*Urbanworld is the largest internationally competitive festival dedicated to the exhibition of independent cinema by and about people of color.
The Urbanworld Film Festival (UFF) has become a favorite event for avid filmgoers nationwide to attend in New York City. UFF’s Executive Producer/Head of Programming Gabrielle Glore warmly welcomed passionate filmnistas to the festival.
“This year’s festival feels exceptionally special. We are not only grateful for the ongoing support received by partners sharing our vision, but equally gratified by the power and innovation our featured filmmakers represent,” said a radiant Glore. “We are showcasing a slate of content creators that are unsurpassed in their passion and drive. They exemplify this trifecta of filmmaking, as defined by Urbanworld.”
“BET believes Urbanworld Film Festival is an undeniable platform for emerging filmmakers, and because we pride ourselves on having our finger on the pulse of what’s important to our audience, this makes our partnership even more exciting,” effused BET Networks President of Original Programming Loretha Jones. We commend the Urbanworld Foundation Inc. for its commitment to showcasing diverse films and thank everyone who contributed to making this festival a success.”
The 17th Annual Urbanworld Film Festival 2013 took place in New York City at the AC 34th Street Theater from September 18-22 and featured 4 world premieres, 2 U.S. premieres, narrative features, documentary features, documentary shorts, narrative shorts, screenplays, teleplays, panels, parties and a festive closing night gala. This year’s selection was a diverse dichotomy of the best films on this planet.
UFF opened on Thursday, September 19, with the romantic comedy Baggage Claim at the SVA Theater in Chelsea attended by director David E. Talbert and his wife and executive producer Lyn Talbert. Cast members Paula Patton, Derek Luke, Jill Scott, Jenifer Lewis and Rickey Smiley also attended the invitational only screening and participated in a post-screening Q&A moderated by The Grio entertainment editor Chris Witherspoon. Urbanworld founder Stacy Spikes welcomed the lively SRO audience followed by remarks by executive director Gabrielle Glore. After the screening, charged-up filmgoers headed over to The Out for the after-party which featured performances by Luke James, Yummy Bingham and more.
UFF closed on Saturday, September 21, with the Codeblack/Lionsgate film The Inevitable Defeat of Mister and Pete at the AMC 34th Street Theater 9 attended by director George Tillman and actor Jeffrey Wright who participated in a Q&A immediately following the closing night screening.
In between these two UFF success stories, UFF screened some 60 films and launched “Urbanworld Underground,” “Urbanworld Abroad” highlighting international selections, “Shorts on Sunday,” encore screenings and showing a selection of the best short films around.
The five-day festival culminated with an awards reception at Tribeca Grill Loft hosted by style and beauty expert Tai Beauchamp and actor/producer Gbenga Akinnagbe. UFF was presented by BET Networks, along with founding sponsor HBO, and premiere sponsor Universal. Actor Larenz Tate served as Urbanworld’s 2013 Festival Ambassador. His current BET Premiere original movie Gun Hill was one of the audience favorites screened at UFF.
