Film Life, Inc. has announced its lineup of the highly lauded ABFF
Master Class Series to be held during the 18th
annual American Black Film Festival (ABFF) in New York City on June 19-22, 2014.

Aspiring writers,
actors and filmmakers have the opportunity to participate in intense workshops
led by highly respected film industry leaders and experts such as actor, writer,
director Robert Townsend and actor, director, producer Bill

This year’s
Master Class lineup includes, “Bill Duke’s Actors Boot Camp,” one
of the Festival’s most anticipated, is a 2-day scene study program where
performance and the craft of acting is shaped through hands on direction and
supportive critique from Mr. Duke. Session I is
scheduled to take place on Friday, June 20, 12:30 p.m. – 3:30 p.m. and
session II, Saturday, June 21, 5:30 p.m. – 8:30

“The Ultimate
” led by Robert
Townsend is designed for those seeking to master the art of pitching. Held on
Saturday, June 21, 9:30 a.m. – 12 noon, this class will explore
techniques for pitching ideas from concept to development, through the different
stages of rewrites, pitching to executives at studios and advice on how to close
the deal with clarity, precision and confidence. Direct critique will be given
to selected class attendees, who pitch their story ideas, idea in order to help
refine them.

The “Writing for
Television” Master Class
, conducted by Vice President of Programming Talent
Development & Inclusion at NBC Entertainment & Universal Television,
Karen Horne, will delve into the fundamentals of writing for television –
how to structure and write a spec script, as well as how to develop your TV show
idea. This class, held on Saturday, June 21, 1:30 p.m. – 4:00 p.m., will
also include a special presentation by the Writer’s Guild of America East.          

“How to Avoid the
Pitfalls of Producing,”
led by SAGIndie
National Director Darrien M. Gipson, will cover the creative, executive and
technical (line producing and production management) responsibilities in all
phases of production and distribution, and will provide an overview of a film
producer’s core responsibilities, including a look at film financing and funding
sources. This Master Class will be held on Sunday, June 22, 9:30 a.m.
– 12 noon.

serious study of the key disciplines of filmmaking is  essential to creating
quality art and is the most important function of ABFF’s Master Class Series,”
said Jeff Friday, ABFF Founder and CEO of Film
Life, Inc., “Learning from seasoned professionals who do this for a living is
one way to pick up some invaluable lessons.”

a global company, Time Warner is committed to lighting up the world with the
best storytelling. And that commitment is the inspiration for the mission of
the Time Warner Foundation – to discover, nurture and celebrate the next
generation of storytellers,” says, Lisa Garcia Quiroz, Chief Diversity Officer
& SVP, Time Warner Inc., and President of the Time Warner Foundation. “Through innovative partnerships with leading arts organizations we invest in
programs that help develop promising talent from all backgrounds.  And this is
why we are so proud to lend our support to the ABFF Master Class initiative and
look forward to the 2014 American Black Film Festival in 
York City.”

The ABFF is a
four-day event dedicated to showcasing quality films by and about people
of African descent. Committed to the belief that Black content creators and
artists deserve the same opportunities as their mainstream counterparts, Jeff
Friday conceived the festival in 1997 as a vehicle to promote diversity in the
film and television industry. Today it is widely recognized as an important
pipeline bringing new Black talent to prominence both in front of and behind the
camera, and is regarded as one of the leading film festivals in the world.

The American Black
Film Festival is presented by Film Life, Inc., a multifaceted entertainment
company headquartered in New York City. 

Festival passes and
tickets are on sale now and for more
information, please visit