NEWS

Comcast NBCUniversal Sponsors 20th Annual American Black Film Festival

Comcast NBCUniversal was proud to sponsor the 20th Annual American Black Film Festival (ABFF) from June 15-19 in Miami, Florida. Since 1997, the ABFF has worked to increase diversity in the entertainment community both in front of and behind the camera, and it has partnered with media companies dedicated to fostering diverse talent and creating discovery programs for some of TV and film’s up-and-comers.

This year, Comcast NBCUniversal partnered with the ABFF for two talent competitions: The Star Project and the Second Annual NBCUniversal TV Hosting Workshop. Actress Kelcy Griffin (@kelcygriffin) was chosen from nearly 1,000 applicants as the recipient of the Star Project prize, worth over $1,500, and Gia Peppers (@GiaPeppers) and J. Aaron Boykin (@hollatchaboykin) were the two finalists selected from NBCUniversal’s TV Hosting Workshop in April to be live hosts at this year’s ABFF. Comcast NBCUniversal also hosted a writing for television master class taught by Karen Horne, SVP, Programming Talent Development & Inclusion, NBC Entertainment & Universal Studios and provided an inside look at Universal’s upcoming new comedy, Almost Christmas, starring Gabrielle Union and produced by Will Packer’s eponymous production company that signed a two-year deal with Universal Television through 2017. Other ABFF activities sponsored by Comcast NBCUniversal included the Comcast Xfinity Web Original competition and a showcase suite, both of which aimed to shine a light on Comcast NBCUniversal’s commitment to creating diverse programming, services, and content across multiple platforms.

To see some of the films that were featured at this year’s ABFF, go to XFINITY’s American Black Film Festival page.

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NBCUniversal Short Film Festival Finale

The NBCUniversal Short Film Festival Finale took place on Wednesday October 22nd, 2014 at the DGA.  Check out the finalist and semifinalist shorts on the festival’s Hulu Channel!   FINALISTS Crescendo (directed by Alonso Alvarez Barreda) Paulie (directed by Andrew Nackman, written by David Lee) Hypebeasts (written & directed by Jess de la Merced) Seventh Grade (written &... Read More Read More

The NBCUniversal Short Film Festival Finale took place on Wednesday October 22nd, 2014 at the DGA.  Check out the finalist and semifinalist shorts on the festival’s Hulu Channel!

 

FINALISTS

Crescendo (directed by Alonso Alvarez Barreda)

Paulie (directed by Andrew Nackman, written by David Lee)

Hypebeasts (written & directed by Jess de la Merced)

Seventh Grade (written & directed by Stefanie Saintonge)

Drudge (written & directed by Kheireddine El-Helou)

Bombshell (written & directed by Erin Sanger)

Voicemail (written & directed by Thomas Fraser)

 

WINNERS

Best Short: Paulie

The team receives a Sound Package consisting of Pro Tools 11, an Apogee MiC, Plantronics BackBeat GO2 Wireless Headphones, plus an Avid Media Composer Editing Software Package.

 

Best Director: Alonso Alvarez Barreda (Crescendo)

Wins a $60,000 camera package donated by the Panavision New Filmmaker Program; a meeting with the heads of production for Universal Pictures; and a finalist slot in NBC’s Director Fellowship Program.

 

Best Actor: Montserrat Espadalé (Crescendo)

Receives a one-year talent holding deal with NBC.

 

Best Writer: David Lee (Paulie)

Receives an iPad with Zagg rugged folio keyboard case and the latest version of Final Draft, plus special consideration for the Universal Pictures Emerging Writers Fellowship or Final Round Placement in NBC Writers On The Verge Program.

 

Chiller Award: Kheireddine El-Helou (Drudge)

Wins $5k and the position as Lead Creative on an original promo for Chiller Network’s 2015 Killer Shorts Campaign.

 

 

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Congratulations to Meng Ai!

CONGRATULATIONS To 2013 Showcase Alum, MENG AI! He was cast in a co-star role in Mysteries of Laura, joining Max Jenkins, his fellow alumni who is recurring. Catch the show Wednesday 8/7C Read More

CONGRATULATIONS To 2013 Showcase Alum, MENG AI!

He was cast in a co-star role in Mysteries of Laura, joining Max Jenkins, his fellow alumni who is recurring.

