25th Anniversary Urbanworld Film Festival Set With Hybrid Film Screenings, Spotlight Presentations
Photo Credit: Warner Bros.
Festivals , Film

25th Anniversary Urbanworld Film Festival Set With Hybrid Film Screenings, Spotlight Presentations

The 25th Anniversary Urbanworld Film Festival has announced its 2021 hybrid festival slate with founding partner HBO and prestige partners WarnerMedia and Ally. The festival will begin Sept. 29 and continue through Oct. 3 with select event being shown in-person at the Cinepolis Luxury Cinemas in New York.

The festival will feature panels as well as the festival's 88 official selections. Panels include Sept. 29 panels with Aunjanue Ellis and director Reinaldo Marcus Green discussing King Richard and RZA, Erika Alexander, Shameik Moore, Zole Griggs and TJ Atoms discussing Wu-Tang: An American Saga. Sept. 30 panels include The Walking Dead: The World Beyond's Aliyah Royale, Alexa Mansour and Joe Holt discussing the upcoming second season, and Power Book III: Raising Kanan stars Patina Miller and MeKai Curtis talking about the series with Terrence J. Tananarive Due Due and Steven Barnes will also be on hand Sept. 30 to discuss the Horror Noire anthology series and the legacy of Black genre films. Ava DuVernay will also screen her first episode of her upcoming TV series Home Sweet Home Oct. 2.

DuVernay will also discuss the behind the scenes moments from Queen Sugar's sixth season with costume designer Christann Chanell, set decorator Kellie Turner, hair department head Nakoya Yancey and makeup department head Lalette Littlejohn. On Oct. 3, Sankofa director Haile Gerima and wife/co-producer Shirikana Gerima will discuss their classic with Haki R. Madhubuti, Acklyn Lynch, Mama Rashida Foreman-Bey and Mashariki Jywanza to discuss the grassroots efforts to bring the film to global audiences.

The festival will also feature Urbanworld Innovation, presented by WarnerMedia 150. On Sept. 30 at WarnerMedia in New York, pitch presentations will be made to investors, and industry case stories, artist installations and conversations about the future of worldbuilding and storytelling will take place, as well as conversations about holistic wellness and mental health for creatives.

Urbanworld's online program uEmbrace initiative will also feature a series of virtual events, skill-building opportunties and wellness-centric experiences, as well as discussions with Urbanworld alumni. During the initiative, Lisa Cambridge Mitchell of Persist in Joy will lead The Art of Listening, The Moth will lead a storytelling workshop, Aki Hirata Baker will discuss how to channel creative flow, and the Gates Preserve Media will give a case study session on promoting projects in the era of virtual festivals.

The festival will also commemorate Gabrielle Glore, Festival Director and Head of Programming of Urbanworld, as she leaves her position after 18 years.

“I cannot be happier to celebrate 25 years of Urbanworld with our amazing slate of films from Black, Indigenous, Latinx and content creators of color hailing from all over the world. As our world continues to change, our filmmakers continue to soar towards the highest heights of excellence with their work, as they connect with our dedicated audience,” said Glore in a statement. “After nearly two decades with Urbanworld and this being my last year with the festival, I am looking forward to working with our illustrious founder Stacy Spikes to find the next person to lead the festival.”

The full list of films is below. For more information, visit urbanworld.org.

VIRTUAL SPOTLIGHT PRESENTATIONS 

Colin In Black & White (Presented by Netflix)

Home Sweet Home (Presented by NBCUniversal)

Horror Noire (Presented by Shudder)

King Richard (Presented by Warner Bros.)

