The 18th annual festival – presented by BET and sponsored by HBO – will run from September 17-21, with a full lineup announcement forthcoming.
Below is a full-length trailer for the upcoming festival’s opening night feature, which tells the story of Noni Jean, a hot new artist who has just won a Grammy and is primed for stardom. But the pressures of success compel her to nearly end her life until she is saved by a young police officer. They fall hard for each other, despite the protests of their parents who want each to focus on their own career ambitions. But he might be the missing piece to unlock her artistic potential.
Bythewood’s “Beyond the Lights” stars Gugu Mbatha-Raw and Nate Parker.
Danny Glover and Minnie Driver co-star.
Stephanie Allain is producer, along with Reggie Rock Bythewood. Relativity president Tucker Tooley is exec producer, with Matt Alvarez.
“Beyond the Lights” will be released theatrically by Relativity, with an official release date now set for November 14, 2014. After that, it’ll have an exclusive television premiere in the U.S. and South Africa on BET.
This will be Bythewood’s first feature film directorial effort since 2008’s “The Secret Life of Bees.
We’ll, of course, have Urbanworld’s full 2014 lineup as soon as it’s announced. Although I can tell you with certainty that, a project we first featured on this site 2 years ago, and has now been completed, will also be screening at the festival, making its world premiere. The film is Nefertite Nguvu’s “In The Morning,” an ensemble drama-cum-mood piece that examines the complexities of love from the perspectives of 3 women in the midst of some hard-won self-transformation, which stars Emayatzy Corinealdi, Kim Hill, JoNell Kennedy, De’adre Aziza, Numa Perrier, Jacky Ido, Hoji Fortuna and newcomers C.J. Lindsey as Leal, and Alzo Slade as Fez, both making their film debuts.
Stay tuned for more…
In the meantime, below is the trailer for Gina Prince-Bythewood’s “Beyond the Lights.”