UrbanWorld Film Festival to Open with ‘Beyond the Lights’

The 2014 UrbanWorld Film Festival, the 18th annual fest presented by BET and sponsored by HBO, has set a lineup of 70 films including opener “Beyond the Lights” from director Gina Prince-Bythewood (“Love and Basketball,” “The Secret Life of Bees”).

Spotlight events during the fest include a 30th anniversary sing-along screening of “Purple Rain” and an HBO Latino screening of “Habla Men,” as well as a transmedia lineup grouped under the heading UrbanWorld Underground.

The roster of shorts and feature films also includes a dozen world premieres, with narrative features such as Kiara Jones’ “Christmas Wedding Baby,” Nefertite Nguvu’s “In the Morning” and Justin Foran and Jason Sokoloff’s “Love Magical,” as well as docs like Marquis Smalls’ “Hating Obama.”

Relativity’s “Beyond the Lights,” about an up and coming musician struggling with the pressures of fame, stars Gugu Mbatha-Raw (“Belle”), Nate Parker, Minnie Driver and Danny Glover. After its world premiere at Toronto, the film kicks off the UrbanWorld fest prior to its Nov. 14 release.

Full slate of the 2014 fest, which runs Sept. 17-21, can be found at the UrbanWorld website.

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