Comedian to receive Entertainment Icon Award

The Miami-based American Black Film Festival will honor Keenen Ivory Wayans with its Entertainment Icon Award and present grand prizes to Tiffany D. Hobbs and Sheaun McKinney in the fest’s annual Star Project competition.

ABFF founder Jeff Friday called Wayans “a trailblazer.” Past recipients of the festival’s highest distinction include Morgan Freeman, Spike Lee and Halle Berry.

Hobbs and McKinney will be flown to Miami for this year’s fest, and one will be given a walk-on role on “Days of Our Lives.” The ABFF Star Project, founded in 2009, serves as a platform to discover actors.

“There are so many young and diverse artists out there who deserve a chance to showcase their talents and vision,” said Kendra Carter, this year’s Star Project mentor and director of talent diversity initiatives at NBCU.

ABFF, now in its 15th year and sponsored by HBO, will also include a master class series, featuring workshops taught by scribe Michael Elliot, helmer-actor Bill Duke and producer-thesp Robert Townsend. Duke will be holding intensive Actors Boot Camps, with three sessions during the festival.

Fest kicks off July 6 with the world preem of Townsend’s “In the Hive” and runs through July 9.

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