13th Annual Urbanworld Film Festival to Premiere "Mama I Want To Sing"
Presented by BET Networks, Announces Closing Night Selection, Special Screenings and Additional Programming
"Mama, I Want To Sing!" Selected as Closing Night Film
F. Gary Gray To Receive Career Achievement Award
NEW YORK, -- The 13th Annual Urbanworld Film Festival, presented by BET Networks, today announced the world premiere of "Mama, I Want To Sing!" as its closing night selection. The highly-anticipated musical starring R&B superstar Ciara and Emmy Award winner Lynn Whitfield will screen on Saturday, September 26, 2009 in the heart of Manhattan at the AMC Loews 34th Street.
Urbanworld will also present director F. Gary Gray with the festival's Career Achievement Award in celebration of an outstanding body of work, including "Friday," "Set It Off," "The Negotiator", "The Italian Job" and the previously announced 2009 opening night selection, "Law Abiding Citizen," starring Jamie Foxx, Gerard Butler and Viola Davis.
Additional select programming was also announced, including special screenings of ESPN Films' "Without Bias" and HBO Latino's "Celebrity Habla," as well as an intimate conversation with independent film titan Bob Berney, hosted by Urbanworld festival founder Stacy Spikes.
The festival will also present the work of five Urbanworld Screenplay Competition finalists in live readings, with HBO sponsoring the Screenplay award category. Finalists include veteran filmmaker Charles Burnett's "145th Street," Olugbemiga Idowu's "American Dream," Dapo Adeshiyan's "Far Away From Here," Carmen Scott's "Rome" and James Peoples' "Winter."
Urbanworld was launched in August 1997 with 35 films, by founder Stacy Spikes, a former Miramax executive. BET Networks returns as the 2009 Presenting Sponsor. HBO continues support as the Founding Sponsor. Principal Sponsors include ESPN, Black Enterprise, Essence, Giant, HoneyMag.com, BlackPlanet.com, and MiGente.com. Benefactor Sponsors include Warner Bros., Stella Artois, Directors Guild of America - New York, Tekserve, AMC Theatres and UrbanBeautyCollective.com.
About BET Networks
BET Networks, a division of Viacom Inc. (NYSE: VIA) (NYSE: VIA.B), is the nation's leading provider of quality entertainment, music, news and public affairs television programming for the African-American audience. The primary BET channel reaches more than 98 million households and can be seen in the United States, Canada, the Caribbean, the United Kingdom and sub-Saharan Africa. BET is the dominant African-American consumer brand with a diverse group of businesses extensions: BET.com, a leading Internet destination for Black entertainment, music, culture, and news; BET Digital Networks - BET J, BET Gospel and BET Hip Hop, attractive alternatives for cutting-edge entertainment tastes; BET Home Entertainment, a collection of BET-branded offerings for the home environment including DVDs and video-on-demand; BET Mobile, which provides ringtones, games and video content for wireless devices; and BET International, which operates BET in the United Kingdom and oversees the extension of BET network programming for global distribution.
The official festival website is www.urbanworld.org.
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SOURCE: BET Networks
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