soulhead Urbanworld 2019 Music Lover’s Guide

For the past 23 years, Urbanworld has been skillfully curating some of the best films one can find at any festival.  What is particularly important about Urbanworld is the plethora of underrepresented and diverse talent that has been exposed each year. Similar to past year’s, this year’s festival is teeming with an wide array of subject matter representing a large swath of voices that need more light of day.  This year, Urbanworld will be begin with the harrowing story of freedom-fighter, Harriet Tubman, in Harriet. Starring Cynthia Erivo and featuring artists Leslie Odom Jr. and Janelle Monáe, this feature will definitely have movie-goers on the edge of their seats.    

Like past years, there are dozens of outstanding films and to assist our music loving audience, we put together a list of the events we know will resonate.   As usual, there is something for everyone:  music themed films, music videos, DJs, parties, concerts, panels and much more.  

The festival runs through Sunday, September 22.


Check out our daily guide below:



  1. Harriett – Based on the thrilling and inspirational life of an iconic American freedom fighter, Harriett tells the extraordinary tale of Harriet Tubman’s escape from slavery and transformation into one of America’s greatest heroes. Her courage, ingenuity, and tenacity freed hundreds of slaves and changed the course of history.  [STAFF PICK] 7:30 PM AMC 42nd Empire 25 – Theater 9 | Watch Trailer | BUY TICKETS
Cynthia Erivo stars as Harriet Tubman in HARRIET, a Focus Features release.
Credit: Glen Wilson / Focus Features


  1. Opening Night Party – Featuring Meshell Ndegeocello and D.J. mOma (BY INVITATION ONLY) 



  1. BGM – A Temi Oni Music Video Debut. After an uncomfortable encounter, a young girl seeks refuge in the girls bathroom and is transported to an underworld of Black Girl Magic.  (Note: This video is a part of SHORTS PROGRAM 2) 5:00 PM, AMC 42nd Empire 25 – Theater 13 | BUY TICKETS 
  2. Outside – Daniel Laurent – Touching on salient themes of gun violence, psychological trauma, and racial identity, Outside is a “nightmarish mirror reflecting our troubled times.” Fueled by powerful lyrics, provocative imagery, a meaningful message, and a hopeful ending, Outside will stir emotions and light a fire within. We must break the seemingly endless cycle of gun violence in our society. The power of music is one way to make this happen. Please join us in our campaign to promote and foster a positive and uplifting environment for today’s urban youth. They are our future. Lead by example. Let’s go. (Note: This film is a part of SHORTS PROGRAM 1)  5:15 PM AMC 42nd Empire 25 – Theater 12 | Watch Trailer | BUY TICKETS 
  3. The Apollo [STAFF PICK] – The HBO documentary The Apollo, helmed by Oscar- and Emmy-winning director Roger Ross Williams (Life, Anomated; God Loves Uganda; HBO’s Music by Prudence), chronicles the unique history and contemporary legacy of New York City’s landmark Apollo Theater. Over the last 85 years, what began as a refuge for marginalized artists has emerged as a hallowed hall of black excellence and empowerment. 8:00 PM AMC 42nd Empire 25 – Theater 10 | BUY TICKETS


  1. Urbanworld Live Music Showcase – Hosted by Everyday People.  9:00 PM – 2:00 AM | SNS BAR  | 63 Gansevoort | NYC | Featuring Live Performance by Temi Oni, Precesa Alba, Devin TracyMore Info



  1. A Great Day in Hip-Hop Revisited[STAFF PICK] A Great Day in Hip Hop Revisited is a documentary short about a magical day in black music history. On September 29, 1998, the legendary photographer Gordon Parks shot over 200 MCs, DJs and dancers for the cover of XXL magazine. The photograph he took was taken in front of the same building in Harlem on 126th Street, between Fifth and Madison Avenues, that the original A Great Day in Harlem jazz photo was taken in front of in 1959. Rakim, Slick Rick, Mos Def, Questlove, Da Brat, MC Shan, and Fat Joe are among some of the rappers seen. (Note: This film is a documentary short) 5:00 PM AMC 42nd Empire 25 – Theater 12 | BUY TICKETS
  2. Remix: Hip-Hop X Fashion – [STAFF PICK] The Remix: Hip Hop X Fashion takes a look at the journeys of fashion architect Misa Hylton and designer April Walker, among others, who grabbed a foothold in hip hop fashion and never let go. The film focuses on the cultural impact these talented women and Dapper Dan and Kerby Jean-Raymond have made in the fashion world, from iconic looks styled in influential music videos to their global cultural impact.  5:00 PM AMC 42nd Empire 25 – Theater 12 | BUY TICKETS


