The 19th annual Urbanworld Film Festival, presented by 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. The film follows Copeland from her triumphant lead performance in Igor Stravinsky’s Firebird at New York’s Metropolitan Opera House at Lincoln Center through her painful injury and recovery that followed, to her return to ABT and subsequent pop cultural icon status.

The documentary, directed by Nelson George, also examines issues of race and body image in the elite ballet world. Sundance Selects will release the film theatrically and on VOD on October 14. After the screening, there will be a Q&A featuring Copeland and George.

“With BET and HBO as our returning partners for the festival, we continue to highlight important stories that the world needs to see,” said Gabrielle Glore, festival director for Urbanworld Film Festival. “This year’s festival slate features a diverse collection of films representing culture from across the globe, allowing us to deliver Urbanworld’s most internationally curated content to date. We are proud that Urbanworld continues to be the destination for both filmmakers, studios and networks to connect with multicultural audiences.”

In addition to BET Networks and HBO, the festival proudly partners with brands who are committed to Urbanworld’s mission. Comcast NBC Universal Telemundo and Time Warner serve as premiere sponsors. Industry Circle sponsors include Fox Audience Strategy, Fox Global Directors Initiative, Interactive One, VH1, UMC, the Swirl Group, MoviePass, the Directors Guild of America and AMC. Uptown, Hello Beautiful, Global Grind, NewsOne, TheUrbanDaily and Power 105 are media sponsors.

For additional announcements in September, go to



Muhammad Ali: The People’s Champ – Directed by Clarence “Coodie” Simmons & Chike Ozah (USA) – Presented by BET Networks


A Ballerina’s Tale – Directed by Nelson George (USA) – Presented by Sundance Selects


3 ½ Minutes, 10 Bullets – Directed by Marc Silver (USA) – Presented by HBO

Stretch & Bobbito: Radio That Changed Lives – Directed by Bobbito Garcia (USA)

The Man in 3B – Directed by Trey Haley (USA) – East Coast Premiere


After School – Directed by Carlos Melendez  & Mauricio Mendoza (USA) – New York Premiere

A Girl Like Grace – Directed by Ty Hodges (USA) – New York Premiere

Breaking Through – Directed by John Swetnam  (USA) – US Premiere

Carmin Tropical –  Directed by Rigoberto Perezcano (Mexico) – New York Premiere – Presented by NewFest in Partnership with Outfest

Chapter & Verse –  Directed by Jamal Joseph  (USA) – World Premiere

Flow  –  Directed by Fenar Ahmad (Denmark) – US Premiere

Honeytrap –  Directed Rebecca Johnson (UK) – New York Premiere

Knucklehead –  Directed by Ben Bowman (USA)

Last Night –  Directed by Harold Jackson III (USA)

Pocha –  Directed by Michael Dwyer (USA) – New York Premiere

Primero de Enero (January 1) – Directed by Erika Bagnarello (Dominican Republic) – New York Premiere

Riding 79  –  Directed by Karola Hawk Gonzalez (Puerto Rico) – New York Premiere

Somewhere in the Middle –  Directed by Lanre Olabisi (USA) – New York Premiere

The Stockroom –  Directed by Victor Cruz (USA) – World Premiere

The Two of Us –  Directed by Ernest Nkosi (South Africa) – New York Premiere


Anatomy of a Dress –  Directed by Flora Pérez-Garay (Puerto Rico) – New York Premiere

Can You Dig This –  Directed by Delila Vallot (USA) – New York Premiere

Dramatic Escape – Directed by Nick Quested (USA) – World Premiere

Hate Crimes in the Heartland –  Directed by Rachel Lyon (USA)

In Football We Trust – Co-Directed by Tony Vainuku and Erika Cohn  (USA) – New York Premiere

Romeo Is Bleeding –  Directed by Jason Zeldes (USA)

Tap World –  Directed by Dean Hargrove (USA)

We Like It Like That – Directed by Mathew Ramirez Warren (USA) – New York Premiere


By Jamal Joseph: A Life Transformed by the Arts – Directed by Mike De Caro (USA) – World Premiere

Looking at the Stars – Directed by Alexandre Peralta (Brazil) – New York Premiere

