The contestants were judged by accomplished artists and industry executives, including “Def Comedy Jam” Producer Bob Sumner; Comedian and Actor Jay Phillips; Television Executive and Producer Rikki Hughes; Comedian and Actor Guy Torry; Comedian and Actor J.B. Smoove; Comedian and Actress Kym Whitley; Manager, Talent Development Robert Patla; Comedian and Actor Red Grant; ABFF Ventures CEO Jeff Friday, Founding Partner at Curated By Media Cameron Mitchell and Comedian and Actress, Erica Ash.
The finalists will receive an all-expense paid trip and (2) festival passes to the 23rd American Black Film Festival from June 12-16. Each finalist will then go toe-to-toe in a comedy battle on Friday, June 14th at the New World Center in Miami for a chance to win a $5,000 cash prize and attend an informational meeting with HBO talent executives. Comedian Deon Cole will host this highly popular night of hilarity at its best.
The Comedy Wings Competition is one of several platforms innovated by the ABFF that is designed to uncover talent and introduce them to a broader audience. ABFF has always participated in the cultivation of Black talent and has provided a stage over the years for dynamic performers such as Kevin Hart, Cedric the Entertainer, Craig Robinson, Tommy Davidson and Bill Bellamy.
“The Comedy Wings Competition highlights emerging comedians and allows us, through our long-time partnership with HBO, to showcase this talent to the entertainment industry. We’re very excited about this year’s lineup of finalists and expect one or more of them to a break out star,” said Jeff Friday, CEO of ABFF Ventures.
This year’s five finalists are emerging comics from across the United States, with diverse styles and sensibilities. The 2019 ABFF Comedy Wings finalists are:
Festival passes are on sale at www.abff.com and offer five (5) different levels of access to Festival events. Registration ends May 22nd for discounted rates. Questions regarding registration may be directed to email@example.com.
Sponsors of the 2019 American Black Film Festival are HBO® (Founding and Presenting Sponsor); BET Networks, Greater Miami Convention & Visitors Bureau (GMCVB), Comcast NBCUniversal (Presenting Sponsors); Capital One, Hilton, Prudential, Turner (Premier Sponsors); American Airlines, Motion Picture Association of America (MPAA), Sony, TV One (Official Sponsors); Accenture, Gentleman Jack, OWN, truTV, Warner Bros., Urban Movie Channel (UMC) (Supporting Sponsors); SAGIndie (Industry Partner); and Black Enterprise, Blackfilm.com (Media Partners).