After two years of virtual programing, ABFF returned to Miami Beach for its 26th edition, with live events held June 15-19. The 2022 winners were announced by Emmy nominee Dondré Whitfield, who hosted the ceremony on the final day of ABFF’s in-person program, with a virtual presentation of the event now available to view on its custom-designed online platform, ABFF PLAY, where the festival continues until June 30.
The Best of ABFF Awards includes winners in the official film selection categories — narrative and documentary features, web series and the 25th HBO Short Film Award Showcase, decided by a jury led by Michael Quigley, Warner Bros. Discovery’s exec VP of content acquisitions for TNT, TBS, truTV, HBO and HBO Max — as well as its talent pipeline program comprised of national casting and writing competitions.
“Our Father, the Devil” was named the best narrative feature at the festival and the film’s director, Ellie Foumbi, also earned the John Singleton Award for best first feature. The film depicts an African immigrant’s quiet life in a small French town as it is upended by the arrival of a charismatic Catholic priest, whom she recognizes as the warlord who slaughtered her family. The narrative feature award comes with a $2,500 prize, presented by Sony Pictures Entertainment, while Netflix presented the John Singleton Award, along with a $5,000 purse.
Filmmaker Kali Baker-Johnson picked up the best director and best screenplay prizes for her film “Feel Like Ghosts” (presented by TV One and Cadillac, respectively), which made its world premiere in the festival lineup. The film centers on two recent exes with an undeniable connection as they confront what could have been, if their cultural differences hadn’t pushed them to new lives on opposite coasts.
“A Woman on the Outside” was named best documentary feature (presented by Prime Video), while “Mine” won best web series (presented by Comcast NBCUniversal).
Sherif Alabede’s “Another Country” was crowned the grand prize winner of the highly coveted HBO Short Film Award, which is now in its 25th year with the festival. Alabede won a cash prize of $10,000, presented by Warner Bros. Discovery, with each of the other four finalists taking home $5,000 each.
There’s still one award up for grabs, though, with the fan favorite prize still to be determined by ABFF’s in-person and virtual audience. The winner of the prize, which is presented by American Airlines, will be announced on ABFF’s social platforms on July 1.
The Jury Award winners are:
Best Narrative Feature – “Our Father, the Devil”
Produced by Ellie Foumbi, Joseph Mastantuono; Directed by Ellie Foumbi
Prize: $2,500, presented by Sony Pictures Entertainment
Best Director, Narrative Feature – Kali Baker-Johnson, “Feel Like Ghosts”
Prize: $5,000, presented by Cadillac
Best Screenplay, Narrative Feature – “Feel Like Ghosts”
Written by Kali Baker-Johnson
Prize: $2,500, presented by TV One
John Singleton Award – Best First Feature – “Our Father, The Devil”
Directed by Ellie Foumbi
Prize: $5,000, presented by Netflix
Best Documentary Feature – “A Woman on the Outside”
Produced by Kiara C. Jones, Zara Katz, Lisa Riordan Seville; Directed by Zara Katz, Lisa Riordan Seville
Prize: $2,500, presented by Prime Video
Best Web Series – “Mine”
Directed by Randall Dottin, Luisa Dantas
Prize: $2,500, presented by Comcast NBCUniversal
HBO Short Film Award – “Another Country”
Directed by Sherif Alabede
Prize: $10,000 for winner and $5,000 for each of the four other finalists, presented by
Warner Bros. Discovery
The Talent Pipeline Program winners are:
ALLBLK’s “Shoot Your Shot” Casting Call – Javon Terrell
Prize: Role in upcoming ALLBLK Original series “Judge Me Not”
Warner Bros. Discovery Writers Initiative, One-Hour Drama
Deion Higginbotham – “The Saints”
Warner Bros. Discovery Writers Initiative, Half-Hour Drama
Diara Newman – “Townhall”