The 13th Annual Urbanworld Film Festival Announces F. Gary Gray’s ‘LAW ABIDING CITIZEN’ as the 2009 Opening Night Film

The 13th Annual Urbanworld Film Festival, presented by BET Networks, today announced the opening night selection of Overture Films’ dramatic thriller LAW ABIDING CITIZEN, starring Gerard Butler, Academy Award((R)) winner Jamie Foxx and Academy Award nominee Viola Davis under the direction of F. Gary Gray. The star-studded event will be held on Wednesday, September 23, 2009 in the heart of Manhattan with principal cast and director in attendance. The nation’s largest competitive multicultural film festival will run through September 27.

Urbanworld also proudly announced the 2009 official selections for the narrative feature, documentary feature, short documentary and short narrative categories. The festival will screen 68 films this year. Closing night and spotlight screenings will be announced September 9.

Highlights of the Urbanworld 2009 official selections include Academy Award nominee Sophie Okonedo in Anthony Fabian’s SKIN, Chris Rock’s highly-anticipated documentary GOOD HAIR, four-time Emmy((R)) nominee CCH Pounder and Nicki Michaeux in Maria Govan’s RAIN; and five films selected in conjunction with Great Britain’s B3 Media for the inaugural “UK in Focus” sidebar.

“We’re thrilled to open Urbanworld 2009 with F. Gary Gray’s latest work and welcome this talented director’s return to the festival thirteen years after our inaugural presentation of his classic film, SET IT OFF,” explained festival founder Stacy Spikes. “LAW ABIDING CITIZEN kicks off a dynamic slate of films that reflect the energy and elasticity of urban and ethnic cinema. We encourage film lovers everywhere to join us for a four-day celebration of the best and brightest in multicultural moviemaking.”

Urbanworld Film Festival 2009 Roster

Opening Night:

LAW ABIDING CITIZEN directed by F. Gary Gray

Narrative Features include 12 films:

BLUE directed by Ryan Miningham

DON’T LET ME DROWN directed by Cruz Angeles

HUSH directed by Mark Tonderai (UK IN FOCUS)

JUST ANOTHER DAY directed by Peter Spirer

MISSISSIPPI DAMNED directed by Tina Mabry

RAIN directed by Maria Govan

SALUD directed by Cesar De Leon

SHIFTY directed by Eran Creevy (UK IN FOCUS)

SKIN directed by Anthony Fabian

THE GOOD NEIGHBOR POLICY directed by Edgar P. Davis

TOE TO TOE directed by Emily Abt

TURISTAS directed by Alicia Scherson

Documentary Features include 17 films

AMERICANA directed by Topaz Adizes

BAMA GIRL directed by Rachel Goslins

BURMA VJ directed by Anders Ostergaard

CRIPS AND BLOODS: MADE IN AMERICA directed by Stacy Peralta

EVENTUAL SALVATION directed by Dee Rees

GOOD HAIR directed by Jeff Stilson

MRS. GOUNDO’S DAUGHTER directed by Barbara Attie, Janet Goldwater

OFF AND RUNNING directed by Sharese Bullock

P- STAR RISING directed by Gabriel Noble

PRESSURE COOKER directed by Mark Becker

SAMO: ART & INFLUENCE OF JEAN-MICHEL BASQUIAT by Bethany Ward-Lawe

SAY MY NAME directed by Nirit Peled

SHOOTING STARS directed by Johnny Nunez

STILL BILL directed by Alex Vlack, Damani Baker

THE LOST SON OF HAVANA directed by Jon Hock

THE VISITORS directed by Melis Birder

WHAT’S ON YOUR PLATE? directed by Catherine Gund

Short Documentaries include 5 films:

A SENTENCE APART directed by Theo Rigby

A SONG FOR OURSELVES directed by Tadashi Nakamura

BRONX PRINCESS directed by Yoni Brook

HOODS TO WOODS directed by Brian Paupaw

KEEP ON STEPPIN’ directed by Christine Noschese

Short Films include 29 films:

A BARBER’S TALE directed by Nelson George

AMAZON WOMEN directed by Kiara C. Jones

BIG BLACK GOOD MAN directed by Usame Tunagar

BROTHERS INCORPORATED directed by Michael Johnson

ENTER THE PREACHER directed by Paulette James (UK IN FOCUS)

FATHER’S DAY directed by Brian Rolling

FRENCH FOR FOREIGNERS directed by Kartik Singh

GRACE directed by Alrick Brown

HAIR WE ARE directed by Daniella Belchner (UK IN FOCUS)

HOPE directed by Justin Foran

HUG directed by Khary Jones

IN THE WIND directed by Marty Papazian

LA OPERACIONE directed by Victor Cruz

LIFE ON EARTH directed by Jeffrey A. Keith

LOCKS directed by Ryan Coogler

MANALI CREAM directed by Navdeep Kandola (UK IN FOCUS)

MARIACHI directed by Elena Greenlee

MEDICINE MAN directed by Himkar Tak

NUEVA YORK directed by Manolo Celi

OSVALDO’S directed by Randy Wilkins

OUT OF THE DARKNESS directed by Nikki V. Roberts

POPOUS PANE & THE KIDS HE LOVES TO HATE directed by Derrick Anthony

PRODUCTION directed by Lenny Payan

SATURDAY MORNING BLUES directed by Yvonne Michelle Shirley

SECOND CHANCES directed by Moses Halley of Films by Youth Inside

THE FALL directed by Aaron Wallace

THE ROE EFFECT directed by Kiel Adrian Scott

TRECE ANOS directed by Topaz Adizes

WING IT directed by Maria Quintana

About Urbanworld

Urbanworld was launched in August 1997 with 35 films, by founder Stacy Spikes, a former Miramax executive. BET Networks returns as the 2009 Presenting Sponsor. HBO continues support as the Founding Sponsor. Principal Sponsors include ESPN, Black Enterprise, Essence, Giant, HoneyMag.com, BlackPlanet.com, and MiGente.com. Benefactor Sponsors include Warner Bros., Stella Artois, Directors Guild of America – New York, Tekserve, AMC Theatres and UrbanBeautyCollective.com.

About BET Networks

BET Networks, a division of Viacom Inc. (NYSE: VIA, VIA.B), is the nation’s leading provider of quality entertainment, music, news and public affairs television programming for the African-American audience. The primary BET channel reaches more than 98 million households and can be seen in the United States, Canada, the Caribbean, the United Kingdom and sub-Saharan Africa. BET is the dominant African-American consumer brand with a diverse group of businesses extensions: BET.com, a leading Internet destination for Black entertainment, music, culture, and news; BET Digital Networks – BET J, BET Gospel and BET Hip Hop, attractive alternatives for cutting-edge entertainment tastes; BET Home Entertainment, a collection of BET-branded offerings for the home environment including DVDs and video-on-demand; BET Mobile, which provides ringtones, games and video content for wireless devices; and BET International, which operates BET in the United Kingdom and oversees the extension of BET network programming for global distribution.

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