The 2018 Urbanworld Film Festival in New York City begins September 19th – 23rd. Founded by Stacy Spikes, co-founder of MoviePass and a former executive at Miramax and October Films — the festival has an estimated attendance reaching over 15,000. The five-day festival presents narrative features, documentaries, short films, spotlight screenings and live staged screenplay readings; the Urbanworld Digital track focuses on digital panels and workshops, and the Urbanworld Music franchise highlights emerging talent in live performances during festival events. For over two decades, Hollywood studios and indie film distributors, as well as established and emerging filmmakers, have consistently chosen Urbanworld to premiere box office and award-winning hits.
BGN will be there to preview some of the upcoming films and emerging talent coming out of the festival. Follow our coverage under the Urbanworld18 tag for all of the highlights from the biggest and brightest stars in entertainment.
Here is a small list of 9 films coming to Urbanworld that is on our must-see list:
Mike Anderson is a senior at the quintessential New-England liberal arts school, Frost College. And Mike is eight weeks away from graduation. On this particular day he has his African-American Literature class with his favorite professor. But today, Mike is feeling sadness. He’s feeling isolated. He’s feeling Angry.
Keith Stone: Mike
Daphne Danielle: Carla
Ramon Nunez: Eddie
Dahiana Castro: Michelle
Danicah Waldo: Rachel
William W Wallace: Kyle
Director – Menelek Lumumba
Writer – Menelek Lumumba
40 and Single is an invitation into the tumultuous life of Ebaner Temple—a bi-racial, bi-sexual, single, bridal fashion designer. We witness her maneuver life in the African city of Accra, Ghana, where race and colorism have significant colonial roots and neo-colonial implications. Ebaner’s life and the lives of her clients intertwine as they explore the new age of the African woman, her independence and her challenges in a patriarchal society.
MARIE HUMBERT DROZ
DIRECTED BY LEILA DJANSI
When Sydney James, a recovering foodie and architect on a serious deadline, comes home to find that her carefree husband, Jason, a VR creator and miniature artist, is having an impromptu guys’ night of drinking and BBQing, she winds up escaping to a hotel to work in silence, pissed that her husband has once again left her out of the loop. When Jason leaves the party to come find her, they wind up getting into a huge fight that unpacks the myriad of problems plaguing their marriage, which have resulted in resentment, stress, weight gain and many sexless months.
DIRECTOR – Janine Sherman Barrois
Star Kevin Hart and producer Will Packer, who partnered for the hit Ride Along and Think Like a Man series, bring their signature style to Night School. The comedy from director Malcolm D. Lee (Girls Trip) follows a group of misfits who are forced to attend adult classes in the longshot chance they’ll pass the GED exam. Co-stars Tiffany Haddish, Rob Riggle, Taran Killam and Romany Malco join Hart on-screen for the film that Hart produces for his Hartbeat Productions, and Packer via his Will Packer Productions.
CAST & CREDITS
Director: Malcolm D. Lee
Writers: Kevin Hart, Harry Ratchford, Joey Wells, Matt Kellard, Nicholas Stoller and John Hamburg
For years, Ollie (Tessa Thompson) has helped the struggling residents of Little Woods, North Dakota, gain access to Canadian healthcare: smuggling in their medications, sneaking people across the border for procedures and profiting from drug trafficking on the side. After she’s caught and put on probation, she plans to go legitimate but is driven back into the underbelly of their oil boomtown by her sister, Deb (Lily James).
Directed by Nia DaCosta
A man and a woman meet on a hot day in the park in the city of Atlanta. Sunny is a Pakistani-American wannabe rapper. Rebecca is an African-American political activist. He lends her a hand escaping a pissed-off security guard, and the two quickly find themselves caught up in a furious debate over the intersection of art and identity. Do you owe anybody your music? Your time? Your love?
CAST & CREDITS
Kiah Alexandria Clingman
Director/Editor/Producer/Executive Producer Venk Potula
A female Pimp named Wednesday(Keke Palmer) hits the streets hard entering a male dominant territory, but with money on her mind and a strong hand of growing her stable she pulls a top girl who forces her to choose between love or money.
CAST & CREDITS
Mike E. Winfield
Executive Producer – Lee Daniels
An American teenage girl visits her family in Jamaica and uncovers a secret that changes the way she sees the people she loves. This film explores the culture of silence amongst women, the kinds of secrets we keep and who they’re actually protecting.
CAST & CREDITS
Jhada Ann Walker
Director : Sontenish Myers
Writer: Sontenish Myers
Newly widowed Brenda Harper and her family are taken hostage over something from her late husband’s past.
CAST & CREDITS
Sydney Elise Johnson
Director: Christopher B. Stokes
Writers: Chris Stokes, Marques Houston, Chaz Echols
Films screening at Urbanworld we have reviewed!
The Urbanworld Film Festival is an initiative of the Urbanworld Foundation Inc. Gabrielle Glore serves as Festival Director & Head of Programming. The organization’s website is www.urbanworld.org
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Jamie Broadnax is the creator of the online community for Black women called Black Girl Nerds. Jamie has appeared on MSNBC's The Melissa Harris-Perry Show and The Grio's Top 100. Her Twitter personality has been recognized by Shonda Rhimes as one of her favorites to follow. She's the primary film critic for BGN and is a member of the Broadcast Film Critic Association