Turner Joins Forces with HBO and Warner Bros. for the American Black Film Festival

5 Jul 2018 - This post originally appeared on the Turner Blog.

For the second year in a row, Turner set its sights on Miami, Florida, for fun, sun, and film – as a premier sponsor of the American Black Film Festival (ABFF). If you were able to get one of the coveted tickets to the sold-out event held June 13-17, you would have seen Turner didn’t go it alone but instead partnered with Warner Bros. and HBO on its activations this year.

Since 1997, ABFF has been one of the leading festivals in the world to celebrate independent television and film content by individuals of African descent. Turner is committed to supporting emerging artists and to expanding opportunities to storytellers of all backgrounds which is why the company invested in a three-year partnership with the festival last year. For 2018, the company hosted three events:

  • A “Development Demystified” panel was held Friday with Turner, HBO and Warner Bros. experts discussing TV and film development.
  • On Saturday, TNT hosted a spotlight screening of “Claws” followed by a Q&A with Karrueche Tran, Maisha Closson, Harold Perrineau and Janine Sherman Barrois. Participants also got to snap a selfie with the talent after the Q&A.
  • Turner, HBO and Warner Bros. hosted an invite-only honorary brunch on Sunday for the winners of the ABFF Awards. Eleven of the 12 winners attended the brunch for the opportunity to meet development executives.

Turner also sponsored a TV Writing contest designed to discover writing talent from diverse backgrounds. Entrants had to submit an original pilot script in comedy or drama categories that would go before a judging panel. Winners Terrence L. Moore (drama ) and Craig T. Williams (comedy category) received a free trip to the festival, a $500 cash prize, script review and notes from a development executive as well as the opportunity to meet with TBS and TNT programming executives. TruTV also launched a comedy writing competition this year at the festival and their winner, Harold Williams Jr., joined the team in Miami for his comedy “What Had Happened Was.”

A dozen employees from across the company were invited to attend and represent the company at the festival. “For my first time attending ABFF, I feel so motivated and energized,” said Nekia Seymore, coordinator – Development & Original Programming, truTV. “Being in a space with black creatives really confirmed for me that I made the right choice in this field.”

Jennifer Williams, senior manager – Global Inclusion for Turner, led the coordination of the event across the three divisions and was extremely pleased with the outcome. “From the planning to the execution at the festival, we approached the event as a united front and in so doing demonstrated, to attendees, the collective power of our brands,” she stated.

“Representing Turner at ABFF was one of the highlights of my career”, said Whitney Anderson, manager – Subscription Acquisition, Filmstruck. “From our dynamic events to interacting one-on-one with festival goers, I was proud to be a part of a brand that truly champions diversity.”

Turner looks forward to a continued sponsorship of ABFF in 2019 with hopes of a bigger and better event and more fan experiences.