18th Annual HBO Short Film Competition – Finalists

Filmmakers compete for prestigious accolade in annual competition

HBO’s Dennis Williams (right) with 2013’s ABFF Short Film Competition winner.

(Image: File)

On Saturday, June 13th at 8:45pm, five talented filmmakers will compete for the opportunity to be considered for broadcast on one of HBO’s programming services, and a whopping $10,000 cash prize at the 18th annual HBO Short Film Competition. Regarded as one of the most prestigious short film showcases in the country, the HBO Short Film competition is known to raise the platform of emerging filmmakers allowing for far-reaching exposure of the winning films.

Previous award winners include Muted written and produced by Brandi Ford, directed by Rachel Goldberg (2014), A Different Tree written by Victoria Rose and directed by Steven Caple, Jr (2013), and Cherry Waves, written and directed by Carey Williams (2012). Other past winners have included Sylvain White from (The Losers, Stomp the Yard), Frank E. Flowers from (Haven) and Saladin Patterson (PsychThe Bernie Mac Show and The Fighting Temptations).

[Related: ABFF Ambassador Taraji Henson Wins Critic’s Choice]

This year 5 filmmakers gear up to make their marks on the industry by creating and sharing stories of and about the black experience. Check below for this year’s finalists:

Written and produced by Chris Bailey, starring Dusan Brown and Shawn Kenneth, Chaining Day depicts a young boy who commits an accidental murder that causes a stir in the community and forces him to choice between gang loyalty and personal salvation. This will be the New York Premiere for the short film.

In Black Card, directed by Pete Chatmon, written by Tony Patrick, starring Dorian Missick, Simone Missick, Hisham Tawfiq, and Stephen Hill, an African American couple is about to find out just how far their boundaries can be pushed in a culture requiring an ID card and commitment to the code. Black Card is also making its New York Premiere at ABFF.

Joy will be making its world premiere at this year’s short film competition. Written and directed by Solomon Onita, Jr., starring Sope Aluko, Bayo Akinfemi, and Hannah Tarver, Joy depicts a Nigerian middle-aged woman living in America, struggling to convince her traditionalist husband not to circumcise their ten year old daughter.

Stanhope will also make its world premiere at the competition. Stanhope, starring Malik Lockett, Johnnie Mae, Rob Morgan, Nedra McClyde, and Simeon Buresch, is a drama about a teenage inner-city kid from Brooklyn who gets caught up in a web of violence as a paid assassin.

Soulmates Sara and Michael carry on their first date as the world comes to an end in First Date, Last Date written by E.V. Anderson and directed by Derege Harding. This short film will be making its world premiere at ABFF and stars Andrea Bordeaux and Daniel Gall.

You may catch these short films at the 18th Annual HBO Short Film Competition Saturday, June 13th, at 8:45pm at the AMC Empire 25, New York City. The winner of the competition will be announced Sunday, June 14th at “The Best of ABFF” Awards Ceremony.

For more information on the competitions, films, schedules, and activities for the 2015 American Black Film Festival, visit http://www.abff.com. For updates via Twitter and other social media sites, check the hashtag #ABFF2015.


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