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'Curtis,' 'Death of a Telemarketer' among American Black Film Festival winners

Aug. 31 (UPI) -- The 2020 American Black Film Festival announced its winners during a virtual ceremony from Miami Beach, Fla.

Curtis, a drama directed by Chris Bailey, won best U.S. narrative feature at the event. The film stars Dwight Henry as a former basketball star struggling with mental illness.

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Death of a Telemarketer, a comedy-drama directed by Khaled Ridgeway, took home the fan favorite award. The movie stars Lamorne Morris as a telemarketer held hostage after attempting to con a man.

Hisonni Johnson won best director for his film Take Out Girl, an indie drug drama set in Los Angeles. Tazmanian Devil, directed by Solomon Onita, Jr., took home the best first feature award.

In addition, Addison Henderson won best screenplay for his sci-fi film G.O.D. - Givers of Death. The New Normal, directed by Nigerian director Teniola Olatoni, took home best international narrative feature, while Maurice Hines: Bring Them Back won best documentary.

Boris Kodjoe and Nicole Ari Parker hosted the awards show, which featured Spike Lee, Lee Daniels, Laz Alonso, Bevy Smith, Logan Browning, Sinqua Walls and La La Anthony as presenters.

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News broke last week that American Black Film Festival creators Jeff and Nicole Friday will launch a new event, Social Justice Now Film Festival, in October. The festival will feature screenings, community conversations and impact events on social and economic issues in Black and Brown communities.

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