Urbanworld Film Festival guide: 5 independent films you should be watching

A New York Christmas Wedding
Directed by Odoja Abit
Starring Nia Fairweather, Cooper Koch, Adriana DeMeo, David Anzuelo, Tyra Ferrell, and Chris Noth
Synopsis: As her Christmas Eve wedding draws near, Jennifer is visited by an angel and shown what could have been if she hadn’t denied her true feelings for her childhood best friend.

Dark City Beneath the Beat
Directed by TT The Artist
Producers: Issa Rae, Deniese Davis, Asrid Curet
Synopsis: Dark City Beneath the Beat is an audiovisual experience that opens a window to the soundscape of Baltimore city. Inspired by an all original Baltimore club music soundtrack, the film spotlights local club artists, DJs, dancers, producers, and Baltimore’s budding creative community as they are realizing their life dreams. Rhythmic and raw, these stories illustrate the unique characteristics of the city’s landscape and social climate through music, poetry, and dance.

The Power of Hope
Directed by Kalia Love Jones
Synopsis: When her mother falls ill, an inspiring architect grapples with feelings of helplessness, but moved by the words of Michelle Obama, she finds the will to persevere and bring her dreams to reality.

Alice Street
Directed by: Spencer Wilkinson
Synopsis: Two Oakland muralists paint their most ambitious project to date in Oakland’s downtown, ground zero for gentrification. The mural is dedicated to the diverse cultural artists that intersect on the corner, who are threatened by displacement. As the mural paint dries, a luxury condo is planned that will obstruct the art and cultural history. The community decides to fight back.

East of La Brea
Directed by: Sam Bailey
Synopsis: Taking place in South LA in the dead heat of summer, East of La Brea tells the vibrant stories of different communities where folks are broke and rent is high. Roommates Aisha and Farha navigate the changing landscape of their native LA home and their own ethnic communities, adulthood, and making their dreams come true which proves more difficult than they could ever imagine.

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