RZA Set as Ambassador for Urbanworld Film Festival (Exclusive)

RZA Set as Ambassador for Urbanworld Film Festival (Exclusive)

Rapper and filmmaker Robert Fitzgerald Diggs, also known as RZA, will serve as this year’s Urbanworld Film Festival ambassador.

The festival will take place in New York City from Nov. 1 to 5 and will include a conversation with The Marvels director Nia DaCosta, as well as the world premiere of A Wu-Tang Experience: Live at Red Rocks Amphitheatre, co-directed by RZA and Gerald Barclay.

Urbanworld showcases narrative and documentary features, short films, web originals, music videos, spotlight screenings, conversations and live staged screenplay readings. In addition to the Wu-Tang doc, the festival will shine a light on Cord Jefferson’s American Fiction, and Galila Bekele and Armani Ortiz’s Maxine’s Baby: The Tyler Perry Story.

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RZA’s film chronicles Wu-Tang’s iconic performance with the 60-piece Colorado Symphony Orchestra, which backed the group’s live score to a real-time, onstage screening of martial arts film The 36th Chamber of Shaolin, largely inspired by the Wu-Tang Clan’s aesthetic. The doc also features interviews and insights from group members and associates, classical musicians and concertgoers.

Jefferon’s directorial debut, American Fiction, stars Jeffery Wright as a frustrated novelist who is fed up with the establishment that profits from Black entertainment that relies on tired and offensive tropes, according to its logline. To prove his point, he uses a pen name to write a book that propels him to the heart of hypocrisy and madness.

Perry’s documentary, Maxine’s Baby: The Tyler Perry Story, details his rise to Hollywood fame alongside his at-times-trying personal life, including an abusive upbringing, which led to an estranged relationship with his father. According to its description, the intimate portrait of his life shows his harrowing but faithful road to the top of the industry that didn’t always include him.

“For close to 30 years, Urbanworld has remained true to its mission of providing a platform for historically excluded filmmakers to tell their stories,” said festival director and head of programming Karen McMullen in a statement. “We are excited and fortunate to be able to continue the tradition of highlighting the work of emerging and established talent in film and television.”