitley, LisaRae McCoy, Charles Malik Whitfield, Wes Felton Raheem DeVaughn, Christopher Williams
Logline: A vegan chef with a broken heart and an exhausted budget finds love face to face but opts for technology to make the final decision.

2019 | USA | 99 min
Directed & Written by: Van Elder
Produced by: Van Elder, Jela Okpara
Cast: Erica Hubbard, Torrei Hart, Dominique Perry, J. Alphonse Nicholson, Omar Gooding
Logline: A quirky and successful optometrist in the twilight of her life turns to her friends for help in finding social fulfillment, but she has ignored one particular place…Within.

2018 | USA | 85 min
Directed by: Van Maximilian Carlson
Written by: Van Maximilian Carlson, A. Shawn Austin
Produced by: A. Shawn Austin
Cast: Tayler Buck, Edi Gathegi, Ana Ortiz, Jacob Vargas and Martin Sheen
Logline: The inspiring tale of a runaway foster child who will stop at nothing to live with the only family she knows: her father… a homeless mentally ill veteran who lives on the streets of LA’s Skid Row.

SAME DIFFERENCE (World Premiere)
2019 | USA | 88 min
Directed & Written by: Derege Harding
Produced by: Datari Turner
Cast: Essence Atkins, Terrence Jenkins, Edwina Findley, Demetrius Shipp, Jr., Melvin Gregg, Ginger Gonzaga, Page Kennedy, Kandi Burruss, Affion Crockett, Lew Temple
Logline: As Tonya Keating grapples with the innate knowledge that her death is imminent, she is compelled to let go of the past and reconcile with her estranged twin sister.

2018 | USA | 82 min
Directed by: Robert Rippberger
Written by: Piper Dellums, Sha-Risse Smith
Produced by: Robert Rippberger, Ace Salvador, Hiroki Kamada, Piper Dellums, Scott M. Rosenfelt, Tobias Deml
Cast: Joie Campbell, Ricky Flowers Jr., Chelsea Williams, Danny Glover, Shaylin Becton
Logline: A teenager from the projects in Harlem aims to get into Yale, but must push against the world holding her back.

2018 | USA/MEXICO | 102 min
Directed & Written by: Jennifer Sharp
Produced by: Jennifer Sharp, Matthew Morgan
Cast: JoNell Kennedy, Numa Perrier, Jose Casasús, Jake Olson
Logline: A beautiful diverse movie about a black American in Mexico, slowly becomes a romantic comedy with an all-white cast.

The following films are the 2019 official selections in the Documentary category. Each film will compete for the Jury Award Best Documentary, presented by ABFF, prize is $2,500.

All films in this section will screen at the Regal Cinemas 18 Theater June 13 – June 15.

2018 | USA | 70 min
Directed by: Lily Keber
Produced by: Lily Keber, Stephen Rose
Principal Subject(s): Mia X, Mannie Fresh, Ausettua AmorAmenkum, Nicholas Payton, DJ Jubilee
Logline: Buckjumping follows six dancing communities as they demonstrate ownership of
the streets of New Orleans, commemorate their dead, forge community and find spiritual transcendence.

2018 | USA | 83 min
Directed by: Brian Schodorf
Written by: Brian Schodorf, Afrika Porter
Produced by: Malik Yusef, Afrika Porter, Nathan Weber, Brian Schodorf, Burundi Partlow, Randy Crumpton, Malachi Gross
Principal Subject(s): Malik Yusef, Leonard GLC Harris, Rev. Jesse Jackson, Father Michael Pfleger, Arne Duncan
Logline: Where did Chicago go wrong? Chicago at the Crossroad tells the story of a city caught in the aftermath of a policy of mass displacement shaded by a long history of segregation.