Catch the show Wednesday 8/7C

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showcase

NEXT WEEKEND – StandUp NBC: San Francisco

San Francisco is the last city StandUp NBC is visiting in 2014!  We’ll be having an open call for comedians at the Punch Line Comedy Club, Saturday September 27th starting at 9:00 am sharp!  The showcase will be at 8:00 pm on Sunday September 28th. Read More

San Francisco is the last city StandUp NBC is visiting in 2014!  We’ll be having an open call for comedians at the Punch Line Comedy Club, Saturday September 27th starting at 9:00 am sharp!  The showcase will be at 8:00 pm on Sunday September 28th.

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2014-15 Writers on the Verge Announced

Writers on the Verge received about 2,000 submissions for the program this year, but after careful consideration we are proud to announce our 2014-2015 Writers on the Verge:  Alisha Cowan, Stephanie Coggins, David Ngo, Julian Kiani, Matt Bosack, Larry Caldwell, Leah Benavides and Kirk Moore.   Congratulations! Read More

Writers on the Verge received about 2,000 submissions for the program this year, but after careful consideration we are proud to announce our 2014-2015 Writers on the Verge:  Alisha Cowan, Stephanie Coggins, David Ngo, Julian Kiani, Matt Bosack, Larry Caldwell, Leah Benavides and Kirk Moore.   Congratulations!

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NY Diversity Week August 2014 066.jpg SVA theatre

9th Annual NBCUniversal SHORT FILM FESTIVAL

What an outstanding year for Film Making! A total of over 1700 short films were submitted to this years festival and the challenge was boiling it down to 14 semi-finalists. A representative from each film was flown to New York City for a public screeningteh SVA Theater in Midtown Manhattan. The evening was hosted by... Read More Read More

What an outstanding year for Film Making!

A total of over 1700 short films were submitted to this years festival and the challenge was boiling it down to 14 semi-finalists.

A representative from each film was flown to New York City for a public screeningteh SVA Theater in Midtown Manhattan.

The evening was hosted by a very familiar face from Extra!, AJ Calloway.
And covering the red carpet was NBC’s Last Comic Standing Star, Zainab Johnson.

CONGRATULATIONS TO OUR TOP 14 Semi Finalists!

TUESDAY AUG 19th – DAY 1

1. Crescendo
Director/Writer: Alonso Alvarez

Cast: Montserrat Espadalé, Frank Arend, Patrick Nuo, Brad Potts, Jennifer Cadena, Anita Beck, Ali Landry

Logline: In the 18th century Holy Roman Empire, a series of events will turn an ordinary day into an extraordinary experience for a woman whose life will never be the same.

2. Hypebeasts

Director/Writer: Jess dela Merced

Cast: Michael Rosete, Jake Choi, Jess dela Merced, Trevon Davis, Jeanette Dilone, Michael Galante, Grizz Chapman, Rich Pecci, Khalid Rivera, Nathaly Lopez, Joshua Rivera, Bryan Fitzgerald, Stephen James Anthony, Fetti D’Biasi

Logline: A boy’s desire to cop the most coveted pair of sneakers is quickly replaced with the fear that he and his sister are in serious danger when racial tensions explode in an overnight sneaker line in NYC.

3. Grief

Director: George Bessudo    Writer: Jesse David Ing

Cast: Kimberly Dollar, Reid Warner, Jaeden Lieberher, Asher Bank

Logline:A young couple coping with the death of their only son, is haunted by a malevolent spirit in their house.

4. Rattlefly

Director: Min Ding Writers: Min Ding & Yen-Chiao Huang

Cast: Maren Lord, Sadie Scott, Deema Aitken, Sheilagh Weymouth, Greg Seel

Logline: Sara, a small-town teenage girl with a dead-end existence who finds short-lived hope when she falls in love with the new pastor’s luminous daughter.

5. Seventh Grade

Director/Writer: Stefani Saintonge

Cast: Maxine Turenne, Mia Guzman, Ashe Davis, Khristen Gordon, Eric Bassant

Logline: Everyone is growing up except Patrice. But when a raunchy rumor threatens her best friend’s reputation, she’s forced to join the party and embrace adolescence.

6. Interstate

Director/Writer: Camille Stochitch

Cast:Benny Nieves, Gina Rodriguez, Max Arciniega, Roberto Montesinos, Laura Patalano, Aldo Ceceña, Darren La Borie

Logline: Joaquin has been teaching illegal immigrants how to drive, until an HSI agent shows up at his door. Will he save or give up those he has been helping?

7. Voicemail

Director/Writer: Thomas Fraser

Cast: Simone Missick, Thomas Fraser

Logline: A man comes home from vacation to find that he has 20 voicemails from the same person.

 

WEDNESDSAY AUG 20th – DAY 2

1. The Incident(s) at Paradise Bay

Director: Lorne Hiltser Writer: Nate Crocker

Cast:Bobby Soto, Peter Holden, Daniel Stewart, James Logan, Kevin Flint

Logline: Some kids get detention, some kids starve in a steel cage under the hot sun with no water all day.

