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HBO Short Film Award Seeks Filmmakers of African Descent for 9th Annual Competition

By Home Box Office, Inc.
Jan 30, 2006, 09:17

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Five finalists will be chosen to compete for $20,000 grand prize at Film Life and HBO American Black Film Festival in South Beach this July

New York, NY -- Home Box Office has announced it is now accepting entries for its 9th Annual HBO Short Film Award, a competition which honors the writing and directing talents of Black filmmakers. The grand prize of $20,000 will be presented by HBO at the Film Life and HBO American Black Film Festival (ABFF), taking place in South Beach, July 19-23.

The HBO Short Film Award has been presented as part of the ABFF's competitive film showcase since its inception in 1998. This year marks the 10th anniversary of the festival.

"In the past eight years we've seen a number of HBO's short film winners, as well as finalists, go on to win other awards, make their first feature film, and even direct theatrical films for top studios," said Olivia Smashum, executive vice president, Affiliate Marketing at HBO. "As we salute the ABFF on their 10th anniversary, we take special pride in the fact that the HBO Short Film Award has become a key festival competition and stepping stone for new talent."

Five finalists will be chosen by a panel of industry professionals and flown to Miami to participate in a special screening and final round of competition at the festival. The grand prize of $20,000 will be awarded to one filmmaker by HBO during the ABFF's closing ceremonies. A prize of $5,000 will also be given to each of the four runners up.

The HBO Short Film Award competition is open to U.S. and international filmmakers of African descent, 18 years of age or older, who have directed and/or written a short film of 15 minutes or less. All films must have been produced after January 1, 2005 in English or contain English subtitles. The deadline for entries is Friday, April 7, 2006 and all entries must arrive at the ABFF office postmarked by that date.

Submissions will be accepted on DVD only and must be accompanied by two official HBO/ABFF entry forms and $40.00 submission fee. For entry forms or more information on rules and regulations, log on to Website: .

Short films that have won awards at other festivals or those that have previously been submitted to the HBO Short Film Award competition, under its current or any former title, are not eligible. Films must also not have had previous cable broadcast screenings. There is no limit as to the number of entries that can be submitted by a filmmaker.

The 2005 HBO Short Film Award grand prize of $20,000 was presented to co-writers/directors Jonathan David Boyce and Jonathan Levine for their film "Shards," the story of a DJ and graffiti artist who struggles to kick a drug habit after a friend overdoses. The four other competing films were awarded $5,000 each: "The Catalyst," written and directed by Marcus Stokes; "In Time," written by Adetoro Makinde and co-directed by Makinde and Maurice Dwyer; "The Male Groupie," written by Morocco Omari and directed by Chris Scott Cherot; and "Seeker," co-written and directed by Omelihu Nwanguma and Adam Hutchings.

Home Box Office, Inc. is the premium television-programming subsidiary of Time Warner Inc., providing two 24-hour premium television services, HBO and Cinemax. Together, both networks reach approximately 39 million subscribers in the United States via cable and satellite delivery. Home Box Office's international joint ventures bring HBO branded services to more than 50 countries around the globe.

The ABFF is a property of Film Life, Inc., a New York-based film marketing and distribution company. Its mission is to spearhead the global distribution of quality Black films and be the leading American brand producing Black movies and related entertainment content.

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