NEW YORK — Film Life, Inc., has announced that the winners of its 16th annual American Black Film Festival (ABFF) Star Project are Sherial McKinney of Sherman Oaks, Calif. and Robert Hunter of Cleveland, Ohio.

Sponsored by NBCUniversal, the ABFF Star Project is an international acting competition launched in 2009, designed to spotlight emerging multicultural talent and encourage serious pursuit of the craft by providing a platform for undiscovered actors while supporting their career advancement. 

McKinney and Hunter were selected from a group of finalists who included Ozioma Akagha (Los Angeles, Calif.), Stephanie La Capra (New York, N.Y.), Justin Chu Cary (Berkeley, Calif.) and Kenny Cooper (Los Angeles, Calif.).

Star Project entrants were required to submit two videotaped monologues online, one of their choice, and one selected by NBCUniversal and ABFF. The project jury, comprised of accomplished actors, directors and casting executives, selected three female and three male finalists.

From the six finalists, the two winners, one male and one female, will receive all-expense-paid trips to Miami to this year’s ABFF festival on June 20-23. One grand-prize winner will be selected by NBCUniversal to appear in a walk-on role on Days of our Lives and will have the opportunity to audition before a leading casting director.

In addition to the paid trips to the ABFF in Miami, the Star Project winners will be introduced to the festival audience at The Winners Circle awards presentation on the closing day.

In 2010, Emayatzy E. Corinealdi was the Star Project winner.  This year, she will appear on BET: the emotionally dramatic film, Middle of Nowhere, with Omari Hardwick, and the dramatic series Gun Hill with Larenz Tate.


Photo: Robert Hunter