Over 22 years, Urbanworld has showcased and premiered some of the most anticipated work from urban filmmakers bringing to light stories about minority communities which would otherwise go unseen.
This year the festival will premiere Universal Pictures Will Packer produced comedy ‘Night School’ which stars Kevin Hart and Tiffany Haddish and is directed by Malcolm D. Lee on it’s opening night September 19th. The film also stars: Rob Riggle, Taran Killam and Romany Malco, in which the cast play a group of adults who are forced to take night school class to get their GED. The festival will be presented by founding partner HBO and AT&T’s The Humanity of Connection, along with key supporters including BET as prestige partner and NBCUniversal as premiere partner. AMC Independent, ARRAY, MPAA, Directors Guild of America, Producers Guild of America and Writers Guild of America East will collectively serve as industry partners.
Throughout the four day long festival a total of 69 official selections and 7 spotlight selections will be screened for audiences, in which two of the spotlight selections are the documentary The Sentence which is Rudy Valdez film-making debut as well as the documentary United Skates a collaboration between Dyana Winkler and Tina Brown, which explores what happens when America’s last standing roller rinks are threatened with closure and a community of thousands battle in a racially charged environment to save an underground subculture.
“As we continue to evolve our programming slate to reflect the broadest lens of inclusion across stories, characters, themes and cultures, we are thrilled to collaborate with our presenting partner AT&T and founding partner HBO to showcase a collection of films, web originals, screenplays and music videos that represent distinct voices from around the world,” said Gabrielle Glore, Festival Director & Head of Programming, Urbanworld Film Festival. “Each year, we welcome content creators, studios, networks and film enthusiasts into our festival family to experience the magical energy that is Urbanworld.”
After his recent box office success with Uncle Drew, Lil Rel Howery will make his way to television in the upcoming Fox semi autobiographical sitcom Rel, which will close out this year’s festival with a screening of the premiere episode as well as a post screening Q&A with Howery about the show. The premise of the show follows Rel as he deals with the aftermath of finding out about an affair his wife had with his barber.
The festival will take place from September 19th though September 23rd. Passes for the festival are on sale now and tickets for official selections and spotlights will be available in September on urbanworld.org.