Film festivals being held in New York City, may not be anything new, but it is a great thing when a festival can remain successful for over 15 years. In fact, many film industry insiders and the movie going public begin to take notice which means each year the festival can bring even bigger things. This seems to be the case with Urbanworld Film Festival.
On Thursday, September 19, 2013, the 17th Annual Urbanworld Film Festival which was presented by BET Networks celebrated its Opening Night with a screening of the romantic comedy "Baggage Claim." The screening was held at the School of Visual Arts in Manhattan to a very excited crowd. The film is directed by David E. Talbert who has had much success with his films and stage plays over the years. Attending the opening night red carpet premiere and screening, were some of the cast which included: Paula Patton, Derek Luke, Jill Scott, Jenifer Lewis, Rickey Smiley and director David E. Talbert.
The film was only the first to kick off the festival. Along with 'Baggage Claim", there were a vast array of films by independent filmmakers to be seen during the 4 day festival. Other notable celebs/VIPs participating in Urbanworld, included festival ambassador Larenz Tate, who attended the screening and panel discussion of his BET original film "Gun Hill." Also, filmmaker Nelson George was available to introduce his VH1 rock doc entitled "Finding the Funk". Also, in the category of documentaries, the film "Little Ballers" produced my NBA player Amar'e Stoudemire premiere followed by a Q & A panel.
Finally on Saturday evening for Closing Night, Director George Tillman and Tony award winning actor Jeffrey Wright were on hand for a presentation of the Alicia Keys produced film called "The Inevitable Defeat of Mister & Pete" followed by a Q & A panel for the audience.
Each of the films screened during the festival were a powerful representation of where film is going and where is has been. For many years, The Urbanworld Film Festival has been a place for high profile talent as well as emerging talent to showcase their films and will continue to do so. For more information on the festival, visit, their website, like them on Facebook or follow them on Twitter.