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The Hollywood Black Film Festival (HBFF), dubbed “The Black Sundance,” is an annual 6-day celebration of black cinema drawing together established filmmakers, popular film and TV stars, writers, directors, industry executives, emerging artists and diverse audiences from Hollywood and around the world. Attracting such stars and industry insiders as Academy Award winners Forest Whitaker and Sidney Poitier, John Singleton, Spike Lee, George Tillman, Tina Andrews, Reuben Cannon, Anthony Anderson, Blair Underwood, Sanaa Lathan, Bill Duke, Sheryl Underwood and Vanessa Williams, the festival has become a hotbed for the Black Hollywood creative community. The 2008 festival will be held June 3-8, 2008 in Beverly Hills, California, and will showcase the artistic expression of more than 120 black filmmakers from around the world.

HBFF was founded in 1998 by its executive director, Tanya Kersey, in order to enhance the careers of emerging and established black filmmakers through a public exhibition and competition program. The festival’s goal is to play an integral role in discovering and launching independent films and filmmakers by bringing them to the attention of the industry, media and public. Since its inception, HBFF has screened a total of 596 independent films including 101 features, 317 shorts, 91 documentaries, 63 student films, 12 animated films and 6 music videos, from all across the United States, United Kingdom, Canada and the Caribbean. It has held 203 world premieres, 9 U.S. premieres, 65 West Coast premieres and 43 Los Angeles premieres. Over 40,000 people have attended and enjoyed the diversity of black cinema through the festival.

In addition to the annual film festival, HBFF programs the HBFF Cinema Lounge and HBFF Film Finance & Distribution Summit. The HBFF Cinema Lounge is a monthly networking and screening program. The event screens 4 to 5 short films -- narratives, docs, music videos, animation, experiment -- giving filmmakers a venue, an audience, and feedback. The space is intimate, seating only 300 people, and the casual event features a post-screening Q&A with the filmmakers, mingling and networking at the beginning and the end of the evening. The viewing audience provides filmmakers with comments on their projects through critique forms.

At the HBFF Film Finance & Distribution Summit, held annually at the Writers Boot Camp in Santa Monica, CA, a senior roster of industry professionals including venture capitalists, private equity financiers, accountants, corporate finance executives, bankers, entertainment & finance lawyers, agents, producers and distribution executives share their insights on a broad range of film finance and distribution topics.

HBFF 2007 Recap

Recap of the 2007 Hollywood Black Film Festival held June 5-10, 2007 in Beverly Hills, CA