African-American Film Festival Qualifies for Oscar Competition

The Martha’s Vineyard African-American Film Festival (MVAAFF) has been approved by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences as a qualifying festival for the academy’s short-film award.

Winners of the festival’s Best Short Film award will now be eligible to enter the academy’s short-film competition for the concurrent season. Short films are often early productions for up-and-coming filmmakers.

Festival co-founder Floyd Rance said the academy’s designation marks a major milestone.

“For the past 17 years, we’ve produced the MVAAFF with the primary goal of providing a positive environment where African-American filmmakers can share their thoughts, ideas and aspirations,” Rance said. “Now, we can offer recipients of our Best Short Film award the possibility of being considered in the short-film category of the Academy Awards.”

The five-day festival, created by Rance and wife Stephanie, presents films by African-American filmmakers. Run&Shoot Filmworks, the company that produces the festival, has also created spots for HBO, Martell Cognac, Reebok, NBC Sports and Foot Locker.

Last year, Run&Shoot Filmworks and MVAAFF presented the “Color of Conversation” film series at the AFI Silver in Silver Spring, Maryland.

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