2. Hunger

Director: Brian Frager Writer: James Fant

Cast:London Vale, Kristin Coffman, Paula Bellamy-Franklin, Hap Lawrence, Heather Wynters, Charles Anteby, Lowell Dean, Zack Ketz,  Joseph Steven, Michael Banks, Chen Huang, Giles Clarke

Logline: A desperate mother tries to protect her disturbed young daughter on the run, but their dark past threatens to ensnare them.

3. Los Santos

Director/Writer: Coraly Santaliz

Cast:Ricardo Alvarez, Lynnette Salas, José Jorge Medina, Nancy Millán, Eddie Valdés, Filomena Saura, Danny Salinas, Roger Guzmán

Logline: How many Saints are out there?

4. #nightslikethese

Director/Writer: Hannah Macpherson

Cast: Amber Midthunder, Shay Eyre, Kenneth Miller

Logline: When a night’s escapade takes a disturbing turn for two teen girls, we learn just how disconnected and desensitized social media has made them.

5. Bombshell

Director/Writer: Erin Sanger

Cast: Sofi Choinski, Logan Riley Bruner, Shane Nepveu, Tristan Alan, Store Employee, Carolyn Slesinski, Katie Schafer, Mackenzie Brooke Taylor

Logline: A ten year-old tomboy must weigh her loyalty to her trusted older brother as the siblings become complicit in a hate crime.

6. Drudge

Director/Writer: Kheireddine El-Helou

Cast: Jessica Mann, Cameron Simmons

Logline: What was supposed to be a romantic night in for a young couple, quickly turns into a terrifying encounter with Drudge.

7. Paulie

Director: Andrew Nackman Writer: David Lee

Cast: Ethan Dizon, Hardy Gatlin, Jay Pennick, Jarid Root, Judy Durning, Christine Kellogg, Sawyer Valin

Logline: A comedy about eating dirt, the Dewey Decimal system and finishing school as quickly as possible.

Film Stills

 

2014 NBCUniversal Short Film Festival Semi-Finalists (Poster Slide Show) from NBC Talent Development Programs on Vimeo.

 

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Diversity Week in New York

NBC Entertainment’s Programming Talent Development & Inclusion Department Hosts Annual NYC Diversity Week Week Included StandUp NBC, NBC Short Film Festival & The Upright Citizen’s Brigade (UCB) Showcase NBC Entertainment hosted their annual NYC Diversity Week at Gotham Comedy Club, SVA Theatre and UCB East from August 18-21, 2014. The week showcased the NBC Entertainment’s... Read More Read More

NBC Entertainment’s Programming Talent Development & Inclusion Department Hosts Annual NYC Diversity Week

Week Included StandUp NBC, NBC Short Film Festival & The Upright Citizen’s Brigade (UCB) Showcase

NBC Entertainment hosted their annual NYC Diversity Week at Gotham Comedy Club, SVA Theatre and UCB East from August 18-21, 2014. The week showcased the NBC Entertainment’s Programming Talent Development & Inclusion Department efforts to increase diversity in front of and behind-the-camera.

The three featured initiatives were StandUp NBC, a nationwide search for stand-up comedians, whose past participants included Tone Bell (NBC’s Bad Judge) and Ron Funches (NBC’s Undateable). NBC’s Short Film Festival was a two-day semi-final film screening, where festival filmmakers have gone on to have their material developed within NBC and actors have been cast on NBC’s pilots and series. UCB Showcase promotes diversity in the comedic arts, to provide diversity scholarships.

Each event was open to all including NBC executives, agents, managers, casting directors, as well as other comedians, and filmmakers.

“NBC Entertainment’s Program Talent Development & Inclusion department’s Diversity week is just a sample of our year-round efforts to seek, showcase and nurture new, up & coming talent. From these events, talent can go on to enjoy exposure not only throughout the NBC Universal family – but within the entertainment industry as a whole.” – Karen Horne, Vice PresidentProgramming Talent Development & InclusionNBC Entertainment & Universal Television

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ABFF Winners Announced

ABFF START PROJECT WINNERS ANNOUNCED!   This year over 900 actors submitted for the chance to win a co-star role on NBC’s DAYS OF OUR LIVES.   After intense Callbacks at the 2014 American Black Film Festival, we brought to the stage 2 dynamite stars:   CONGRATULATIONS TO:   KIMBERLY DALTON MITCHELL  www.KimGiggles.com *BFA North... Read More Read More

ABFF START PROJECT WINNERS ANNOUNCED!

