Film fest’s in gear

BMW to sponsor Urbanworld screenings

NEW YORK — The Gotham-based Urbanworld Film Festival has scored a major strategic partner in BMW to take feature, documentary and short film hits from the fest lineup on the road in a Screening Series tour, with stops in Atlanta, Los Angeles and Washington, D.C.

Series will bow in November and continue for two months, with screenings, discussion panels and receptions in each of the three markets. Selections will be culled from the recent Urbanworld fest, which wrapped in September.

“The impact of BMW Films in the independent movie space has been amazing, and the fact that they recognize and want to work with Urbanworld is continued evidence of this market’s viability and strength,” Urbanworld founder and chairman Stacy Spikes said. “We are excited at the possibilities of where this can go.”

“BMW has long supported diversity in films,” added Kay Madati, multicultural marketing manager for BMW North America. “Since the founding of BMW Films, we have drawn on a diverse range of talent to make that series a resounding success. It is only natural for us to partner with Urbanworld, a company that has succeeded in becoming an acknowledged leader in this arena.”

Now in its seventh year, Urbanworld is the largest international competitive specialized fest of its kind, with an advisory board that includes Charles Burnett, Kenneth “Babyface” Edmonds, Carl Franklin, Danny Glover, Samuel L. Jackson, Wesley Snipes and Laura Ziskin.

BMW Films has gained attention in the past two years with “The Hire,” a series of branded short films starring Clive Owen, from directors including Ang Lee, Guy Ritchie, John Woo and Wong Kar-Wai. BMW and BMW Films join HBO, Vanguarde Media and Hamilton as official Urbanworld sponsors.

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