The new honour will launch at this year’s Tribeca Film Festival and aims to empower and recognise African American filmmakers.

“The Tribeca Film Institute is excited to partner with Heineken on the Affinity Award and continue to provide support for working filmmakers from communities that are underrepresented in the film industry,” Tribeca Film Institute feature programming director Tamir Muhammad said.

“We look forward to seeing the submissions for the Affinity Award and announcing the winner in 2013 alongside Heineken.”

The winner will receive $20,000 and a year-round project support and professional development from the Tribeca Film Institute.

Heineken USA will stage a private launch event on Apr 27 to raise awareness about the programme.