Harriet directed by Kasi Lemmons
Harriet directed by Kasi Lemmons

The 23rd Annual Urbanworld Film Festival will present a slate of 78 official selections and 7 spotlight selections in Manhattan, September 18 to 22, 2019 at AMC Empire 25 on 234 West 42nd Street.

Focus Features’ Harriet will open the festival on Wednesday, September 18, 2019 at 7:30 P.M. Tony-winning Broadway actor Cynthia Erivo stars in Kasi Lemmons‘ inspiring biopic about renowned abolitionist Harriet Tubman, who escaped slavery and risked her life to lead others to freedom through the network of safehouses known as the Underground Railroad. 

Helmed by Academy and Emmy Award winning director Roger Ross Williams, HBO’s “The Apollo”chronicles the unique history and contemporary legacy of the New York City landmark, the Apollo Theater and will make its Urbanworld debut on Thursday, September 19, 2019 at 8:00 P.M. The documentary weaves together archival footage, music, comedy and dance performances and behind-the-scenes verité with the team that makes the theater run. 

Just Mercy is the powerful true story of Harvard-educated lawyer Bryan Stevenson (Michael B. Jordan) as he goes to Alabama to defend the disenfranchised and wrongly condemned – including Walter McMillian (Jamie Foxx), a man sentenced to death despite evidence proving his innocence. Bryan fights tirelessly for Walter with the system stacked against them. From director Destin Daniel Cretton and based on the book by Stevenson, the Warner Bros. film will screen on Friday, September 20, 2019 at 8:00 P.M. 

Black and Blue will close the festival on Saturday, September 21, 2019 at 8:00 P.M. The fast-paced action thriller from Screen Gems follows a rookie cop (Academy Award nominee Naomie Harris) who inadvertently captures the murder of a young drug dealer on her body cam. After realizing that the murder was committed by corrupt cops, she teams up with the one person from her community who is willing to help her (Tyrese Gibson) as she tries to escape both the criminals out for revenge and the police who are desperate to destroy the incriminating footage. 

URBANWORLD 2019 FILM SLATE

SPOTLIGHT PRESENTATIONS

All Rise – Directed by Anthony Mandler (Presented by Entertainment Studios Motion Pictures)
Black and Blue – Directed by Deon Taylor (Presented by Screen Gems)
First Wives Club – Executive Produced by Tracy Oliver (Presented by BET+)
Harriet – Directed by Kasi Lemmons (Presented by Focus Features)
Just Mercy – Directed by Destin Daniel Cretton (Presented by Warner Bros.)
mixed-ish – Created by Kenya Barris and Peter Saji (ABC Studios)
The Apollo – Directed by Roger Ross Williams (Presented by HBO)

U.S. NARRATIVE FEATURES

#Truth – Directed by Charles Murray (New York Premiere)
Boy Genius – Directed by Bridget Stokes (New York Premiere)
DC Noir – Directed by George Pelecanos, Gbenga Akinnagbe, Nick Pelecanos, and Stephen Kinigopoulos
“If Not Now, When?” – Directed by Meaghan Good and Tamara Bass
Release – Directed by Adel L. Morales (World Premiere)
Same Difference – Directed by Derege Harding (East Coast Premiere)
Vandal – Directed by Jose Daniel Freixas (New York Premiere)
Yellow Rose – Directed by Diane Paragas

WORLD CINEMA NARRATIVE FEATURES

By The Name of Tania (Peru) – Directed by Bénédicte Liénard and Mary Jiménez (East Coast Premiere)
Desrances (Burkina Faso) – Directed by Apolline Traoré (U.S. Premiere)
The Ghost And The House of Truth (Nigeria) – Directed by Akin Omotoso (World Premiere)
Honey Bee (Canada) – Directed by Rama Rau (U.S. Premiere)

DOCUMENTARY FEATURES

Bakosó: AfroBeats of Cuba (Cuba) – Directed by Eli Jacobs-Fantauzzi (New York Premiere)
Skin (Nigeria) – Directed by Daniel Etim Effiong (New York Premiere)
The Remix: Hip Hop x Fashion (U.S.) – Directed by Lisa Cortés and Farah X

LATE NIGHT SHOWCASE

The Birth of Deceit – Directed by Yaw Agyapong (New York Premiere)

YOUNG CREATORS SHOWCASE

Ladies Day – Directed by Abena Taylor-Smith (New York Premiere)
My Daughter Yoshiko – Directed by Brian Blum (New York Premiere)
Street Flame – Directed by Katherine Propper
The Truck – Directed by India McKinney (World Premiere)
Tree #3 – Directed by Omer Ben-Shachar (New York Premiere)

