David Oyelowo’s "The Water Man"
David Oyelowo’s “The Water Man”

David Oyelowo’s feature directorial debut, The Water Man, will open the 24th Annual Urbanworld Film Festival on Wednesday, September 23, 2020. Oyelowo also stars in the fantasy-adventure film that follows a boy who sets out on a quest to save his ill mother by searching for a mythic figure said to have magical healing powers.

Come Away will close the virtual festival on Sunday, September 27, 2020. The film imagines a world before Peter became Pan and Alice visited Wonderland, and stars David Oyelowo and Angelina Jolie. The screening will be followed by a conversation, moderated by Urbanworld Film Festival Founder Stacy Spikes, with Oyelowo and Alice herself, actress Kiera Chansa.

The 2020 festival will feature over 100 official selections panels and conversations, all be seen online at urbanworld.org from Wednesday, September 23 through Sunday, September 27, 2020.

“In an unimaginable year of change, we remain inspired by the creativity, culture and community that prevail in this brave new virtual world. Powerful storytelling is now more important than ever and Urbanworld is proud to be a consistent platform that brings Black, Indigenous and people of color storytellers and audiences together from across the globe,” said Gabrielle Glore, Festival Director & Head of Programming, Urbanworld Film Festival.

Some of the spotlights and conversations of the festival include:

On Thursday, September 24, 2020, there will be a conversation around HBO’s Siempre, Luis, a portrait of the pioneering activist Luis A. Miranda Jr. Miranda is a decades-long fighter for Latino communities, a key player in the New York and national political arena and a loving father of three – including the award-winning composer, lyricist and actor, Lin-Manuel Miranda. The discussion will include clips from the film and panelists, director John James and Miranda. It will be moderated by journalist Julio Ricardo Varela.

Desperate for a breakthrough as she nears the big 4-0, struggling New York City playwright Radha finds inspiration by reinventing herself as a rapper in Netflix’s The Forty-Year-Old Version, the directorial debut of actor/writer/director/producer Radha Blank. The filmmaker will discuss the film onSaturday, September 26, 2020 in a conversation led by writer/director Robert Townsend.

A screening and conversation about HBO Max’s Charm City Kings will debut on Saturday, September 26, 2020 at 7:30 P.Mas director Angel Manuel Soto, producer Caleeb Pinkett and stars Jahi Di’Allo Winston and Will Catlett unpack the heart and soul of the film. Inspired by the critically acclaimed 2013 documentary 12 O’Clock Boys, this narrative adaptation shares a coming of age story, wrapped around Baltimore’s infamous dirt bike community and brings a revered city tradition to audiences, punctuating similarity to marginalized cities around the country.

In 1997, Urbanworld’s inaugural year, writer/director/producer David E. Talbert won Best Dramatic Feature for his film A Woman Like That. In 2013, he returned to open the festival with Baggage Claim. On Sunday, September 27, 2020 at 1:00 P.M. Talbert and his wife/producing partner, Lyn Sisson-Talbert, share their journey in the industry with a look ahead to the transcendent content they have on the horizon, including the upcoming Jingle Jangle: A Christmas Journey, Netflix’s first original live-action musical. Tre’vell Anderson will moderate and celebrate the legacy of this Urbanworld alumni.

URBANWORLD 2020 FILM SLATE

OPENING NIGHT

The Water Man – Directed by David Oyelowo (Presented by Harpo Films & ShivHans Pictures)

CLOSING DAY

Come Away – Directed by Brenda Chapman

SPOTLIGHT PRESENTATIONS

Bad Hair – Directed by Justin Simien (Presented by Hulu)

Candyman – Directed by Nia DaCosta (Presented by Universal Pictures)

Charm City Kings – Directed by Angel Manuel Soto (Presented by HBO Max)

Gangs of London, Soul Mates & Walking Dead: World Beyond (Presented by AMC Networks)

Noughts & Crosses – Directed by Julian Homes & Koby Adom (Presented by Peacock)

Siempre, Luis – Directed by John James (Presented by HBO)

The Forty-Year-Old Version – Directed by Radha Blank (Presented by Netflix)

U.S. NARRATIVE FEATURES

A New York Christmas Wedding – Directed by Otoja Abit

A Shot Through The Wall – Directed by Aimee Long

American Thief – Directed by Miguel Silveira

Farewell Amor – Directed by Ekwa Msangi

Millennium Bugs – Directed by Alejandro Montoya Marin

Paradise City – Directed by John Marco Lopez (World Premiere)

Playing With Beethoven – Directed by Jenn Page

Take Out Girl – Directed by Hisonni Mustafa

The Killing of Kenneth Chamberlain – Directed by David Midell

Waikiki – Directed by Christopher Kahunahana (World Premiere)

WORLD CINEMA NARRATIVE FEATURES

A Rose Between Thorns – Directed by Nigel Lewis (Saint Kitts and Nevis)

Barakat – Directed by Amy Jephta (South Africa)

Death of Nintendo – Directed by Raya Martin (Philippines/U.S.A.)

Hoy – Directed by Ricardo B’atz’ (El Salvador) (World Premiere)

Kings of Mulberry Street – Directed by Judy Naidoo (South Africa)

Lily Of The Valley – Directed by Giovanni Rustanto (Indonesia)

Malpaso – Directed by Héctor Valdez (Dominican Republic)

Number 37 – Directed by Nosipho Dumisa (South Africa)

Salvation – Directed by Carmen Sangion (South Africa)

DOCUMENTARY FEATURES

Alice Street – Directed by Spencer Wilkinson

Dark City Beneath the Beat – Directed by TT The Artist

The Donut King – Directed by Alice Gu.

