The Urbanworld Festival gives talented individuals such as Ava Duvernay and Mara Brock Akil a chance to shine and display their filmmaking skills on an international scale. The five-day annual event seeks to redefine and advance “the roles of multicultural constituents in contemporary filmed entertainment.”
Because of the limited depiction of women of color in mainstream media and film, it may seem that there aren’t any black female directors, writers or producers, but, there are! This year, urban women hold their own, having a stake in every category of the acclaimed competition.
At last year’s event, Ava Duvernay made history as the first black woman to win the “U.S. Drama Directing” award! And, this year we hope she, or another talented beauty, takes it home as well!
MUST READ: FIRST LOOK: “Middle Of Nowhere” [EXCLUSIVE]
Director/ Writer: Ava DuVernay
Synopsis: Winner of the Best Director Award at the 2012 Sundance Film Festival, MIDDLE OF NOWHERE follows Ruby, a bright medical student who sets aside her dreams and suspends her career when her husband is incarcerated. As the committed couple stares into the hollow end of an eight-year prison sentence, Ruby must learn to live another life, one marked by shame and separation. But through a chance encounter and a stunning betrayal that shakes her to her core, this steadfast wife is soon propelled in new and often shocking directions of self-discovery – caught between two worlds and two men in the search for herself.
Featuring: Emayatzy Corinealdi, David Oyelowo, Omari Hardwick, Lorraine Touissant, Edwina Findley, Sharon Lawrence
Showtime: Saturday, September 22, 8pm – AMC 34th Street Theater 9
Producers: Marques Green, Laila Petrone
Featuring: Len Xiang, Stacey Lewis, Jaynelle Clarke
Synopsis: Before losing his singing voice, Tony Mann was a well-respected recording artist. While hopeful for a change in his condition, he is silently slipping into a state of depression. His dutiful wife is concerned yet feels unable to reach him during this difficult time. Finding solace at a local nightclub, he drinks himself into an alcohol-fueled fantasy. There, he envisions a mythical Siren named Niva. Through the night she offers him a chance to sing again if he will spend the night with her. Now Tony must decide at what cost will he pursue her.
Showtimes: Friday, September 21, 2:45pm AMC 34th Street – Theater 9, Saturday, September 22, 2:45pm AMC 34th Street – Theater 9
Director: Delila Vallot
Synopsis: When a jury fails to convict the serial killer who savagely murdered his family, one man must rise above his desire for revenge and descend into the deranged world of a sadistic predator to uncover the truth and finally get justice. What begins as a classic revenge tale takes a dramatic turn into a haunting land of horror and murder.
Featuring: Cristos, Ion Overman, Scott Haze, Courtney Geigle, Leslie Mills
Showtimes: Friday, September 21, 7:30pm – AMC 34th Street Theater 10, Saturday, September 22, 10:30pm – AMC 34th Street Theater 9
Actress: Rosie Perez
Synopsis: Two determined mothers, one a teacher, look to transform their children’s failing inner city school. Facing a powerful and entrenched bureaucracy, they risk everything to make a difference in the education and future of their children.
Featuring: Maggie Gyllenhaal, Viola Davis, Oscar Isaac, Rosie Perez, Holly Hunter
Showtime: Friday, September 21, 6pm – AMC 34th Street – Theater 11
Actress: Tracey Heggins
Synopsis: Angie Adams, a hardened yet spiritual streetfighter, faces her biggest challenge of whether to continue living her life for others or finally for herself and the woman she loves.
Featuring: Tracey Heggins, Lulu Brud, George Jonson, Shaw Jones, Rhobye Wyatt, Monique Carmona
Showtimes: Friday, September 21, 3:15pm AMC 34th Street – Theater 11, Saturday, September 22, 12pm AMC 34th Street – Theater 9
Writer: Mara Brock Akil
Synopsis: Mary Jane Paul happens to be part of a growing American statistic – the single, black female. Journey with this successful television news anchor as she manages her life as a mature single woman. Although she does not have a family to call her own, she does have parents, brothers, nieces and close friends to keep her well-balanced. Mary Jane may report on everyone else’s lives every night on the evening news, but now we will pull the curtain back and see how it feels “Being Mary Jane.”
Featuring: Gabrielle Union, Richard Roundtree, Margaret Avery, Richard Brooks, B.J. Britt, Lisa Vidal, Aaron D. Spears, Tika Sumpter, Raven Goodwin, Omari Hardwick
Showtime: Thursday, September 20, 8pm – AMC 34th Street Theater 9
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