Articles: ABFF 8th Season Report




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ABFF Awards
Elena Brown

ABFF Boot Camp
Going To The Soul Of The Role

South Beach Miami, Fla., 16 July 2004 --- The impressive and sometimes daunting man is actually pretty quite and reserved as he speaks with a smooth confidence. And why should he not have confidence? He’s living his passion.

Bill Duke is heading up the American Black Film Festival’s Actor’s Boot Camp for the 8th year in a row.

"I believe in the mission, I believe in what they’re doing and who they’re accessing. And the information and networking," he said.

The boot camp is a three-day program on acting technique and the business side of today’s show business.

The highly acclaimed and highly busy actor, director and writer feel it’s important he find the time to attend the annual ABFF.

The ABFF is a five-day event that showcases independent black films, trains actors and filmmakers as well as provide panel discussion on the entertainment industry.

He teaches both the novice and the seasoned actors that while there are more black actors, access into the industry is still limited. They must be prepared to be proactive with their careers.

"They show courage just by being here. So they need to be in charge of their own careers and stop looking for someone to discover you," he said. "The business itself is hard enough and when you black and smart it’s even harder."

Duke, 61, has numerous credits, including acting, producing, directing television and feature films like, Hoodlum, as well as lent his writing talents to the 70s sit-com, "Good Times." Currently he is shopping his drama around the networks.

"I enjoy the whole creative process. I find that directing to be a real challenge and an exciting challenge."

After the ABFF Duke is heading to direct for the television mini-series, "1-800-Missing," starring Vivica A. Fox.

And while, for relaxation, he would prefer to be not in a place where his senses are bombarded by the city but instead a far off land meditating, he does escape--to the movies.

The self-proclaimed movie buff admits to going on a movie marathons, when he has the time. He enjoys soaking up movie after movie after movie, he said.

On the last day of boot camp Duke will continue to stress the importance of going to the soul of the character and finding enough depth so the audience will continue to watch. He also has plans to treat his class to Golden Globe winner Jeffery Wright.

Wright’s acting credits include, "Basquiat," "Shaft," and "The Manchurian Candidate."

They will participate in as many scenes as possible and discuss the goal of longevity in the world of acting.

"Acting isn’t just a sprint it’s a marathon," said Duke.

ABFF 8th Season

South Beach Miami, Fla. ---The 8th annual American Black Film Festival opened with a special screening of five film shorts to compete for the 2004 HBO Short Film Award.

“I am just as excited as I was four years ago when I was first asked to host HBO Short Film Competition for the ABFF,” said Tamara Tunie. Tunie can be seen on primetime drama “Law and Order: SVU” and on the daytime drama, “As The World Turns”.

Actors, writers, filmmakers, producers and fans of film were all treated to the opening night reception and screening at South Beach Miami, Fla., Lincoln Theater.

The short film award was created in 1998 to highlight, celebrate and acknowledge the team efforts of aspiring black filmmakers. Over 300 independent black films have been screened during the ABFF’s history.

The ABFF whittles down the list of hopefuls to five outstanding short films in the competition. One grand prizewinner will be awarded $20,000 by HBO during the ABFF’s closing ceremonies at the Jackie Gleason Theater on Saturday, July 17. The four runners up will receive $5,000.

The nominees are: Tanya Boyd’s “Hold Up”, Daheli Hall’s “The Memo”, Saladin K. Paterson “One Flight Stand”, Xelinda Yancy’s “Time Out” and Todd Jeffery and Abubakar Paul Bello’s “Shooter”.

The competition is open to U.S and international filmmakers of African descent who have directed and/or written a 30-minute or less short film. For the second year the ABFF, formally known as the Acapulco Black Film Festival, has held its 5-day event in South Beach Miami with an estimated 2,000 annual attendees. The ABFF features screenings of independent films, actors and filmmakers workshops, industry-focused panels and special events.

The Time Warner sponsored Film Life Movie Awards and the HBO Short Film Award will be held in conjunction with the ABFF closing night ceremonies. The ABFF is sponsored by various organizations including: Time Warner, HBO, Lincoln, Phat Farm, Fox Searchlight Pictures, Upscale magazine, American Airlines.

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