The 16th Urbanworld Film Festival is underway, after last night's successful opening premiere of the BET original movie from the Akils, Being Mary Jane (starring Gabrielle Union).
I unfortunately was out half of the day yesterday, from the mid afternoon and through the evening, so I missed it, although I planned to attend. I had an unexpected change of plans.
But from all I heard, it's actually a good flick, and so expectations have been raised. I'll see it eventually...
The festival actually wraps up tomorrow (it's a short festival), so if you're in NYC, you've got today and tomorrow to catch as many film screenings as you can, especially if you haven't seen many of these films.
Today's lineup includes both shorts and features, docs and fiction, and span genres and themes.
I've seen just about all the shorts (and recommend the shorts programs today - there are 2 of them), as well as several of the features, and of those scheduled to screen today, if I had to highlight a few, I'd suggest Ya'Ke Smith's weighty, daring drama Wolf, as well as Terence Nance's complex emotional maze of a film, An Oversimplification Of Her Beauty.
On the purely documentary side (although Terence's film could also be categorized as a documentary; but I'll call it more of a hybrid) of interest include: Dar He: The Lynching Of Emmett Till, In Our Heads About Our Hair.
Films I haven't seen that I'm curious about include the drama Small Of Her Back - a feature length film we've been following since its 2010 Kickstarter campaign, finally make its world premiere at the festival. Written and directed by Russell Sharman, Small Of Her Back stars Nicole Beharie (keep in mind, this was shot at least a year before Shame, The Last Fall, Woman Thou Art Loosed: On the 7th Day, and the upcoming Jackie Robinson biopic, 42), and Christopher Domig.
And in the Spotlights section, there's the Viola Davis/Maggie Gyllenhaal education reform drama Won't Back Down; which actually doesn't officially open in USA theaters until next week Friday, so you'll be seeing it 1-week early, before the rest of the world.
But don't rely solely on my suggestions; check out the full schedule for today HERE and see all that's available today.