'Blackout' to light Urbanworld


The Urbanworld VIBE Film Festival will kick off June 21 in New York with the opening-night film "Blackout," directed by Jerry LaMothe and starring Melvin Van Peebles, Zoe Saldana, Jeffrey Wright and LaTanya Richardson.

The 11th annual festival, running through June 24, will screen 49 films drawn from independent cinema by and about people of color.

The lineup includes the world premiere of "Who's Your Caddy?" the first release from Robert L. Johnson and Tracy Edmonds' Our Stories Films. The slate also features work from Latino American, Asian American and female directors and features several films with ties to New York.

"This year, the Urbanworld VIBE Film Festival is presenting what is arguably our most diverse slate to date, from the perspective of both filmmakers and subject matter," Urbanworld founder Stacy Spikes said.

Other titles include "Mr. Untouchable," directed by Marc Levin and executive produced by Damon Dash, about the life and times of Harlem drug lord Leroy "Nicky" Barnes; "Gangsta Rap: A Glockumentary," directed by Damon "Coke" Daniels; "Faizon Love's Tao of the Golden Mask," directed by Faizon Love; "Hellfighters," a documentary about Harlem's only high school football team, directed by John Frankel; "August the First," directed by Lanre Olabisi, focussing on an American family confronting its Nigerian past; "Divided We Fall," a documentary from Indian American director Sharat Raju that traces hate crimes throughout the U.S. in the wake of 9/11; and "Tie a Yellow Ribbon," Joy Dietrich's exploration of racial identity in the Asian American community.

All festival screenings will be held at the AMC Loews 34th Street Theatres.