NARRATIVE SHORTS

{Black title here} – Directed by Sev DeMy (East Coast Premiere)
An Anomalous Love – Directed by Reggie Williams (New York Premiere)
Angel’s Mirror – Directed by Cheng Chao (New York Premiere)
Anna – Directed by Dekel Berenson (New York Premiere)
A Rodeo Film – Directed by Darius Dawson (New York Premiere)
Be A Fish – Directed by Aisha Ford (New York Premiere)
Brooklyn Park – Directed by Nikola Duravcevic (East Coast/New York Premiere)
Cap – Directed by Marshall Tyler (New York Premiere)
Dunya’s Day – Directed by Raed Alsemari
Empty – Directed by Cameron Morton
Feathers – Directed by A.V. Rockwell
Final Gift – Directed by T. J. Kalunga Jones (World Premiere)
Finding Phoebe – Directed by Sadé Clacken Joseph (New York Premiere)
Illegal Rose – Directed by Deborah Riley Draper (East Coast Premiere)
Jazz in Wakanda – Directed by Djaka Souare
Kapara – Directed by Steve Hudson (U.S. Premiere)
María – Directed by Zoé Salicrup Junco (U.S. Premiere)
Message Erased – Directed by Alain Alfaro (New York Premiere)
Moving On – A Short Film About Grief – Directed by Nyasha Hatendi (New York Premiere)
Mr. Parker – Directed by Alex Ashe
Our Home Here – Directed by Angela Chen
Pick – Directed by Alicia K. Harris (World Premiere)
Retreat – Directed by Audrey Ellis Fox (East Coast Premiere)
Ruda – Directed by Maria Victoria Ponce (East Coast/New York Premiere)
Seven Mothers – Directed by Director X
Skin – Directed by Guy Nattiv (New York Premiere)
Something to Live For – Directed by Adva Reichman (New York Premiere)
‘Til Death – Directed by Asha Flowers
The Night, Unsheltered – Directed by Iñaki Velásquez (U.S. Premiere)
Wednesday – Directed by Daniel Willis (New York Premiere)
What Bitch? – Directed by Julian Acosta (East Coast Premiere)
Wonder – Directed by Javier Molina (New York Premiere)

DOCUMENTARY SHORTS

A Great Day In Hip Hop Revisited – Directed by Nelson George (World Premiere)
Black Girl Church – Directed by Marissa Pina, Audrey Williams, Joe Schaefer (New York Premiere)
Bradford Young: Cinema Is The Weapon – Directed by Corine Dhondee (New York Premiere)
Werk! Behind the Ball – Directed by Fred Brown, Jr. (U.S. Premiere)

ANIMATION SHORTS

Mice, A Small Story – Directed by Jade Baillargeault, Nazli Doale, Dimitri James, Quang Daniel La, Morgane Lau, Mélanie Pango, and Manon Pringault (New York Premiere)
Prizefighter – Directed by Lyndon J Barrois
Substance – Directed by Jamaal Bradley
The 49th Day – Directed by Nathan Hong Fisher (World Premiere)
Unalienable Rights – Directed by Froi Cuesta

WEB ORIGINALS

Brothers from the Suburbs – Directed by Patrick Wimp (East Coast Premiere)
Cheer Up, Charlie – Directed by Carmen LoBue
Frederick Douglass Boulevard aka Food & Drink Boulevard aka F.D.B. – Directed by Washington Kirk (World Premiere)
King Ester – Directed by Dui Jarrod (New York Premiere)
Sauce – Directed by Dui Jarrod (New York Premiere)
Soul City: Grace – Directed by Coodie & Chike (World Premiere)
Surina & Mel. – Directed by Abi Vargese (World Premiere)
The Right Swipe – Directed by Justin Casselle (East Coast/New York Premiere)

MUSIC VIDEOS

BGM (Featuring Temi Oni) – Directed by Sontenish Myers and Temi Oni
Convencete (Featuring Princesa Alba) – Directed by Marialy Rivas (World Premiere)
Outside (Featuring Daniel Laurent) – Directed by Jeff Palmer (New York Premiere)
Soif (Thirst) (Featuring Ibeyi) – Directed by Mimi Lee (World Premiere)
Who Are We Now (Featuring Synacure with Abiodun Oyewole and Baba Donn Babatunde Of The Last Poets.) – Directed by vagabond (World Premiere)

SCREENPLAYS

I’m Not That Girl – Written By Sundi Lofty
Midnight In Kansas – Written By Malik Aziz
Secret Santa – Written By Pauline Gray

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