Urbanworld Film Festival Goes Digital
NEW YORK -- The 14th Annual Urbanworld Film Festival, presented by BET Networks, is proud to announce Urbanworld Digital, an exciting addition to the festival that will be hosted by HBO® on September 15, 2010. This invite-only program will feature executives from Abrams Artists Agency, HBO, MTV Networks, NamcoBandai America, Screen Actors Guild, Writers Guild of America, East, and SAGindie, who will share their expertise in gaming, social media, new media contracts, and production. A collaboration between Jigsaw Global and the Urbanworld Foundation, Urbanworld Digital will serve as a primer for film professionals who want to learn more about digital media production and make new contacts on the tech side of the entertainment industry.
"We're excited about our partnership with Jigsaw Global, which has allowed us to bring the digital aspect of the entertainment industry back to the festival in its own, unique programming track," says Stacy Spikes, founder of Urbanworld. "HBO is the perfect host for Urbanworld Digital, because HBO continues to innovate in the worlds of film, TV, and digital media."
The festival will continue September 16 - 19 at the AMC 34th St Theater in New York City. Unique programming features include BET Networks' Inaugural TV Script Writing Competition, in which aspiring TV writers will have a chance to win $5,000, and the BET Networks with "My Black is Beautiful" Present: The Tasha Smith Actors Workshop, a two-day instructional seminar offering students the chance to hone their acting skills.
In addition to festival ambassador Kerry Washington, celebs such as Nia Long, Jamie Hector, Omari Hardwick, Salli Richardson-Whitfield, Evan Ross, Kid Capri and Clint Dyer will be in attendance to support their respective films. Spotlight films and programs at Urbanworld this year include:
- HBO's Boardwalk Empire(SM), a 1920s-era drama set in Atlantic City at the dawn of Prohibition (series premiere) from Terence Winter, Emmy® Award-winning writer of The Sopranos® and Academy® Award-winning director Martin Scorsese
- BET's My Mic Sounds Nice, a documentary exploring the role of female rappers in hip-hop (directed by Ava DuVernay and featuring interviews by Missy Elliott, EVE, Trina, Rah Digga, MC Lyte, Yo Yo and more)
- One Night in Vegas, part of ESPN's "30 for 30" documentary series, this film details the evening of 1996 when Tupac Shakur was shot (directed by Reggie Rock Bythewood; starring Mike Tyson)
- Kid Capri Presents: The Lionz Den, a short film about an underground rap battle in Harlem (directed by Kid Capri and Loaded Lux, starring Big Daddy Kane, KRS-One, and Rakim)
- Sus, a based-on-a-true-story drama centering on the controversial British "sus" laws and their inherent racism (directed by Robert Heath; starring Ralph Brown, Clint Dyer)
- Africa Rising, a documentary portraying the grassroots movement to end female genital mutilation (directed by Paula Heredia)
The Urbanworld® Film Festival is the largest internationally competitive festival of its kind. The five-day festival includes features, documentaries, short films, as well as panel discussions, live staged screenplay readings, the celebrated Actor's Spotlight, Actor's Boot Camps, and introducing Urbanworld® Digital, a 1-day Conference during the festival focused on Digital and Social media. Over the last thirteen years, Hollywood studios have consistently chosen Urbanworld® to premiere box office and award-winning hits. Urbanworld® has also become home to some of today's top brands who wish to reach key influencers and social media leaders across the African American and Latino landscape. The Urbanworld® Film Festival is an initiative of the Urbanworld® Foundation Inc., a nonprofit organization founded in 1997 by Stacy Spikes dedicated to redefining the multicultural roles in contemporary cinema, television and online by implementing programs and initiatives that support the development of the urban content creation community. Gabrielle Glore serves as Executive Producer of the Urbanworld Film Festival, as well as ancillary Urbanworld Foundation endeavors. For this year's 2010 festival, BET Networks returns as the Presenting Sponsor. HBO continues support as the Founding Sponsor. Principal Sponsors include My Black Is Beautiful, Lens On Talent, and Ford. Media Sponsors include Essence, Vibe, Uptown, BlackPlanet.com, TheUrbanDaily, KISS FM, HOT 97, and Jigsaw Global. Benefactor Sponsors include AMC Theatres, Directors Guild of America - New York, and urbanAdserve.