ABFF Launches New Comedy Festival; Kenya Barris To Serve As Ambassador

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Amanda N'Duka
·2 min read
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ABFF Ventures LLC has launched ABFF Comedy Festival, a spin-off of its long-running American Black Film Festival that is dedicated to supporting emerging Black and Brown comedians and comedy writers. Prolific producer Kenya Barris (Black-ish, Grown-ish, Black AF) will serve as the Ambassador for the inaugural comedy fest, which will be a virtual, five-day event that will stream live and pre-recorded content on ABFF Play streaming service from June 2-6.

The fete is an extension of the ABFF comedy sidebar which has given visibility to the biggest names in comedy including Kevin Hart, Cedric The Entertainer, Mike Epps, Rickey Smiley, Craig Robinson, and JB Smoove. The mission is to be a global stage for the multicultural comedy community and to help propel new generations of diverse artists to stardom by introducing them to the industry-at-large.

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The festival will feature four competitions: Stand-Up Performance, Comedy Web Series, Comedy Shorts, and Comedy Podcasts. Submissions for the four categories are now open and are due no later than March 8. Participants must be over the age of 21, and of African descent, or who identify as Latinx, or Native American, who reside, and are eligible to work, in the U.S.

The event also includes live stand-up comedy performances, panels, master classes, digital screenings of studio and network films and television content in the comedy genre as well as Black Comedy Live, a global pay-per-view special featuring top headline comics.

“I’m thrilled to be partnering with American Black Film Festival on their very first ABFF Comedy Festival,” said Barris. “Jeff and Nicole Friday have built a long legacy of identifying new Black talent over the past 25 years, and as someone who shares their passion for championing and amplifying Black and Brown voices, I am excited to see them expand the ABFF imprint in this way. To be a part of something that will provide greater exposure, access, and opportunities to these comedians and comedy writers while also giving our community a reason to laugh together….this was a no-brainer and I’m honored to lend my support.”

“We are proud to expand our legacy of supporting Black talent in the early stages of their careers with the launch of the ABFF Comedy Festival. I’m very appreciative and excited to have Kenya Barris serve as our inaugural Ambassador. He is one of my favorite writers and sits amongst the most prolific content creators in the comedy arena,” said Jeff Friday, ABFF Ventures CEO.

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