It was a successful turnout for the 18th American Film Festival that took place in New York City over the weekend. Many aspiring filmmakers, producers, directors, actors and behind the scene people attended the festival with hopes of networking with potential investors and partners. On top of more than 52 screenings, many entertainers also made the rounds to support and view upcoming films.
Standouts included Morris Chestnut, Kevin Hart, Spike Lee, Omari Hardwick, Niecy Nash, Tatyana Ali, Chadwick Boseman, Tika Sumpter, Nelsan Ellis, Joe Mangianelli, Terrence J., Robert Townsend, and Bill Duke.
From June 19 through June 22, there were 20,000 attendees who came out to support black filmmaking at several festival venues throughout the city.
History was made when “CRUâ€ won all nominated categories: Grand Jury Awards for Best Screenplay; Best Director; Best Narrative Feature Film; and Best Actor.
Here’s the complete list of “The Best of the ABFFâ€ 2014 awards:
- HBOÂ® Short Film Competition — “Muted” written and produced byÂ Brandi Ford, directed by Rachel Goldberg, award and $10,000 prize presented by HBO.
- UP TV Faith and Family Screenplay Competition -Â Christopher BrandtÂ for “Island in the Sun” award and $5,000 prize presented by UP
- ABFF Star Project Winners -Â Kimberly D. Mitchell and Stefan Dezil, awards presented by NBCUniversal
- Grand Jury Prize for Best Documentary – “25 to Life,” directed by Mike L. Brown, award presented by CNN Films
- Grand Jury Prize for Best Actress -Â Aunjanue Ellis for her performance in “Una Vida,” award and $2,500 prize presented by GentleTreatment
- Grand Jury Prize for Best Actor -Â Keith Robinson for his performance in “CRU,” award presented by UPTOWN Magazine
- Grand Jury Prize for Best Screenplay – “CRU,” writtenÂ by Alton Glass and Oliver W. Ottley III, award and $5,000 prize presented by the Time Warner Foundation
- Grand Jury Prize for Best Director – “CRU,” writtenÂ by Alton Glass and Oliver W. Ottley III, directed by Alton Glass,Â award and $5,000 prize provided by Cadillac
- Grand Jury Prize for Best Narrative Feature — “CRU,” produced by Danny Green, Courtney Triggs and Matthew Hatchette, award presented by BET Networks
- Audience Award for Best Film — (tied) “UNA VIDA,” produced by Richie Adams, Brent Caballero, Nicolas Bazan, and Nancy Green-Keyes and “CRU,” produced by Danny Green, Courtney Triggs and Matthew Hatchette, award presented by Nielsen
- Webisode Challenge Winner – “Close Friends,” created by Ricky W. Jean-Francois and Mckinson Souverain
- American Airlines “Best of Fest” Presentation – travel rewards presented to the Grand Jury winners of Best Short, Best Documentary, Best Narrative Feature and the Audience Award