Urbanworld Film Festival Adds Spotlight Conversation On ‘All In: The Fight for Democracy’ And More Events To Bolster Civic Engagement

EXCLUSIVE: The 24th Annual Urbanworld Film Festival, which takes place on September 23-27, has unveiled their full virtual lineup of over 100 official selections panels and conversations which will be available online. The fest has also added a spotlight conversation around Amazon Studios docu All In: The Fight for Democracy, its new Creativity Uncovered series, Overstand’s virtual pitch event, their #ShareTheMic Instagram takeover as well as additional guests.

On September 23, there will be a conversation with All In: The Fight for Democracy directors Lisa Cortés and Liz Garbus along with activist DeRay McKesson and moderator Keith Boykin. The day prior marks National Voter Registration Day and to align with this, All In: The Fight for Democracy will be available on Urbanworld’s Vimeo Channel for the full day with an introduction by Fair Fight Action’s Stacey Abrams, along with directors and producers Garbus and Cortés.

The full agenda for the Creativity Uncovered series has also been unveiled and two of the sessions include “Venus Rising: Africa’s Emergent Leading Ladies” and “Raising the Curtain: Spotlight on The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences.”

Urbanworld will also take part in the #ShareTheMic IG Takeover movement with #ShareTheMicBraveNewWorld, a nod to this year’s festival theme and the need to amplify fearless voices, as we navigate election season. Urbanworld has paired two women in the fight to make this brave new world a better place. Comedian and actress Amy Schumer will turn over her IG account to Congresswoman Ayanna Pressley, providing an opportunity for the Congresswoman to speak to her 14.5 million followers about the moment we find ourselves in and how to get engaged.

The fest has also added a first look of the Amazon Original movie Sylvie’s Love  which will be presented by Eugene Ashe and the film’s stars Tessa Thompson and Nnamdi Asomugha. In addition, Queen Sono’s Executive Producer Tamsin Andersson and actress Pearl Thusi along with Blood And Water creator/director Nosipho Dumisa and actress Ama Qamata will participation in a conversation about female narratives in international cinema.

Other conversations include a panel with Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences Chief Operating Officer Christine Simmons and Associate Director of Membership Relations and Outreach Shawn Finnie talking about what the organization does outside of the annual Oscar ceremony. Urbanworld has also partnered with The Museum of Contemporary African Diasporan Art (MoCADA) to marry art and film with a virtual exhibition from resident artist, Kesiena Onosigho. Additionally, Overstand will host a virtual pitch event, The Stand, that will connect storytellers and investors. On September 25, three artists will present projects to a curated group of committed investors providing feedback and potential financing. Participating artists include Amatus-Sami Karim Ali, Suha Araj and Sandra Shelly, with the panel of investors including Rashida Bumbray, Axel Caballero and Aijah Keith.

Bad Hair and Dear White People director Justin Simien serves as Urbanworld’s 2020 ambassador. “During such a pivotal year in the fight for Black liberation I’m especially humbled by the distinction of being Urbanworld’s 2020 ambassador,” says Simien. “I’m so grateful to Gabrielle Glore and the team for their dedication to championing our stories and our storytellers.”

Meek Mill and Chino Braxton will also join previously announced 2020 participants including Simien, Ava DuVernay, David Oyelewo, Rosario Dawson, Lena Waithe, Luis A. Miranda, Jr., Nia DaCosta, Teyonah Parris, Kingsley Ben-Adir, Alana Mayo, Kelly Rowland, Robert Townsend, Alice Smith, Radha Blank, David E. Talbert, Jahi Di’Allo Winston and many more.

The festival includes festival opener The Water Man, which marks David Oyelowo’s feature directorial debut which will feature a Q&A after while Come Away which also stars Oyelowo, will close the fest.

Other highlights of the fest include HBO’s Siempre, Luis, a screening of Justin Simien’s Bad Hair, a conversation and sneak peek at the Nia DaCosta-directed Candyman, a look at Radha Blank directorial debut The Forty-Year-Old Version as well as a conversation with newly minted Orion Pictures President Alana Mayo. AMC Networks will also present a three-part presentation highlighting new series Gangs of London, Soulmates and The Walking Dead: World Beyond.