 

This year over 900 actors submitted for the chance to win a co-star role on NBC’s DAYS OF OUR LIVES.

 

After intense Callbacks at the 2014 American Black Film Festival, we brought to the stage 2 dynamite stars:

 

CONGRATULATIONS TO:

 

KIMBERLY DALTON MITCHELL 

www.KimGiggles.com

*BFA North Carolina State 

 

STEFAN DEZIL

www.SDezil.com

*BFA Carnegie Mellon

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StandUpNBC NewYork Semi-Finalist

StandUp NBC Auditions

In its 11th consecutive year, StandUp NBC went to NEW YORK CITY!  Early in the morning on August 16th, comedians lined up on the sidewalks of 23rd Street, and may have turned some pedestrians’ heads.  Sleeping bags, yoga mats, and folding chairs lined the doors of the Gotham Comedy Club.  Some of the Tri-State area’s most... Read More Read More

In its 11th consecutive year, StandUp NBC went to NEW YORK CITY!  Early in the morning on August 16th, comedians lined up on the sidewalks of 23rd Street, and may have turned some pedestrians’ heads.  Sleeping bags, yoga mats, and folding chairs lined the doors of the Gotham Comedy Club.  Some of the Tri-State area’s most promising comedians hoped to make the cut-off for the annual open call.

Network Judges at the table included Beth Klein, SVP of Casting for Universal Television & Sahara Sushue, Manager for NBC Alternative Programming, & America’s Got Talent.

After two strong days of punchlines and call backs, 13 semi-finalists were selected!

 

CONGRATULATIONS TO THE FOLLOWING COMICS:

 

Shawn Jackson

Sam Jay 

Ricky Velez 

Marcia Belsky 

LeClerc Andre 

Langston Kerman 

Katrina Braxton 

Joel Kim Booster 

Emma Willmann 

Amanda Seales 

Alingon Mitra 

John Nguyen

Luis J. Gomez 

 

After the showcase, that very same night, several of the comedians were directly contacted by agents & managers who are looking to sign!

Some of these magnificent comics will be invited back in Los Angeles this Fall for the FINALS ROUND – DECEMBER 3rd…  But no finalists will be determined until we visit our last town in September,  SAN FRANCISCO!

 

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2014 LNWW group shot

The Late Night Writers Workshop kicks off its second year!

This program is focused on exposing talented joke, sketch and comedy writers to NBCUniversal's late-night & alternative lineup and readying them for a staff writer position. Read More

This program is focused on exposing talented joke, sketch and comedy writers to NBCUniversal’s late-night & alternative lineup and readying them for a staff writer position. The selected writers will create new sketch material and gain insight into the dynamics of a late night writers’ room. Participants are given the chance to interact with key writers and producers from across NBCUniversal’s late-night shows, as well as receive feedback on their material. Successful participants’ material will be submitted to NBCU’s late-night & alternative executives, but writing assignments are not a guarantee. The workshop took place in New York on March 21 – 25, 2014.

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Comcast NBCUniversal named as one of America’s “Best Places to Work”

For the second year in a row Comcast and NBCUniversal have earned a 100 percent score on the Human Rights Campaign’s Corporate Equality Index, and have been named among America’s “Best Places to Work” for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) people. Read More

For the second year in a row Comcast and NBCUniversal have earned a 100 percent score on the Human Rights Campaign’s Corporate Equality Index, and have been named among America’s “Best Places to Work” for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) people.  This honor reflects the company’s ongoing emphasis on diversity and inclusion across a wide range of communities.

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NBC and The Blackhouse Foundation partner for the first time!

NBC began its first partnership with The Blackhouse Foundation at the Sundance Film Festival this year. The Foundation works to expand opportunities for black filmmakers by providing a physical gathering venue for their constituents at the world’s most prominent film festivals Read More

NBC began its first partnership with The Blackhouse Foundation at the Sundance Film Festival this year. The Foundation works to expand opportunities for black filmmakers by providing a physical gathering venue for their constituents at the world’s most prominent film festivals, encouraging the inclusion of black filmmakers with films selected by the festival and creating a nucleus for continuing support, community, education and knowledge. The Blackhouse Foundation was created in 2006 by a group of dedicated individuals interested in preserving and furthering the legacy of Black cinema. The organization is geared towards dynamic industry networking, rigorous support, unparalleled education, and celebration for filmmakers of African descent and their audiences.

We’re now on Instagram! Follow us at “nbcunitips” and check out the latest photos from our many events and showcases, plus much more!

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