Zulu Man In Japan – Directed by Colin Gayle, Nhlakanipho Teddy Mkhize (South Africa) (World Premiere)

YOUNG CREATORS SHOWCASE

Artist, Act Of Love – Directed by Kuukua Eshun (Ghana)

Graduation – Directed by Robin Wang (World Premiere)

Limelight – Directed by Claire Gostin (World Premiere)

NAHJUM – Directed by Sebastian Torres Greene, Manuel Del Valle (Mexico)

On The Whistle – Directed by TJ Noel-Sullivan

Remember When – Directed by Paola Ossa

Since Ambreen – Directed by Alexandre Ayoub (France) (World Premiere)

The Other Side – Directed by Josh Leong (Ethiopia)

NARRATIVE SHORTS

410 Stamped – Directed by Nikki Taylor Roberts

4Melvin – Directed by McCristol Harris III, Du’ana Speights (World Premiere)

A Blossom in the Night – Directed by Tayo Amos (World Premiere)

A Storybook Ending – Directed by Lanre Olabisi

American Dream – Directed by Nicolas Polixene, Sylvain Loubet dit Gajol (France)

Baldwin Beauty – Directed by Thembi Banks

Beef – Directed by Ingride Santos (Spain)

Bill & Robert – Directed by Kamaria J. Hodge

Black – Directed by Tamika R. Guishard (World Premiere)

Broken Bird – Directed by Rachel Harrison Gordon

Clarissa – Directed by Shanrica Evans (World Premiere)

Crutch-Tap – Directed by Michael Basha

Da Yie – Directed by Anthony Nti (Ghana/Belgium)

Dark Skin – Directed by Iñaki Velasquez (Chile)(World Premiere)

Down Dog – Directed by Shae Xu

Driving While Black Magic – Directed by Julia C Liu

Eagle – Directed by Jose Acevedo

Elephant – Directed by Gladys San Juan (United Kingdom)

Estilo Americano – Directed by Miriam Kruishoop

For Rosa – Directed by Kathryn Boyd-Batstone (World Premiere)

Gets Good Light – Directed by Alejandra Parody (World Premiere)

Great America – Directed by Angelita Mendoza (World Premiere)

Harana – Directed by Marie Jamora (Philippines/U.S.A.)

Heading South – Directed by Yuan Yuan (China/U.S.A.)

Headlock – Directed by Damon Laguna

Home by 8.30 – Directed by Perry White (United Kingdom)

How Can I Forget – Directed by Natalia Andreadis (United Kingdom)

Keon – Directed by E.G. Bailey

Leave Us Here – Directed by Tari Wariebi (World Premiere)

Miss Boundless – Directed by Qiyu Zhou

Oh Geno! – Directed by Onyinye Egenti (United Kingdom)

Phony – Directed by Jessica dela Merced

Princess Cut – Directed by Elaine Del Valle

Rosa – Directed by Suha Araj

Soukoon – Directed by Farah Shaer (Lebanon)

tender – Directed by Felicia Pride

The Price of Cheap Rent – Directed by Amina Sutton, Maya Tanaka

Through the Wire – Directed by umi (World Premiere)

What the Wind Carries – Directed by Trey Ellis, Chris Chuang

White Eye – Directed by Tomer Shushan (Israel)

YALLA – Directed by Carlo D’Ursi (Spain/Italy) (World Premiere)

Your Kid – Directed by Nelson Foix (France)

DOCUMENTARY SHORTS

Dwayne’s World – Directed by Geno Dimaria (World Premiere)

I’m Not Bad Luck (The True Story of Kesz Valdez) – Directed by Marcos Negrão, Johanna Schnell (Brazil/U.S.A.) (World Premiere)

Landry – Directed by Meeto Worre Kronborg Grevsen (Denmark)

My Father The Mover – Directed by Julia Jansch (South Africa)

Out of the Shadows – Directed by Rafael Samanez

The Heart Still Hums – Directed by Savanah Leaf, Taylor Russell

ANIMATION SHORTS

About Her – Directed by Wagner Cinelli (Brazil)(World Premiere)

Migrante – Directed by Esteban Ezequiel Dalinger, César Daniel Iezzi (Argentina)

The Power of Hope – Directed by Kalia Love Jones (World Premiere)

Umbrella – Directed by Helena Hilario, Mario Pece (Brazil)

Windup – Directed by Yibing Jiang

WEB ORIGINALS

East of La Brea – Directed by Sam Bailey

EKLYPSE: A Hip Hop Fable – Directed by Eden Marryshow (World Premiere)

MANILENNIALS – Directed by E del Mundo

Sasha & Condi – Directed by Lucretia Stinnette

Sole Kings – Directed by Michael Pinckney

MUSIC VIDEOS

Black Pumas Colors – Directed by Kristian Mercado

Crónico – Directed by Claudia Calderón (Puerto Rico)

Healing Creek – Directed by Kevin Brooks

James Arthur feat. Travis Barker – You – Directed by Timon Birkhofer (Germany)

NEVA GO TOUCH AM – Directed by JOJO ABOT (World Premiere)

Princess Nokia “Green Eggs and Ham” – Directed by Sebastian Sdaigui

Rapsody feat. Leikeli47 – “Oprah” – Directed by Farah X

Suzanna – Directed by Director K (Kenya) (World Premiere)

Terrace Martin – Pig Feet (feat. Denzel Curry, Kamasi Washington, G Perico, & Daylyt) – Directed by Terrace Martin, Jasper Graham, Brendan Walter

SCREENPLAYS

Cinnamon – Written By Bryian K. Montgomery Jr.

Ellie’s Tale – Written By Rhonda Deskins

How To Catch A Unicorn – Written By Chad Quinn

If You Seek Britney – Written By Ama Quao

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