Innovation Program Guide - Urbanworld


Warner Bros Discovery


Our Urbanworld Innovation Summit convenes industry experts sharing insights on the evolving landscape of content creation, financing, distribution, and marketing, all through the lens of digital opportunity.

October 27 – 28, 2022
Day 1: Doors open at 12:00pm
Day 2: Doors open at 10:30am


All Day – Hudson A

Ally Activation
Ally Financial presents a bespoke Creators Studio Experience

Plug in and Power up with new creator technology, tools and solutions with financial experts and creative collaborators.

1:00pm – Screening Room 1

Ally Film + Finance Panel

The Future of Film Finance for Filmmakers and Creatives – Demetrius Scott, Ally’s director of Corporate Citizenship, will moderate a discussion on new and effective ways to finance films post pandemic. He will be joined by entertainment industry executives who will weigh in on the new financial tools and strategies advancing production and distribution for today’s storytellers.

Moderator: Demetrius Scott- Director, Corporate Citizenship, Ally Financial
Panelists: Ramfis Myrthil, JC Barros

1:15pm – Screening Room 2

Future of Short Docs Panel

The rise of short documentaries as a tool for effective storytelling, social impact and innovative collaboration with journalists and filmmakers is a deep study in long term strategy.  The leaders of venerable filmmaker networks and media leader LA Times discuss opportunities, strategies and historic drivers in the advancement of short documentaries and their creators.

Featured Guests:

Leslie Lindsey

Leslie Lindsey
LA Times

Cynthia López

Cynthia López
New York Women in Film & Television

Leslie Fields-Cruz

Leslie Fields-Cruz
Black Public Media

Cecilia R. Mejia

Cecilia R. Mejia

Monika Navarro

Monika Navarro
Firelight Media

visa urbanworld

2:00pm – Screening Room 1

Visa Fireside Chat + Premiere of “Anyone Can Change the Game”
A brand documentary created by Visa and Urbanworld

Intimate conversation with Mary Ann Reilly, Head of North American Marketing and Sharese Bullock-Bailey, Chief Innovation Officer at Urbanworld, in conversation around storytelling, technology and the world premiere of “Anyone Can Change the Game” a brand documentary created by Visa and Urbanworld.

3:00pm – Screening Room 2

Visa FinTech Pitch Competition 

VISA and URBANWORLD will provide a stage to promote local best in class, Multicultural and/or LGBTQ FinTech founders and entrepreneurs. The pitch competition provides financing and feedback from a panel of jurors and stakeholders from Visa and the Venture Capital Community. Five finalists take the stage and pitch for a chance to win $25K in investment support from Visa.


Demetrius Curry

Demetrius Curry
College Cash

Su Sanni

Su Sanni

Calvin Williams, Jr.

Calvin Williams, Jr.
Freeman Capital

Reed Switzer

Reed Switzer

Eli Farhood

Eli Farhood
Katsh Digital ID

3:15pm – Screening Room 1

Lab Rat – Interactive World Premiere

A groundbreaking interactive film in which the audience is part of the experience. An unsuspecting medical volunteer participates in a neurotechnology experiment, being controlled by the film’s audience. When the experimental technology starts to go rogue, what will you do?

4:15pm – Screening Room 2

Stacy Spikes Presentation

Stacy Spikes is an award-winning entrepreneur and inventor who USA Today named one of the 21 most influential Blacks in technology. He holds several technology patents and is the co-founder and CEO of the nation’s first theatrical subscription service, MoviePass.  In addition, Spikes is the founder of Urbanworld, the largest international festival dedicated to nurturing Women and BIPOC filmmakers.

Spikes has a business memoir titled Black Founder, The Hidden Power of Being an Outsider on Kensington Press coming this fall.

Stacy Spikes Black Founder

5:00pm – Screening Room 1

Patronage vs. Consumption: The Power of NFTs for Artists
Ed Young and Kris Graves

Ed Young, co-founder of the legendary The Source Magazine and creator of, is a tech entrepreneur focused on revolutionizing the role of technology in the publishing, marketing and entertainment industries. In this session we’ll explore the power (and potential pitfalls) of NFTs to help artists realize their full potential with Kris Graves, NatGeo photographer and Co-Founder of digital art collective Quantum Art.

Ed Young

Ed Young

Kris Graves

Kris Graves

5:30pm – Screening Room 2

The Feature Presentation Live Podcast
Powered by Urbanworld

Storytelling expands through the power of voice and technology and podcasts have cleared the path for many new voices to be heard, globally. Urbanworld hosts its first ever live podcast with The Feature Presentation, hosted by DJ Suss One and Sharese Bullock-Bailey.

Featured Guests

Suha Araj- 150 and Overstand Artist, Nightmare on the H Page
Devo Harris- Founder of, Grammy Award Winning Producer
Kris Graves – NFT Artist and NatGeo Photographer
Ed Young – Co-Founder of The Source Magazine & Founder of


All Day – Hudson A

Ally Activation
Ally Financial presents a bespoke Creators Studio Experience

Plug in and Power up with new creator technology, tools and solutions with financial experts and creative collaborators.

11:15am – Screening Room 1

“Shake the Bank”
Chris Surrey & Branden Thompson featuring Nigel Caldon

Chris Surrey, Executive Creative Director at Universal Orlando Resort and Branden Thompson, former Boeing electrical engineer turned multi-talented entrepreneur, bring their traveling pop-up style metaverse show (in development) to the stages of Urbanworld to talk all things Web3, metaverse and financial literacy. Nigel Caldon, Co-Founder of Ballstar joins as a guest.

