The 17th Annual Urbanworld Film Festival, presented by BET Networks, has announced its 2013 slate. The nation's largest competitive multicultural film festival, Urbanworld will take place September 18-22 at midtown Manhattan's AMC 34th Street and will screen 60 films, including 4 world premieres and 2 U.S. premieres.
The opening night film, "Baggage Claim" takes place September 19 at the SVA Theater in Chelsea (333 W 23rd St New York, NY). Derek Luke,Taye Diggs, Grammy®-winner Jill Scott, Boris Kodjoe, Tremaine Neverson, Adam Brody, Jenifer Lewis, Ned Beatty, Lauren London,Tia Mowry, La La Anthony, Christina Milian, Affion Crockett, Terrence J, Rickey Smiley, Thomas Miles and Academy Award®-nominee Djimon Hounsou.
Talbert is an Urbanworld alum, winning "Best Dramatic Feature" at the 1997 film festival for his comedy A Woman Like That. "Baggage Claim" opens nationwide on September 27.
BET Networks proudly presents its second original movie to premiere at Urbanworld: "Gun Hill" (directed by Reggie Bythewood and starring Larenz Tate, Emayatzy Corinealdi and Aisha Hinds, a gritty Cain and Abel drama set and shot in New York City.
Additional highlights of Urbanworld 2013 include: a Season 4 episode of the HBO® drama "Boardwalk Empire" (starring Michael Kenneth Williams and Jeffrey Wright); the black western They Die by Dawn (starring Erykah Badu, Rosario Dawson, Idris Elba, Giancarlo Esposito, Jesse Williams, Michael Kenneth Williams, and Isaiah Washington); and the documentary Finding the Funk (starring George Clinton, Bootsy Collins, D'Angela, Sheila E., Sly Stone and Questlove).
Urbanworld also announced the launch of Urbanworld Underground, a platform designed to highlight maverick content creators who are transcending conventional filmmaking with innovation in their storytelling. In addition to Jeymes Samuel's "They Die by Dawn," Urbanworld Underground will feature Kahlil Joseph's What Matters Most Shorts Block, which includes "Black Up," "Until the Quiet Comes," "The Model (Parts 1 & 2)," and "Wildcat."
BET returns for a sixth year as presenting sponsor along with founding sponsor HBO®, who will host the Urbanworld Digital program again this year, with sessions presented by HBO, Interactive One, and MoviePass.
"Urbanworld Film Festival celebrates established multi-cultural screenwriters, producers and directors and aims to empower hopefuls by bringing new and diverse films to our community," said Loretha Jones, President of Original Programming. "BET believes Urbanworld Film Festival is an undeniable platform for emerging filmmakers, and because we pride ourselves on having our finger on the pulse of what's important to our audience, this makes our partnership even more exciting."
"Our 2013 slate indicates what I've known all year: that this is an exciting time for multicultural films," said Gabrielle Glore, executive producer and head of programming for Urbanworld. "We are always honored to be able to connect audiences with the artistic excellence of the filmmakers who have participated in Urbanworld for 17 years. And the continued support of our partners BET and HBO make it possible for us to keep shining a light on the diversity of stories that the world needs to see."
The closing night film will be "The Best Man" directed by Malcolm D. Lee. For more info on the festival and its films, visit www.urbanworld.org.