15th Annual American Black Film Festival Hits South Beach

Black movie makers are honored by peers at three-day event.

Posted: 07/11/2011 12:39 AM EDT

Over the weekend, much of the Black film community gathered for the annual American Black Film Festival in Miami. A number of celebrities, including Keenan Ivory Wayans, Mekhi Phifer, Lamman Rucker, Vivica A. Fox, Michael Clarke Duncan and DeRay Davis made appearances.

 

The festival’s founder, Jeff Friday, stressed the lingering need for the festival 15 years after its inception. “We went to festivals and I just didn’t see Black movies.," he said. "I always wondered why there were no Bllack films at different festivals. We wanted to create a gathering for Black people in the film business.”

 

Over the weekend a number of films were screened for festival goers, including Robert Townsend’s latest film In the Hive, Black Gold with Vivica A. Fox, The Tested with Aunjanue Ellis and Breathe starring Jazmine Lewis. The ABFF Honors was hosted by Regina King and Anthony Anderson.

 

The Grand Jury Prize for Best Film went to The Tested, a film directed by Russell Costanzo. The Grand Jury Prize for Best Performance by an Actor was awarded to Girlfriends star Persia White for her performance in Dysfunctional Friends. Scribe Jeta Amata was handed the Grand Jury Award for Best Screenplay for his film, Black Gold. The Grand Jury Prize for Best Director was given to Stephen Lloyd Jackson for the movie David is Dying.

(Photo: Terrence Jennings/Picture Group)

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