HBO NOW is now streaming the five short film finalists from the 2018 American Black Film Festival’s HBO Short Film Competition. The films, which are also available on HBO On Demand and HBO GO, join the ranks of films created by directors such as Ryan Coogler (Creed, Black Panther), Steven Caple Jr. (Creed II), Solvain Naim (Power, The Blacklist), Kiel Adrian Scott (The Bobby Brown Story) and Rashaad Ernesto Green (Luke Cage).

The five short films are below (according to the press release):


Director: Carey Williams

Cast: Darrell Lake, Jason Woods, Peter Pasco, Michael Segovia and Shaw Jones

Synopsis: A group of young Black and Latino boys come home to their worst nightmare: An unconscious White girl on the floor of their apartment. Faced with this emergency, they weigh the pros and cons of calling the police.


Director: Mariama Diallo

Cast: Kara Young, Taliah Webster, Madeline Weinstein, Trae Harris and Jermaine Crawford

Synopsis: Set in a Black hair salon in rapidly gentrifying Brooklyn, New York, the local residents fend off a strange new monster: white women intent on sucking the lifeblood from Black culture.


Director: Alfonso Johnson

Cast: Amari Cheatom and Gillian Glasco

Synopsis: Moths follows Lenny, a socially awkward, schizoaffective man and Cherisse, a high-energy boundless soul, as they try to accept themselves in this New York tale about mental illness, love and the longing to be understood.


Director: Sam Sneed

Cast: Joekenneth Museau

Synopsis: After losing his mother to a year’s long battle with cancer, Joekenneth Museau is left to question the meaning of his existence.


Director: Thembi L. Banks

Cast: Kelli Jordan, Tiffany Tenille and Derick Anthony

Synopsis: Brandy, a high school tomboy, comes to terms with her sexuality when she decides what she’ll wear to the prom. At its core, this film tackles issues of sexuality, gender and the realities young, Black women face as they come-of-age in modern society.

These five films were chosen by a panel of HBO executives, with the winner, Moths & Butterflies, winning the grand prize of $10,000. The runners-up won $5,000 each, and all finalists have had their short films licensed by HBO for showcasing on HBO’s various platforms.


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