Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Lindsay Lohan arrested in New York - New York Daily News

HOLLYWOOD, CA - AUGUST 13: Actress Lindsay Lohan attends the Will.i.am album wrap party at Avalon on August 13, 2012 in Hollywood, California. (Photo by Paul Archuleta/FilmMagic)

Paul Archuleta/FilmMagic

Lindsay Lohan is back in trouble: The actress was arrested Wednesday morning.

Lindsay Lohan was arrested early Wednesday in New York after hitting a pedestrian with her Porsche, police said.

The troubled actress was maneuvering around a crowd of people in an alley between the Dream Downtown, a hotel and nightclub in the Meatpacking District, and the Maritime restaurant.

"She's driving in this freight area, going very slow," a police source said. "She's hitting her horn because there's a lot of people in the area. The crowd moves but she kind of brushes against this one guy.

RELATED: AMANDA BYNES SAYS NO TO REHAB

"He runs up to her, tells her she hit him. They get out of the car, there's some interaction with her, her entourage and the guy."

Lohan was driving a 2010 black Porsche Carrera when the incident occured around 12:30 a.m.

Lohan and friends went inside the club, and the man â€" who hasn't been named but is 34 â€" called police.

Lohan was later arrested about 2:30 a.m. and booked for leaving the scene of an accident with an injury. She was issued a desk appearance ticket.

The man was taken to Bellevue Hospital for a knee injury.

rmurray@nydailynews.com

Katy Perry & Barack Obama: 'Firework' Singer Set To Perform At 30 Days To ... - Huffington Post

Katy Perry Barack Obama

For Barack Obama, Katy Perry isn't the one that got away. According to THR, Perry will take part in 30 Days To Victory, a concert-cum-fundraiser being held in Los Angeles on Oct. 7.

The event, which is expected to feature a number of artists, will take place at the Nokia Theater. As THR notes, tickets for Obama supporters under the age of 40 will cheekily sell for $44 (Obama is the nation's 44th president); generation admission tickets, however, will run fans upward of $250.

While other performers besides Perry have yet to be revealed, it shouldn't be very hard for the Obama campaign to fill out the lineup with some of music's biggest acts. On Tuesday night, the president attended a fundraiser hosted by Jay-Z and Beyonce Knowles at the Jay-Z-owned 40/40 club in New York City.

"Beyoncé could not be a better role model for my girls," Obama said at the event, before directing a light-hearted jab at Jay-Z. "We both have a daughters and our wives are more popular than we are," he said to the famed rapper. "So, you know, we've got a little bond there. It's hard but it's OK."

Obama's ties to music's best goes all the way back to the 2008 election, when he received support from will.i.am and Bruce Springsteen. Don't expect the Boss to perform at the 30 Days to Victory concert, however, even though Obama used his song, "We Take Care Of Our Own," at the Democratic National Convention.

“I prefer to stay on the sidelines," Springsteen told ABC News in January. "I genuinely believe an artist [is] supposed to be the canary in the coal mine, and you’re better off with a certain distance from the seat of power."

For more on the 30 Days to Victory concert, head over to THR.

[via THR]

Loading Slideshow...
  • George Clooney & President Obama

    Actor George Clooney leaves after he spoke to the media March 15, 2012 at the White House in Washington, DC. Clooney had meeting with President Barack Obama to discuss the current situations in Darfur, Sudan. (Photo by Alex Wong/Getty Images)

  • President Obama & Tyler Perry

    Actor and director Tyler Perry hugs US President Barack Obama during a campaign event at Tyler Perry Studios March 16, 2012 in Atlanta, Georgia. President Obama is spending the day traveling to Chicago, Illinois and Atlanta, Georgia to attend private and public campaign events. (Photo by BRENDAN SMIALOWSKI/AFP/Getty Images)

  • The Obamas & Oprah Winfrey

    US President Barack Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama chat with talk show host Oprah Winfrey during a taping of the Oprah Winfrey show April 27, 2011 at Harpo Studios in Chicago. (Photo by MANDEL NGAN/AFP/Getty Images)

  • President Obama & Magic Johnson

    In this handout image provided by the U.S. Navy, President Barack Obama is greeted on the court by NBA Hall of Fame basketball player Earvin 'Magic' Johnson and Michigan State University assistant coach Mike Garland. (Photo by Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class James R. Evans/U.S. Navy via Getty Images)

  • Willow Smith Performs At The White House

    Willow Smith, daughter of Will Smith and Jada Pinkett Smitt, performs during the White House Easter Egg Roll on the South Lawn of the White House on April 25, 2011 in Washington, DC. (Photo by Roger L. Wollenberg-Pool/Getty Images)

  • Antonio Banderas & President Obama

    Antonio Banderas and his wife Melanie Griffith hosted a fundraising event for President Obama in October 2011. (Photo by Sean Gallup/Getty Images)

  • Tom Hanks Narrates Pro-Obama Film

    This 17-minute film released by President Obama's re-election campaign was directed by Davis Guggenheim (director of "An Inconvenient Truth") and narrated by actor Tom Hanks.

