The 19th Annual Urbanworld Film Festival (www.urbanworld.org), presented by BET Networks(BET) with founding sponsor HBO, today announced all of the films that will be showcased. The nation’s largest competitive multicultural film festival will screen over 80 films and will take place September 23-27, 2015 at Manhattan’s AMC Empire 25 on 234 West 42nd Street.
BET’s Muhammad Ali: The People’s Champ will serve as the opening night film at 7:30 p.m. on Wednesday, September 23. The biographical tribute to the former heavyweight champion, directed and executive produced by Clarence “Coodie” Simmons and Chike Ozah, will connect the fighter’s boxing prowess as well as his social media activism, to the millennial audience to reveal Ali’s meaning in the world today. Premiering on BET Wednesday, September 23 at 8:00 p.m. ET/PT, the special features exclusive interviews with family, friends and admirers including Muhammad Ali’s daughter and niece Laila Ali and Shaya Ali, LL Cool J, Ludacris, T.I., Nas, Mike Tyson, Sugar Ray Leonard, Ray Lewis, Tyrese, Rosie Perez, David Banner, Michael Eric Dyson, Billie Jean King, Walt Frazier, Jim Brown, Ronnie Essett, Sway Calloway, Wood Harris, Jeffrey T. Sammons, Godfrey C. Danchimah, Richard Sherman, J. Ivy and Common. A Q&A with filmmakers will follow.
“BET is honored to return as presenting sponsor of the 2015 Urbanworld Film Festival, an important platform for diverse content makers and film lovers alike,” said Constance Orlando, Senior Vice President of Music, Specials and News for BET Networks. “We are also excited to launch BET’s original news documentary series with the film, Muhammad Ali: The People’s Champ, during the festival’s opening night.”
A Ballerina’s Tale will close the festival on Saturday, September 26 at 8:30pm. The film is an intimate look at a crucial period in the career of principal dancer Misty Copeland of American Ballet Theatre (ABT). It follows Misty from her triumphant lead performance in Igor Stravinsky’s Firebird at New York’s Metropolitan Opera House