19th American Black Film Festival


The 19th American Black Film Festival Will Screen a Diverse Slate of Webisodes, Narratives, Documentaries and Short Films in New York City from June 11-14


Director Rick Famuyiwa’s DOPE, will make its New York City premiere at the Festival

New York, New York (May 22, 2015) – The American Black Film Festival (ABFF) announced their highly anticipated roster of films that will screen at this year’s festival. More than 30 documentaries, web originals, short films and narrative features will showcase at the AMC Empire 25 in Times Square to a devoted, movie-going audience.

Director Rick Famuyiwa’s DOPE, presented by the Motion Picture Association, will make its New York City debut at the festival, opening night, on Thursday, June 11th at 7:30 p.m at the SVA Theatre. Produced by the renowned Forest Whitaker, Nina Yang Bongiovi, Pharrell Williams, and Sean “P.Diddy” Combs, this coming of age comedy/drama is one of the buzziest and most talked about film releases of the 2015 summer season.

This year’s Spotlight Screenings, include John Singleton’s Boyz N The Hood, the Season 4 premiere of ABFF Independent, with new host David Banner, Tasha Smith’s Boxed In, as well as features from ABFF alumni Julius Onah, Roger Bobb andDatari Turner.

The 2015 ABFF selection of narratives, web shorts and documentaries in competition include expansive scope and diversity, which explore such topics as love, race, politics, relationships, crime and fame.

“This year’s films highlight the importance of giving a voice to diverse storytellers. From a documentary on American mountaineers to a narrative about Black models, our roster of films reflects the breadth of the Black experience. It is also always wonderful to see ABFF alum return to showcase their latest projects. We encourage everyone to come out and support the work of these talented filmmakers,” said Jeff Friday, ABFF CEO and Founder.

The complete list of films selected for Spotlight, Narrative Features Competition, HBO® Short Film Competition, ABFF Web Originals, and the ABFF Documentary Competition is as follows:


2014 USA 115 MIN HD NY Premiere
Sponsored by the Motion Picture Association of America
Courtesy of Open Road Films
Directed by: Rick Famuyiwa
Written by: Rick Famuyiwa
Produced by: Forest Whitaker, Nina Yang Bongiovi
Executive Producers: Pharrell Williams, Michael Y. Chow, Rick Famuyiwa, David Lonner
Co-Exec. Prod: Sean “P. Diddy” Combs. Co-Prods: Mimi Valdes, Caron Veazys
Cast: Shameik Moore, Tony Revolori, Kiersey Clemons, Blake Anderson, Zoë
Kravitz, A$AP Rocky, Chanel Iman, Quincy Brown

Opening Night Screening SVA THEATRE 6/11 7:30 PM
Encore Screening AMC EMPIRE 25 6/14 5:35 PM


ABFF INDEPENDENT – Season 4 Premiere
2015 USA 35 MIN World Premiere
Courtesy of ASPIRE

ABFF Independent is a showcase of popular and award-winning films from the American Black Film Festival (ABFF) hosted by hip-hop artist, record producer and actor David Banner.

AMC Empire 25 6/13 2:15 PM

2015 USA 49 MIN HD World Premiere
Courtesy of Hennessy
Directed by: Llewellyn Smith
Produced by: Llewellyn Smith, Annie Stopford
Featuring: Jason P. Chambers, PhD, Herbert P. Douglas Jr., Noel Hankin, Rhonda McDonald, Rodney Williams

An Unexpected History celebrates Moët Hennessy’s hundred-year relationship with African American culture, as well as the role of African Americans in shaping the brand’s identity and success. The film recounts Hennessy’s historic role in bringing respect and opportunities to Black professionals and consumers, by focusing on the remarkable achievements of two of the brand’s most influential Black executives.

AMC EMPIRE 25 6/12 6:15 PM

BOYZ N THE HOOD + Q&A with director John Singleton to follow
1991 USA 108 MIN 35 mm
Courtesy of Turner Classic Movies (TCM)
Directed by: John SingletonWritten by: John Singleton
Produced by: Steve Nicolaides
Cast: Ice Cube, Cuba Gooding Jr., Laurence Fishburne, Morris Chestnut, Nia Long, Angela Bassett, Regina King

John Singleton’s classic saga tells the story of a group of childhood friends growing up in a Los Angeles ghetto.

