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June 2007

11th Annual Festival Includes Several World Premieres and Most Diverse Selections To-Date

June 11, 2007

(New York, NY)—The Urbanworld VIBE Film Festival today announced the roster for official feature, documentary, and short film selections, as well as world premieres and special screenings. Urbanworld, screening 49 films this year, is the largest internationally competitive festival dedicated to the exhibition of independent cinema by and about people of color and will take place in New York City, June 21-24, 2007.
The 2007 slate will feature the world premieres of Who’s Your Caddy?, the very first release from Robert L. Johnson’s and Tracy Edmonds’s Our Stories Films. This year’s slate also features especially robust selections from Latino American, Asian American and female directors, and several films with ties to New York City.

“This year, the Urbanworld VIBE Film Festival is presenting what is arguably our most diverse slate to-date, from the perspective of both filmmakers and subject matter,” said Stacy Spikes, founder of Urbanworld. “As in years past, we’ve worked very hard to ensure this year’s slate represents the best of urban filmmaking featuring untold stories from a unique perspective. We invite film fans everywhere to share in the celebration of its diversity.”

Highlights and notable films of 2007 Urbanworld VIBE Film Festival include:

Opening Night screening of Blackout directed by Jerry LaMothe and starring Melvin Van Peebles, Zoe Saldana, Jeffrey Wright, and LaTanya Richardson;
Special world premiere sneak preview screening of Who’s Your Caddy? directed by Don Michael Paul, from Our Stories Films;
Mr. Untouchable, a world premiere screening from Magnolia Pictures, directed by Marc Levin and executive produced by Damon Dash, about the life and times of notorious Harlem drug lord, Leroy “Nicky” Barnes;
World premiere of Gangsta Rap: A Glockumentary directed by Damon "Coke" Daniels;
World premiere of Faizon Love’s Tao of the Golden Mask directed by Faizon Love;
Hellfighters, directed by John Frankel, a New York filmmaker, is a documentary about Harlem’s only high school football team;
Annual Screenplay Readings featuring live performances of scenes from the 5 Screenplay Category finalists, including the return to Urbanworld of Ryan Richmond, whose feature script, Money Matters, is based on a short that was in competition at the 2005 festival;
August the First, directed by Lanre Olabisi, watches an American family confront its Nigerian past;
Pariah, a short directed by NYU grad and black female director, Dee Rees, is the story of a young, lesbian teenage girl stuck between her friends and family. The young girl’s father is played by veteran actor, Wendell Pierce;
Divided We Fall, a documentary film from Indian American director, Sharat Raju, traces hate crimes throughout the US, post-9/11;
Tie a Yellow Ribbon, by New York City filmmaker, Joy Dietrich, explores racial identity in the Asian American community.

All festival screenings will be held at the AMC Loews 34th Street Theaters.


Opening Night Screening:

Blackout directed by Jerry LaMothe

Other Premieres and Special Screenings:

Who’s Your Caddy? directed by Don Michael Paul

Back Stab directed by Ricardo Sean Thompson
Faizon Loves’ Tao of the Golden Mask directed by Faizon Love
Gangsta Rap: The Glockumentary directed by Damon "Coke" Daniels

Mr. Untouchable directed by Marc Levin

Narrative features in competition include 6 films:

August the First directed by Lanre Olabisi
Imitation directed by Federico Hidalgo
The Assassin directed by Devin E. Haqq
The Matrimony directed by Hua-Tao Teng
Tie a Yellow Ribbon directed by Joy Dietrich
Too Saved directed by Shuaib Mitchell

Documentary features in competition include 9 films:

761ST directed by Pete Chatmon
Autumn’s Eyes directed by Gabriel Noble
Banished directed by Marco Williams
Beyond the Steps directed by Phil Bertelsen
Divided We Fall: Americans in the Aftermath directed by Sharat Raju
Hellfighters directed by Jon Frankel
Model Prisoners directed by David Notman-Watt
Peace Process directed by Katina Parker
Respond to Sound II directed by Adrian Younge

Narrative shorts in competition include 19 films:

