Universal Pictures teamed up with The Urbanworld Film Festival to open this year’s film festival with a premiere screening of ‘Night School’.
Held at New York City’s SVA Theater on Wednesday (September 19th) the film’s main cast members Kevin Hart and recent Emmy Award winner Tiffany Haddish were in attendance along with their co-star Bronx born rapper Fat Joe and director Malcolm D. Lee and co-producer Will Packer. Packer produced the film along with Kevin Hart as part of Kevin’s Hartbeat Productions. Other guests included rapper Casanova, and Instagram sensation Shiggy, best known for his catchy dance to Drake’s “In My Feelings,” which went viral.
Packer told The Knockturnal at the premiere about the film’s relevance to now saying,”I think number one people are looking for escapism. People are looking for something to get away from the daily news grind, some of which is depressing. But on the other hand it is something that talks about some important themes. Talks about second chances, it talks about overcoming learning disabilities and it also talks about being who you are unashamedly, and I think that’s an important message today.”
‘Night School’ follows the life of Teddy Walker (played by Kevin Hart), a high school dropout who enrolls in night school class taught by Carrie (Tiffany Haddish) in order to get his GED. Hart and Haddish are joined by fellow comedic actors Rob Riggle, Mary Lynn Rajskub, Romany Malco and Anne Winters who star as Teddy’s classmates.
Prior to ‘Night School’ director Malcolm D. Lee worked with Haddish on her breakout film “Girls Trip’. Lee spoke to The Knockturnal about how Haddish has evolved as an actress between the two films, “Well you know from Girls Trip to this movie she’s had a big leap because in Girl’s Trip not that it was an easy feat, but she had to be our comedic fastball. She was in there with veteran talent who were setting up plot and character. She had to just be like boom boom and deliver the funny and she’s excellent at that. Now she has grown as an actress to play a role where she has to deliver plot and drive scenes and things like that. So I’m very proud of her. She’s grown and she’s gonna keep growing!”
Following the screening, which was introduced by Haddish, Hart, Fat Joe, Malcolm D Lee and Will Packer, Packer and Lee stayed for a Q&A moderated by journalist Elaine Welteroth.
‘Night School’ will open in movie theaters nationwide on Friday, September 28th. The Urbanworld Film Festival will run through September 23rd 2018, and will include screenings of the upcoming films ‘The Hate U Give’ and ‘Widows’.