*Sunday (09-19-10) witnessed the closing of the Urbanworld Film Festival in New York City and EURweb.com was happy to be on the scene with a lean, dressed so fresh like Listerine.
This year’s offerings may well have been some of the very best that we can remember. The narratives, the shorts, the cinema-induced emotional highs and lows were almost more than this writer could put into words, the key word in this circumstance being almost.
The 14th Annual Urbanworld Film Festival, presented by BET Networks, recently announced the winners of the narrative feature, documentary feature, narrative short, documentary short, screenplay, teleplay and audience award categories. The five-day festival was held September 15-19. Urbanworld, which screened 71 films this year, is the largest internationally competitive festival dedicated to the exhibition of independent cinema by and about people of color.
This year’s winner for Best Narrative Feature was “Mooz-Lum,” written and directed by Qasim Bashir, produced by Dana Offenbach and Samad Davis. It is the riveting story of a young man who has a serious decision to make. It’s appropriate for these days and times and is also timeless, the earmark of a masterpiece.
“Bouncing Cats” took home Best Documentary Feature. Directed by Nabil Elderkin, Isaac Hagy: Produced by Nyla Hassell, George Mays, Claude Merkel and Charles Spano, it tells the tale of famed breaker Crazy Legs and associates as they travel to Uganda to witness how they’re using Hip-Hop in the motherland to uplift themselves. It’s truly inspiring. Young brothers and sisters from opposing tribes that were at war not long ago are now battling with breaking, rhymes and grafting. Word!
Best Narrative Short went to “Katrina’s Son” written and directed by Ya’Ke and Ralph Lopez. It’s the story of a young man who loses his grandmother during Hurricane Katrina and travels to Houston in search of his birth mother who abandoned him years before. Touching and real raw! Best Documentary Short went to “One of these Mornings,” directed and produced by Valery Lyman. Best Screenplay went to “Gracey” and Best Teleplay went to Tracy Oliver’s “Love and Politics.” The Audience Award went to “Finding God in the City of Angels.”
Audience Award Honorable Mention went to “I Will Follow,” written, directed and produced by Ava DuVernary. It’s based on a true story and tells a story of loss, recovery and closure. It’s beautifully written, wonderfully shot and stars Salli Richardson-Whitfield. A woman that’s so fine she’s almost painful to look at. Sort of like the “Lost Ark” in the Indiana Jones movie baring that name.
It also stars Michole White, Omari Hardwick and the legendary Beverly Todd. It’s all that. We got our hands on so many great interviews of stars, directors and industry up and comers we’ll be writing about them for weeks. As for today we would simply like to give props to the Urbanword Film Festival. They have been doing an outstanding job of showing films relevant to urban dwellers across the world for 14 years and counting. I think its official. We can call it an institution now.