The 17th Annual Urbanworld Film Festival presented by BET Networks opened last night with a lively screening of the romantic comedy Baggage Claim at the SVA Theater in Manhattan. Director David E. Talbert was on hand to present the film along with his wife and executive producer Lyn Talbert. Cast members Paula Patton, Derek Luke, Jill Scott, Jenifer Lewis and Rickey Smiley were also in the building and participated in a post-screening Q&A moderator by TheGrio entertainment editor Chris Witherspoon. Urbanworld founder Stacy Spikes welcomed the packed audience followed by remarks by executive director Gabrielle Glore. After the screening, the crowd headed over to The Out for the after-party which featured performances by Luke JamesYummy Bingham and more.

Urbanworld continues today with spotlight screenings of VH1’s Finding the FunkThey Die by Dawnand BET’s Gun Hill, starring festival ambassador Larenz Tate. For tickets, visit www.urbanworld.org.

Photos: Terrence Jennings, Stephen Knight

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