Film About Kenneth Chamberlain, Black Man Killed by Police, Wins Top Prize at Urbanworld Fest

Killing of Kenneth Chamberlain
Courtesy of Urbanworld Film Festival

'The Killing of Kenneth Chamberlain' was among the winners announced Sunday to close out the 24th annual Urbanworld Film Festival.

David Midell’s The Killing of Kenneth Chamberlain — a ripped-from-the-headlines film about Kenneth Chamberlain Sr., a Black veteran with bipolar disorder who was killed during an encounter with police in 2011 — has won the top narrative feature prize at the 24th annual Urbanworld Film Festival.

Frankie Faison, Anika Noni Rose, Steve O’Connell, Enrico Natale, Ben Marten and LaRoyce Hawkins star in the the film, which was produced by Natale, Sharad Chib, Chris Paladino and Milan Chakraborty. Chamberlain's story garnered national headlines at the time of his death and predated many of the current conversations surrounding how authorities handle situations involving those with mental illness. According to the Yonkers Tribune, the Second Circuit reversed the district court’s dismissal of claims against police and the case is headed back to district court.

Urbanworld, presented by founding partner HBO and prestige partner WarnerMedia, announced its honors Sunday following this year’s event from Sept. 23-27. In total, there were 98 official selections, four spotlight screenings with conversations, eight spotlight conversations, seven Creativity Uncovered conversations and four original screenplay finalists. Participants included Stacey Abrams, Congresswoman Ayanna Pressley, Ava DuVernay, David Oyelewo, Rosario Dawson, Lena Waithe, Luis A. Miranda, Jr., Nia DaCosta, Teyonah Parris, Kingsley Ben-Adir, Kelly Rowland, Robert Townsend, Meek Mill, Amy Schumer, Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences chief operating officer Christine Simmons and Orion Pictures’ Alana Mayo, among many others.

Urbanworld also doled out the awards below.

Best Narrative Feature (World Cinema): Salvation, directed by Carmen Sangion

Best Documentary Feature: The Donut King, directed by Alice Gu

Best Documentary Short: My Father The Mover, directed by Julia Jansch

Best Young Creator: Nahjum, directed by Sebastian Torres Greene and Manuel Del Valle

Best Narrative Short: White Eye, directed by Tomer Shushan

Best Animation Short: Windup, directed by Yibing Jiang

Best Web Original: East of LaBrea, directed by Sam Bailey

Best Music Video: Rapsody Feat. Leikeli 47 with "Oprah," directed by Farah X

Vimeo Staff Pick: Eagle, directed by Jose Acevedo