AMC EMPIRE 25 6/14 2:00 PM

BOXED IN + Q&A with actress and director Tasha Smith to follow
2014 USA 30 MIN HD World Premiere
Directed by: Tasha Smith
Written by: Tasha Smith
Produced by: Tasha Smith, Kim Ogletree
Cast: Walter Fauntleroy, Antonique Smith, Tyra Ferrell

A Black man in NYC struggles with bipolar disorder, while his girlfriend and mother learn to deal with the pain of his manic episodes and struggle for mental survival.

AMC EMPIRE 25 6/13 6:30 PM

RUNAWAY ISLAND + Q&A with the director and cast to follow
2015 USA 85 MIN Estimated HD World Premiere
Courtesy of TV One
Directed by: Dianne Houston
Written by: Christopher Brandt
Produced by: Gingi Rochelle & Allison Wilmarth
Cast: Lorraine Toussaint (Orange Is the New Black), Thomas Q. Jones (Being Mary Jane), Aisha Hinds (Star Trek Into Darkness), Leon Thomas (Victorious), A. Russell Andrews (Grey’s Anatomy, House of Payne), Erica Tazel (Justified), Melanie Liburd (CSI, Stalker).

A pastor, an aging widow, and a socialite with cold feet visit a luxurious Gullah Sea Island resort to be rejuvenated by its holistic setting.

AMC EMPIRE 25 6/12 3:20 PM


2015/USA/72min/HD/NY Premiere
Directed by: Wade Allain-Marcus, Jesse Allain-Marcus
Written by: Peter K. Hagen, Wade Allain-Marcus
Produced by: Jason Wolf, Mel Jones
Cast: Wade Allain-Marcus, Melina Lizette, Arjun Gupta

After committing the carnal sin of sleeping with his best friend’s girlfriend, Vincent must deal with the consequences of his betrayal and hope that his bond with his brother-from-another-mother can withstand the blow

AMC EMPIRE 25 SUN 6/14 11:20 AM

2015/USA/84min/HD/World Premiere
Directed by: Roger M. Bobb
Written by: Cas Sigers-Beedles
Produced by: Roger M. Bobb, Angi Bones, Cas Sigers, Terri J. Vaughn
Cast: Garcelle Beauvais, Terri J. Vaughn, Essence Atkins, Malinda Williams, Stephen Bishop, Khalil Kane

Four girlfriends travel to Puerto Rico for a destination wedding and chaos ensues when the low-key wedding turns into a disaster.

AMC EMPIRE 25 SUN 6/14 5:30 PM

2014/ Democratic Republic of Congo/86min/HD/North America Premiere
Directed by: Selé M’Poko
Written by: Selé M’Poko
Produced by: Selé M’Poko, Alessia Michielan, Jo D. Jonz, Woody T. Richman, Pamela Lubell
Cast: Jo D. Jonz, Jean Shaka Tshipamba, Moïse Ilunga

John of God is the world’s greatest musician…in his own mind.

AMC EMPIRE 25 SAT 6/13 11:20 AM

Directed by: Ben Bowman
Written by: Bryan Abrams, Ben Bowman
Produced by: Gbenga Akinnagbe, Ben Bowman
Executive Producers: Jonathan Gray, Debra Azemar
Cast: Gbenga Akinnagbe, Alfre Woodard, Amari Cheatom, Justin Myrick, Nikiya Mathis, Carla Duren

Convinced prescription drugs will fix his mind, a mentally disabled man leaves Brooklyn for the first time to find the one doctor who he believes can cure him.

AMC EMPIRE 25 FRI 6/12 6:50 PM

2014/USA/93min/HD/NY Premiere
Directed by: Harold Jackson III
Written by: Harold Jackson III
Produced by: Harold Jackson III, Hope Taylor, Prince Levy Jr., Latecia Durham
Cast: Judi Blair, Danny Gavigan, Benton Greene, Nedra McClyde, Nikkole Salter

A woman’s last night alone before settling down is sidetracked by a chance meeting with an attractive stranger.

AMC EMPIRE 25 FRI 6/12 12:30 PM

2015/USA/95min/HD/World Premiere
Directed by: Shawn Baker
Written by: Shawn Baker, Datari Turner
Produced by: Datari Turner
Cast: Tyson Beckford, Sessilee Lopez, Datari Turner, Roger Guenveur Smith, Fat Joe, Toccara Jones, Angela Simmons, Marc John Jefferies, Tatyana Ali, Nichole Galicia, Melissa De Sousa, Don Benjamin, Cassandra Freeman, Tobias Truvillion, Julito McCullum, Adam Senn

A young girl from the Brooklyn housing projects goes from the subway to the runway, becoming one of the most sought after models in the fashion industry. But in the high stakes world of fashion and beauty, things aren’t always as pretty and glamorous as they seem.

