ABOUT THE SHOW

ABOUT ABFF HONORS

ABFF Honors is the American Black Film Festival's annual awards season gala dedicated to recognizing excellence in in the motion picture and television industry. Founded in 2016, the ceremony pays tribute to Black artists who have made significant contributions to American entertainment through their work as well as those who champion diversity and inclusion in Hollywood.

In addition to individual honors, award presentations are made to the most outstanding narrative and documentary films of the year directed by a person of African descent. The nominees and winners are determined by the more than one hundred thousand (100,000) alumni attendees of the film festival.

The 2023 event will take place on Sunday, March 5, in Los Angeles. The guest list for this intimate, invitation-only gala includes key festival stakeholders and celebrated artists. The ceremony is executive produced by Nicole and Jeff Friday (ABFF Ventures) in association with dePasse Jones Entertainment and Rikki Hughes (Magic Lemonade).

The American Black Film Festival (ABFF), founded by Jeff Friday in 1997, is the leading festival of its kind showcasing Black storytelling. Since its inception, the festival has been dedicated to supporting Friday's conviction that Black artists deserve the same opportunities as their mainstream counterparts. Having premiered the work and encouraged the careers of many of today's most successful filmmakers and actors, the ABFF has become the standard-bearer of excellence for Black American creativity.

INDIVIDUAL HONORS

Four of the following awards are presented during the ceremony:

  • Hollywood Legacy Award - Honoring a legendary artist whose trailblazing work (over four decades or more) has inspired generations and made an enduring contribution to film and television.
  • Excellence in the Arts Award - Honoring an acclaimed artist in recognition of their body of work and distinguished career achievement.
  • Entertainment Icon Award - Presented to a multitalented artist in recognition of groundbreaking commercial success in multiple entertainment disciplines including television, film, and live performance.
  • Rising Star Award - Presented to a contemporary artist in acknowledgement of their recent success and future promise in the film and television industry.
  • Industry Leadership Award - Presented to a trailblazing artist or executive in recognition of their outstanding work and commitment to championing diversity, equity, and inclusion in the motion picture and television industry.
  • Classic Cinema Award - A special tribute to the filmmaker and cast of a time-honored film that has left an indelible impact on American audiences.
  • Distinguished ABFF Alumni Award - Presented to an alumnus of the American Black Film Festival in recognition of their career achievement and continued support of the festival's mission.

FILMMAKING AWARDS

  1. Movie of the Year - Presented to the director of the most outstanding feature-length narrative film of 2022.

    Eligibility:

    • Films must be directed by a person of African descent and feature an actor of African descent in a lead role.
    • Minimum running time 72 minutes.
    • Film must have had a U.S. theatrical release or broadcast premiere on a television or streaming platform during the 2022 calendar year (Jan. 1, 2022 - Dec. 31, 2022).
  2. Documentary of the Year - Presented to the director of the most outstanding feature-length nonfiction film of 2022.

    Eligibility:

    • Film must be directed by a person of African descent and centered on the culture and experiences of persons of African descent.
    • Minimum running time 60 minutes.
    • Film must have had a U.S. theatrical release or broadcast premiere on a television or streaming platform during the 2022 calendar year (Jan. 1, 2022 - Dec. 31, 2022).

VOTING & DETERMINATION OF WINNERS

More than 100,000 registered alumni of the American Black Film Festival composed of artists, industry executives, journalists and casual fans are invited to vote for the nominees and winners. Films must be directed by a person of African descent and centered on the culture and experiences of persons of African descent.

  • Nominees: Nominee voting begins on December 20, 2022. The four (4) highest rated films in each category will be selected as the nominees. Voting ends January 5. Nominees will be announced on Jan 9.
  • Winners: Final voting begins January 15, 2023. The nominated film in each category with the highest rating will be named the winner.