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2014 ABFF Hollywood Awards Nominees Announced

Festival introduces an online awards for moviegoers to name the best in Black cinema

NEW YORK, Jan. 8, 2014 /PRNewswire/ -- Film Life, Inc., the organization that produces the American Black Film Festival (ABFF) today announced the nominations for The ABFF Hollywood Awards – an online platform created to recognize the work of persons of African descent in the motion picture industry and outstanding films portraying the Black experience. The awards will give fans a voice in naming the best movies and performances of the past year, exciting interest in Black cinema during Hollywood's award season and Black History Month.

"Hollywood is an industry centered on gaining widespread interest and support of mass audiences yet the large majority of awards platforms are determined by small and relatively non diverse groups of industry insiders. This award will allow people from all walks of life a chance to participate in the process of celebrating good work," said Jeff Friday, ABFF Founder/CEO of Film Life, Inc. The Awards and Festival are a part of the ABFF brand's global initiative to promote the universal appeal of Black cinema by showcasing Black artists, stories and culture to a broader audience.

ABFF Hollywood Awards will be determined by popular vote of the general public; inclusive of the 90,000 plus American Black Film Festival alumni around the world. Voting will take place January 15 through January 22, at www.abffhollywoodawards.com. The winners will be revealed online February 19, during a five-minute "web show," hosted by Chris Spencer (Executive Producer/Creator of BET's "Real Husbands of Hollywood"), that will feature him tracking down winners to present the Award trophy and capture their acceptance speech.

The nominees below were selected by a jury of film critics and entertainment editors from African American media outlets around the country. For consideration, films must have had U.S. theatrical release dates between January 1 and December 31, 2013, with a minimum two-week run in New York and Los Angeles, as well as have been directed by, written by, produced by or featuring in a leading role, a person(s) of African descent. Individuals (actors, directors, producers, and writers) must be of African descent.

MOVIE OF THE YEAR

12 Years A Slave (Fox Searchlight Pictures) – produced by Brad Pitt, Dede Gardner, Jeremy Kleiner, Bill Pohlad, Steve McQueen, Arnon Milchan and Anthony Katagas

Fruitvale Station (The Weinstein Company) – produced by Nina Yang Bongiovi and Forest Whitaker

Lee Daniels' The Butler (The Weinstein Company) – produced by Pam Williams, Laura Ziskin, Lee Daniels, Buddy Patrick and Cassian Elwes

Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom (The Weinstein Company) – produced by David M. Thompson and Anant Singh

The Best Man Holiday (Universal Pictures) – produced by Sean Daniel and Malcolm D. Lee

BEST ACTOR

Morris ChestnutThe Best Man Holiday

Chiwetel Ejiofor12 Years A Slave

Idris ElbaMandela: Long Walk to Freedom

Michael B. JordanFruitvale Station

Forest WhitakerLee Daniels' The Butler

BEST ACTRESS

Halle BerryThe Call 

Danai GuriraMother of George

LisaGaye HamiltonGo for Sisters

Nia LongThe Best Man Holiday

Kerry WashingtonPeeples

BEST SUPPORTING ACTOR

Barkhad AbdiCaptain Phillips

Cuba Gooding, Jr. Lee Daniels' The Butler

Terrence HowardThe Best Man Holiday

Samuel L. JacksonOldboy

David OyelowoLee Daniels' The Butler

BEST SUPPORTING ACTRESS

Nicole Beharie42: The Jackie Robinson Story

Naomie HarrisMandela: Long Walk to Freedom

Sanaa LathanThe Best Man Holiday

Lupita Nyong'o12 Years A Slave

Octavia SpencerFruitvale Station

Oprah WinfreyLee Daniels' The Butler

BEST DIRECTOR

Ryan CooglerFruitvale Station

Lee DanielsLee Daniels' The Butler

Antoine FuquaOlympus Has Fallen

Malcolm D. Lee The Best Man Holiday

Spike LeeOldboy

Steve McQueen12 Years A Slave

BEST SCREENPLAY

12 Years A Slave (written by: John Ridley)

Black Nativity (written by: Kasi Lemmons)

Fruitvale Station (written by: Ryan Coogler)

The Best Man Holiday (written by: Malcolm D. Lee)

The Inevitable Defeat of Mister & Pete (written by: Michael Starrbury)

BEST ENSEMBLE CAST

Baggage Claim

Black Nativity

Fast & Furious 6

Lee Daniels' The Butler

The Best Man Holiday

BREAKOUT PERFORMANCE OF THE YEAR

Barkhad AbdiCaptain Phillips

Chadwick Boseman42: The Jackie Robinson Story

Skylan BrooksThe Inevitable Defeat of Mister & Pete

Michael B. JordanFruitvale Station

Lupita Nyong'o12 Years A Slave

ARTIST OF THE YEAR for an artist (male or female) in recognition of their collective body of work for the year.

Idris Elba (appeared in: Pacific Rim, Thor: The Dark World, Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom)

Kevin Hart (appeared in: Kevin Hart: Let Me Explain, This Is The End, Grudge Match; produced: Kevin Hart: Let Me Explain)

Dwayne Johnson (starred in: Snitch, G.I. Joe: Retaliation, Pain & Gain, Fast & Furious 6)

Tyler Perry (appeared in: Tyler Perry's A Madea Christmas, wrote, directed and produced: Temptation: Confessions of a Marriage Counselor and Tyler Perry's A Madea Christmas; produced: Peeples)

Forest Whitaker (appeared in: Lee Daniels' The Butler, Black Nativity, Out of the Furnace; produced: Fruitvale Station)

STUDIO OF THE YEAR for a motion picture studio in recognition of the distribution of quality films directed by, written by, produced by or featuring in a leading role, a person(s) of African descent.

Lionsgate/Codeblack/Summit Entertainment: (Tyler Perry's A Madea Christmas, Peeples, Temptation: Confessions of a Marriage Counselor, Kevin Hart: Let Me Explain, The Inevitable Defeat of Mister & Pete)

The Weinstein Company (Lee Daniels' The Butler, Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom, Fruitvale Station, Scary Movie 5)

Twentieth Century/Fox Searchlight Pictures (12 Years A Slave, Baggage Claim, Black Nativity)

Universal Pictures (Fast & Furious 6, The Best Man Holiday, Riddick)

ABOUT THE AMERICAN BLACK FILM FESTIVAL
The American Black Film Festival (ABFF) is an annual event dedicated to showcasing quality films by and about people of African descent. Committed to the belief that Black content creators and artists deserve the same opportunities as their mainstream counterparts, ABFF founder Jeff Friday conceived the festival in 1997 as a vehicle to promote diversity in the film and television industry. Today it serves as the preeminent pipeline to new Black talent in front of and behind the camera, and is regarded as one of the leading film festivals in the world. The 18th annual ABFF will take place in New York City, June 19-22, 2014. Festival passes and tickets are on sale now. For more information visit www.abff.com

ABOUT FILM LIFE
Film Life, Inc. is a multifaceted entertainment company headquartered in New York City. Founded in 2001 by Jeff Friday its current CEO. While best known for creating the American Black Film Festival (ABFF), the company's operations center on developing and licensing innovative content across all forms of media and providing strategic advisory services to a wide range of corporations in the entertainment and consumer product industries. Its scope of consulting services includes event management, film marketing and distribution, educational program development, talent procurement, and video production.

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SOURCE Film Life, Inc.

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