AMC EMPIRE 25 SUN 6/14 2:45 PM

Directed by: Julius Onah
Written by: Mayuran Tiruchelvam, Julius Onah
Produced by: Dana Offenbach, Ryan Silbert, Robert Profusek, Jen Gatien
Cast: Columbus Short, Wilmer Valderrama, Alicja Bachelda, Jesse Spencer

A Lower East Side bartender becomes entangled in a murder mystery involving a desperate woman, a missing drug dealer and the scion of a powerful investment firm.

AMC EMPIRE 25 SUN 6/14 8:45 PM

2015/USA/86min/HD/World Premiere
Directed by: Kenny Young
Written by: Kenny Young
Produced by: Phil James, Lisa D. Washington, Kim Hardin
Executive Producers: Angela White, Felicia James
Cast: Colin Egglesfield, David Faustino, Fred Willard, Anna Hutchinson, Brian White, Gary Owen

A “ladies man” must face his own fear of commitment while hosting his best friend’s bachelor party.

AMC EMPIRE 25 SUN 6/14 12:00 PM

2015/USA/119min/HD/World Premiere
Directed by: Paul D. Hannah
Written by: Paul D. Hannah
Produced by: Paul D. Hannah, Angela White, Isaiah Washington
Cast: Lisa Arrindell Anderson, Isaiah Washington, Salli Richardson-Whitfield, C. Thomas Howell, Michael Ironside, Richard Brooks

A woman becomes trapped in a murderous web deception and uses her gift of discernment to discover the truth.

AMC EMPIRE 25 SAT 6/13 2:00 PM

2015/USA/95min/HD/World Premiere
Directed by: Lisa Haynes
Written by: Lisa Haynes
Produced by: Lisa Haynes, Andre Congo, Justin Bones, Darrin Dewitt Henson, Brad James, Ty Johnston, Victoria Rowell
Cast: Darrin Dewitt Henson, Judi Blair, Victoria Rowell, Darryl Booker, Sir Brodie, Carl Anthony Payne II, Brad James

An attorney from a prestigious law firm falls in love with a beautiful woman of his dreams, but later discovers her father is seeking revenge against him over a court case gone terribly wrong.

AMC EMPIRE 25 SAT 6/13 11:25 PM

Saturday, June 13, 8:45 pm AMC EMPIRE 25

2015/USA/14min/HD/New York Premiere
Directed by: Pete Chatmon
Written by: Tony Patrick
Produced by: Christina DeHaven, Tony Patrick, Dorian Missick, Dylan Verrechia, ELEW
Executive Producer: Pete Chatmon
Cast: Dorian Missick, Simone Missick, Hisham Tawfiq, Stephen Hill, Erika Myers, Malikha Mallette, April Matthis, Valence Thomas

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….

2014/USA/11min/HD/New York Premiere
Directed by: Dominic Haxton
Written by: Chris Bailey
Produced by: Chris Bailey
Cast: Dusan Brown, Shawn Kenneth

A young boy commits an accidental murder, which causes a stir in the community and forces him to choose between his loyalty to the gang he belongs to OR saving what’s left of his innocence by turning himself into the police.

2015/USA/7min/HD/World Premiere
Directed by: Derege Harding
Written by: E.V. Anderson
Produced by: Derege Harding
Cast: Andrea Bordeaux, Daniel Hall

Soul mates Sara and Michael carry on their first date as the world comes to an end.

2015/USA/15min/HD/World Premiere
Directed by: Solomon Onita Jr.
Written by: Solomon Onita Jr.
Produced by: Elsie Dortelus, Terrence J. Grant, Solomon Onita Jr.
Cast: Sope Aluko, Bayo Akinfemi, Hannah Tarver, Georgina E. Okon, Brooke-Monaé Westbrook

A Nigerian middle-aged woman living in America struggles to convince her traditionalist husband not to circumcise their ten-year-old daughter.

2015/USA/18min/HD/World Premiere
Directed by: Solvan Naim
Written by: Solvan Naim
Produced by: Solvan Naim, Akshay Bhansali
Cast: Malik Lockett, Johnnie Mae, Rob Morgan, Nedra McClyde, Simeon Buresch

Stanhope is a drama about a teenage inner-city kid from Brooklyn who gets caught up in a web of violence as a paid assassin.

