American Black Film Festival announces 2023 dates, submissions now open

Exclusive: ABFF is set to return to Miami Beach in mid-June 2023, and it's also streaming online days later on ABFF PLAY.

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ABFF is already gearing up for 2023. Just months after a successful 26th annual event, the American Black Film Festival is plotting its return to Miami Beach, Florida, next summer, theGrio has exclusively learned.

Each year, the American Black Film Festival is the top venue for “Black storytellers and celebration of Black culture.” From premiere screenings of independent films, studio and network premieres, and its networking events, ABFF has helped spotlight artists in front of and behind the camera and has become a pivotal festival for emerging Black talent. Now, American Black Film Festival has officially locked in its dates for 2023, returning to Miami Beach from June 14-18.

From left: Nicole Friday, Issa Rae and Jeff Friday attend the opening night premiere of “Civil” at the 2022 American Black Film Festival at New World Center on June 15, 2022, in Miami Beach, Florida. (Photo: Jason Koerner/Getty Images)

Following the in-person festivities on those five days, the festival will also consist of a virtual streaming segment on ABFF PLAY from June 19-25, 2023. As theGrio previously reported, American Black Film Festival first launched its streaming efforts when navigating the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020 and 2021. The 2022 American Black Film Festival had a similar hybrid model, with in-person festivities held in Miami, as well as streaming segments available on ABFF PLAY.

In addition to the official reveal of the dates, ABF also announced that submissions are now open for specific categories that include narrative features, documentary features and web series, with the dates for the festival’s popular short film category set to be announced soon.

ABFF founders Jeff Friday and Nicole Friday sat down with theGrio’s Cortney Wills earlier this year, and they both expressed their excitement that ABFF is returning to in-person festivities.

“It’s great to be back for the obvious reasons, you know,” Jeff Friday said on theGrio’s “Acting Up” podcast. “ABFF is a community festival, unlike some of the other big festivals around the world that are kind of centered on what movie is playing and what premieres.  Our festival is centered around breaking people, not really breaking content. So it’s kind of hard to have a festival-rooted community without community, right?” 

Conceived in 1997, ABFF, “is dedicated to recognizing Black talent and showcasing quality film and television content by and about people of African descent.”

For more on ABFF, submissions for the 27th annual festival, and more, head to the official site here.

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