Home Blog The Hollywood Black Film Festival (HBFF) Announces Official Schedule for 2017 ~ February 22-26 in Marina Del Rey, CA

The Hollywood Black Film Festival (HBFF) Announces Official Schedule for 2017 ~ February 22-26 in Marina Del Rey, CA


 Tanya Kersey, Executive Director, announced the 2017 season of The Hollywood Black Film Festival (HBFF) with an exciting line up of 100 films, along with panels, panelists and festivities over a four day period.  HBFF happens February 22 – 26, 2017 and will be hosted at Hotel MdR, 13480 Maxella Ave, Marina Del Rey, CA 90292.  The Opening Night will be held on Wednesday, February 22 @ 6:00 PM at the AMC Marina 6, Villa Marina Marketplace Mall, 4335 Glencoe Ave, Marina Del Rey, CA 90292. 


Known as one of the leading Black film festivals in the world, the Hollywood Black Film Festival (HBFF) is now in its fourteenth year, the upcoming edition of Hollywood Black Film Festival’s theme is “Festival at the Beach”.




Wednesday, February 22

 12 noon – 6p: Registration at Hotel MdR

 6p: Opening Night Red Carpet opens

 7 – 9:30p: Opening Night Film  TBA

 10p – until:  Opening Night After-Party  TBA


Official HBFF 2017 Venues:

 Headquarters/Infotainment/Filmmaker’s Lounge/Beauty Lounge/VIP Lounge: 

 Hotel MdR

13480 Maxella Ave., Marina Del Rey, CA 90292


Box Office/Film Screenings:

 AMC Marina 6, Villa Marina Marketplace Mall

4335 Glencoe Ave., Marina Del Rey, CA 90292


Thursday, February 23

 8a – 5p: Registration at Hotel MdR

 9a – 10:30a: From Concept to Completion


 10a – 3p: HBFF Beauty Lounge

 10a – 4p: INVITATION ONLY Storyteller Competition Workshops, Project Stargazer Workshops

 11a – 12:30p: Using Online Social Media Marketing to Build, Grow & Monetize Your Film’s Audience


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Discover opportunities to reach new audiences and promote your projects on your own. In this hands-on session, entertainment industry professionals will finally learn the difference between Web 1.0, 2.0 and 3.0, which tools to use, and critically, when and how to use them. From blogs to wikis to widgets, find out how to navigate social media to expand your entertainment brand.


1:00p – 2:30p: Creating Content for a New Digital Hollywood


This panel will explore the ever evolving development distribution and marketing of content and show you how you can take advantage of new opportunities as digital content options are spreading across new platforms such as the web TV, phones and tablets and audiences evolve how they watch content. Different programming options created by YouTube, Google, Netflix, Hulu, Amazon and Yahoo to name just a few have changed the strategy for producing content and the way it is monetized.



 6p: “A Conversation with…” TBA



Friday, February 24

 8a – 5p: Registration at Hotel MdR

 9a – 10:30a: Distribution Wheelin’ and Dealin’ 


The Marketing & Distributing Independent Films panel is a lively discussion by a panel of successful producers’ reps, publicists, sales agents, critics, and distributors. They reveal how they work with filmmakers and festivals, and provide specific advice on creating a strategy to build a buzz and maximize your chances of selling your film. This panel will teach filmmakers how to launch a film—from marketing materials, ad agencies, and guerilla tactics to getting press attention, evaluating buyers, and taking the next step when their films did not sell at a festival. How to use internet-based blogs, social networking sites and buddy lists to build an audience.



 10a – 4p: INVITATION ONLY Storyteller Competition Workshops, Project Stargazer Workshops

 10a – 3p: HBFF Beauty Lounge

 11a – 1a: Crowdfunding Workshop 


The Crowdfunding Panel is for filmmakers who are looking to finance their film through crowd sourcing, Join this group of panelists as they tap into the world of crowdfunding, the strategies that will help you to create a crowdfunding campaign and tips on how to achieve your crowdfunding goals. 


