The 16th Urbanworld Film Festival is underway; in fact, the festival actually wraps up today; so if you’re in NYC, you’ve got today to catch as many film screenings as you can, especially if you haven’t seen many of these films.
Today’s closing lineup includes both shorts and features, docs and fiction, and span genres and themes.
The highlight of course is the closing night film – Ava DuVernay’s Middle Of Nowhere, its New York premiere. A packed house is expected for that one, as the filmmaker and star of the film – Emayatzy Corinealdi – are expected to be present.
Other highlights include: on the documentary side, Byron Hurt’s exploration of the dark side of the food industry and the growing food justice movement that has been born in its wake – Soul Food Junkies; From Fatherless To Fatherhood directed by Kobie Brown, which explores the causes, effects and possible solutions on the absence of fathers in households; a portrait of slain Chicago basketall phenom Ben Wilson, Benji, directed by Chike and Coodie; Terence Nance’s Triptych – a profound documentary series profiling some of the most outspoken visual artists of our time – Sanford Biggers, Wangechi Mutu and Barron Claiborne; Caskey Ebeling’s Getting Up: The TEMPT ONE Story, on the life of artist Tony ‘TEMPT‘ Quan, a legendary LA graffiti artist, social activist and publisher; and finally BMF: The Rise and Fall of a Hip-Hop Drug Empire, directed by D. Sikorski, based on the true story of the Black Mafia Family drug empire that’s said to have initiated one of the most expansive DEA investigations in USA history.
On the fiction side, there’s Matthew Cherry’s The Last Fall, which delivers an earnest look at life after professional football; Mariette Monpierre’s Elza, a touching tale on racial prejudice in the Caribbean, as a daughter searches for the father she never met; Joshua Sanchez’s indie drama Four, an adaptation on an off-Broadway play by Christopher Shinn, which centers on the relationships between a 16-year-old white boy, and a closeted, married black man he met on the Internet, and the black man’s 16-year-old daughter and a white 20-year-old low-level drug dealer; Delila Vallot’s e gritty suspense thriller Tunnel Vision, which tells the tale of a jury that fails to convict the serial killer who savagely murdered a man’s family, and the man’s journey to rise above his desire for revenge and descend into the deranged world of a sadistic predator, in order to uncover the truth and finally get justice.
There are also 3 short film programs today, with a variety of works from the likes of Salli Richardson-Whitfield and Hill Harper, as well as new short films by filmmakers whose past work we’ve highlighted, like Tina Mabry and Tahir Jetter, and some shorts we’ve previewed but haven’t officially premiered yet, like The Bluest Note, and The Last / First Kiss.
Each short film block is about 2 hours, so you’ll be getting your feature-film money’s worth.
There’ll also be a few repeat screenings of films that have already screened, so check out the full schedule for today HERE and see all that’s available today.