Friday, June 12, 9:25 pm AMC EMPIRE 25

2014 USA 15:35 MIN HD World Premiere
Directed by: Edson Jean, Nick Katz
Written by: Episode-1 Joshua Jean-Baptiste; Episode-2 Mimi Davila, Marckenson Charles, Maria Corina Ramirez; Episode-3 Joshua Jean-Baptiste, Mimi Davila, Maria Corina Ramirez
Produced by: Edson Jean, Nick Katz, Barry Katz
Cast: Joshua Jean Baptiste, Edson Jean, Shira Abergel, Marckenson Charles

A naive, chaste acting student (Josh) seeks guidance from his immoral problematic roommate in hopes to become a leading man.

AMC EMPIRE 25 FRI, 6/12 9:25 PM

Directed by: Cecile Emeke
Written by: Cecile Emeke
Produced by: Cecile Emeke, Abraham Popoola
Cast: Michelle Tiwo, Vanessa Babirye

Everyday moments are never mundane with these two hilarious best friends in Ackee & Saltfish.

AMC EMPIRE 25 FRI, 6/12 9:25 PM

2015 USA 21:37 MIN HD New York Premiere
Directed by: Dave Patten
Written by: Dave Patten, Josh West.
Produced by: Dave Patten, Alexx Ray, Chris Bauer
Executive Producer: David Ricks
Cast: Dave Patten, David Ricks, Alexx Ray, Richard Amezcua

Pragmatic hipster Jay Miller’s successful small business of selling sex to his collegiate peers becomes infinitely more difficult when one of his employees dies while “working.”

AMC EMPIRE 25 FRI, 6/12 9:25 PM

2014 UNITED KINGDOM 20:51 MIN HD World Premiere
Directed by: Samuell Benta
Written by: Samuell Benta
Produced by: Samuell Benta
Cast: Samuell Benta, Jason Pennycooke, Ria Horsford, Frankie Clarence, Destinee Tombling, Sheldon Nicolls, Fenella James

All about comedy, all about drama, it’s All About The McKenzies.

AMC EMPIRE 25 FRI, 6/12 9:25 PM

2015 USA 23:34 MIN HD New York Premiere
Directed by: William Alexander Runnels
Written by: Episode 1-Andrea Lewis; Episode 2-Andrea Lewis, Austin Hall; Episode 3 – Andrea Lewis
Produced by: Andrea Lewis, Brian Walker, Tatyana Ali, Essence Atkins, Brad Kaaya, Carol Desousa
Cast: Andrea Lewis, Allison Edwards-Crewe, Rob Vincent

The life of an actress who wants to be more than just Black.

AMC EMPIRE 25 FRI, 6/12 9:25 PM

Saturday, June 13, 5:15 pm AMC EMPIRE 25

2014 USA 17:35 MIN HD New York Premiere
Directed by: Emebeit Beyene & Chandra Russell
Written by: Jessica Lamour
Produced by: Jacques Lamour, Emebeit Beyene, Crystal Boyd, Chandra Russell
Cast: Emebeit Beyene, Crystal Boyd, Chivonne Michelle, Chandra Russell

To raise money to launch their own business, four girls turn their Lower East Side apartment into a lucrative nightclub.

AMC EMPIRE 25 SAT, 6/13 5:15 PM

DOCKET 32357
2014 USA 24:11 MIN HD World Premiere
Directed by: Randy Wilkins
Written by: Eljon Wardally
Produced by: Jessica Karen Brown, Juan Caceres
Cast: Tara Gadomski, Ashley Denise Robinson

A successful businesswoman and a grieving housewife struggle to overcome loneliness in the face of a shared tragedy.

AMC EMPIRE 25 SAT, 6/13 5:15 PM

2014 USA 17 MIN HD World Premiere
Directed by: Terrence L. Moore
Written by: Terrence L. Moore
Produced by: Michael Galvan
Executive Producers: Terrence L. Moore, Jenny Cadenillas, Uana Coccoloni
Cast: Kee Seymore, Susana Victoria Perez, Joshua Windley, Kajuana Shuford, Dominic Marcus, Gayle Samuels

A comedy about a guy so fed up with traditional dating he commits to having only one-night stands.

AMC EMPIRE 25 SAT, 6/13 5:15 PM

2015 USA 14:31 MIN HD New York Premiere
Directed by: Darrell Lake
Written by: Darrell Lake
Produced by: Darrell Lake
Cast: Darrell Lake, Tru Collins, Joy Regullano, Larry Karman, Justin Bryant Rapp, Pete George

The spectacularly mundane adventures of an incredible average Joe in small town Wakooki, Arizona.

