‘Peripheral’ and ‘The Waterboyz’ win at American Black Film Festival (EXCLUSIVE)

Sulayman Tahir’s ‘Peripheral’ and Coke Daniels’ ‘The Waterboyz’ were among the winners of this year’s Best of ABFF Awards, presented Saturday at the American Black Film Festival.

The festival, organized by Dondré Whitfield, presented the winners in the official film selection categories: narrative and documentary features, series and the HBO Short Film Award showcase. This year’s festival will take place June 12-16 in Miami Beach, Florida, followed by a virtual segment June 17-24 at ABFF PLAY.

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“Peripheral,” which had its world premiere at the festival, tells the story of a woman whose husband goes missing after moving into their new home, and strange and paranormal events that begin to occur upon his return. The film, directed by Tahir, won best narrative feature. Andria B. Langston, Patrick Walker, Patricia Mizen, D’Kia Anderson and Sami Tortorello star in “Peripheral,” co-written by Tahir and Jordan Tortorello.

Daniels’ “The Waterboyz” follows two young men who cross paths on the streets of Atlanta: one tries to make a legitimate living and the other tries to create chaos and rule the streets. Starring Akil McDowell, Alani “La La” Anthony, Quavo, Omar Dorsey and Rockmond Dunbar, the film also had its world premiere at the festival. Daniels won Best Director for the film, which he also wrote. Daniels, Cameron S. Mitchell, Dolapo Erinkitola, Coach K., Pee Thomas, Ben Crump, Tirrell D. Whitley and Brian Sher produced the film.

The HBO Short Film Award, one of the festival’s top honors, was presented to writer-director Huriyyah Muhammad for her film “Chocolate With Sprinkles.” The short film follows a bickering married couple who try to work on their marriage on their 25th wedding anniversary.

“This year’s Best of ABFF Honors represents a hugely impressive array of emerging Black talent and we are thrilled to share their work with our attendees,” said Nice Crowd President Nicole Friday. “We are thrilled to welcome Huriyyah Muhammad, one of five Black female directors featured in this year’s HBO Short Film Award showcase, to the esteemed group of artists including Ryan Coogler, Reinaldo Marcus Green, Rashaad Ernesto Green, Frank E. Flowers and Steven Caple , Jr., who have won this honor in the 27 years we have been doing this program.”

ABFF, a festival eligible for the Academy Awards short film categories, has been celebrating the HBO and Warner Bros. awards for 27 years. Discovery sponsored prize. The award also includes a $10,000 cash prize.

The winners of the 2024 Jury Award are as follows:

Best Narrative Feature Film (Presented by Walmart): “Peripheral,” directed by Sulayman Tahir, written by Tahir and Jordan Tortorello

Best Actor (Presented by Ally Financial): Vince Washington (“Young King”)

Best director (Presented by Cadillac): Coke Daniels (“The Waterboyz”)

Best documentary: “Train: The Dick Night Tran Lane Story,” directed by Eric “Ptah” Herbert

Best series (Presented by Comcast NBCUniversal’s Black Experience on Xfinity): “Unsolicited,” written by Barshae Lowery, produced by Lowery and Aysia Moore

Showcase winner HBO Short Film Award (Presented by HBO and Warner Media): “Chocolate With Sprinkles,” written and directed by Huriyyah Muhammad

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