A Nick in Time directed by Be Garrett
Baba King directed by Ryan Jackson
Be the Man directed by Matthew Jones
By-Standing: The Beginning of an American Lifetime directed by Karen Lin
Earl’s Post Prison Playdate directed by Rod Gailes OBC
Good Morning Ma directed by Jamund Washington
Lifted directed by Randall Dottin
Luggage directed by Veronique N. Doumbe
Paper Sons directed by David Woo
Pariah directed by Dee Rees
Pop Foul directed by Moon Molson
Roadblock directed by Jonte
Saving Mom and Dad directed by Kartik Singh
Swine, Liquor, and White Women directed by Stuart Weinstock
The Family Will directed by Joshua Caldwell
The Package directed by Caskey
The Son directed by Jamil Smith and Reynaldo Valentin
The Wannabe directed by Althea Wasow
What’s Yours… directed by Michael Allen Carter

Narrative shorts out of competition include 5 films:

Cup of Joe directed by Asad Durrani
Ezekiel directed by Keith Sam Jr.
Hit Me directed by Steven Minor
Papi directed by Milton Diaz
Skin directed by Monica Orbe

Documentary shorts in competition include 4 films:

African Underground: Democracy in Dakar directed by Magee McIlvaine and Chris Moore
Bootyful World directed by Avital Levy
Lil’ Skrappy Boy directed by Alex Munoz
Sound of the Drums directed by Ekene Okobi

HBO is the Founding Sponsor of the Urbanworld Film Festival. Courvoisier is this year’s Official Sponsor, with Principal Sponsors including NBC4 and NYC TV as local broadcast television media partners; amNY as official daily newspaper; and Power 105 as official radio partner. Kodak, Image Entertainment, the Directors Guild of America, Warner Bros. / Warner Independent Pictures, and AMC Loews 34th Street serve as Benefactor Sponsors. The Westin New York at Times Square will serve as the host hotel of the festival.

Urbanworld will continue its strategic partnership with VIBE magazine, the preeminent brand in urban music and culture, to serve as the exclusive national urban consumer magazine, providing pre- and post-event exposure in the magazine and on VIBE’s Web site in support of the festival.

“VIBE is excited to continue our partnership with Urbanworld and joining in the festival's mission of exposing film enthusiasts to this kind of diversity,” said Leonard Burnett, Group Publisher, VIBE magazine. “The talent represented in Urbanworld this year is evidence of our commitment to showcasing the top tier of budding filmmakers. We look forward to a dynamic competition and the opportunity to present this slate of films by and about people of color to the city of New York.”

Since its inception, Urbanworld has presented over 500 features, shorts and documentaries, with estimated attendance reaching 15,000. This year, the 4-day, 11th Annual Urbanworld VIBE Film Festival will feature screenings of 49 independent films in competition, studio premieres, panel discussions, screenplay readings and an awards brunch honoring the festival winners.

ABOUT Urbanworld:

Urbanworld was launched in August 1997 by founder Stacy Spikes, a former executive at Miramax. Over the past ten years, Urbanworld has presented approximately 600 features, shorts and documentaries, with estimated attendance reaching 15,000. Now in its eleventh year, the Urbanworld VIBE Film Festival is the largest internationally competitive festival of its kind. The Urbanworld VIBE Film Festival is an initiative delivered by the Urbanworld Foundation, a nonprofit organization dedicated to redefining the role of multicultural constituents in contemporary cinema by implementing programs and events that support the development and success of the urban filmmaking community. Spikes serves as chairman emeritus. Gabrielle Glore serves as executive producer. For more information, please visit www.urbanworld.org.


VIBE Media Group, an affiliate of The Wicks Group of Companies, L.L.C., is a leading music/lifestyle media company that publishes the award-winning VIBE magazine, the preeminent brand in urban and music culture, which was founded by Quincy Jones in 1993. Additional VIBE Media Group properties include VIBE VIXEN magazine, which was launched in 2005 and reaches over 4.5 million women; Vibe.com; Comcast’s VIBE video-on-demand channel; The VIBE Awards; the wireless content service mVibe; and VIBE Books, which published The New York Times bestseller, Tupac Shakur



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