'Visit' to lead slate, have Oscar campaign

NEW YORK — The Urbanworld Group, sponsors of Gotham’s Urbanworld Film Festival — the largest film confab devoted to minority fare — is launching an acquisitions label, Urbanworld Films.

Urbanworld plans to release five films in 2001.

Leading its slate is “The Visit,” which Urbanworld is targeting for limited release next month, eventually taking the pic wide in February. The story of a man’s incarceration and its devastating effect on his family, “The Visit” marks the debut of first-time writer/director/producer Jordan Walker-Pearlman. It features Billy Dee Williams, Hill Harper, Rae Dawn Chong and Talia Shire.

Urbanworld plans to mount a major Oscar campaign for “The Visit.” Shoreline Entertainment will rep the pic worldwide.

Urbanworld’s theatrical division will cover the same cultural terrain as the Urbanworld Fest, targeting African-American, Latin and Asian auds while attempting to bridge the indie film sector and Hollywood. Urbanworld Group founder and CEO Stacy Spikes, a 15-year marketing and entertainment vet and former exec at Miramax and October Films, will oversee the theatrical arm.

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