Finalists Announced For The 2022 ABFF’s Annual HBO® Short Film Award

The Short Film Award Will Celebrate 25 Years Of Showcasing Original Storytelling Of Black Filmmakers

HBO announced today its selection of finalists who will compete in American Black Film Festival’s 25th Annual HBO® Short Film Award. ABFF, now in its 26th year, will host its in-person event in Miami from June 15-19, followed by virtual events from June 20-30 on ABFF PLAY. The festival will provide a creative space for independent Black filmmakers and its attendees, as well as studio premieres, panels, and networking events. Formerly known as the HBO® Short Film Competition, the prestigious showcase will celebrate 25 years of HBO’s commitment to recognizing the next generation of diverse, artistic, and creative talent at ABFF.

This year’s five finalists, Sherif Alabede (“Another Country”), Elisee Junior St Preux (“Aurinko in Adagio”), Gia-Rayne Harris (“Pens & Pencils”), Destiny J Macon (“Talk Black”), and Rebecca Usoro (“The Family Meeting”) are groundbreaking directors with diverse styles of filmmaking.

Prior winners include Ryan Coogler (“Black Panther”)Steven Caple Jr. (“Creed II”)Kiel Adrian Scott (“The Bobby Brown Story”)Saladin K. Patterson (“The Big Bang Theory”) and Ben Watkins (“Burn Notice”).

“For 25 years, HBO has elevated ABFF’s commitment to providing access and opportunity for talented filmmakers in the industry,” said Dennis Williams, Senior Vice President, Corporate Social Responsibility, Warner Bros. Discovery. “Our commitment to uplift unique voices that move the needle in culture is stronger than ever”

“The HBO Short Film Award continues to be the industry-leading platform to recognize and reward the most talented Black storytellers each year,” said Jeff Friday, Founder ABFF Ventures LLC and CEO Jeff Friday Media (JFM). “We are honored to have had the opportunity to partner with HBO for 25 years and look forward to expanding our work in support of content creators of color.”

HBO continues to be the founding sponsor of ABFF and is dedicated to furthering ABFF’s mission to showcase quality film and television content by and about people of African descent. Each film in this category will compete for ABFF’s HBO® Short Film Award and a prize of $10,000 for the winner and $5,000 for each of the finalists. The 25th Annual HBO Short Film Award, sponsored by HBO and Warner Bros Discovery, will be hosted by Bevy Smith (Sirius XM’s Bevelations). The competition will be held in Miami, Florida. HBO will announce the winner during the Best of the ABFF Awards Presentation on Saturday, June 18, 2022. ABFF is proud to be a qualifying festival for the Academy Awards®  Short Film Awards. 

See list of films below:


The following films are the 2022 official selections in the HBO® Short Film Award, now in its 25th year.

2022 | USA | 12 mins.
Written & Directed by: Sherif Alabede

Synopsis: A Southern Gothic tale that’s partially autobiographical and fictional, it tells the story of an interracial couple raising their mixed race child in the racially polarizing times of 1956 Mississippi. Based on “Native Guard,” a book of Pulitzer Prize Winning poems by Natasha Trethewey.

2021 | USA | 15 mins.
Written & Directed by: Elisee Junior St Preux

Synopsis: Isolated from society in a deserted delta community with his austere father, a child musical prodigy prepares for the audition of a lifetime while navigating a newfound skill in ancestral dreaming.

2022 | USA | 15 mins.
Written & Directed by: Rebecca Usoro

Synopsis: A Christmas family meeting in a Nigerian household forces a grandmother and granddaughter to face their fears about growing old and growing up.

2021 | USA | l15 mins.
Directed by: Gia-Rayne Harris
Written by: Gem Little

Synopsis: A high school teacher finds herself on a wild-goose chase to find a missing student that no one else seems to miss.

2021 | USA | 13 mins.
Written & Directed by: Destiny J Macon

Synopsis: A timid engineer develops a wild and expressive split personality to help her speak up to the boy’s club at work.

The American Black Film Festival (ABFF) is an annual event dedicated to recognizing Black talent and showcasing quality film and television content by and about people of African descent. Dedicated to the belief that diverse artists deserve the same opportunities as their mainstream counterparts, ABFF founder Jeff Friday conceived the festival in 1997 as a vehicle to strengthen the Black entertainment community by fostering resource sharing, education and artistic collaboration. Now in its 26th year, the festival has become a cornerstone of diversity in Hollywood, providing a platform for emerging Black artists – many of whom have become today’s most successful actors, producers, writers, directors and stand-up comedians. The ABFF is a property of ABFF Ventures LLC, an entertainment company specializing in the production of live events that promote Black culture and achievement.

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