Black Fest fetes Townsend

'Riff' wins Lincoln Award, 'Brand' nabs Blockbuster

Helmers Mark Allen and Neema Barnette and actor Robert Townsend took top honors at the sixth annual American Black Film Festival Awards at the Jackie Gleason Theater in Miami’s South Beach.

Allen’s film “The Riff,” starring Antonio Fargas and Nia Peeples, won the Lincoln Filmmaker Trophy Award, while Barnette’s “Civil Brand” garnered featured kudos with the Blockbuster Award.

In an emotional tribute, actors Chris Tucker and Keenen Ivory Wayan surprised host Robert Townsend with the 2002 Career Achievement Award.

Founded in 1997, the American Black Film Festival honors excellence in black cinema and features screenings, seminars, panel discussions and acting workshops.

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