About - Urbanworld

Who We Are

Where Storytelling, Technology

and Culture Converge

Urbanworld is a five-day festival, based in New York City, showcasing narrative and documentary features, short films, web originals, music videos, spotlight screenings and conversations, and live staged screenplay readings.

Our Urbanworld Innovation Summit convenes industry experts sharing insights on the evolving landscape of content creation, financing, distribution, and marketing through a series of engaging and informative panels.

Urbanworld Nightlife rounds out the festival, with a dynamic mix of parties and cultural events.

Our Legacy

The Urbanworld Film Festival, founded in 1997 by Stacy Spikes, is one of the largest internationally competitive festivals of its kind. Since inception, Hollywood studios, indie film distributors, and established and emerging filmmakers have consistently chosen Urbanworld to premiere box office and award-winning hits.

The Urbanworld Film Festival is an initiative of the Urbanworld Foundation Inc., a nonprofit organization that redefines and advances the presence and impact of the multicultural community in cinema and cross-platform media.

Our Team

stacy spikes

Stacy Spikes

Festival Founder

Karen McMullen

Karen McMullen

Festival Director | Head of Programming

shari liane sangster

Shari-Liane Sangster

Chief Development Officer

louisa brown

Louisa Brown

Community Partner Liaison

Jessica Chong

Jessica Chong

Coordinating Producer

Albert Chow

Albert Chow

Festival Producer

Samantha Debicki

Screenwriting Program Producer

Joelle Griffith

Events Producer

Eric Iverson


Candace Jones

Theater Operations Manager

mabasa mathrope

Mabasa Mathope

Technical Coordinator

ashley mui

Ashley Mui


Tony Murphy

Tony Murphy

Technical Manager

Tambay Obenson

Head Film Curator

Jaymi Lynne Rosano

Jaymi Lynne Rosano

Box Office Manager

2023 Urbanworld Jury

Our film festival proudly presents a jury of industry luminaries chosen for their unparalleled expertise in distribution, sales, mentorship, acquisition, and more. With discerning eyes and a shared passion for outstanding cinematic achievement, they play a pivotal role in shaping our festival’s vision. Each member brings a wealth of knowledge and a commitment to excellence, ensuring a comprehensive evaluation of every submission. We extend our heartfelt gratitude to these esteemed professionals, whose dedication guides us in celebrating the most exceptional filmmaking talents during the 27th Annual Urbanworld Film Festival.

Amanda Ross Director, TV Programming DEI, NBCUniversal
Amy Andrieux Executive Director, Chief Curator, Mocada
Darcy Heusel VP of Audience Engagement and Impact, NEON
Efuru Flowers Founder and CEO, Flourishing Films
Ivonne Cotorruelo Film Programmer
Jackie Glover Executive Producer
Julian Newman Founder and CEO, Culture Creative
Kecia Elan Cole Director, Fiction, BRIC
Kierna Mayo Writer, Editor, and Media Executive
Leslie Fields-Cruz Executive Director, Black Public Media
Marquis Daisy Producer, ESPN Films
Phillip Domfeh Senior Manager, Disney+ Launchpad
Ramona Wright Founder and CEO, WrightOne Media Group
Sarah Eshaghian Coordinator, HBO
Sue Ellen Chitunya Filmmaker and Academy Member
Tamara McCaw Chief Civic Program Officer, The Shed
Will Schnable Programs Manager Equity and Inclusion, Warner Bros. Discovery
Tracey Moore EP, The Spirited Actor Podcast (iHeart Radio); Co-Host, Inside the Black Box (Crackle); Celebrity Acting Coach
Joshua Sanchez Screenwriter + Member of Writers Guild of America, East
Jenny Mayer Screenwriter, Playwright + Member of Writers Guild of America, East
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