27th Annual Urbanworld Film Festival Opens With ‘American Fiction’ Screening


( ENSPIRE Entertainment ) Urbanworld Celebrates Diversity and Vision in Cinema

ENSPIRE Contributor: Aiyanna Hawkins

On November 2nd, 2023, Urbanworld Film Festival kicked off its 27th festival at SVA Theatre, which sold out Opening Night because of the buzz around the film American Fiction. Before the screening, director Cord Jefferson received a standing ovation after being presented with the Visionary Award by Urbanworld Festival Director Karen McMullen. Following the standing ovation, filmmaker Malcolm D. Lee, who directed Best Man, moderated the Q&A. At the end of the evening, an afterparty ensued at The Skylark in NYC.

This five-day festival was launched in 1997 by Founder Stacey Spikes, who is Co-Founder and CEO of Moviepass, and a former Executive at Miramax and October Films. This festival showcases narrative features, documentaries, short films, web originals, experimental, spotlight screenings, and music performances. The Urbanworld Film Festival is an initiative of the Urbanworld Foundation Inc., a nonprofit organization that increases the presence of the multicultural community in film. With over 100+ films, booming nightlife, and an Innovation summit, this event shined the light on Black creatives within cinema.

Malcolm D. Lee and ‘American Fiction’ Director Cord Jefferson

“There aren’t a lot of film festivals that intentionally shine light on the works of Black men and women in our industry. Our growing number of directors and producers need more outlets. Urbanworld gets it, and the opportunity to serve as ambassador to this year’s festival is an honor and a privilege,” says RZA, a member of the Wu-Tang clan.

Sold Out SVA Theatre on Opening Night

Urbanworld Film Festival, a beacon for diverse voices in cinema, marked its 27th edition with the triumphant screening of “American Fiction” and honored director Cord Jefferson. The festival’s commitment to showcasing multicultural talents, from narrative features to experimental films. As the festival continues to grow, it stands as a crucial platform for Black creatives in the film industry.

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