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Sprinter Races to Triple Victory at American Black Film Festival

Sprinter directed by Storm Saulter snagged triple victory at ABFF 2018

Sprinter the sophomore film from director Storm Saulter (Better Mus Come) raced to victory at the American Black Film Festival which took place in Miami last weekend. The film snagged three prizes, taking home the Grand Jury prizes for Best Director and Best Narrative Feature as well as the Audience Award for best film.

With Jamaica’s track record in athletics, it is high time that the country tapped into the sport, and Sprinter promises to take a look at more than the possibilities for glory. The story follows 17-year-old Akeem (Dale Elliott) who puts everything into making the National Youth Team in the hopes of reuniting with his mother who migrated to the US more than a decade ago.

In an interview with Essence magazine, Elliot noted that he met his father for the first time while shooting the film, indicating that the Sprinter’s focus on the impact of migration on Caribbean families is by no means far-fetched fiction.

Storm Saulter

“Akeem’s kind of running for everybody but himself,” Saulter told Essence. “He’s running to get back to his mom; he’s running to be like his big brother. Akeem hope’s he can bring his family back together if he just runs fast enough.”

Still in post-production, Sprinter is being produced by Robert Maylor, Clarence Hammond, & Jamal Watson, with Will Smith, Jada Pinkett Smith, and Richard Jefferson as executive producers.

The film’s cast includes Kadeem Wilson (Ghett’a Life), Shantol Jackson (Yardie and Sugar), Bryshere Y. Gray (Empire), Lorraine Toussaint (Rosewood and Law & Order), & David Alan Grier (In Living Color and A Series of Unfortunate Events).

The 22nd American Black Film Festival was held in South Beach, Miami culminating at the Nw World Center on June 16, 2018. The awards were hosted by comedian Chris Spencer.

2018 Winners:

Audience Award: Sprinter

Jury Awards:

Best Feature - Sprinter 

Best Director - Storm Saulter, Sprinter

Best Screenplay - Jinn by Nijla Mumim

Best Documentary - Not in My Neighborhood, Kurt Orderson

Other Awards

NBC Spotlight Actor Award - Zoe Renee (Jinn)

HBO Short Film Award - ‘Moths & Butterflies’ (Alfonso Johnson, director)

TV One Screenplay Competition - Connected, Rashim Cannad

ABFF Turner Drama Writing Award - Terrence L. Moore, Uptown

ABFF Turner Comedy Writing Award -  Craig T. Williams, Allergic

truTV Comedy Writers Award - Harold Williams

Xfinity’s Best Web Series - Keloid, Huriyyah Muhammad