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Muhammad Ali doc to open, Misty Copeland film to close 2015 Urbanworld Film Festival

Muhammad Ali
Source: Twitter/@UWFilmFest

Industry insiders and movie buffs alike are buzzing about the upcoming 2015 Urbanworld Film Festival.

Presented by BET Networks and HBO, this year’s fest will open with the Muhammad Ali biopic, The People’s Champ, and close with A Ballerina’s Tale, a documentary about trailblazing American Ballet Theater principal dancer Misty Copeland. Both films are among a group of over 80 films, including documentaries, narratives, and shorts to be showcased at the 19th annual festival.

Directed by famed duo Coodie & Chike, The People’s Champ will shine a light on not only Ali’s legendary career in the ring, but also his tremendous activism and sometimes controversial political beliefs. Featured interviews in the film include, Common, Laila Ali, and Sugar Ray Leonard among others. Acclaimed author and filmmaker Nelson George’s A Ballerina’s Tale, which received rave reviews upon its premiere at the Tribeca Film Festival earlier this year, will tell the tale of Copeland’s ascent in the world of ballet as well some of the hardships she’s faced and overcome.

Other films of interest include Bobbito Garcia’s Stretch and Bobbito: Radio That Changed Lives, Rebecca Johnson’s Honeytrap, and Mathew Ramirez Warren’s We Like It Like That.

The 2015 Urbanworld festival runs Sept. 23-27. For more information on the festival, please visit

Check out the full list of movies below.


Muhammad Ali: The People’s Champ – Directed by Coodie Simmons & Chike Ozah (USA)  – US Premiere — Presented by BET Networks


A Ballerina’s Tale – Directed by Nelson George (USA)


3 ½ Minutes, 10 Bullets – Directed by Marc Silver (USA)

Stretch & Bobbito: Radio That Changed Lives – Directed by Bobbito Garcia (USA)

The Man In 3B – Directed by Trey Haley (USA) – East Coast premiere


After School – Directed by Carlos Melendez  & Mauricio Mendoza (USA) – New York premiere

A Girl Like Grace – Directed by Ty Hodges (USA) – New York premiere

Breaking Through – Directed by John Swetnam  (USA) – US premiere

Carmin Tropical  –  Directed by Rigoberto Perezcano (Mexico) – New York premiere

Chapter & Verse –  Directed by Jamal Joseph  (USA) – World premiere

Flow  –  Directed by Fenar Ahmad (Denmark) – U.S. premiere

Honeytrap –  Directed Rebecca Johnson (UK) – New York premiere

Knucklehead –  Directed by Ben Bowman (USA)

Last Night –  Directed by Harold Jackson III (USA)

Pocha –  Directed by Michael Dwyer (USA) – New York premiere

Primero De Enero (January 1st) – Directed by Erika Bagnarello (Dominican Republic) – New York premiere

Riding 79  –  Directed by Karola Hawk Gonzalez (Puerto Rico) – New York premiere

Romeo is Bleeding –  Directed by Jason Zeldes (USA)

Somewhere In The Middle –  Directed by Lanre Olabisi (USA) – New York premiere

The Stockroom –  Directed by Victor Cruz (USA) – World premiere

The Two of Us –  Directed by Ernest Nkosi (South Africa) – New York premiere


Anatomy of a Dress –  Directed by Flora Pérez-Garay (Puerto Rico) – New York premiere

Hate Crimes in the Heartland –  Directed by Rachel Lyon (USA)

Dramatic Escape –  Directed by Nick Quested (USA) – World premiere

Can You Dig This –  Directed by Delila Vallot (USA) – New York premiere

We Like It Like That – Directed by Mathew Ramirez Warren (USA) – New York premiere

In Football We Trust – Co-Directed by Tony Vainuku and Erika Cohn  (USA) – New York premiere

Tap World –  Directed by Dean Hargrove (USA)

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