2018 | USA | 87 min
Directed & Written by: Jodi Gomes
Produced by: Jodi Gomes, Anthony McLemore, Ladawn Jones, Marsha Hallager
Principal Subject(s): Dana Evans, Tamara Cotman, Christopher Waller, Diane Ravitch, Lamar Waldron
Logline: In 2009, 1,176 Atlanta teachers were investigated for test cheating; 35 were indicted, 12 went to trial and 11 were found guilty on RICO charges. The guilty, serving 30-year sentences, finally break their silence in this tell-all film.

2018 | USA | 62 min
Directed by: Eric D. Seals
Written by: Donnie Seals Jr.
Produced by: Brittany Applegate
Principal Subject(s): Daphne Maxwell Reid, Kathryn Ogletree, Clovis Semmes, Michael Wilbon, Harry Lennix
Logline: In 1968, more than 100 black Northwestern students took over the school’s Bursar’s Office for 38 hours to demand equal rights.

2019 | USA/CANADA/GERMANY | 78 min
Directed & Written by: Rodney Evans
Produced by: Rodney Evans, Rob Wunder
Principal Subject(s): Rodney Evans, John Dugdale, Kayla Hamilton and Ryan Knighton
Logline: A documentary that chronicles the creative paths of blind and visually impaired artists including a photographer, dancer, writer and the film’s director.

The following films are the 2019 official selections in the HBO® Short Film Competition, now in its 22nd year. Each film in this category will compete for the ABFF’s HBO® Short Film Award – prize is $10,000 for the winner and $5,000 for each of the finalists. The 22nd Annual HBO® Short Film Competition is on Thursday, June 13 at 6 p.m. Hosted by Bevy Smith (Page Six TV), the competition will be held in the New World Center – Performance Hall. The winner will be announced during the “Best of the ABFF” Awards Presentation on Saturday, June 15 at 9 p.m.

CAP (World Premiere)
2019 | USA | 16 min
Directed & Written by: Marshall Tyler
Produced by: Moira Griffin, Marshall Tyler
Cast: Medina Senghore, Tunde Adebimpe, Dusan Brown
Logline: 15-year-old Manny Bennitt learns the hard way the price of being cool.

2018 | USA | 13 min
Directed & Written by: Eric Pumphrey
Produced by: Angelo Pullen, Tommy Savas, Luke Baybak, Jenna Johnson, Judy Craig
Cast: Natalie Paul, Jocko Sims
Logline: Grief can be overwhelming for just us to tackle alone.

2018 | JAMAICA | 13 min
Directed by: Kia Moses, Adrian McDonald
Written by: Kia Moses
Produced by: Tashara-Lee Johnson
Cast: Rohiem Phillips, Craig Robinson, Jermaine ‘Zbek’ Nelson, Danielo Reid, Akalia Golding, Christopher McKoy
Logline: A Jamaican boy sets out on a dream, ten times his size, to fly to the moon, despite his circumstances and father’s opposition.

2018 | GHANA | 15 min
Directed & Written by: Zoey Martinson
Produced by: Kofi Owusu Afriyie, Zoey Martinson
Cast: Ziggy Netteyson, Kiki-Romi, Elizabeth Nortey
Logline: An aging fisherman goes out to sea one day and returns with a talking fish.

WEDNESDAY (World Premiere)
2018 | USA | 13 min
Directed by: Daniel Willis
Written by: Jessica D. Shields
Produced by: Melina Lizette, Mariyam Mahbub
Cast: Mychala Lee, Chene Lawson
Logline: Recently homeless and living in a car with her mother, a teenage girl commits a reckless act, desperate to rescue a vestige of their former life.

The following are the 2019 official selections in the Web Series category. Each film will compete for the jury award Best Web Series, presented by Verizon Media.

All films in this section will screen at the Regal Cinemas 18 Theater June 13 – June 15.