AMC EMPIRE 25 SAT, 6/13 5:15 PM

2015 USA 24 MIN HD New York Premiere
Directed by: Diarra Kilpatrick & Miles Orion Feld
Written by: Diarra Kilpatrick
Produced by: Anna Micayla Feld
Cast: Diarra Kilpatrick, Terrence Colby Clemons, Miles Orion Feld, Elaine Kao, Cedric Sanders

Employees of the “Everyone’s a Little Racist (EAR) Agency” do their best to tackle every race problem that comes through their door, but for lead agent Akosua Miller, the biggest case of all may be her own…

AMC EMPIRE 25 SAT, 6/13 5:15 PM

Friday, June 12 AMC EMPIRE 25
Times vary. See listing below each film.

The following films compete for the Best Documentary award. One winner will be announced during the “Best of the ABFF” awards ceremony, Sunday, June 14.

2014 USA 77 MIN HD
Directed by: Rex Miller
Produced by: Nancy Buirski, Elisabeth Haviland James, Rex Miller
Executive Producers: John Amos, Billie Jean King, William Ackman
Principal Subject(s): Billie Jean King, Nick Bollettieri, David Dinkins, Jeanne Moutoussamy-Ashe

Althea Gibson, a truant from the rough streets of Harlem, emerged as a most unlikely queen of the highly segregated tennis world of the 1950s.

AMC EMPIRE 25 FRI 6/12 1:35 PM

2015 USA 64 MIN HD New York Premiere
Directed by: Andy Adkins, George Potter
Written by: Andy Adkins, James Mills
Produced by: George Potter, Andy Adkins
Principal Subject(s): Stephen Shobe, Erica Wynn, Tyrhee Moore, Scott Briscoe, Billy Long, Rosemary Saal, Ryan Mitchell, Stephen DeBerry, Adina Scott, James Kagambi, Robby Rechord, Madhu Chikkaraju, Aaron Devine, Jon Krakauer, Conrad Anker

An American Ascent documents the first African American expedition to tackle North America’s highest mountain, Denali, while shedding light on the complex relationship many African Americans have with the outdoors.

AMC EMPIRE 25 FRI 6/12 11:15 AM

2014 UNITED KINGDOM 94 MIN HD New York Premiere
Directed by: Jon Brewer
Produced by: Jon Brewer
Principal Subject(s): Maria Cole, Natalie Cole, Tony Bennett, Harry Belafonte, Johnny Mathis and more…

A poignant authorized feature documentary on the life and legacy of Nat King Cole.

AMC EMPIRE 25 FRI 6/12 8:35 PM

The ABFF is a four-day event dedicated to showcasing quality films by and about people of African descent. Committed to the belief that Black content creators and artists deserve the same opportunities as their mainstream counterparts, Jeff Friday conceived the festival in 1997 as a vehicle to promote diversity in the film and television industry. Today it is widely recognized as an important pipeline bringing new Black talent to prominence both in front of and behind the camera, and is regarded as one of the leading film festivals in the world.

Sponsors of the 2015 American Black Film Festival to date are HBO® (Presenting & Founding); Walmart, TV One and Cadillac (Presenting); Comcast NBCUniversal and Prudential Financial Services (Premier); AMC Theatres, American Airlines, McDonald’s and TNT (Signature); Macy’s (Official); ASPIRE, Motion Picture Association of America and UPtv (Supporting); RLJ Entertainment, SAGIndie and Walter Kaitz Foundation (Industry Partners); UPTOWN Magazine, EBONY and The YBF (Media!Partners); NYCgo.com, New York Urban League Young Professionals, Madiba Harlem, MoMA and The JDot. Agency (Promotional Partners).

About ABFF:
The American Black Film Festival (ABFF) is a four-day event dedicated to showcasing quality film and television content by and about people of African descent. Annually held during the month of June, the ABFF is committed to the belief that Black artists and content creators deserve the same opportunities as their mainstream counterparts.

ABFF Founder Jeff Friday conceived the idea for the festival in 1997 as a vehicle to promote diversity in the motion picture industry. Today, the festival is widely recognized for showcasing established and new Black talent, both in front of and behind the camera, and is regarded as one of the leading film festivals in the world. The ABFF is produced by Film Life Inc. and BLACK ENTERPRISE.

For film screening tickets, purchase here: https://www.amctheatres.com/movietheatres/new-york-city/amc-empire-25.

For additional information about the festival, visit www.ABFF.com.

Follow ABFF on our social media platforms:

Twitter: http://twitter.com/abff
Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/pages/American-Black-Film-Festival/47321635722
Instagram: http://www.Instagram.com/AmericanBlackFilmFestival

Michelle Huff Elliott