About BTF

Because They’re Funny (BTF), is a new comedy festival from the producers of the American Black Film Festival showcasing comedic talent within BIPOC communities. BTF’s mission is to elevate the image of stand-up comedy as an art form, propel a new generation of diverse stand-up comedians to stardom, and promote entertainment content in the comedy genre created by people of color.

Curated for industry insiders and casual fans alike, the BTF lineup will feature headline acts, new comic showcases, industry workshops, panels, film screenings, networking events and exclusive parties. The inaugural event will take place at the Anthem Theater and other premier venues along the Wharf, a popular entertainment hub on Washington, DC’s southwest waterfront, from October 6-8, 2023.

The centerpiece of the BTF festival is the “Breakout Comic of the Year” competition, a national platform to discover unrepped emerging BIPOC comedians and guide them to career opportunities in film and television. The annual competition will attract hundreds of submissions from across the country. The top ten will be invited to perform at the festival and compete for $25K in cash prizes, the opportunity to open for a major headline act and representation by a Hollywood talent agency.

The American Black Film Festival has a long legacy of supporting diverse comedians dating back to its inception in 1997. Many of today’s top names have been invited to perform at the ABFF in the early stages of their careers; including Cedric the Entertainer, Kevin Hart, Mike Epps, Craig Robinson, J.B. Smoove, Chris Spencer, D.L. Hughley, Yvonne Orji, Sheryl Underwood, Earthquake, Craig Robinson, Tommy Davidson, Bill Bellamy and Ricky Smiley, Amanda Seales, Sam Jay and among others.

Because They’re Funny Comedy Festival is a property of ABFF Ventures, a leading entertainment company in the live events arena, and presented in partnership with Events DC, the official convention and sports authority for the District of Columbia. Sponsors to date include Cadillac (Presenting) and Laugh Mob Entertainment (Supporting).