  • Gov. Mitt Romney & Jeff Foxworthy

    Republican presidential candidate, former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney makes a campaign appearance with comedian Jeff Foxworthy at the Whistle Stop cafe March 12, 2012 in Mobile, Alabama. (Photo by Win McNamee/Getty Images)

  • Gov. Mitt Romney & Kid Rock

    Republican presidential candidate and former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney greets musician Kid Rock during a campaign rally at the Royal Oak Theatre on February 27, 2012 in Royal Oak, Michigan. (Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)

  • David Mustaine & Rick Santorum

    David Mustaine of Megadeth expressed support for Rick Santorum in a February <a href="http://www.musicradar.com/news/live/interview-megadeths-dave-mustaine-talks-guitar-politics-and-todays-music-529703" target="_hplink">interview with Music Radar</a>.

  • Kelly Clarkson & Ron Paul

    Kelly Clarkson tweeted about her love for Ron Paul in late 2011, but dialed it back slightly after a backlash accused her of supporting Paul's racist and homophobic publications, <a href="http://www.foxnews.com/entertainment/2012/03/09/kelly-clarkson-never-endorsed-ron-paul/" target="_hplink">reports Fox News</a>. (Photo by ROBYN BECK/AFP/Getty Images)

  • Snoop Dogg & Ron Paul

    In December 2011, Snoop Dogg posted a picture of Ron Paul on his Facebook page with the caption "Smoke Weed Every Day," <a href="http://www.reuters.com/article/2012/01/31/us-snoopdogg-ronpaul-idUSTRE80U04220120131" target="_hplink">reports Reuters</a>. (Photo by Ethan Miller/Getty Images for Keep Memory Alive)

  • Oliver Stone & Ron Paul

    In January, Oliver Stone told <a href="http://www.rockcellarmagazine.com/2012/01/12/director-oliver-stone-on-history-and-america-jim-morrison-ron-paul/" target="_hplink">Rock Cellar Magazine</a> that he would vote for Ron Paul over Barack Obama if Paul was named the GOP nominee because "he's the only one of anybody who's saying anything intelligent about the future of the world." (Photo by Stephen Morton/Getty Images)

"; var coords = [-5, -72]; // display fb-bubble FloatingPrompt.embed(this, html, undefined, 'top', {fp_intersects:1, timeout_remove:2000,ignore_arrow: true, width:236, add_xy:coords, class_name: 'clear-overlay'}); });

Give The Robots What They Want, And Nobody Gets Hurt: Seven And A Half ... - Huffington Post

High Speed Trading
One of the few remaining humans on the New York Stock Exchange, which is increasingly being taken over by high-speed trading robots.

Thing One: Give The Robots What They Want: See, this is why nobody trusts the stock market any more.

The Securities and Exchange Commission is investigating charges that the New York Stock Exchange, Nasdaq and other major exchanges routinely give special preference to high-speed traders, letting them trade ahead of normal, slow-moving shlubs, report Scott Patterson and Jenny Strasburg of the Wall Street Journal. The report comes a week after the SEC fined NYSE for giving data to some high-speed traders before releasing it to the public. That case involved a mere $5 million fine, but it was apparently just the tip of the robot iceberg.

So what? Who cares? say proponents of high-speed trading. This is the future, and puny humans need to get the hell out of the way. The problem with just letting the robots take over all of our stock trading -- and they now control two-thirds of it, Patterson and Strasburg note -- is that it leaves us increasingly vulnerable to blowups like the Flash Crash, the botched Facebook IPO and the Knight Capital trading debacle. And it erodes public confidence in stock markets, which has fallen to a new low, according to a recent survey by the TABB Group. Meanwhile, investors are pulling money out of stock-market mutual funds steadily, even as the stock market has risen to five-year highs. The robots are getting most of the benefit.

Thing Two: Obama Closes Economy Gap: Global economic sturm und drang (see Things Three through Five below) poses a major threat to President Obama's re-election chances, but lately the economy as a political topic has slowly turned from a huge liability to a potential benefit to his campaign. A new NBC/Wall Street Journal poll finds Obama and his challenger, Mitt Romney, now tied on the question of who would better handle the economy. And people are getting more optimistic about the economy's future, according to the poll, with 42 percent expecting it to get better and 18 percent expecting it to get worse. Obama leads Romney by 5 percentage points among likely voters, 50-45, according to the poll.

