Urban independent cinema arrives at the BT Tower this September as festival director Addie Akinrinade announced this year's selections and schedule for 2017, sponsored by BT.
Akinrinade confirmed that the London premiere of Free In Deed will open this year's film festival at the BT Tower on Wednesday the 6th of September and will feature a live Q&A with actor David Harewood who stars in the lead role as a pastor with healing powers set in an American black church.

The premiere will be hosted by Metro film editor Larushka Ivan-Zadeh.

Day 2 highlights include the London premiere of 'A Landscape of Lies' (directed by Paul Knight) with a cast including Marc Bannerman and TV presenter Andrea Mclean.
Also to be screened at the world famous venue will be the London premiere of Chapter and Verse on Friday the 8th of September. The movie centres around a reformed gang leader from Harlem, played by Daniel Beaty, and also stars Omari Hardwick and Emmy award-winning actress Loretta Devine. Both Beaty and director Jamal Joseph (a former black panther) will feature in the Q&A. 

The premiere will be hosted by Paulette Harris-German.

Akinrinade also announced that the 5th annual renewal of the Live Script Readings is to take place on Thursday the 7th of September. The readings will be hosted by actor Wil Johnson.

The festival programme will also feature the London premieres of Blue Hollywood (directed by Francesco Gabriele), hair documentary Back to Natural, and Stay Woke (a documentary from B.E.T about the Black Lives Matter movement). 

On Saturday 9 September, Africa features heavily in the line-up with the documentary Black Stars of Highlife and African rom-com Potato Potahto (starring O.C Ukeje & Joselyn Dumas).

The premiere will be hosted by Capital Xtra's Abrantee Boateng.

Other festival highlights include an acting masterclass with Ashley Walters on Monday the 11th of September
and a Make-up masterclass with artist Joy Adenuga on Tuesday the 12th of September.

This years shorts include:

STREETS PAVED WITH GOLD - directed by Victor Richards
SEE YOU YESTERDAY - directed by Stefon Bristol
JOCELYN - directed by Rachel Wang and Mark Currie
CREAM - directed by Palesa Lebona
BLACKLAND - directed by John Sailsman
JUNIOR - directed by Pearl Gluck
STAY WOKE - directed by Laurens Grant
IN HUMANS WE TRUST - directed by Tim Kent
ADAM AND EVE - directed by Jermaine Wong
CATFORD JESUS - directed by Dan Jones and Chris Michael Fretwell
NEON - directed by Mark J Blackman
LEROY - directed by Marley Morrison
PARALLEL UNIVERSES - directed by `Liran Nathan
WHEN KIDS GROW UP -directed by Shahaub Roudbari
AMBER - directed by Andi Osho
THE DEAL - directed by Johann Myers and Mark Oliver
ART OF LOVE - directed by Quason Matthews
BROKEN - directed by Daniel Alexander
REMEMBERANCE DAY - directed by Rob Woods
HUM - directed by Stefano Nurra
PADLOCK MEN - directed by Lewis T Powell
DEIDRE - directed by Jo Southwell
WE LOVE MOSES - directed by Dionne Edwards
NEW NEIGHBOURS - directed by E.G Bailey
MORNING GLORY - directed by Robert Bertrand
5 X 5 - directed by Kate Herron 
THIS IS MY STORY - directed by Vicki Kisner
BLOOM - directed by 
ARCADE GIRL - directed by Tze Hao Wong
THE DATE - directed by John Dunn

The nominees for the 2017 BUFF Awards were made by actors Sam Benjamin & Kyla Frye who will be hosting the ceremony at BT Tower on Sunday the 10th of September.
Amma Asante's A United Kingdom picked up 3 nominations along with critically acclaimed boyhood drama To Dream plus crime thrillers The Intent & Residential.  

A United Kingdom received nods for best film, best actor and best actress for director Amma Asante, David Oyelowo and Rosamund Pike.

To Dream picked up nods including best film, best actor and best male emerging talent for Nicole Albarelli, Ed Hayter and Freddie Thorp.

The Intent received nods including best film, best actor and best actress for co-directors Femi Oyeniran & Kalvadour Petersen, Dylan Duffus and Jade Asha.

Residential also picked up nods for best film, best actor and best actress for director KD Pascal, Aubrey Whyte and Juanita Ingram.

Noir thriller Panic picked up 2 nods including best actor and best actress for David Gyasi and Pippa Nixon respectively.
In the best short film category, Cover Me (directed by Jo Southwell) is up against Hush (directed by Candice Onyeama), Signs of Silence (directed by RM Moses) and Lifeline (directed by Sam Jones).

Cover Me is also represented in the female emerging talent category picking up a nomination for lead actress Isis Davis who goes up against Maia Watkins (Soldier), Kate Lassman Long (The Backseat) and Krystine Atti (The Tinder Problem).
In the male emerging talent category, Aubrey Whyte (Residential), Freddie Thorp (To Dream), Elijah Baker (Signs of Silence) and Louis Chandler-Joseph (Questionable Prejudice) received nominations.

10 awards will be handed out on the night including 3 script awards and the BUFF honorary award which will be presented to actor Ashley Walters. Live music comes from Ayanna Witter-Johnson.
The full list of nominations 

Best Short FIlm
Cover Me, Hush, Signs of Silence, Lifeline

Blessing Anyiam-Osigwe Award for Best Actress
Pippa Nixon, Rosamund Pike, Jade Asha, Juanita Ingram

Best Actor
Dylan Duffus, David Oyelowo, David Gyasi, Ed Hayter

Best Film
A United Kingdom, The Intent, To Dream, Residential

Best Live Script: TBA

Best Female Emerging Talent
Isis Davis, Maia Watkins, Kate Lassman Long, Krystine Atti

Best Male Emerging Talent
Elijah Baker, Louis Chandler-Joseph, Aubrey Whyte, Freddie Thorp

BUFF Honorary Award: Ashley Walters
Most festival events will be charged at £15 and £20 with tickets for the BUFF Awards starting at £125. Full terms and conditions can be found at www.britishurbanfilmfestival.co.uk