The American Black Film Festival has selected this year’s Best of ABFF award winners, with “Our Father, the Devil” and “Feel Like Ghosts” among the top accolades.
After two years of virtual programing, ABFF returned to Miami Beach for its 26th edition, with live events scheduled for June 15-19.
The 2022 winners were revealed by Emmy nominee Dondré Whitfield, who hosted the ceremony on the penultimate day of ABFF’s in-person program, with a virtual presentation of the event now available to view on its custom-designed online platform, ABFF PLAY, where the festival continues until June 30.
The Best of ABFF Awards includes winners in the official film selection categories — narrative and documentary features, web series, and the 25th HBO Short Film Award Showcase, decided by a jury led by Michael Quigley, Warner Bros.
Discovery’s exec VP of content acquisitions for TNT, TBS, truTV, HBO, and HBO Max — as well as its talent pipeline program comprised of national casting and writing competitions.
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Dakota Johnson Speaks Out on ‘Fifty Shades’ Battle Against E.L. James: ‘It Was Mayhem All the Time’. “Our Father, the Devil” was chosen as the best narrative feature at the festival and the film’s director, Ellie Foumbi, also got the John Singleton Award for a best first feature.
The film recounts an African immigrant’s calm life in a tiny French village as it is upended by the entrance of a charismatic Catholic priest, whom she identifies as the warlord who massacred her family.
The narrative feature award comes with a $2,500 prize, provided by Sony Pictures Entertainment, while Netflix gave the John Singleton Award, along with a $5,000 purse.
Filmmaker Kali Baker-Johnson won the best director and best screenplay prizes for her film “Feel Like Ghosts” (sponsored by TV One and Cadillac, respectively), which made its global premiere in the festival lineup.
The film concentrates on two recent exes with an undeniable connection as they confront what could have been if their cultural differences hadn’t propelled them to new lives on opposite coasts.
“A Woman on the Outside” was selected as the best documentary feature (sponsored by Prime Video), while “Mine” won best web series (presented by Comcast NBCUniversal) (presented by Comcast NBCUniversal).
Sherif Alabede’s “Another Country” was selected as the main prize winner of the highly coveted HBO Short Film Award, which is now in its 25th year with the festival. Alameda received a cash award of $10,000, provided by Warner Bros.
Discovery, with each of the other four finalists taking home $5,000 apiece.
There’s still one award up for grabs, though, with the fan-favorite reward remaining to be selected by ABFF’s in-person and virtual audience. The winner of the prize, which is given by American Airlines, will be announced on ABFF’s social platforms on July 1.
The Jury Award Winners Are:
Best Narrative Feature – “Our Father, the Devil”
Produced by Ellie Foumbi, Joseph Mastantuono; Directed by Ellie Forum
Prize: $2,500, awarded by Sony Pictures Entertainment
Best Director, Narrative Feature — Kali Baker-Johnson, “Feel Like Ghosts”
Prize: $5,000, donated by Cadillac
Best Screenplay, Narrative Feature – “Feel Like Ghosts”
Written by Kali Baker-Johnson
Prize: $2,500, donated by TV One
John Singleton Award – Best First Feature – “Our Father, The Devil”
Directed by Ellie Forum
Prize: $5,000, awarded by Netflix
Best Documentary Feature – “A Woman on the Outside”
Produced by Kiara C. Jones, Zara Katz, Lisa Riordan Seville; Directed by Zara Katz, Lisa Riordan Seville
Prize: $2,500, provided by Prime Video
Best Web Series — “Mine”
Directed by Randall Dottin, Luisa Dantas
Prize: $2,500, sponsored by Comcast NBCUniversal
HBO Short Film Award — “Another Country”
Directed by Sherif Alameda
Prize: $10,000 for the winner and $5,000 for each of the four other finalists, presented by
Warner Bros. Discovery
The Talent Pipeline Program recipients are:
ALLBLK’s “Shoot Your Shot” Casting Call – Javon Terrell
Prize: Role in upcoming ALL BLK Original series “Judge Me Not”
Warner Bros. Discovery Writers Initiative, One-Hour Drama
Deion Higginbotham – “The Saints”
Warner Bros. Discovery Writers Initiative, Half-Hour Drama
Diara Newman – “Townhall”