For complete details on all events and panels, visit www.urbanworld.org. Read the lineup below.


  • The Water Man – Directed by David Oyelowo (Presented by Harpo Films & ShivHans Pictures)


  • Come Away – Directed by Brenda Chapman


  • Bad Hair – Directed by Justin Simien (Presented by Hulu)
  • Candyman – Directed by Nia DaCosta (Presented by Universal Pictures)
  • Charm City Kings – Directed by Angel Manuel Soto (Presented by HBO Max)
  • Gangs of London, Soul Mates & Walking Dead: World Beyond (Presented by AMC Networks)
  • Noughts & Crosses – Directed by Julian Homes & Koby Adom (Presented by Peacock)
  • Siempre, Luis – Directed by John James (Presented by HBO)
  • The Forty-Year-Old Version – Directed by Radha Blank (Presented by Netflix)


  • A New York Christmas Wedding – Directed by Otoja Abit
  • A Shot Through The Wall – Directed by Aimee Long
  • American Thief – Directed by Miguel Silveira
  • Farewell Amor – Directed by Ekwa Msangi
  • Millennium Bugs – Directed by Alejandro Montoya
  • Marin Paradise City – Directed by John Marco Lopez (World Premiere)
  • Playing With Beethoven – Directed by Jenn Page
  • Take Out Girl – Directed by Hisonni Mustafa
  • The Killing of Kenneth Chamberlain – Directed by David Midell
  • Waikiki – Directed by Christopher Kahunahana (World Premiere)


  • A Rose Between Thorns – Directed by Nigel Lewis (Saint Kitts and Nevis)
  • Barakat – Directed by Amy Jephta (South Africa)
  • Death of Nintendo – Directed by Raya Martin (Philippines/U.S.A.)
  • Hoy – Directed by Ricardo B’atz’ (El Salvador) (World Premiere)
  • Kings of Mulberry Street – Directed by Judy Naidoo (South Africa)
  • Lily Of The Valley – Directed by Giovanni Rustanto (Indonesia)
  • Malpaso – Directed by Héctor Valdez (Dominican Republic)
  • Number 37 – Directed by Nosipho Dumisa (South Africa)
  • Salvation – Directed by Carmen Sangion (South Africa)


  • Alice Street – Directed by Spencer Wilkinson
  • Dark City Beneath the Beat – Directed by TT The Artist
  • The Donut King – Directed by Alice Gu
  • Zulu Man In Japan – Directed by Colin Gayle, Nhlakanipho Teddy Mkhize (South Africa) (World Premiere)


  • Artist, Act Of Love – Directed by Kuukua Eshun (Ghana)
  • Graduation – Directed by Robin Wang (World Premiere)
  • Limelight – Directed by Claire Gostin (World Premiere)
  • Nahjum – Directed by Sebastian Torres Greene, Manuel Del Valle (Mexico)
  • On The Whistle – Directed by TJ Noel-Sullivan
  • Remember When – Directed by Paola Ossa
  • Since Ambreen – Directed by Alexandre Ayoub (France) (World Premiere)
  • The Other Side – Directed by Josh Leong (Ethiopia)


