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The Urbanworld Film Festival today revealed its 2017 film slate of 80 official selections. The festival will take place in Manhattan September 20 to 24, 2017 at AMC Empire 25 on 234 West 42nd Street.

Film highlights include the thought-provoking HBO documentary “Baltimore Rising”, directed by “The Wire” actor Sonja Sohn, which will be showcased on Friday, September 22. The filmmaker follows activists, police officers, community leaders and gang affiliates who struggle to hold Baltimore together, in the wake of Freddie Gray’s death, even as the homicide rate hits record levels, and explores how to make change when change is hard.

The U.S. premiere of Marshall will close the festival on Saturday, September 23. Long before he sat on the United States Supreme Court or claimed victory in Brown v. Board of Education, Thurgood Marshall (Chadwick Boseman) was a young rabble-rousing attorney for the NAACP. The film marks the true story of his greatest challenge in those early days – a fight he fought alongside attorney Sam Friedman (Josh Gad), a young lawyer with no experience in criminal law: the case of black chauffeur Joseph Spell (Sterling K. Brown), accused by his white employer, Eleanor Strubing of sexual assault and attempted murder. Award-winning journalist Tamron Hall will moderate a Q&A with Boseman, Brown, Gad and Academy Award® nominated director Reginald Hudlin immediately following the screening of the film.

Reginald Hudlin will also serve as the ambassador for the 2017 Urbanworld Film Festival. The acclaimed director and producer is a pioneer of the modern black film movement, helming some of the most influential films and TV series of his generation including House Party, Boomerang and “Black Panther.” Most notably, he was nominated for a Best Picture Oscar® as one of the producers of Quentin Tarantino’s Academy Award® and Golden Globe® -winning film Django Unchained, one of the top-grossing Westerns of all time.



Marshall – Directed by Reginald Hudlin – Presented by Open Road Films (U.S. Premiere)
Baltimore Rising – Directed by Sonja Sohn – Presented by HBO (U.S. Premiere)
Tales: Trap Queen – Directed by Benny Boom – Presented by BET Networks (World Premiere)
Queen Sugar – Directed by Julie Dash – Presented by OWN: Oprah Winfrey Network (New York Premiere)
Released – Presented by OWN: Oprah Winfrey Network (New York Premiere)
Double Play – Directed by Ernest Dickerson (U.S. Premiere)
Blackout (Alumni Spotlight – 10th Anniversary) – Directed by Jerry LaMothe


Curiosities of the Quiet Boy – Directed by Quran Squire (New York Premiere)
Laced – Directed by David Fortune (World Premiere)
Night – Directed by Joosje Duk (New York Premiere)
Role Model – Directed by TJ Noel-Sullivan (New York Premiere)
Sad Mobius – Directed by Kiho Song (World Premiere)
Khiluana (Toy) – Directed by Rajat Agrawal (World Premiere)


Alaska Is A Drag – Directed by Shaz Bennett (East Coast Premiere)
Bruce!!! – Directed by Eden Marryshow (New York Premiere)
Covers – Directed by Malcolm M. Mays (World Premiere)
Quest – Directed by Santiago Rizzo (U.S. Premiere)
Shine – Directed by Anthony Nardolillo (World Premiere)
The Price – Directed by Anthony Onah – Presented by Samuel Goldwyn (East Coast Premiere)
Varsity Punks – Directed by Anthony Solorzano (East Coast Premiere)


Brown Girl Begins (Canada) – Directed by Sharon Lewis (World Premiere)
Cargo (Bahamas) – Directed by Kareem J. Mortimer (New York Premiere)
Catching Feelings (South Africa) – Directed by Kagiso Lediga (East Coast Premiere)
Moko Jumbie (Trinidad & Tobago) – Directed by Vashti Anderson (East Coast Premiere)
Stay (Japan) – Directed by Darryl Wharton-Rigby (World Premiere)
Tourments D’Amour (France) – Directed by Caroline Jules (New York Premiere)


Behind the Curtain: Eclipsed – Directed by Collins J. Harris IV – Presented by BET International (New York Premiere)
Coach Jake – Directed by Ian Phillips (World Premiere)
Geek Girls – Directed by Gina Hara – Presented by Women Make Movies (U.S. Premiere)
Milwaukee 53206 – Directed by Keith McQuirter
Speaking Tongues / Somos Lengua – Directed by Kyzza Terrazas (East Coast Premiere)
Teach Us All – Directed by Sonia Lowman – Presented by ARRAY (East Coast Premiere)
Word Is Bond – Directed by Sacha Jenkins – Presented by Saboteur (World Premiere)


Ablution – Directed by Omar Al Dakheel (World Premiere)
AKASHI (あかし) – Directed by Mayumi Yoshida
Atone – Directed by Damon L. Smith (East Coast Premiere)
Big City – Directed by Jordan Bond and Lachlan Ryan
Hijo por Hijo (Child For Child) – Directed by Juan Avella (New York Premiere)
Cocoon – Directed by Mei Liying
Covered – Directed by Desha Dauchan (New York Premiere)
Dayton Jones – Directed by Nelson George (World Premiere)
Emergency – Directed by Carey Williams
Flip the Record – Directed by Marie Jamora
Fractured – Directed by Arnold Chun (East Coast Premiere)
French – Directed by Josza Anjembe
Just Go – Directed by Pavels Gumennikovs (New York Premiere)
Last Looks – Directed by Cierra Glaude (World Premiere)
Lunch Time – Directed by Alireza Ghasemi (New York Premiere)
Oscar Micheaux – Directed by JD Walker (U.S. Premiere)
Out Again – Directed by Robin Cloud
Search Party – Directed by Tesia Walker
Shadow of Man – Directed by Kristof Sagna (U.S. Premiere)
Silence Radio – Directed by Kartik Singh (U.S. Premiere)
So Far From God – Directed by Bret Polish (World Premiere)
Something More Banal – Directed by Shalini Adnani
Suitable – Directed by Thembi Banks (U.S. Premiere)
The Tale of Four – Directed by Gabourey Sidibe (New York Premiere)
Teachers – Directed by Mark Columbus (World Premiere)
The Bill – Directed by Caralene Robinson (New York Premiere)
The Jump Off – Directed by Jovan James (World Premiere)
The Middlegame – Directed by Kristen Hester (World Premiere)
The Paris Project – Directed by Tamara P. Carter (World Premiere)
Vernon Walks – Directed by Santiago A. Zannou (U.S. Premiere)


Waiting for Hassana – Directed by Ifunanya Maduka
Alone – Directed by Garrett Bradley


Victor & Isolina – Directed by William D. Caballero
Sophia – Directed by Zsofia Opra-Szabo
Mosquito: Bite of Passage – Directed by Brian Vincent Rhodes and Eric Cheng


Docket 32357 – Directed by Randy Wilkins (East Coast Premiere)
High And Mighty – Directed by Carlos Lopez Estrada (East Coast Premiere)
I Love Bekka and Lucy – Directed by Rachael Holder (East Coast Premiere)
Independent – Created by We Are Famous (East Coast Premiere)


Beautiful Soul (Featuring Elán Varner) – Directed by Jac Benson II (World Premiere)
Know Your Worth (Featuring Halima Akinlade) – Directed by Emily Gurland
Can I Exist (Featuring Missio) – Directed by Jeff Ray
Sunday Saxon (Featuring Old Man Saxon) – Directed by Anthony Yano Hays


Amber’s Alert – Written by Thada Catalon
Eliza – Written by Kym Mosley
Pale Horse – Written by Chris Courtney Martin
Muted – Written by Brandi Nicole Payne

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