This comes as quite a surprise, given that the festival just celebrated its 2nd year in New York City, after a move from Miami, where it had been up until last year’s edition. No specific reasons have been given – at least not in the press release I received today; but I assume festival founder Jeff Friday will probably address it publicly eventually – even if it’s at next year’s event, during his annual opening night speech.
Maybe the popular phrase, "get in where you fit in," is applicable here. New York is teeming with film festivals of all kinds, and there’s so much else (beyond film festivals) to compete with in such a bustling, large city. Making the festival more of a destination event – somewhat like the Sundance Film Festival is (you know you’re going to Park City, UT, in the middle of January, for that festival specifically, and maybe take in a little skiing as well) – could be an advantage.
Although I was actually looking forward to not having to travel to the festival, after it moved to New York this year. It was all-too convenient, since that’s the city in which I live. Not anymore apparently; it’s back to the sun and beaches of Miami, FL.
Next year’s edition will celebrate the festival’s 20th anniversary – quite a milestone for any film festival!
Greater Miami Convention & Visitors Bureau (GMCVB) President & CEO
William D. Talbert, III, CDME and American Black Film Festival (ABFF) Founder Jeff Friday officially
announced today the return to Miami of the American Black Film Festival (ABFF) June 15-19, 2016. The ABFF
will celebrate its 20th anniversary with an exciting line-up of film screenings and an extensive schedule of
events and networking opportunities to be announced in the months ahead. The highly anticipated ABFF
is considered the nation’s largest gathering of Black film and TV enthusiasts. “We are thrilled with the return
of the American Black Film Festival to Miami and look forward to welcoming the thousands of attendees
expected for this highly anticipated event,” said Talbert. “The diverse multicultural fabric of our community
will provide the ideal setting for the festival’s 2016 milestone celebration.” The 2016 ABFF will coincide with
the GMCVB’s fourth annual Miami Film Month and includes a commitment by the ABFF to hold their annual
event in Miami for the next three years. “I am so happy to celebrate the American Black Film Festival’s 20th
anniversary in Miami next year,” said ABFF Founder Jeff Friday. “Aside from being one of the most desirable
destinations in the world and a big attraction for festival-goers, the community has always embraced ABFF
and its mission to showcase and provide a platform for African Americans in film and television. 2016 marks
our eleventh festival in Miami and I’m proud to call the GMCVB a committed partner. We
the celebratory four day weekend with tremendous enthusiasm – it’s great to be back!"