The American Black Film Festival (ABFF) has a rich history of prestigious talent pipeline programs designed to identify, introduce and showcase talented artists — including directors, actors, writers and other content creators — to the industry at large. These unique programs are partnered with major entertainment media companies (i.e., HBO, NBCUniversal, Turner, BET, truTV, etc.) heightening the industry awareness of untapped talent and offering cash prizes along with career-enhancing opportunities for up-and-coming artists in mainstream Hollywood.

Born from ABFF founder Jeff Friday’s conviction that black artists deserve the same opportunities as their mainstream counterparts, the talent pipeline programs act as a valuable conduit between Hollywood and emerging talent. Ryan Coogler (Black Panther), Stephen Caple, Jr. (Creed II), Clement Virgo (Greenleaf), Omari Hardwick (Power), Emayatze Corinealdi (Ballers), Kiel Adrian Scott (The Bobby Brown Story), Ben Watkins (Hand of God), Saladin K. Patterson (The Big Bang Theory) and Stephen Hill (Magnum P.I.) are among the festival’s beneficiaries of these unique opportunities.

The 2019 Talent Pipeline Programs are as follows:




NBCUniversal Hosting Workshop:

A competitive workshop to cultivate on-camera host talent for news- and entertainment-formatted shows

Submissions Open: March 14, 2019

Submissions Deadline: April 12, 2019

Top selected participant(s) will receive the opportunity to conduct media and/or celebrity interviews during the ABFF 2019 in Miami, Florida, one (1) festival credential and meeting with NBCU Talent Executives.

ABFF Comedy Wings Competition:

Identifies emerging stand-up comics; presented in association with HBO

Submissions closed

One winner is selected to receive $5,000 and has the opportunity to meet with an HBO executive post festival.

ABFF Star Project:

A search for undiscovered talented actors on the verge of stardom

Submissions closed

To Be Announced

ABFF Turner TV Writing Contest:

Discovers quality diverse writers for television

Submissions closed

Two Grand Prize winners will each receive a trip to the 2019 ABFF (including roundtrip airfare and hotel accommodations), two festival credentials, a cash prize and a meeting with Turner Original Programming executives.

ABFF truTV Comedy Writers Competition:

Designed to find comedy writers with a distinct POV

Submissions closed

One winning content creator will be presented an award before the festival audience, a development prize of $5,000 with an opportunity to receive an additional $10k for a total potential development prize of $15k along with and the potential to further develop an original project in partnership with truTV.