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April 2004
Film Festival: Eighth Annual Urbanworld Film Festival


World’s Premiere Showcase For Urban, Ethnic and Multicultural Cinema
To Be Held in New York City on August 4-8, 2004

NEW YORK, NY (April 16, 2004) -- The Eighth Annual Urbanworld Film Festival will be presented this year by title sponsor, MTV2, announced festival founder Stacy Spikes. MTV2's involvement with Urbanworld marks the first time that the cable network has held the title sponsorship of a film festival. Urbanworld, the largest internationally competitive festival of its kind, will be held from August 4 - 8, 2004 in New York City.

For the first time in its history, Urbanworld has created a new competition category dedicated to the medium of the music video. In addition, MTV2 will showcase select Urbanworld winners on the network, as well as produce and broadcast behind-the-scenes programming chronicling the festival, filmmakers, and urban independent cinema.

Urbanworld is currently accepting submissions through June 4, 2004 in the competitive categories of feature film, short film, documentary film, screenplay, and music video. Submissions are also open for the Latin and Asian programs.

"Urbanworld continues to push boundaries as the premiere showcase for multicultural cinematic expression,"explained Spikes. "Our constant goal is to exhibit cutting-edge work and urban perspectives to a broader audience, and the alliance with MTV2 strengthens our ability to fulfill this mission."

"The boundaries of music, entertainment and film are always expanding with new and diverse ideas something we have always been dedicated to showcasing here at MTV2,"said David Cohn, GM of MTV2. "Working with the Urbanworld festival is a great way for us to extend that commitment, deliver on the unique wants of our viewers, and celebrate the impressive talents of this diverse group of filmmakers."

Submissions will be accepted on 1/2 VHS cassettes or DVD, and must be accompanied by an official Urbanworld Film Festival submission form, available at www.urbanworld.org. Deadline for submissions is June 4, 2004.

Selected films will be judged by a panel of industry professionals and will compete for Grand Jury Awards in the categories of Best Feature, Best Short, Best Director, Best Screenplay, and Best Music Video. Urbanworld Film Festival attendees will vote for their favorite film to determine the Audience Award winner. Winners will be announced on August 8.

Last year, the Grand Jury Award winners were: Documentary Prize THE LARRY DAVIS STORY; Best Feature Film - DARK; Best Short Film - MBOUTOUKOU; Best Screenplay STRIP MALL; Best Director - Adam Lough, BOMB THE SYSTEM; Audience Award BOUGHT AND SOLD. Additional Jury Prizes include Hamilton One To Watch Awards Rafael Sardina in BOUGHT AND SOLD and Janice Richardson in ANNE B. REAL; and Best Foreign Film - RESISTENCIA: HIP HOP IN COLUMBIA.

The Urbanworld Film Festival was launched in August 1997 with 35 films, by founder Stacy Spikes, a former executive at Miramax and October Films. HBO continues support as the founding sponsor. The advisory board includes Debbie Allen, Charles Burnett, Michelle Byrd, Julie Dash, Kenneth "Babyface" and Tracey Edmonds, Giancarlo Esposito, Carl Franklin, Danny Glover, Samuel L. Jackson and LaTanya Richardson Jackson, Rosie Perez, John Pierson, Wesley Snipes, Nick Wechsler, and Laura Ziskin. Spikes serves as Chairman Emeritus. Gabrielle Glore and Maria Weaver-Watson are executive producers.

The five-day festival includes feature, documentary and short film screenings, as well as panel discussions, a live staged reading and the celebrated Actor's Spotlight, with previous honorees including Vondie Curtis Hall, Samuel L. Jackson, Billy Dee Williams, and Rosie Perez.

Past festival features have included box office and award-winning hits: The Fighting Temptations, Drumline, Rush Hour 2, O, The Original Kings of Comedy, The Best Man, Soul Food, Hoodlum, HBO Films' Introducing Dorothy Dandridge, How Stella Got Her Groove Back, Why Do Fools Fall in Love, Blue Streak, and more.

For more information, visit www.urbanworld.org.

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