The 2011 installment of the Urbanworld Film Festival opens this evening with Nelson George’s paean to his hometown, Brooklyn, NY, titled Brooklyn Boheme (a world premiere with Spike Lee,Chris Rock, Branford Marsalis, Rosie Perez, Saul Williams), which he co-directed with Diane Paragas.

I spoke to Nelson about the film when we spoke on the S&A Livecast last week, and, from his description of it, it sounded like a nostalgic trip – one that I’m definitely interested in taking, given that I’ve lived in Brooklyn for about 6 years now, loving it, and not planning on going anywhere anytime soon.

The closing night film, on Saturday evening, will be Kinyarwanda, directed by Alrick Brown; an ensemble film we’ve given lots of coverage to on this site. This will be its New York premiere, after debuting at the Sundance Film Festival in January, where it won a World Cinema award. It will also screen at the upcoming Chicago International Film Festival, and will be the second film released by AFFRM later this year. So, let’s hope that its screenings at these 2 prominent festivals will be well-received, enough to help build up some buzz for the film, leading up to its eventual theatrical release.

Filling in the slots between those two opening and closing festival films, some titles we’ve also given pub to, including Victoria Mahoney’s Yelling To The Sky, Andrew Dosumnu’s Restless City, Make A Movie Like Spike, directed by Jamil Walker Smith, You, Me & The Circus by Ty Hodges, and, the NYC public premiere of 50 Cent’s All Things Fall Apart, directed by Mario Van Peebles.

I plan to see those that I haven’t already, with reviews to follow.

I’d be remiss if I didn’t mention that the Shadow And Act-produced Black Swan Theory by the first winner of the Shadow And Act Black Filmmakers Challenge, Nikyatu Jusu, will compete in the shorts category, as will other shorts we’ve shown on S&A, like Keith Davis’ (Men In Love), The Man In the Glass Case by Maxwell Addae, and others.

The complete festival lineup is as follows:

Urbanworld Film Festival 2011 Roster

Opening Night:
· Brooklyn Boheme, directed by Diane Paragas and Nelson George – World Premiere

Closing Night:
· Kinyarwanda, directed by Alrick Brown – New York Premiere

· HBO Presents: How To Make It In America – Sneak Peak, Season 2 Episodes

· I Want My Name Back, directed by Roger Paradiso – Work In Progress

· Mamitas, directed by Nicholas Ozeki – New York Premiere

· Outside In: The Story of Art in the Streets, directed by Alex Stapleton – East Coast Premiere

· Vh1’s Planet Rock: The Story of Hip Hop and the Crack Generation, Directed by Rob Lowe and Martin Torgoff – World Premiere

Narrative Features:
· Life Love Soul, directed by Noel Calloway – New York Premiere

· Make A Movie Like Spike, directed by Jamil Walker Smith – New York Premiere

· Restless City, directed by Matthew Parker

· Yelling to the Sky, directed by Victoria Mahoney

· You, Me & The Circus, directed by Ty Hodges – East Coast Premiere

Documentary Features:
· Love Arranged, directed by Soniya Kirpalani – World Premiere

· Sole of a Hustla, directed by Chad Heeter – New York Premiere

· Sonia Sanchez: Shake Loose Memories, directed by Jamal Joseph – World Premiere

· The Learning, directed by Ramona Diaz

· The Scroll, directed by Parrish Smith – New York Premiere

· The Start of Dreams, directed by The Horne Brothers – New York Premiere

· Zero Percent, directed by Tim Skousen – New York Premiere

Documentary Shorts:
· Common Ground, directed by Holli Fifer – World Premiere

· Jamaica House, directed by Al Graag – World Premiere

· Love Lockdown, directed by Nadia Hallgren

· The Line of Departure, directed by Folleh Tamba – New York Premiere

· The Rhythm of My Life – Ismael Sankara, directed by Franck Onouviet & Marc A. Tchicot – US Premiere

Narrative Shorts:
· A Higher Power, directed by Jacolby Percy – East Coast Premiere

· Black Bayou, directed by Jonas Carpignano – New York Premiere

· Black Swan Theory, directed by Nikyatu Jusu

· The Boxer, directed by David Au – East Coast Premiere

· Bump, directed by Rodney Lee – World Premiere

· Burned, directed by Phyllis Toben Bancroft – New York Premiere

· Camilo, directed by Rafael Salazar Moreno – World Premiere

· Counterfeit, directed by Geoff Bailey – New York Premiere

· Crazy Beats Strong Every Time, directed by Moon Molson – New York Premiere

· Digital Antiquities, directed by J.P. Chan – World Premiere

· Homage to Bela, A Prelude, directed by Randy Wilkins – World Premiere

· Jemila’s Tale, directed by Christina L. Bryant – World Premiere

· Jerk Chicken, directed by Samuel Stewart – US Premiere

· Karim, directed by Carl Seaton – World Premiere

· L.A. Coffin School, directed by Erin Li – New York Premiere

· Men in Love, directed by Keith Davis

· Reform, directed by Jamal Caesar – World Premiere

· Silencio Fuerte, directed by Ozzy Villazon – New York Premiere

· The Man In The Glass Case, directed by Maxwell Addae – World Premiere

· The Package, directed by Natasha Parker – World Premiere

· The Street Performer, directed by Lamont Stephens – World Premiere

· The Tombs, directed by Jerry LaMothe – New York Premiere

· Underground, directed by Akil DuPont – East Coast Premiere

· Wake, directed by Bree Newsome

· When Cars Sing, directed by Fabien Ortiz – World Premiere

· Wolf Call, directed by Rob Underhill – New York Premiere

Screenplay Finalists:
· AFTER THE STORM – Cole Wiley

· BLACKBIRD – David Polk

· MY HEART SKIPPED A BEAT – R. Shanea Williams

· THE DIVIDE – Rashmi Singh

· BY MY BOOT STRAPS – Debra Azemar

The 2011 Urbanworld Film Festival takes place September 14-18, 2011 in midtown Manhattan at AMC 34th Street. For more, visit