The 27th American Black Film Festival Highlights Include: the Best of ABFF Awards

The 2023 edition of the American Black Film Festival took Miami by storm, with premieres of They Cloned Tyrone and The Perfect Find, a sneak peak at The Color Purple, panels with Morris Chestnut, Kirk Franklin, Queen Latifah, Taraji P. Henson, Tabitha Brown, Deon Cole and more. 

Hosted by three-time Emmy-nominated actor and author Dondré Whitfield, the festival presented winners in the official film selection categories – narrative and documentary features, series and the 26th HBO Short Film Award Showcase as well as the festival’s newest talent pipeline program, the ABFF Podcast Competition

The 2023 Jury Award winners are:

  • Best Narrative Feature – “Cinnamon” 

Written and Directed by Bryian Keith Montgomery Jr. 

  • Prize: $2,500, presented by Andscape  
  • Best Director (TIE) –  Bryian Keith Montgomery Jr. | “Cinnamon” 

and Ogo Okpue | “A Song from the Dark”

  • Prize: Both winners receive $2,500, presented by Cadillac  
  • HBO Short Film Award Showcase | “Jelly”

Directed by Anndi Jinelle Liggett

  • Prize: $10,000 for winner, $5,000 each for four finalists, presented by Warner Bros. Discovery/HBO
  • Best Documentary Feature – “Locked Out”

Directed by Kate Davis and Luchina Fisher

  • Prize: $2,500 
  • Best Series (Television or Web) – “I Was a Soul Train Dancer”

Written, Directed, and Produced by Timiza Sanyika

  • Prize: $2,500, presented by Comcast NBC Universal | Black Experience on XFINITY
  • Best Actor – Actress Vanessa Vanderpuye | “A Song from the Dark” 
  • Prize: $2,500, presented by Ally

The Talent Pipeline Program winners are: 

  • ABFF Podcast Competition
  • Archie Jay: “Archie: The Podcast”
  • Ken Lewis: “Gangsta Island”
  • Sophia Stephens: “The Maiden Myth”


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