On August 22, 2016, Underworld Film Festival unveiled Selma director Ava DuVernay and Nigeria’s David Oyelowo as the ambassadors for the festival’s 20th anniversary edition, which will run from September 21 – September 25, 2016, in New York City.
“It’s an absolute honor to have festival alumni Ava DuVernay and David Oyelowo serve as co-ambassadors for Urbanworld’s 20th Anniversary Film Festival,” said Gabrielle Glore, Festival Director & Head of Programming, Urbanworld Film Festival.
“Ava has a long and layered history with Urbanworld evolving from her tenure as festival publicist in the early years to her directorial debut with her first short film, to showcasing various narrative and documentary projects at the festival, to being the award-winning and glass shattering filmmaker she is today. David joined the Urbanworld family when attending to support Middle of Nowhere and then returned for a First Look Clips and Conversation event with Ava to launch Selma. His extraordinary caliber of artistry consistently illustrated in his body of work over the years, in both studio and independent films, reflects the quality of storytelling that Urbanworld seeks to inspire in all of the filmmakers showcased at Urbanworld.”
Speaking about the ambassadorial selection, Ava said, “I am honored to be one of this year’s Urbanworld ambassadors for the festival’s 20th anniversary, joining my friend David Oyelowo. I have always had a special relationship with Urbanworld, back to my days as a festival publicist to previewing my earlier films and now as an ambassador. Congratulations to Gabrielle Glore and the Urbanworld team on 20 dynamic years of providing a great platform for filmmakers of color to showcase their projects.”
“Urbanworld is the first place Ava and I screened footage of Selma two years ago. The loving reception we received for our film there makes this opportunity to be ambassadors of this wonderful festival in its 20th year feel like both an honor and a homecoming,” said Oyelowo.