  1. Urbanworld Digital – a series of very informative discussions with key industry creative leaders.  Great for learning and networking. 12:00 PM – 7:30 PM (Doors at 12:00 PM, Sessions at 12:30 PM, Reception/Networking at 6 PM) | NYIT Auditorium, 1871 Broadway @ 62nd Street  RSVP HERE by September 17, 2019


  1. Official After Party – Music by Xavier BLK of Atlanta’s WERC Crew.  9:00 PM – 2:00 AM | SNS BAR  | 63 Gansevoort   More Info



  1. Mr. Parker [STAFF PICK] Acclaimed soul singer Lee Fields stars as the affable James Parker, an old soul man who has seen better days. Co-starring Janet Mock, Mr. Parker is a humorous & thoughtful meditation on family, loss, & spirituality.  (Note: This film is a part of SHORTS PROGRAM 4) 12:00 PM AMC 42nd Empire 25 – Theater 9 | BUY TICKETS
  2. Frederick Douglass Boulevard AKA Food & Drink Boulevard AKA F.D.P. [STAFF PICK] Malcolm Jamal Turner, an African-American Harlemite and struggling music writer from the Ohio suburbs, is… ambivalent about the neighborhood’s changing demographics (when not outright hostile). Armed with little more than white Americans’ conditioned fear of black violence, Malcolm concocts a ludicrous scheme to de-gentrify Harlem. (Note: This is a Web Originals short) 12:15 PM AMC 42nd Empire 25 – Theater 12 | Watch Trailer | BUY TICKETS
  3. Who Are We NowSynacure’s Who Are We Now features Abiodun Oyewole’s of The Last Poets performing excerpts of his poem ‘Who Are We Now’ and Baba Donn Babatunde, also of The Last Poets, on congas. The video features the legendary uprocking dance skills of B-girl Rokafella and B-boy Kwikstep as well as dance newcomer Alanna Fernandez. (Note: This film is a part of SHORTS PROGRAM 5) 12:30 PM AMC 42nd Empire 25 – Theater 13 | Watch Trailer | BUY TICKETS
  4. Yellow Rose – Rose, an undocumented Filipino girl, dreams of one day leaving her small Texas town to pursue her country music dreams. Her world is shattered when her mom suddenly gets picked up by Immigration and Customs Enforcement. Rose, facing this new reality, is forced to flee the scene, leaving behind the only life she knows and embarks on a journey of self-discovery as she searches for a new home in the honkytonk world of Austin, Texas. 3:45 PM AMC 42nd Empire 25 – Theater 12 | BUY TICKETS
  5. Bakosó: Afrobeats of Cuba – What does “Está Rico” by Marc Anthony, Will Smith & Bad Bunny have in common with “Made For Now” by Janet Jackson x Daddy Yankee? They both high-jacked AfroBeats and did not give the genre’s origin props. Bakosó is a film that does the opposite, following DJ Jigüe to his hometown of Santiago de Cuba to find inspiration from the new sounds. He finds Afrobeats has helped create a new genre called Bakosó, which itself is beautiful proof that the exchange between Cuba and Africa did not end with the Transatlantic slave trade. 9:30 PM, AMC 42nd Empire 25 – Theater 9Watch Trailer  | BUY TICKETS
  6. First Wives Club – After neglecting their friendship, best friends Ari, Hazel and Bree reunite to help each other through rough patches in their lives. Together, they navigate music superstar Hazel’s tabloid-ridden divorce, campaign manager Ari’s unsatisfying marriage to her political candidate husband, and orthopedic surgeon Bree’s cheating husband. Tired of always being the ones to make sacrifices in their lives, Ari, Hazel and Bree vow to prioritize their friendship and have more fun. Along the way, the women learn that as long as they have each other, there’s nothing they can’t do.  [STAFF PICK] 6:45 PM AMC 42nd Empire 25 – Theater 12 | Watch Trailer | BUY TICKETS


  1. Closing Night Party – Music by DJ mOma and DJ Jigüe.  11:00 PM – 3:00 AM, LOCATION TBD | More Info

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