The 22nd Annual Urbanworld Film Festival, presented by AT&T’s The Humanity of Connection along with founding partner HBO, presented its 2018 festival slate. The slate of 69 official selections and 7 spotlight selections represent inclusion beyond ethnicity. The annual showcase of diverse culture and sensibility will be experienced in Manhattan September 19-23, 2018 at AMC Empire 25 on 234 West 42nd Street.
“As we continue to evolve our programming slate to reflect the broadest lens of inclusion across stories, characters, themes, and cultures, we are thrilled to collaborate with our presenting partner AT&T and founding partner HBO to showcase a collection of films, web originals, screenplays and music videos that represent distinct voices from around the world,” said Gabrielle Glore, Festival Director & Head of Programming, Urbanworld Film Festival. “Each year, we welcome content creators, studios, networks, and film enthusiasts into our festival family to experience the magical energy that is Urbanworld.”
Universal Pictures’ Night School will open the festival on Wednesday, September 19, at 7:30 P.M. at New York’s SVA Theater on 333 West 23rd Street. Kevin Hart and Tiffany Haddish star in the new comedy from director Malcolm D. Lee (Girls Trip) and producer Will Packer that follows a group of misfits who are forced to attend adult classes in the longshot chance they’ll pass the GED exam. Co-stars Rob Riggle, Taran Killam, and Romany Malco join Hart and Haddish on-screen for the film that Hart produces for his Hartbeat Productions and Packer via his Will Packer Productions. Hart and Haddish are confirmed to attend the festival and a conversation with Lee will immediately follow the screening.
HBO will present a documentary spotlight selection for festival-goers. The Sentence, screens on Thursday, September 20, 2018. Directed by first-time filmmaker Rudy Valdez, the documentary takes a searing look at the devastating consequences of mandatory minimum sentencing through the lens of his own family. Cindy Shank, sister of Valdez and mother of three, is taken from her family to spend 15 years in federal prison for conspiracy charges. Valdez copes with the tragedy by filming his nieces for over a decade to capture the moments his sister misses.
Inspired by the life of Lil Rel Howery (Get Out), Fox’s “Rel” will debut at the festival on Saturday, September 22, 2018. The multi-camera comedy stars Howery as a successful, hardworking father and husband on the West Side of Chicago, whose life is perfectly on track. That is until he discovers his wife is having an affair with his own barber – the worst person for your wife to sleep with because as hard as it is to find love, it’s even harder to find a good barber. Howery will appear at the festival for a post-screening Q&A.
Along with founding partner HBO, key supporters include BET as prestige partner and NBCUniversal as premiere partner. Industry partners include AMC Independent, ARRAY, MPAA, Directors Guild of America, Producers Guild of America and Writers Guild of America East. Passes for the festival are on sale now and tickets for official selections and spotlights will be available in September on urbanworld.org. Additional festival announcements will also be made in September.
Passes for the festival are on sale now and tickets for official selections and spotlights will be available in September on urbanworld.org. Additional festival announcements will also be made in September. Follow @UWFilmFest and use #Urbanworld to join the conversation about Urbanworld on social media.