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HBO Accepting Entries For 8th Annual Competition
(released 1/12/2005)

Home Box Office is now accepting entries for its 8th Annual HBO Short Film Award competition, created in 1998 to honor the writing and directing talents of Black filmmakers. The grand prize of $20,000 will be presented by HBO at Film Life's 9th Annual American Black Film Festival (ABFF), taking place in South Beach, July 13-17. The HBO Short Film Award has been a staple in the ABFF's competitive film showcase since its inception. Time Warner is the presenting sponsor of the festival, with HBO as the founding sponsor.

"We have been with the ABFF since its infancy and look back with pride at our partnership and combined efforts in bringing new films and filmmakers to the public's attention," said Olivia Smashum, executive vice president, affiliate marketing at HBO. "As we watch the Black filmmaking community continue to grow, we look forward to many more years of showcasing new talent through our competition and in sharing our knowledge of the creative process." Five finalists will be chosen by a panel of industry professionals and flown to Miami for a special opening night screening and final round of competition hosted by Tamara Tunie, the very talented stage, screen and television actress currently appearing on "Law and Order: SVU" and "As the World Turns." The grand prize of $20,000 will be awarded to one filmmaker by HBO during the ABFF's closing ceremonies. A prize of $5,000 will also given to each of the four runners up.

The HBO Short Film Award competition is open to U.S. and international filmmakers of African descent, 18 years of age or older, who have directed and/or written a short film of 30 minutes or less. All films must have been produced after January 1, 2004 in English or contain English subtitles. The deadline for entries is April 8, 2005 and all entries must arrive at the ABFF office postmarked by that date.

Submissions will be accepted on 1/2" VHS cassettes and must be accompanied by an official HBO/ABFF entry form and $30.00 submission fee. For entry forms or more information on rules and regulations, log on to

Short films that have won awards at other festivals or those that have previously been submitted to the HBO Short Film Award competition, under its current or any former title, are not eligible. Films must also not have had previous cable broadcast screenings. There is no limit as to the number of entries that can be submitted by a filmmaker.

The 2004 HBO Short Film Award grand prize of $20,000 was presented to Xelinda Yancy, writer, director and producer of "Time Out," the story of a young girl whose life changes after a school incident opens up family secrets. The film was executive produced by director John Singleton. The four runners-up, who each received $5,000, were: "Hold Up," directed and produced by Tanya Boyd; "One Flight Stand," directed, written and produced by Saladin K. Patterson; "The Memo," directed and written by Daheli Hall; and "Shooter," directed by Todd Jeffery and written by Abubakar Paul Bello.

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