HBO Hosts Annual Short Film Competition

On Saturday, June 13, five talented filmmakers competed for the opportunity to have their film broadcast on one of HBO’s programming services and a $10,000 cash prize at the 18th annual HBO Short Film Competition as apart of ABFF.

Lauded as one of the most prestigious short film showcases in the nation, the screening was held at the AMC Empire in Times Square. The finalists this year included Chaining Day written and produced by Chris Bailey and directed by Dominic Haxton. Black Card, directed and produced by Premium filmmaker Pete Chatmon, written by Tony Patrick and starring actor Dorian Missick.

Joy written and directed by Solomon Onita, Jr. Stanhope, directed, written and produced by Solvan Naim. First Date, Last Date written by E.V. Anderson and directed by Derege Harding.  The winner of the competition Stanhope was announced Sunday, June 14 at “The Best of ABFF” Awards Ceremony.

Check out our Q and A with this year’s host Bevy Smith from Bravo’s Fashion and Black Card team, Pete Chatmon and Tony Patrick:

Q:  Watching the film this is so timely because right now we are battling with the question in pop culture ‘What connotes Blackness?’  Is it because you can identify with behaviors, habits, follow the ‘code’ because if that’s the case then I think Black Rachel has a blackcard?


Pete: I think Rachel has a card that’s vanilla with little sprinkles of chocolate chip.


Tony: I think this is a question and I thought about it- What is “Black?” and all of a sudden it turns into one of those slam poems “Black is, Black was…” But I don’t think there is a definitive answer to the question.  I think the physical manifestation of the card is something we wanted to play around with and create a universe around.  I think it is something that every culture deals with but in this case- as African American’s we’re always kind of running the checklist to try to figure out if this something we always do to each other and we kind of please each other to see how “Black” you are.


Q: Pete I know you’ve been doing this for a little while now.  I know you started out very young.  I know you started out using the super 8 format and now you’re really working the digital.  I would love you to actually talk about how you actually funded this film through new media in an innovative ways.


P: About 5 years ago I started making videos for other companies and it wasn’t the most beautiful stuff in the world but I saw an opportunity to do what I have done in communicating, I was raising a half a million dollars for my first feature and figured there were other people had that gap in media assets to communicate what they wanted to accomplish.  We partly funded this project by going instagram videos for major fortune five hundred clients.

-Yanique Bourjolly