Alumnus Derrick Williams' film Ugly is one of five finalists for the HBO Short Film Competition at the 20th annual American Black Film Festival. The film will premiere on Thursday, June 16 at 8:30 pm at the Colony Theatre during the five-day festival.
Derrick Williams (BA '98) produced the coming-of-age story about a boy looking for love in the wrong place - his own environment. Since graduating from Temple University's Department of Film and Media Arts, Williams has produced several music videos, commercials, documentaries and short films that have won various awards for television networks such as Showtime, BET J and HBO.
In Ugly, the main character Doug (Devon Moyd) represents the outcast teen trying to conform to his surroundings. We see him “struggle to juggle” two identities as he chases after Kay (Andrea-Rachel Parker), who is used to being the center of attention. Written and directed by LeRon Lee, the short was filmed in Williams' native Newark, NJ.
The American Black Film Festival is a five-day event dedicated to bringing awareness of entertainment content made by and about people of African descent to a worldwide audience. Annually held during the month of June, the ABFF is committed to the belief that Black artists deserve the same opportunities as their mainstream counterparts.
The ABFF was originally conceived as a destination event. Since its inception in 1997, the festival has been held in Acapulco, Miami, Los Angeles and New York City. Founder Jeff Friday envisioned the ABFF as a vehicle to promote diversity in the film and television industry. Today it is widely recognized as a major conduit for bringing new Black talent to the forefront, both in front of and behind the camera. The festival is considered the nation’s largest gathering of Black film and TV enthusiasts, last year drawing an attendance of approximately 13,000.
The prestigious HBO Short Film Competition carries a grand prize of $10,000, awarded by HBO to one filmmaker at the “Best of Festival” awards ceremony, June 18, 2016. All finalists will receive $5,000 and the opportunity to have their entries licensed by HBO for exhibition on the HBO service, HBO Go, and HBO Now.