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Home Box Office Seeks Entries for 7th Annual HBO Short Film Award Competition

Feb 18, 2004, 09:15

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- Five Finalists Will Be Chosen to Vie for $20,000 Grand Prize at the 8th Annual American Black Film Festival in South Beach, Fla., July 14-18 -

NEW YORK -- Home Box Office announced today that it is seeking entries for its 7th Annual HBO Short Film Award, to be presented at Film Life's 8th Annual American Black Film Festival (ABFF) in Miami, Fla., July 14-18. The HBO Short Film Award was created in 1998 to celebrate the writing and directing talents of up-and-coming black filmmakers. Time Warner is the presenting sponsor of the festival, with HBO as its founding sponsor.

"We're extremely proud of the impact that the HBO Short Film Award has made at the ABFF, especially in providing the exposure and recognition that up-and-coming filmmakers seek," said Olivia Smashum, executive vice president, affiliate marketing at HBO. "Past winners and nominees have gone on to direct their first feature films and we're thrilled to have been able to give them an opportunity at the start of their careers."

The competition is open to U.S. and international filmmakers of African descent who have directed and/or written a short film of 30 minutes or less. All entrants must be 18 years of age or older and films must have been produced after January 1, 2003 in English or contain English subtitles. Film entries must arrive at the ABFF office postmarked by the April 15, 2004 deadline.

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.

Submissions will be accepted on 1/2" VHS cassettes and must be accompanied by an official HBO/ABFF entry form and $30.00 submission fee. For more information on official rules, regulations and entry forms, log on to

A panel of industry professionals will select the five finalists whose films will be screened at the ABFF in South Beach for the final round of competition. One grand prizewinner will be awarded $20,000 by HBO during the festival's closing ceremonies on Saturday, July 17. The four runners up will each received $5,000.

HBO presented the 2003 HBO Short Film Award grand prize to Frank E. Flowers, writer/director of "Swallow," a story about a high school senior who learns the art of the "swallow" when he takes on an unusual internship as a drug mule to make money for college. The four runners-up were Randall Dottin, writer/director of "A-Alike"; Jowan Carbin, writer/director of "Welcome to Life"; Lynn Henderson, writer/executive producer and Joseph Anaya, director, of "Short on Sugar"; and Sylvain White, director and Christopher White, writer, of "Quiet."

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 commercial development of independent Black films.

Time Warner is the world's leading media and entertainment company whose businesses include interactive services, cable systems, filmed entertainment, television networks, music and publishing.

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