Studio71 Aboard ‘Saving Zoë’ Film With Laura & Vanessa Marano; Urbanworld Film Festival Unveils Lineup — Film Briefs


Studio71 is producing the film adaptation to Alyson Noël’s bestselling young adult novel Saving Zoë starring sisters Laura & Vanessa Marano. Jeffrey Hunt is directing the pic, which follows high school freshman Echo (Laura), who after the murder of her sister Zoë (Vanessa), is determined to uncover what led to her sister’s demise through the secret diary entries Zoë left behind. Giorgia Whigham, Chris Tavarez, and Nathaniel Bucolic co-star in the film, which was written by LeeAnne H. Adams and Brian J. Adams. The sisters are also producing the film with their mother Ellen Marano and Hunt.

Open Road

The 21st annual Urbanworld Film Festival announced its film slate today, which includes the U.S. premiere of the Chadwick Boseman-starring biopic Marshall from director Reginald Hudlin that will closeout the festival, which runs from September 20-24 in Manhattan. Also on the list is Ava DuVernay’s series Queen Sugar, which will debut the midseason premiere at the fest. Other talent confirmed to appear during the festival includes Jeffrey Wright, Melvin Van Peebles, Gabourey Sidibe, This Is Us’ Susan Kelechi Watson, and LaTanya Richardson-Jackson. Below is the abbreviated festival lineup.


Marshall – Directed by Reginald Hudlin – Presented by Open Road Films (U.S. Premiere)

Baltimore Rising – Directed by Sonja Sohn – Presented by HBO (U.S. Premiere)

Tales: Trap Queen – Directed by Benny Boom – Presented by BET Networks (World Premiere)

Queen Sugar – Directed by Julie Dash – Presented by OWN: Oprah Winfrey Network (New York Premiere)

Released – Presented by OWN: Oprah Winfrey Network (New York Premiere)

Double Play – Directed by Ernest Dickerson (U.S. Premiere)

Blackout (Alumni Spotlight – 10th Anniversary) – Directed by Jerry LaMothe


Curiosities of the Quiet Boy – Directed by Quran Squire (New York Premiere)

Laced – Directed by David Fortune (World Premiere)

Night – Directed by Joosje Duk (New York Premiere)

Role Model – Directed by TJ Noel-Sullivan (New York Premiere)

Sad Mobius – Directed by Kiho Song (World Premiere)

Khiluana (Toy) – Directed by Rajat Agrawal (World Premiere)


Alaska Is A Drag – Directed by Shaz Bennett (East Coast Premiere)

Bruce!!! – Directed by Eden Marryshow (New York Premiere)

Covers – Directed by Malcolm M. Mays (World Premiere)

Quest – Directed by Santiago Rizzo (U.S. Premiere)

Shine – Directed by Anthony Nardolillo (World Premiere)

The Price – Directed by Anthony Onah – Presented by Samuel Goldwyn (East Coast Premiere)

Varsity Punks – Directed by Anthony Solorzano (East Coast Premiere)


Brown Girl Begins (Canada) – Directed by Sharon Lewis (World Premiere)

Cargo (Bahamas) – Directed by Kareem J. Mortimer (New York Premiere)

Catching Feelings (South Africa) – Directed by Kagiso Lediga (East Coast Premiere)

Moko Jumbie (Trinidad & Tobago) – Directed by Vashti Anderson (East Coast Premiere)

Stay (Japan) – Directed by Darryl Wharton-Rigby (World Premiere)

Tourments D’Amour (France) – Directed by Caroline Jules (New York Premiere)

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