American Black Film Festival (ABFF) wrapped its 24th annual celebration with The Best Of The ABFF Awards. Taking place virtually and via the newly launched ABFF PLAY platform, the award ceremony was hosted by Boris Kodjoe and Nicole Ari Parker with a simulcast on IMDb.
Presenters included Oscar nominated director Lee Daniels, Laz Alonso (The Boys), Bevy Smith (Bevelations), Logan Browning (Dear White People), Sinqua Walls (American Soul), La La Anthony (Power) and Spike Lee (Da 5 Bloods).
The jury award for Best U.S. Feature went to Curtis, directed and written by Chris Bailey, while Hisonni Johnson was named Best Director for Take Out Girl, and Best Ccreenplay went to Addison Henderson for G.O.D – Givers of Death.
The first annual John Singleton Director Award for Best First Feature for a director of African descent went to Solomon Onita, Jr for Tazmanian Devil, while the Khaled Ridgeway-helmed comedy Death of A Telemarketer was chosen as fan favorite movie.
The fest, which ran online from August 21-30, said it drew a global audience from 85 countries around the world. This year’s competition attracted a record number of films, over half from first-time filmmakers and the most from female directors in the festival’s history.
In addition to the films, the program included virtual networking events, studio screenings, and 30 conversations and panels featuring Stacey Abrams, Kenya Barris, Mary J. Blige, Curtis “50 Cent” Jackson, Barry Jenkins, Yara Shahidi, Tina Knowles-Lawson, Yvonne Orji, Gabrielle Union, Radha Blank, and Lena Waithe.
See below for the full winner’s list from the 2020 American Black Film Festival:
HBO Short Film Competition (presented by HBO, Prize: $10,000 for winner; $5,000 for finalists)
Dolapo Is Fine, directed by Ethosheia Hylton, screenplay by Joan Iyiola, Chibundu Onuzo
Jury Award – Best Director (presented by Cadillac, Prize: $10,000)
Hisonni Johnson, Take Out Girl
John Singleton Director Award for Best First Feature (presented by Netflix, Prize: $5,000)
Solomon Onita, Jr, Tazmanian Devil
Jury Award – Best US Narrative Feature (presented by Prudential, Prize: $2,500)
Curtis, directed and written by Chris Bailey, produced by Kimberly Hwang, Chelsea Davenport and Desi Bee Richardson
Jury Award – Best Screenplay (presented by BET, Prize: $2,500)
Addison Henderson, G.O.D – Givers of Death
Jury Award – Best International Narrative Feature (presented by Sony Pictures Entertainment, Prize: $2,500). The New Normal (Nigeria), directed by Teniola Olatoni, written by Tunde Babalola, produced by Sourmash Stories
Jury Award – Best Documentary (presented by Amazon Studios, Prize: $2,500)
Maurice Hines: Bring Them Back, directed by John Carluccio, written by Tracy E. Hopkins
Jury Award – Best Web Series (presented by Xfinity, Prize: $2,500)
Loving in America, directed by Jason Gudasz, written by Bianca Cristovao
Fan Favorite Movie
Death of A Telemarketer, directed by Khaled Ridgeway, produced by Datari Turner, Meagan Good, James J. Yi