The 17th Annual Urbanworld Film Festival winners are:
Best Narrative Feature – Presented by Fox Audience Strategy – $5,000 Cash Prize
Directed by Vicky Wight
Sable Fable – Directed by Stephen Jackson
Best Documentary Feature
THE NEW BLACK
Directed by Yoruba Richen
Brother’s Hypnotic – Directed by Reuben Atlas
Best Narrative Short – Presented by HBO – $5,000 Cash Prize
Directed by Alonso Alvarez
Baghdad Messi – Directed by Sahim Omar Kalifa
Best Screenplay – Presented by BET Networks – $5,000 Cash Prize
“YEAR OF OUR LORD”
Written by Darius Clark Monroe
Best Teleplay – Presented by BET Networks – $5,000 Cash Prize
“MEL & MISSY”
Written by Allison Bonner Shillingford
Audience Award – Feature
Directed by Solvan “Slick” Naim
Audience Award – Short
“FLY ON OUT”
Directed by Robert Kolodny
*The 17th Annual Urbanworld Film Festival Jurors are:
NARRATIVE FEATURES JURORS
Dori Begley – Senior Vice President, Magnolia Pictures
Nikkole Denson-Randolph – Vice President – Specialty & Alternative Content, AMC Theatres
Zola B. Mashariki – Senior Vice President, Production, Fox Searchlight Pictures
Valerie Meraz – Vice President, Program Acquisitions, Turner Entertainment Networks
Maria Zuckerman – Vice President, HBO Films
NARRATIVE SHORTS JURORS
Andre Des Rochers – Partner, Gray Krauss Stratford Des Rochers LLP
Kelly Edwards – VP, Talent Development, HBO
Smokey D. Fontaine – Chief Content & Creative Officer, Interactive One
Niija Kuykendall – Vice President, Production Warner Bros. Pictures
Frida Torresblanco – Award Winning Producer
DOCUMENTARY FEATURES JURORS
Jacqueline Glover – Vice President, Documentary Films, HBO
Shola Lynch – Award-Winning Filmmaker
Tricia Rose – Professor of Africana Studies, Brown University
Scott Budnick – President, Green Hat Films
Franklin Leonard – Founder, The Black List
Christopher Mack – Vice President, Warner Bros. Television Workshop, Warner Bros. Entertainment
Constance Orlando – Vice President, Original Programming, BET Networks
Heather Morris Washington – Manager, Emerging Writers Fellowship Program, Universal Pictures
Roger Bobb – President & CEO, Bobbcat Films
Nkechi Okoro Carroll – Writer
Erica Montolfo-Bura – Executive Producer
The Urbanworld® Film Festival, founded in 1997 by Stacy Spikes, is the largest internationally competitive festival of its kind. The five-day festival includes narrative features, documentaries, and short films, as well as panel discussions, live staged screenplay readings, and the Urbanworld® Digital track focused on digital and social media. Over the last fifteen years, Hollywood studios, indie film distributors, and established and emerging filmmakers have consistently chosen Urbanworld® to premiere box office and award-winning hits. Urbanworld® has also provided a platform for some of today’s leading brands seeking to reach key influencers across the industry and within the consumer marketplace. The Urbanworld® Film Festival is an initiative of the Urbanworld® Foundation Inc., a nonprofit organization that endeavors to consistently manifest its mission of redefining and advancing the roles of multicultural constituents in contemporary filmed entertainment. By implementing initiatives that actively support and develop content creators of color, Urbanworld significantly contributes to the evolution of the media and entertainment landscape and the diversity that it reflects. Gabrielle Glore serves as Executive Producer & Head of Programming for the Urbanworld Film Festival. The festival website is www.urbanworld.org.
ABOUT BET NETWORKS
BET Networks, a subsidiary of Viacom Inc. (NYSE: VIA, VIA.B), is the nation’s leading provider of quality entertainment, music, news and public affairs television programming for the African-American audience. The primary BET channel reaches more than 90 million households and can be seen in the United States, Canada, the Caribbean, the United Kingdom and sub-Saharan Africa. BET is the dominant African-American consumer brand with a diverse group of business extensions: BET.com, a leading Internet destination for Black entertainment, music, culture, and news; CENTRIC, a 24-hour entertainment network targeting the 25- to 54-year-old African-American audience; BET Digital Networks – BET Gospel and BET Hip Hop, attractive alternatives for cutting-edge entertainment tastes; BET Home Entertainment, a collection of BET-branded offerings for the home environment including DVDs and video-on-demand; BET Event Productions, a full-scale event management and production company with festivals and live events spanning the globe; BET Mobile, which provides ringtones, games and video content for wireless devices; and BET International, which operates BET in the United Kingdom and oversees the extension of BET network programming for global distribution.
New York based award-winning journalist Audrey J. Bernard covers entertainment, fashion & beauty, film, lifestyles and travel for the Electronic Urban Report and other outlets. Contact her via: [email protected]