The 27th Annual Urbanworld Film Festival has announced Grammy and Emmy-nominated producer, actor, musician, and filmmaker, RZA, as the official ambassador for this year’s event. RZA, known as a founding member of the iconic Wu-Tang Clan, also co-directs the documentary, “A Wu-Tang Experience: Live at Red Rocks Amphitheatre,” alongside Gerald Barclay. This film will have its world premiere at Urbanworld on November 3. It delves into the Wu-Tang Clan’s 2021 performance with the Colorado Symphony Orchestra.
RZA expressed his excitement, saying, “I’m completely honored to be a part of a platform like Urbanworld, which supports storytellers from all walks of life. As a filmmaker, I understand the work that goes into not only getting a film made but getting it seen. There aren’t a lot of film festivals that intentionally shine a light on the works of Black Men and Women in our industry. Our growing number of directors and producers need more outlets. Urbanworld gets it, and this opportunity to serve as ambassador to this year’s festival is an honor and a privilege.”
In addition to Rza, Urbanworld also revealed that the festival’s Opening Night Film will be “American Fiction,” directed by Cord Jefferson and winner of the Toronto International Film Festival award.
The Urbanworld Film Festival is scheduled to take place from November 1 to 5, 2023, at AMC 34th Street and the SVA Theatre. HBO is returning as the Founding Partner for the 27th year, and Warner Bros. Discovery is serving as the Prestige Partner. Tickets and passes for the festival can be purchased at urbanworld.org.
The festival will feature a range of engaging events and activities. Misty Copeland will participate in a post-screening discussion of her short film, “Flower,” directed by Lauren Finerman and executive produced by Nelson George and Leyla Fayyaz. NBCUniversal will showcase their new television series, “Found,” starring Shanola Hampton. National Geographic Documentary Films will sponsor over 100 New York City students to attend a screening of “The Space Race,” directed by Diego Hurtado de Mendoza and Lisa Cortès, with Astronaut Leland Melvin in attendance for a Q&A.
A Friday night tribute to music videos, sponsored by Hulu and titled “Lights, Cameras, Rhymes: 50 Years of Hip Hop on Screen,” will be a highlight. The retrospective will be followed by a panel discussion featuring industry icons, including director Benny Boom and artist Tariq “Black Thought” Trotter.
Furthermore, the Urbanworld Innovation Conference & Panel will return on Friday, November 3, at the SVA SOC DOC Theater. This one-day event will provide a platform for networking and building community among diverse creatives. Filmmakers, industry leaders, and content creators from media, technology, and storytelling will engage in discussions on various topics, including AI, culture, sports, and content distribution.
For more information, visit urbanworld.org