Los Angeles, Calif. (Black PR Wire) – The 23rd annual American Black Film Festival (ABFF), taking place in Miami June 12-16, is launching the first Social Impact Showcase, a curated program dedicated to raising awareness of films based on cause-related themes, relevant to communities of color.

This year’s theme Fatherhood: The Foundation of the Black Family will feature a collection of short films, followed by an engaging conversation with the directors, and the event host: actor and author Omar Epps.

The goal is to change the narrative of black fathers by highlighting their presence, importance and contribution to their families, and by extension, the black community, therefore, positively affecting society’s view of them. The event will take place during the festival at the Loews Miami Beach on Saturday, June 15.

In other ABFF news, Deon Cole (black-ish, grown-ish) is confirmed to host the HBO Comedy Wings Competition, in which Five Comedy Wings finalists will perform.

Comedy Wings is a search to identify outstanding comedic talent and expose undiscovered comics aspiring to careers in film and television, as well as provide the winner with access to new industry contacts and an additional live performance opportunity.

The American Black Film Festival is an annual event dedicated to empowering black artists and showcasing quality film and television content by and about people of African descent.

For more than two decades the festival has been a platform for emerging black artists – premiering the early work and showcasing the talent of many of today’s most successful actors, producers, writers, directors and standup comedians.

As “the nation’s largest gathering of black film and television enthusiasts” the festival attracts a broad audience of A-list talent, emerging artists, upscale consumers and industry stakeholders. Approximately 7,000 to 10,000 people travel to Miami Beach each year for the event. The five-day festival opens with the premiere of an upcoming Hollywood release followed by independent film screenings, master classes, panels, celebrity talks, live entertainment, and a variety of networking and hospitality events.
Epps knows the personal impact of being a present father within his family and openly recalls growing up without his biological father, then becoming one himself. He shares his story of pain and triumph in his new book, “From Fatherless to Fatherhood” that recognizes the many themes surrounding the importance of family and community.

“I’m thrilled to be working with Jeff Friday and the ABFF on this year’s newly minted fatherhood initiative,” said Epps. “”Fatherhood within our urban communities has been a painful issue en masse, but there are also several positive stories that don’t get highlighted. I’m looking forward to celebrating men who’ve succeeded in fatherhood and will share my own story as written in my first book.”

Among the criteria for the Social Impact Showcase, films must have a 30-minute maximum runtime; the section is open to U.S. and international entries, entrants must be 18 years of age or older, the writer, director or producer must be of African descent, or the film content must have a multicultural perspective; films must be in the English language or contain English-language subtitles; films must have completed principal photography on or after Jan. 1, 2018; films that have been, or will be, broadcast or streamed on television or the internet, or released via any other public distribution platform (theatrical, Blu-ray, DVD, VOD, etc.) in any country prior to June 17, 2019, are not eligible for this category.

Passes are on sale at, and offer five different levels of access to festival events. Questions regarding registration may be directed to For other information on the Social Impact Showcase, visit

On the net: ABFF social media platforms include Twitter: @ABFF; Facebook: American Black Film Festival; Instagram: @AmericanBlackFilmFestival; YouTube: American Black Film Festival; Hashtags: #ABFF19, #WeAreABFF; and website: