By DJ Meechie

By Shay  (IG: shay_neezy)

The Urbanworld Film Festival is celebrating its 20th anniversary this year. Presented by REVOLT, the festival is slated to kick-off on September 21st at the AMC Empire 25 in Manhattan. Festival ambassadors for the 2016 season include sought after Hollywood actor (and producer) David Oyelowo and two-time Academy Award and four-time Golden Globe nominee Ava DuVernay. A host of other well-known actors are confirmed to attend, including Sanaa Lathan, Corey Hardict, Dewanda Wise and Academy-Award winning director Jonathan Demme.

Stacy Spikes founded the Urbanworld Film Festival in 1997, and since then the festival has become one of the most nationally and internationally competitive events in film. The festival provides an amazing platform for people of color to showcase their projects. However, Urbanworld fights to expand the traditional definition of the word “urban” beyond just ethnicity. They strive to be a festival for all people, providing the intersection point of experience and art for creators and audiences alike.

I am especially excited about the Urbanworld Digital series, presented by event sponsor HBO. Back for its sixth year this series enlists industry experts to share insight on changes in marketing, finance, content creation, and distribution in entertainment. Discussing the opportunities that exist among these areas in digital media. You can look forward to sessions from HBO Chairman and CEO Richard Plepler, Russell Simmons and Yung Guru; legendary DJ and audio engineer.

“HBO is thrilled to host the 6th annual Urbanworld Digital, which embodies the ever-changing digital landscape’s impact on how we interact, communicate and consume entertainment”.

— Dennis Williams, Vice President, Corporate Social Responsibility, HBO

Urbanworld will collaborate with Overstand, an advising consultancy, to launch “The Stand”, a consultative financing event to be held on Friday September 23rd at Time Warner. Two pre-selected creative teams will pitch their projects to a group of industry experts and investors; scripted project “D-Days” (directed by Tamika Guishard, produced by Julius Pryor & Marttise Hill) and interactive project “The Art of Dying Young” (directed by Shawn Peters, produced by Barry Cole).

London-born Shantell Martin is the visual artist commissioned to create an exclusive piece that represents the essence of the Urbanworld Film Festival. Martin’s work “bridges fine art, performance art, technology and the everyday experience” ( Her work will be highlighted in various ways throughout the 5-day festival and included at the BRIC community event in Brooklyn on September 25th.

Follow @shay_neezy & @UWFilmFest for your exclusive look into the Urbanworld Film Festival!



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