Click to Skip Ad
Closing in...
For White TV Writers Who Have Considered Racism When *Ethnic* Diversity Is Too Much For White TV Writers Who Have Considered Racism When *Ethnic* Diversity Is Too Much 'Key & Peele' "Substitute Teacher" Sketch to be Developed as a Feature Film 'Key & Peele' "Substitute Teacher" Sketch to be Developed as a Feature Film Tyler Perry Studios Forms Film, TV & Infrastructure Alliance w/ 4 Other Major Atlanta Studios Tyler Perry Studios Forms Film, TV & Infrastructure Alliance w/ 4 Other Major Atlanta Studios Watch: Kenyan Filmmaker Ng'endo Mukii Tackles 'Globalized' Beauty & African Self-Image in Award-Winning Short Film 'Yellow Fever' Watch: Kenyan Filmmaker Ng'endo Mukii Tackles 'Globalized' Beauty & African Self-Image in Award-Winning Short Film 'Yellow Fever' Next Year's Oscars Host Just Might Be Kevin Hart... Or at Least Someone Black Next Year's Oscars Host Just Might Be Kevin Hart... Or at Least Someone Black Ava DuVernay, Jada Pinkett Smith, Cicely Tyson, Erykah Badu to Be 2015 Black Girls Rock!' Honorees Ava DuVernay, Jada Pinkett Smith, Cicely Tyson, Erykah Badu to Be 2015 Black Girls Rock!' Honorees HBO Orders Steve McQueen's 'Codes of Conduct' to 6-Episode Limited Series HBO Orders Steve McQueen's 'Codes of Conduct' to 6-Episode Limited Series Apparently, Many of You Aren't Pleased With the "All-New" 'Single Ladies'... What's Going on? Apparently, Many of You Aren't Pleased With the "All-New" 'Single Ladies'... What's Going on? Rob Hardy Launches Rainforest Entertainment + Taps Mitzi Miller for Head of Development at New Company Rob Hardy Launches Rainforest Entertainment + Taps Mitzi Miller for Head of Development at New Company Alfre Woodard and Gbenga Akinnagbe are a Dysfunctional Mother-Son Pair in Trailer for 'Knucklehead' Alfre Woodard and Gbenga Akinnagbe are a Dysfunctional Mother-Son Pair in Trailer for 'Knucklehead' Ruth Negga Has Landed the Female Lead Role in AMC's 'Preacher' Adaptation Ruth Negga Has Landed the Female Lead Role in AMC's 'Preacher' Adaptation Starz Announces Return Date for Original Series 'Power' + New Key Art + Trailer Starz Announces Return Date for Original Series 'Power' + New Key Art + Trailer 'Single Ladies' Returns Tonight to a Rebranded Centric - "The First Network Designed for Black Women" 'Single Ladies' Returns Tonight to a Rebranded Centric - "The First Network Designed for Black Women" What to Expect in Season 2 of 'Empire' (Less Opulence; Spike Lee May Direct, Oprah May Guest-Star, More) What to Expect in Season 2 of 'Empire' (Less Opulence; Spike Lee May Direct, Oprah May Guest-Star, More) 73 New TV Pilots & Series with Black Actors in Starring and/or Supporting Roles Ordered for Next Season. Here's the Full List 73 New TV Pilots & Series with Black Actors in Starring and/or Supporting Roles Ordered for Next Season. Here's the Full List HBO Seeks Diverse, Emerging Writers for HBOAccess Writing Fellowship HBO Seeks Diverse, Emerging Writers for HBOAccess Writing Fellowship Woody Allen Says He Won’t Hire a Black Actor Unless the Role Calls for One... Whatever That Means Woody Allen Says He Won’t Hire a Black Actor Unless the Role Calls for One... Whatever That Means Aaron McGruder Finally Explains Why He Left 'The Boondocks' Aaron McGruder Finally Explains Why He Left 'The Boondocks' Netflix Explains Why It Doesn't Always Have That Film Or TV Show You Really Want To See (Video) Netflix Explains Why It Doesn't Always Have That Film Or TV Show You Really Want To See (Video) Tichina Arnold Says She Talked To Martin Lawrence About Doing A 'Martin' Movie... Tichina Arnold Says She Talked To Martin Lawrence About Doing A 'Martin' Movie...

Goodbye South Beach - The American Black Film Festival (ABFF) Relocates To New York City

Photo of Tambay A. Obenson By Tambay A. Obenson | Shadow and Act October 30, 2013 at 2:46PM

Goodbye South Beach - The American Black Film Festival (ABFF) Relocates To New York City
11
ABFF NYC

Change is in the air for one of the country's most prominent black film festivals - The American Black Film Festival.

Festival director Jeff Friday officially confirmed a previously leaked story - via a letter sent out to festival supporters and alumni yesterday - that the festival will be moving from its current South Beach Miami location, to the mecca of independent cinema, New York City!

The move is already in effect, as the 2014 installment of the festival will take place in New York, marking the ABFF's 18th year.

"I would like to take this opportunity to thank you for your support; without you, we would not stand today as one of the leading film festivals in the world," Friday said in the emailed letter, adding that Morris Chestnut would be 2014's ABFF celebrity ambassador. 

The reasons for the move should be obvious. There's really no better location in the world for a film festival of ABFF's caliber and mission, to call home. Ideally, either of the coastal cities (LA or NYC) would make the most sense, and the festival did actually spend a brief period of time in the City of Angels. 

After LA, New York is a film industry hot-bed, home to influential film production and distribution houses like The Weinstein Company and Focus Features (although Focus is currently undergoing a change of its own), as well as numerous TV shows and film shoots, both at the studio level and the plethora of indies mounting countless new productions on a regular basis.

New York is also an attraction itself, drawing some 50 million tourists a year from all over the world (including the USA), who are spending $35 to $40 billion in the city. And with convenient transportation connections to nearby Philadelphia, Washington, DC, New Jersey, Connecticut, and others make it a key port and centralized location.

Of course, I'd be remiss if I didn't also mention the city's diversity as an asset, where you'll find representation from almost every part of the African diaspora - people like me who've come to call New York home - despite how expensive a place it is to live.

This is obviously key to ABFF's position as a film festival that caters to members of that very same Diaspora.

"While Miami provided the ABFF with opportunities to realize some great achievements, New York is the #1 travel destination in the world - where over 3 million African Americans also happen to reside - and affords us tremendous potential for growth," Friday adds. "Those of us from nearby -- New Jersey, Philadelphia, Maryland and Washington D.C. -- will also have easier access. As we continue to shine the light on diverse stories, we need to offer broader audiences the chance to enjoy them. There's no better stage than New York, and we are excited about the move!"

Indeed.

And in consideration of this move, the festival is designing what Friday calls "a festival village" which will occupy the SVA Theatre and Metropolitan Pavilion - both in the Chelsea neighborhood in Manhattan.

As a New Yorker, I'm certainly pleased with this news. Certainly, I'm biased. For starters, it means that I won't have to travel to South Beach Miami anymore to attend the festival, saving me a trip! Although that's not the only reason.

ABFF 2014 is set for June 19-22 in its new New York City home. And when I say, New York-based Shadow & Act will be there to cover the festival next year, you can believe that we will!

Stay tuned...

This article is related to: Festival Dispatch


Shadow & ActNewsletter