American Black Film Festival To Celebrate Black Cinema With Hollywood Awards

Actor Morris Chestnut poses at The Pan African Film & Arts Festival's opening night premiere of Screen Gems' "Think Like
Actor Morris Chestnut poses at The Pan African Film & Arts Festival's opening night premiere of Screen Gems' "Think Like a Man" in Los Angeles, Thursday, Feb. 9, 2012. (AP Photo/Danny Moloshok)

As we make our way through the Tinseltown awards season, we shouldn't forget to look ahead to next month's American Black Film Festival Hollywood Awards.

The event, which recognizes actors and film producers of African descent in the motion picture industry, is set to take place Feb. 19 during a special five-minute Web show hosted by “Real Husbands of Hollywood” producer Chris Spencer. And according to the 46-year-old Los Angeles native, viewers should expect a “Publishers Clearing House”-esque show.

"I will be the Ed McMahon of today's times. Do you remember Publishers Clearing House when he would knock on the winner's door and deliver them a fat check? I'm gonna take it a step further," Spencer revealed in a statement to The Huffington Post. "The winner of the ABFF Hollywood Award won't have to wait to be home to see me. I'm coming to your house, your momma's house, your baby's momma's house, the dentist, the doctor, your dealer's. Anywhere we think you may be, I’m coming to give you your trophy."

Winners will be determined by popular vote of the general public, inclusive of the 90,000-plus American Black Film Festival alumni around the world.

There were a plethora of notable black performances and releases highlighting the black experience this past year, leading many to herald 2013 as the year of a renaissance in "Black Hollywood." Morris Chestnut, ABFF ambassador and Best Actor nominee for "The Best Man Holiday," is optimistic that the prevalence of black films will only increase.

"It's exciting to be a part of the resurgence of Black films. I feel that it is somewhat of a movement, a progression that so many films were this well received in one year,” Chestnut told HuffPost via email. “Hopefully it is a sign of finer things to come."

In addition to next month’s Hollywood Awards, the 18th annual American Black Film Festival is scheduled to take place in New York City, June 19-22. For a complete list of ABFF Hollywood Awards nominees and more information on this year’s festival, visit



African-American Filmmakers