  • 410 Stamped – Directed by Nikki Taylor Roberts
  • 4Melvin – Directed by McCristol Harris III, Du’ana Speights (World Premiere)
  • A Blossom in the Night – Directed by Tayo Amos (World Premiere)
  • A Storybook Ending – Directed by Lanre Olabisi
  • American Dream – Directed by Nicolas Polixene, Sylvain Loubet dit Gajol (France)
  • Baldwin Beauty – Directed by Thembi Banks
  • Beef  – Directed by Ingride Santos (Spain)
  • Bill & Robert – Directed by Kamaria J. Hodge
  • Black – Directed by Tamika R. Guishard (World Premiere)
  • Broken Bird – Directed by Rachel Harrison Gordon
  • clarissa  – Directed by Shanrica Evans (World Premiere)
  • Crutch-Tap – Directed by Michael Basha
  • Da Yie – Directed by Anthony Nti (Ghana/Belgium)
  • Dark Skin – Directed by Iñaki Velasquez (Chile)(World Premiere)
  • Down Dog  – Directed by Shae Xu
  • Driving While Black Magic – Directed by Julia C Liu
  • Eagle – Directed by Jose Acevedo
  • elephant – Directed by Gladys San Juan (United Kingdom)
  • Estilo Americano – Directed by Miriam Kruishoop
  • For Rosa – Directed by Kathryn Boyd-Batstone (World Premiere)
  • Gets Good Light – Directed by Alejandra Parody (World Premiere)
  • Great America – Directed by Angelita Mendoza (World Premiere)
  • Harana  – Directed by Marie Jamora (Philippines/U.S.A.)
  • Heading South – Directed by Yuan Yuan (China/U.S.A.)
  • Headlock  – Directed by Damon Laguna
  • Home by 8.30 – Directed by Perry White (United Kingdom)
  • How Can I Forget – Directed by Natalia Andreadis (United Kingdom)
  • Keon – Directed by E.G. Bailey
  • Leave Us Here – Directed by Tari Wariebi (World Premiere)
  • Miss Boundless – Directed by Qiyu Zhou
  • Oh Geno! – Directed by Onyinye Egenti (United Kingdom)
  • Phony – Directed by Jessica dela Merced
  • Princess Cut – Directed by Elaine Del Valle
  • Rosa – Directed by Suha Araj
  • Soukoon – Directed by Farah Shaer (Lebanon)
  • tender – Directed by Felicia Pride
  • The Price of Cheap Rent – Directed by Amina Sutton, Maya Tanaka
  • Through the Wire – Directed by umi (World Premiere)
  • What the Wind Carries – Directed by Trey Ellis, Chris Chuang
  • White Eye – Directed by Tomer Shushan (Israel)
  • Yalla – Directed by Carlo D’Ursi (Spain/Italy) (World Premiere)
  • Your Kid – Directed by Nelson Foix (France)


  • Dwayne’s World – Directed by Geno Dimaria (World Premiere)
  • I’m Not Bad Luck (The True Story of Kesz Valdez) – Directed by Marcos Negrão, Johanna Schnell (Brazil/U.S.A.) (World  Premiere)
  • Landry – Directed by Meeto Worre Kronborg Grevsen (Denmark)
  • My Father The Mover – Directed by Julia Jansch (South Africa)
  • Out of the Shadows – Directed by Rafael Samanez
  • The Heart Still Hums – Directed by Savanah Leaf, Taylor Russell


  • About Her – Directed by Wagner Cinelli (Brazil)(World Premiere)
  • Migrante – Directed by Esteban Ezequiel Dalinger, César Daniel Iezzi (Argentina)
  • The Power of Hope – Directed by Kalia Love Jones (World Premiere)
  • Umbrella – Directed by Helena Hilario, Mario Pece (Brazil)
  • Windup – Directed by Yibing Jiang


  • East of La Brea – Directed by Sam Bailey
  • Eklypse: A Hip Hop Fable – Directed by Eden Marryshow (World Premiere)
  • Manilennials – Directed by E del Mundo
  • Sasha & Condi – Directed by Lucretia Stinnette
  • Sole Kings – Directed by Michael Pinckney


  • Black Pumas Colors – Directed by Kristian Mercado
  • Crónico – Directed by Claudia Calderón (Puerto Rico)
  • Healing Creek – Directed by Kevin Brooks
  • James Arthur feat. Travis Barker – You – Directed by Timon Birkhofer (Germany)
  • Neva Go Touch Am – Directed by JOJO ABOT (World Premiere)
  • Princess Nokia “Green Eggs and Ham” – Directed by Sebastian Sdaigui
  • Rapsody feat. Leikeli47 – “Oprah” – Directed by Farah X
  • Suzanna – Directed by Director K (Kenya) (World Premiere)
  • Terrace Martin – Pig Feet (feat. Denzel Curry, Kamasi Washington, G Perico, & Daylyt) – Directed by Terrace Martin, Jasper Graham, Brendan Walter


  • Cinnamon – Written By Bryian K. Montgomery Jr.
  • Ellie’s Tale – Written By Rhonda Deskins
  • How To Catch A Unicorn – Written By Chad Quinn
  • If You Seek Britney – Written By Ama Quao

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