2018 | USA | 20 min
Directed by: Crystle Roberson
Written by: Sonhara Eastman
Produced by: Sonhara Eastman, Ronald Eastman II, Carmen K. Jones
Cast: Raney Branch, Monyetta Shaw, Ali Amin Carter, Cindy Jefferson, Nicky Buggs, Jamir Vega
Logline: Ava is a 37-year-old romance novelist who faded into obscurity after finding love-and now finds herself on the rise again after self-publishing a diary detailing her fertility woes.

KING ESTER (World Premiere)
2018 | USA | 20 min
Directed & Written by: Dui Jarrod
Produced by: Angelica Ross, Caralene Robinson, Ryan Robertson, Jon Mallow
Cast: DeJaye Joseph, Angelica Ross, Janet Hubert, Dane Edidi, Martin L. Bradford, Lindsey G. Smith, LJ Scott, Roland Lane, Omar Washington
Logline: A bold-living trans woman must decide whether to stay or leave New Orleans as Hurricane Katrina approaches.

2018 | USA | 14 min
Directed & Written by: Riley S. Wilson
Produced by: Riley S. Wilson, Lisa Cortes, Okema T. Moore, Angel Lenise
Cast: Apple Montague, Milan Williams, Charlene Montague, Gabrielle Eitienne
Logline: For Apple, a 9-year-old Harlem girl, a new school year brings new enemies, new special abilities and a new neighborhood in the midst of natural and supernatural conflict.

2018 | USA | 20 min
Directed & Written by: Alexander Etseyatse
Produced by: Ebony Lewis, Lily Johnson
Cast: Alexander Etseyatse, Dwinsley Homere, Keithen Hergott, Murray Adams
Logline: A mentally unstable young man struggles to win his old life back.

2018 | USA | 13 min
Directed by: Winter Dunn
Written by: Moni Oyedepo
Produced by: Arielle Noel, Moni Oyedepo
Cast: Moni Oyedepo, Chinedu Unaka, Adriyan Rae, Ego Nwodim
Logline: Platonic is the story of two friends who overlook their “mild” attraction to each other for the good of the friendship.

2018 | NIGERIA | 12 min
Directed & Written by: Victor Okoye Frank (Victor O’Frank)
Produced by: Mina Sanosi
Cast: Emmanuel Ogonna, Abdulazeem Dulo Harris, Andrea-Rachel Parker
Logline: Emeka is new to the big apple, does he have what it takes to survive the big city?

For a full listing of panels and screenings coming to the 2019 American Black Film Festival, please continue to go to the website and also download the American Black Film Festival app TODAY on Apple and Google Play for Festival updates.

ABFF remains committed to introducing emerging content creators of African descent to the industry at large and is recognized as one of the leading film festivals in the world. Passes are on sale at, and offer five (5) different levels of access to Festival events. Registration ends May 22nd for discounted rates and questions regarding registration may be directed

Sponsors of the 2019 American Black Film Festival are HBO® (Founding and Presenting Sponsor); BET Networks, Greater Miami Convention & Visitors Bureau (GMCVB), Comcast NBCUniversal, Cadillac (Presenting Sponsors); Dream in Black | AT&T, Capital One Spark Business, Hilton, Prudential Financial, WarnerMedia (Premier Sponsors); AMC Theatres, American Airlines, Motion Picture Association of America (MPAA), Netflix, Sony, TV One (Official Sponsors); Accenture, AspireTV, Crown Royal, Facebook, Gentleman Jack, Miami Beach Visitor and Convention Authority, OWN, Spotify, truTV, UMC, UrbanFlix, Verizon Media, Warner Bros. (Supporting Sponsors); ABC, AIDS Health Foundation, Arrington & Phillip’s – Attorneys at Law, Atlanta Mayor’s Office of Film & Entertainment, Morris Yorn Barnes Levine Krintzman Rubenstein Kohner & Gellman Law Firm, Frankfurt Kurnit Klein & Selz, IFC Networks, SAGindie (Industry Partners) and Black Enterprise,, Invest Atlanta, (Media Partners).

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Slate of films in 2019 American Black Film Festival competition announced