For the second year in a row, the 19th annual American Black Film Festival (ABFF) took place in New York City, running Thursday through Sunday over a jam-packed weekend. Over the four days (June 11-14) 20,000 attendees supported black filmmaking at several venues throughout the city.
The festival, dedicated to showcasing stories by and about people of African descent, offered a slate of shorts, documentaries, television content and feature films. Still, it’s the panel discussions and exclusive networking events that make ABFF a must for industry players and those aspiring to break into the business.
This year’s events included a screening of Rick Famuyiwa’s Dope, a conversation with Empire’s Taraji P. Henson and the premiere screenings of TV One’s original films Runaway Island and Girlfriends Getaway 2.
Originally conceived as a destination event, the festival has been held in Acapulco, Miami, Los Angeles, and New York City since its inception in 1997. Founder Jeff Friday envisioned the ABFF as a vehicle to Founder Jeff Friday envisioned the ABFF as a vehicle to promote diversity in the film and television industry.
Today it is widely recognized as a major conduit for bringing new Black talent to the forefront, both in front of and behind the camera. The festival is considered the nation’s largest gathering of Black film and TV enthusiasts, drawing an attendance of around 20,000. Check out the photographs below.