Power Book III: Raising Kanan (Presented by Starz)

Queen Sugar (Presented by OWN: Oprah Winfrey Network)

Sankofa (Presented by ARRAY)

The Walking Dead: World Beyond (Presented by AMC Network)

Wu-Tang: An American Saga (Presented by Hulu)

U.S. CINEMA NARRATIVE FEATURES 

7th & Union – Directed by Anthony Nardolillo (New York Premiere)

Americanish – Directed by Iman Zawahry

Bridges – Directed by Maria Corina Ramirez (New York Premiere)

The Scrapper – Directed by Bari Kang (World Premiere)

Ten-Cent Daisy – Directed by Lisbon Okafor (World Premiere)

This Is Not a War Story – Directed by Talia Lugacy (New York Premiere)

Women is Losers – Directed by Lissette Feliciano (New York Premiere)

WORLD CINEMA NARRATIVE FEATURES 

A Pencil to the Jugular (Australia/Mexico) – Directed by Matthew Victor Pastor (U.S. Premiere)

Bantu Mama (Dominican Republic) – Directed by Ivan Herrera (New York Premiere)

Holidays at All Cost (France) – Directed by Stevan Lee Mraovitch (East Coast Premiere)

Hunger (Korea) – Directed by Ye-Rim Rey Lee (U.S. Premiere)

Preman (Indonesia) – Directed by Randolph Zaini (East Coast Premiere)

Son of Monarchs (Mexico/U.S.) – Directed by Alexis Gambis (New York Premiere)

Sons of the Sea (South Africa) – Directed by John Gutierrez (East Coast Premiere)

The City of Wild Beasts (Colombia) –Directed by Henry E. Rincón (New York Premiere)

The Girl In The Yellow Jumper (Uganda) – Directed by Loukman Ali (World Premiere)

DOCUMENTARY FEATURES 

Dom Salvador and Abolition – Directed by Lilka Hara and Artur Kummer (U.S. Premiere)

Skategoat (Australia) – Directed by Van Alpert (U.S. Premiere)

Target: St. Louis Vol. 1 – Directed by Damien D. Smith (World Premiere)

The Death Of My Two Fathers – Directed by Sol Guy

The Last Election and Other Love Stories –Directed by Miguel Silveira (New York Premiere)

Vicenta (Argentina) – Directed by Dario Doria (U.S. Premiere)

We Still Here/Nos Tenemos (Puerto Rico) – Directed by Eli Jacobs-Fantauzzi (World Premiere)

YOUNG CREATORS SHOWCASE (Presented by Ally)

All The Young Dudes –  Directed by William Stead

Fufu (Canada) –  Directed by Omolola Ajao (World Premiere)

Gratuity –  Directed by Daoji Yang (World Premiere)

Necessity of Life (Indonesia) –  Directed by Kevin Rahardjo (World Premiere)

Sunday (Kenya) –  Directed by Christian Schifano

Tesoro –  Directed by Roxanna Denise Stevens Ibarra

There’s Food At Home (Canada) –  Directed by Carlos Soriano (World Premiere)

NARRATIVE SHORTS (Presented by WarnerMedia)

¡Llamame Chinita! (Mexico) – Directed by Stacy Chu (World Premiere)

Americanized – Directed by Erica Eng (New York Premiere)

An Island Drifts (Singapore) – Directed by Vivian Ip (World Premiere)

Apart, Together – Directed by Olivia Hang Zhou

Aurinko In Adagio – Directed by Elisee Junior St Preux

Be Good – Directed by Jessica Damouni (World Premiere)

Beauty Boys (France) – Directed by Florent Gouelou (New York Premiere)

But Tomorrow – Directed by Lin Que Ayoung (World Premiere)

Cherry Lemonade – Directed by Aisha Ford

Death & Deathability (A Period Piece) – Directed by Maria Victoria Ponce

Five Tiger (South Africa) – Directed by Nomawonga Khumalo (New York Premiere)

GERI AND RICK – Directed by Vincent Turturro (World Premiere)

Hector’s Woman (La mujer de Héctor) (Puerto Rico) – Directed by Ricardo J Varona

I AM (Germany) – Directed by Jerry Hoffmann

IKARUS (Trinidad) – Directed by Shaun Escayg

I’m A Vampire (Mexico) – Directed by Sofia Garza-Barba (New York Premiere)

I Like It Here (Ghana) – Directed by Amartei Armar (New York Premiere)

Lakutshon' Ilanga/When The Sun Sets (South Africa) – Directed by Phumi Morare (New York Premiere)

