Urbanworld Fest expands

Contests for Black scribes, Latino filmmakers added

The Urbanworld Film Festival will double the number of films in its program and introduce a screenwriting competition for black scribes and a sidebar for Latin filmmakers in its second edition, which will run from Aug. 5-9 in Gotham.

The festival also announced that Wesley Snipes has joined its board, which includes Debbie Allen, Charles Burnett, Kenneth (Babyface) Edmonds, Samuel L. Jackson, Danny Glover and others.

Founded in 1997 by executive director Stacy Spikes to showcase the work of minority filmmakers, the Urbanworld fest screened 30 features and shorts in its first year. Among the six features making their world premiere at the festival was 20th Century Fox’s hit “Soul Food.”

“We are very excited about bringing as many voices from black independent cinema to the screen as well as creating opportunities for black filmmakers to broaden their skills and contribute to the medium,” says Spikes.

The deadline for entries for the screenwriting competition is June 15. Eligible scripts must be feature length and cannot have been developed into films. All submissions must be accompanied by a $40 entry fee.

Entries for the Latin film sidebar will be accepted through June 19.

This year’s edition of the Urbanworld fest will be sponsored by Vibe magazine, MovieFone, Premiere magazine, Eastman Kodak, Absolut Vodka and the New York Times.

For further information about the festival, please call (212) 941-3845 or visit the festival’s web site at http://www.uwff.com.