ABFF Comedy Festival announces 2021 film lineup

The inaugural festival received hundreds of entries of shorts, sketches, podcasts and more

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The inaugural ABFF Comedy Festival its set to take place June 2 -13, and Thursday, ABFF officially announced the 2021 film lineup for the competition.

Per the official press release, “The ABFF Comedy Festival extends the legacy of the American Black Film Festival (ABFF), now in its 25th year, by showcasing emerging Black and brown talent and introducing them to the industry at large. Continuing the tradition of its tent-pole property, the comedy festival will feature the best of independent Black cinema, conversations, panels, and stand-up comedy performances.”

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ABFF founder Jeff Friday speaks during BET Presents the American Black Film Festival Honors on February 17, 2017 in Beverly Hills, California. (Photo by Kevin Winter/Getty Images)

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The inaugural comedy festival is set to highlight writers of comedic shorts, web series and podcasts, and features domestic and international submissions from all genres of comedy.

The festival received hundreds of entries featuring scripted, unscripted, sketch and fictional comedy. As a result, more than 40 films and celebrity panels will “be presented at this year’s virtual festival.”

The official selections are divided into three categories:

Shorts – each film in this section is written by a person of African, Latinx or Native American descent and will compete for the Audience Award for Best Short.

Web Series – each episodic series (scripted and unscripted) in this section written by persons of African, Latinx or Native American descent and will compete for the Audience Award for best webisode.

Podcasts – each podcast in this section is written by persons of African, Latinx or Native American descent and will compete for the Audience Award for best podcast.

Nicole Friday, president of ABFF Ventures shared a statement that reads, “This festival highlights talented individuals who have a passion for comedic storytelling and represents the diversity of voices in the comedy genre. Creating an opportunity for these artists to reach a broader audinece is our core mission.”

ABFF 2017 - GIRLS TRIP Red Carpet Screening with Regina Hall, Will Packer and Malcolm D. Lee
Director Malcolm D. Lee attends the 2017 American Black Film Festival “Girls Trip” red carpet screening on June 14, 2017. (Photo by Paras Griffin/Getty Images for Universal)

The festival also features some stacked celebrity panels in its line up. Some of the main events include, Conversations About Comedy with the cast of the new Starz show Run the World (Bresha Webb, Amber Stevens West, Andrea Bordeaux and Corbin Reid, moderated by Gia Peppers), Prentice Penny (Insecure, Pause), and comedian/writer Sam Jay (Pause, SNL) discussing their new HBO series, and an Inside the Writer’s Room panel featuring Ms. Pat (Ms. Pat Show), Carla Banks-Waddles (Good Girls), Keith Knight (Woke) and Owen Smith (The Last O.G.).

You can check out the official selections for the 2021 ABFF comedy Festival, get passes and more at the official website, here.

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