Chris Surrey

Chris Surrey

Branden Thompson

Branden Thompson

Nigel Caldon

Nigel Caldon

11:15am – Screening Room 2

Urbanworld Screenwriting Staged Reading

Urbanworld’s feature narrative screenplay competition and screenwriter-focused programming has supported emerging writers for decades. Four screenplays have been selected as finalists in this year’s competition from over 100 submissions. The Live Screenplay Readings event features professional actors performing in 10-15 minute excerpts of each finalist script. Key talent includes actress Persia White (GIRLFRIENDS), who will perform in her screenplay ADULT ADOLESCENT opposite Andrea Patterson (2022 Drama Desk Nominee). A moderated Q&A with the screenwriter finalists will follow the performance. For more on Urbanworld’s Official 2022 Screenplay Selections and the writers behind them, click here.

Screenplay Readings 2022

12:00pm – Screening Room 1

Web3 Storytelling & the Conscious Business of Content Creation
Ben Arnon, Carl Jones & Michelle Vincent (moderated by Chris Rodriguez)

In this session, we explore innovations in storytelling across multiple platforms and the implementation of “conscious business” in content creation on the pathway to Web3.

Ben Arnon

Ben Arnon


Carl Jones

dont be dope
Michelle Vincent

Michelle Vincent

chris rodriguez

Chris Rodriguez


12:00pm – Hudson B/C

Deep Focus Luncheon

Presented by black tv and film collective

Dive Deep with the experts from Black TV and Film Collective and Distribution Advocates in a workshop focusing on Distribution for independent storytellers and navigating festival season- Invitation Only.

1:00pm – Screening Room 2

The Stand
Presented by Overstand Partners

The Stand is produced in partnership with Urbanworld Film Festival, we vet and select creative teams to engage with a curated group of committed investors. Investors and filmmakers have introductory meetings, providing a foundation for inquiry, relationship building and knowledge share. With the creative partnership of best in-class artists and partners, we will highlight an inclusive cohort of storytellers at a cultivation and live event, The Stand at Urbanworld 2022.

Featured Filmmakers

Native Sisters

Louisa Brown
Kat Croft
Kansas Begaye


Cecilia Mejia
Katrina Puertollano

Deuce Bolt: Father Eye Stretch My Hands

Timothy Offor 
Ian McClellem

1:30pm – Screening Room 1

Tay Powers in Conversation with Asante Bradford & Hanifah Walidah

Tay Powers–serial entrepreneur, DJ/Producer, and music executive–hosts this session with two of Georgia’s finest, Asante Bradford and Hanifah Walidah, who will discuss their shared interest in Web3 related content in music and entertainment.

Tay Powers

Tay Powers

Asante Bradford

Asante Bradford

Hanifah Walidah

Hanifah Walidah

3:00pm – Screening Room 1

150 Presents: A First Look

Warner Bros. Discovery is a powerful portfolio of iconic entertainment, news, and sports brands that brings people, technology, and the world’s best storytellers together to drive culture and meaningful connection. 

As part of Warner Bros. Discovery, 150 develops innovative content to be leveraged across these brands.

150 PRESENTS will showcase presentations by the creative teams behind these projects on the mainstage during the Urbanworld Innovation Summit.


gATES, created by Letitia Guillory

An adventurous skateboard kid cracks his head in the crossroads, opening the gates between the living and the dead, discovering his father is stuck between the worlds. Now, bullies aren’t the only ones chasing him up Brooklyn’s Gates Avenue as he struggles to maintain the balance, bring his father home, and save his neighborhood from doom.

Presentation of the series and on stage Live Interactive Demonstration with a key character from the show

The Girls Are Alright, created for Taylor K. Shaw for Black Women Animate

A millennial emo-comedy about four ambitious college girlfriends who share a Brooklyn brownstone in hopes of conquering the world together. As shit continues to get real, they quickly learn how hard adulting is.

Immersive pilot reading from the mainstage

Galaxy and the Greater Good, created by Dawn Lye-Gardner and Daniel Spurgeon for Black Women Animate

In a world gone #insane, 10-year-old scientist Galaxy sets out on a quest to learn the science & practices of happiness and teach them to her adopted 8-year-old sister Stella, who’s quarantined in the hospital with leukemia. Her one goal: to help her sister be happier.

Visual presentation of series proof of concept.

3:00pm – Screening Room 2

Mental Health & Wellness

Managing creative and business life can present both opportunities and challenges, both energetically and emotionally.  Model, actor, entrepreneur and wellness leader Sekou Carradine gives his personal testimony to staying successfully balanced as a creative multi-hyphenate and founder of We Have MS. 

Sekou Carradine

4:00pm – Screening Room 2

The Download – Metaverse of Creative Careers 

The Download Live presented by black tv and film collective

Join us as we discuss the many paths creatives can take to build a career in TV & Film! The conversation will be moderated by Emmy-nominated producer and director @OkemaTMoore.

5:00pm – Screening Room 1

Future of Sports Film
Featuring Osahon Tongo

NFL Films Director and Producer Osahon Tongo always knew he’d make it to the NFL.  This intimate conversation shines a light on the power of storytelling in sports and creative career planning.  Tongo started out as a football player, and flipped the script by gaining an MFA from USC. View recent NFL Films projects and hear his story live.

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