Lovesick In The West Bank (Palestine) – Directed by Said Zagha (World Premiere)

Omolara (Italy) – Directed by Andrew Vasquez

Purple, Green, Blue – Directed by Eugene. K (East Coast Premiere)

Stigma, Style (Singapore) – Directed by Cheryl Wong Ye Han (East Coast Premiere)

Summer Dream (Brazil) – Directed by Luan Dias (U.S. Premiere)

Swimsuit – Directed by Hasan Hadi (World Premiere)

Tasbeeh (United Kingdom) – Directed by Iqbal Mohammed (World Premiere)

THE LAST DAYS (United Kingdom) – Directed by Dipo Baruwa-Etti (New York Premiere)

The Pie Shop (United Kingdom) – Directed by Tyler Pierreson (World Premiere)

The Trucker – Directed by Raven Johnson

Wouldn’t Mean Nuthin’ – Directed by Tristan Mack Wilds (World Premiere)

X US (United Kingdom) – Directed by Akinola Davies (U.S. Premiere)

DOCUMENTARY SHORTS 

Ale Libre – Directed by Maya Cueva (New York Premiere)

Halima – Directed by Dina Valentin (World Premiere)

The Road to Justice – Directed by Kaliya Warren, Brendan Hall (New York Premiere)

Wonderfully Made – Directed by Benita Ozoude (New York Premiere)

ANIMATION SHORTS 

FOOTSTEPS ON THE WIND (Brazil/United Kingdom) – Directed by Maya Sanbar, Gustavo Leal, Faga Melo (New York Premiere)

Lines – Directed by Claire Fleming (New York Premiere)

Nuevo Rico – Directed by Kristian Mercado Figueroa

Step Into the River (China/France) – Directed by Weijia Ma (New York Premiere)

The Ballad Of Joe Pass – Directed by Jordan Hendrickson

The Black Disquisition – Directed by Quincy G. Ledbetter (New York Premiere)

EXPERIMENTAL SIDEBAR

At The Wall (Mexico) – Directed by Sandra Varona (World Premiere)

Black Love Manifesto – Directed by Liza Jessie Peterson and Jason K. Battle (World Premiere)

Don’t Go Tellin’ Your Momma – Directed by Topaz Jones and rubberband.

The Antimatter Suite – Directed by Steven E. Mallorca (World Premiere)

Why Do I Love Us So Much? (United Kingdom) – Directed by Jade Hackett (World Premiere)

Would You Kill God Too? – Directed by WJ Lofton and Natalie Lauren

ENVIRONMENT + SOCIAL IMPACT SIDEBAR

On the Fenceline: A Fight for Clean Air – Directed by Tara Eng, Kristen Harrison, Alex Klein, Alisha Tamarchenko (New York Premiere)

Once Upon A Time in Venezuela (Venezuela) – Directed by Anabel Rodríguez Ríos

YOUTH v GOV – Directed by Christi Cooper

WEB ORIGINALS SHOWCASE

Kontaxt – Directed by Andrew Bachelor (East Coast Premiere)

Last Bodega In Brooklyn – Directed by Mosiah Moonsammy and Jared Glenn (World Premiere)

Ms/Manage – Directed by Caralene Robinson and Michael "Boogievision" Pinckney (New York Premiere)

The Corps – Directed by Tijuana Ricks (East Coast Premiere)

Our Shag Pad – Directed by Aldo Pisano

MUSIC VIDEOS

Calendário (Featuring ANAVITÓRIA) (Brazil) – Directed by The Fridman Sisters (U.S. Premiere)

Tesfay (Featuring Witch Prophet) – Directed by Leah Vlemmiks

Take Your Time (Featuring Fool The Fox and Jamie Broad) (Jamaica/United Kingdom) – Directed by Rasheed Bailey

North Star (Featuring Mumu Fresh and D Smoke) – Directed by T.L Benton (East Coast Premiere)

SCREENPLAYS 

Gun Powder – Written By R Cadell Cook

Inheritance – Written By Fedna Jacquet

Tarabull – Written By Esdras Romero

The 84 – Written By Sonja Perryman