The Urbanworld Film Festival will open its 24th edition with David Oyelowo’s directorial debut “The Water Man” on Sept. 23.
Oyelowo stars in the fantasy-adventure film that follows a boy who sets out on a quest to save his ill mother by searching for a mythic figure said to have magical healing powers. A conversation with Oyelowo, Rosario Dawson, Lonnie Chavis and Amiah Miller moderated by Ava DuVernay will immediately follow the screening, as well as a special music performance by Alice Smith. “The Water Man” will premiere on Sept. 19 at the Toronto Intl. Film Festival.
“In an unimaginable year of change, we remain inspired by the creativity, culture and community that prevail in this brave new virtual world,” said Gabrielle Glore, festival director and head of programming. “Powerful storytelling is now more important than ever and Urbanworld is proud to be a consistent platform that brings Black, Indigenous and people of color storytellers and audiences together from across the globe.”
The festival will host a Sept. 24 conversation around HBO’s “Siempre, Luis,” a portrait of activist Luis A. Miranda Jr., the father of Lin-Manuel Miranda. The discussion will include clips from the film and panelists, director John James and Miranda. It will be moderated by journalist Julio Ricardo Varela.
Hulu’s “Bad Hair” will screen on Sept. 24. The horror satire, set in 1989, follows an ambitious young woman who gets a weave in order to succeed in the image-obsessed world of music television A conversation will follow about the making of the film with writer/director Justin Simien, Lena Waithe, Elle Lorraine and Kelly Rowland, moderated by Tahira Joy.
Amy Andrieux will have a one-on-one conversation with Alana Mayo, the new president of Orion Pictures, on Sept. 25. “Candyman” director/co-writer Nia DaCosta, Teyonah Parris and Vanessa Williams will appear at the festival on that date for a conversation, moderated by journalist Kelley L. Carter. The event will include a sneak peek and discussion of what audiences can expect
The Sept. 26 lineup will feature a spotlight on Peacock’s “Noughts & Crosses” series that reimagines an alternate universe in which Africa colonized Europe and the racial power structure as we know it is turned upside down. Stars Masali Baduza and Paterson Joseph will discuss the series with journalist Isha Sesay.
AMC Networks will present a three-part event on Sept. 26 featuring cast members from “Gangs of London,” “Soulmates” and “The Walking Dead: World Beyond.” Radha Blank will discuss her film “The Forty-Year-Old Version” in a conversation led by writer/director Robert Townsend. A screening and conversation about HBO Max’s “Charm City Kings ” has also been scheduled with director Angel Manuel Soto, producer Caleeb Pinkett and stars Jahi Di’Allo Winston and Will Catlett.
David E. Talbert and his wife/producing partner Lyn Sisson-Talbert will discuss the upcoming “Jingle Jangle: A Christmas Journey” on Sept. 27. The festival will close that day with “Come Away,” which stars Oyelowo and Angelina Jolie. The screening will be followed by a conversation moderated by Urbanworld Film Festival Founder Stacy Spikes with Oyelowo and actress Kiera Chansa.
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