Quest for Cuba: Questlove Brings the Funk to Havana – Directed by Jauretsi & Daniel Petruzzi (USA) – Presented by Okayplayer Films & Jill Newman Productions


#American –  Directed by Nate Parker (USA) – New York Premiere

1440 & Counting –  Directed by Tony Gapastione (USA) – New York Premiere

2nd Life –  Directed by Jake Alexander McAfee (USA) – New York Premiere

Ackee & Saltfish –  Directed by Cecile Meke (UK)

About That… –  Directed by Damien Smith (USA) – New York Premiere

Amishi –  Directed by Malinda Kaur (UK)

Ana –  Directed by Renee Marie Petropoulos (USA) – New York Premiere

Bad Hunter –  Directed by Sahim Omar Kalifa (Belgium) – New York Premiere

Beyond the Passage –  Directed by Terrence Jones (USA) – New York Premiere

Blackcard –  Directed by Pete Chatmon (USA)

Boxed In –  Directed by Tasha Smith (USA) – New York Premiere

Charlotte –  Directed by Angel Kristi Williams (USA)  – New York Premiere

Clean –  Directed by Gabriel Wilson (USA) – World Premiere

Debt to Society –  Directed by Tristan Daley (USA) – New York Premiere

Dream –  Directed by Nijla Mu’min (USA) – New York Premiere

Dubois –  Directed by Kaz Ové (Trinidad & Tobago) – New York Premiere

Fanta Face –  Directed by Yaa Boaa Aning (USA) – World Premiere

Forgiving Chris Brown –  Directed by Marquette Jones (USA) – World Premiere

Gang –  Directed by Clayton Vomero (USA) – US Premiere

Human Behavior –  Directed by Carey WIlliams – New York Premiere

In the Clouds –  Directed by Marcelo Mitnik (Argentina) – New York Premiere

King of Guangzhou –  Directed by Quester Hannah (China)

Late Expectations –  Directed by Laurie Arakaki (USA) – World Premiere

Lia –  Directed by Ethosheia Hylton   (UK) – World Premiere

Love for Passion –  Directed by Nathan Hale Williams (USA)

Mandala –  Directed by Guan Xi  (China) – New York Premiere

Marianne –  Directed by Tomisin Adepeju (UK) – New York Premiere

Only Light –  Directed by Evita Castine (USA)

Roubado –  Directed by Erica A. Watson (USA) – New York Premiere

Since I Laid Eyes –  Directed by Adel Morales

South Arcadia Street –  Directed by Melanie D’Andrea (USA) – New York Premiere

Standing8 –  Directed by Michael Molina Minard (USA)

Stanhope –  Directed by Solvan Naim (USA) – New York Premiere

Stomach –  Directed by Javier Kühn (UK/Spain) – World Premiere

Taking Chance –  Directed by Jerry Lamothe (USA) – World Premiere

Tap Shoes & Violins –  Directed by Dax Brooks (USA) – New York Premiere

The Call –  Directed by Zamo Mkhwanazi (USA) – New York Premiere

The Cycle –  Directed by Michael Marantz (USA) – New York Premiere

The Loyalist –  Directed by Minji Kang (South Korea)

The Reunion –  Directed by Carmen Elly Wilkerson (USA) – New York Premiere

The Trade –  Directed by Michael A. Pinckney (USA) – World Premiere

The Trophy Thief –  Directed by Dave Edwardz (USA) – New York Premiere

The Walk –  Directed by Alonso Alvarez Barreda (Mexico) – New York Premiere

The Waltz –  Directed by Trevor Zhou (USA) – World Premiere

Times of Competition –  Directed by Toti Loureiro & Ruy Prado (Brazil) – New York Premiere

Tough –  Directed by Alfonso Johnson (USA) –  New York Premiere

Wait Till the Wolves Make Nice –  Directed by Jess dela Merced (USA) – New York Premiere

Wayward – Directed by Kira Richards Hansen (Denmark) – New York Premiere

Welcoming Arms – Directed by Roseanne Ma (USA) – New York Premiere

When Fragile Things Break – Directed by Shanika Warren-Markland (USA) – New York Premiere