The 21st Annual Urbanworld Film Festival (www.urbanworld.org), along with founding partner HBO, held their 21st annual screening at AMC Empire 25 in New York September 20-24, 2017.   The festival showcased 80 multicultural long and short form films.  This has always been a highly anticipated event and attracts high volume of attendees who are lovers of films.

 

The first night of the event kicked off with hip hop music mogul, Irv “Gotti” Lorenzo and now can add executive producer to his list of credits premiered the next episode of “Tales” entitled ‘Trap Queen” which will be airing for the series second season on BET in October.  He has come up with this great concept of turning hip hop lyrics into a television show. Trap Queen which is based on the Fetty Wap song which deals with drugs, money, sex, murder and mayhem! The stars of this episode Woody McClain, Michelle Micthenor and Jermel Howard walked the red carpet as well with Irv Gotti. They gave an outstanding performance in the action packed episode. Other attendees that night were rapper, Trinidad James who was debuting his web series “Independent”.

 

The “Short Films” debuted on the second day of this film marathon.  I was very impressed and blown away by the work that these film makers where able to put into the films that were on average 9 minutes long.  They were full of depth, laughter, love, and heartache.  Some of my favorites were “The Bill”, “Alone”, Covered, Search Party and Suitable.

 

The major draws of the festival were the Baltimore Rising, the documentary of the aftermath of Freddie Gray’s death.  The cast included Rutina Wesley, Lala Anthony, Saycon Sengbloh, Karla Mosely, Malcolm Barrett and Mustafa Shakir.  MARSHALL was the other film festival major presentation.  It is based on a true incident in the life of Thurgood Marshall, long before his appointment to the U.S. Supreme Court.  The cast of this tremendous film was Chadwick Boseman, Josh Gad, Kate Hudson, Dan Stevens, James Cromwell and Sterling Stevens.

The Urbanworld Film Festival has been a wonderful platform for people of color and ethnicities to showcase their crafts and stories that would otherwise not be told to the masses. We need to continue to support these film makers who are bringing their visions to the big screen.

Blogged by Dawn Holloway