1:30p – 3:30p: Trailblazing New Voices on TV and Cable: The Creators, Producers & Showrunners Panel with “Blackish (ABC), “Scandal” (ABC), “Underground” (WGN),  “Greenleaf” (OWN), “Queen Sugar” (OWN), “Empire” (FOX), “Star” (FOX), “Being Mary Jane” (BET) and “Power” (Starz) Bosses, “Insecure” (HBO), “Atlanta” (FX)
This panel discussion will help filmmakers understand the creative process and how to tackle the daunting task of creating a television show. How do producers and industry gatekeepers decide to take on a project? How do you assemble the right team? How to polish a script? How do actors interpret the story? The questions can be endless for a new filmmaker. This panel serves to answer some of those questions with practical answers.


4p – 6p: “A Conversation with and Reel Talk with the Leading Men of Hollywood”



 7p – 9p: HBFF Monologue Slam – details coming soon!



Saturday, February 25

 8a – 5p: Registration at Hotel MdR

 9a – 10:30a: Screenwriting Masterclass with Jeff Gordon, The Writers Boot Camp

In this informative and enlightening workshop, Writers Boot Camp Founder Jeffrey Gordon (JG) will identify the common mistakes writers of all experience levels make on early drafts, and explain the need for at least 10 specific drafts on your script prior to its submission to industry friends and contacts. By definition, first drafts are just a start. They lack the explicit “audience experience” and cultivated seamlessness expected in a viable script. Yet too often, motivated by the drive for approval and the desire for feedback, a writer will send out a script too soon. Entering its 25th anniversary next year, Writers Boot Camp’s short session will help you avoid common mistakes and steer your projects toward industry relevance. Join JG and learn some of the tools that Writers Boot Camp alumni have learned that have helped them have 30 major movies produced in just the past two years (DUE DATE, FRIGHT NIGHT, THE FIFTH ESTATE, RUNNER RUNNER) and get staffed on the hottest TV series (Orange is the New Black, House of Cards, Girls, American Horror Story, Modern Family).


10a – 4p: INVITATION ONLY Storyteller Competition Workshops, Project Stargazer Workshops

 10a – 3p: HBFF Beauty Lounge


 11a – 1a: Directors Panel

This session will give you an insider view into the life of a director and their personal stories. It will answer the questions — What does a director do? How do you get into the director’s chair?


1:30p – 3p: How To Get Your Film Financed Using Strategies That Actually Work

How To Get Your Film Financed Using Strategies That Actually Work is a lively discussion amongst executives and producers who will to share the different strategies to get your film financed that is changing as the industry embraces an explosion of new and unconventional resources for financing, producing and distributing independent films


4p – 6p:  “A Conversation with…”  TBA


 7p – 9p Storyteller Live Staged Reading Showcase



Sunday, February 26

 8a – 1p: Registration at Hotel MdR

 10a – 3p: HBFF Beauty Lounge


 10:30a – 12p: Filmmaker & Storyteller Awards Brunch

 12:30p – 3:30p: Pitchathon

In the first half of the Pitchathon, studio development executives, producers and distributors share their insights and tips on how to successfully pitch a completed film, finished script and/or ideas. In the second half you’ll have a chance to actually pitch your projects and get valuable feedback and creative input from industry pros that are “in the know.”





About The Hollywood Black Film Festival

The Hollywood Black Film Festival (HBFF), dubbed “The Black Sundance,” is an annual celebration of black cinema drawing together established and rising filmmakers, popular film and television stars, writers, industry executives, emerging artists and diverse audiences from Southern California and around the world. Attracting such stars and industry insiders as Academy Award® winners Sidney Poitier and Forest Whitaker, John Singleton, Tim Story, Malcolm Lee, Bill Duke, Devon Franklin, Cedric The Entertainer, George Tillman, Ice-T, Rev. Run (of Run DMC), Marcus Miller, Reuben Cannon, Anthony Anderson, Blair Underwood, Sanaa Lathan, Rockmond Dunbar, Loretta Devine, Debra Martin Chase, Marcus King, Antwone Fisher, Sheryl Underwood, Vanessa Williams, Clifton Powell and Gina Ravera, the festival has become a hotbed for the Black Hollywood community.


HBFF was founded in 1998 by its executive director, Tanya Kersey, with a mission focused on fostering and developing the vision of independent filmmakers by bringing their films to the attention of the industry, media and public through a public exhibition and competition program.


To date, HBFF has screened over 1,000 independent films from Black filmmakers from all across the United States, Europe, SE Asia, Australia, Canada, Africa the Caribbean.  Over 70,000 people have attended and enjoyed the diversity of Black Cinema through the festival.  For more info http://www.hbff.org/.


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