This year, the New York Amsterdam News became one of the newest media sponsors of the 20th annual Urbanworld Film Festival, the nation’s largest competitive multicultural film festival in the world.
The expansive festival took over Manhattan’s AMC Empire 25 from Sept. 21 to Sept. 25. This year the festival, again presented by REVOLT and founding sponsor HBO, screened more than 68 films and new media projects.
Here is what we saw and heard at Urbanworld 2016, from the red carpet:
Mira Nair, director of Disney’s “Queen of Katwe”
“This film is very much left and center, is the UrbanWorld, except set in Africa, my other home in Kampala, Uganda. So welcome to ‘Queen of Katwe.’”
David Oyelowo, star of Disney’s “Queen of Katwe”
“This film is significant because intolerance is something that’s very much at the front at this moment. And the way you breakdown intolerance is through understanding. If you can relate to a young Black girl in Uganda, who goes through a journey that’s akin to yours, that breaks down prejudice.”
Gina Prince-Bythewood, co-creator of FOX’s new show, “Shots Fired”
“I have two boys and this issue is so urgent. I mean, every month there seems like there’s another hashtag. We just wanted to be part of the conversation, and try and spark change, because change is absolutely urgent right now.”
Reggie Rock Bythewood, co-creator of FOX’s “Shots Fired”
“My son was with me when a cop pulled us over, and it was very awkward situation. But it was also an opportunity for him to see how dad handles it. Shortly afterward, George Zimmerman verdict came out. And few years later, we put together “Shots Fired,” and here we are.”
Issa Rae, creator and star of HBO’s new show “Insecure”
“HBO pretty much left me alone when I was creating my series, and that’s a great feeling.”
Prentice Penny, executive producer of “Insecure”
“I can confirm that when it comes to casting her show, it’s easy. She’s like ‘No, my homegirl has this role. Yo, my other homegirl has the role. Wait, I know the actor for this part. He’s my homeboy.”