Articles: American Black Film Festival Adds Auditions To Festivities




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Jim Stevens

American Black Film Festival

The seventh annual American Black Film Festival has introduced a new feature to the usual fare of film festival activities -- it will now allow actors to audition for future work.

Festival executive director Jeff Friday calls it "the network casting room," saying: "It's an opportunity for young actors to audition for top casting executives from ABC, NBC, CBS and Fox. This is their 'American Idol' moment."

The audition aspect of the ABFF grew out of a conversation Friday had with ABC's VP of talent development Carmen Smith, who was a discussion presenter at the ABFF last year. "Carmen said to me, 'What if I could get my talent executives and casting executives from ABC to come down and audition young actors?' Then she called back and said, 'Jeff, I've got one up on that.'"

It turns out Smith placed calls to her peers at Fox, NBC and CBS and got them committed to the idea of sending their talent executives to the ABFF as well. From now on, aspiring talent attending the ABFF will be able to present their skills to actual decision makers from all the major networks.

Always striving to break new ground,
the ABFF expects this new festival offering to reaffirm its reputation as the nation's most innovative and premiere black film festival.

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