Speaking of optimism: Even as Obama took to the Letterman show to mock Romney for his comments that half the country are mooching losers looking for a handout, Romney doubled down on said comments. He declared that this election is all about slashing the size of government and taking it out of the hands of the redistribution-happy Obama. His rhetoric might be firing up some of the Republican base, but it is also turning off those Republicans who still remember that they were responsible for helping get some of that 46 percent of Americans out of paying income taxes. What's more, that 46 percent includes quite a lot of people that Romney is going to need to help him get elected. It is helpful of him, though, to go ahead and openly let them know that he is going to be raising their taxes to help pay for tax cuts for the wealthy.

Thing Three: Even Japan Is Now Turning Into Japan Again: Congratulations, world, all three of the major developed economies are now printing money furiously to buy bonds and stimulate their economies. OK, Europe is not quite doing that yet (see Thing Four), but its printing presses are revving. Meanwhile, the Bank of Japan this morning announced more monetary stimulus of its own, just a week after the U.S. Federal Reserve announced its third round of quantitative easing. The BOJ, which has been fighting deflation since long before it was cool, had already been buying some bonds, but will double its purchases, Reuters notes.

Thing Four: Waiting For Spain: Meanwhile, Europe is having sort of an awkward moment. European Central Bank President Mario Draghi got everybody all exited a while back when he promised the bank would start buying the bonds of Spain and other countries to lower their borrowing costs. But he also said that Spain, et al., would have to ask, pretty please, with sugar on top, for an ECB bailout. And, funny thing, Spain's not asking! It turns out that the mere promise of ECB intervention was enough to temporarily lower Spain's borrowing costs, making a bailout less imperative, but still inevitable. So now everybody's just waiting for that other shoe to drop, the Wall Street Journal writes today, while the grins slowly drain from their faces and markets slowly get worse and worse. Meanwhile, people are pulling their deposits out of banks in Spain and other troubled European nations, Bloomberg writes, further complicating matters.

Thing Five: China Downer: China seems to be having a spot of bother of its own. FedEx, an economic bellwether if ever there was one, yesterday cut its outlook for global economic growth this year and next, and it put the blame on a slowdown in exports from China, the WSJ writes. Of course, FedEx also said that slowdown in exports was due to weakness in European and U.S. economies, so everybody's a little bit to blame. But it works both ways: Reuters points out that the biggest worry for Germany is not economic weakness in Greece, but weakness in China, a key customer of German exports.

Thing Six: Back To School: Bad news for Chicago schoolkids: The teachers' strike is over. The Chicago Teachers Union, after first rejecting a deal with the administration of Mayor Rahm Emanuel, decided after a second vote to accept the deal and end their seven-day strike. Both sides gave up significant ground, the WSJ writes, but ending the highly charged struggle will be a relief to Chicago parents, and to President Obama, who needs a happy union to help him in the election.

Thing Seven: No Mortgage For You! Mortgage rates are at record lows, and houses in many parts of the country are as cheap as they've been in years, but banks aren't making it easy for potential home buyers to take advantage. Mortgage lending has fallen to a 16-year low as standards have tightened, the WSJ writes. And the Washington Post reminds us that banks are pocketing the difference between Fed-induced low rates on mortgage-backed securities and the still relatively high rates at which they give us mortgages.

Thing Seven And One Half: Take My Wife, Please: A professor at Harvard Divinity School says she might have compelling evidence that Jesus was possibly married. It comes in the form of a piece of papyrus, written in Coptic, dating to the 4th Century A.D., that says "Jesus said to them, 'My wife...'. Maybe he was about to make a very early Borat joke? Scholars are undecided.

Now Arriving By Email: If you'd like this newsletter delivered daily to your email inbox, then please just feed your email address to the thin box over on the right side of this page, wedged narrowly between the ad and all the social-media buttons. OR, if you are logged into a HuffPost account, you could simply click on this link and tick the box labeled "7.5 Things" (and any other kind of news alert you'd like to get). Nothing bad will happen to you if you do, unless you consider getting this newsletter delivered daily to your email inbox a bad thing.

Calendar Du Jour:

Economic Data:

8:30 a.m. ET: Housing Starts And Building Permits for August

10:00 a.m. ET: Existing Home Sales for August

Corporate Earnings:

Before Market Open:

AutoZone
General Mills

After Market Close:

Adobe Systems
Bed Bath & Beyond

Heard On The Tweets:

@SallieKrawcheck: Most individual investors think S&P down over past 3 years: post-traumatic stress http://www.investmentnews.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20120918/BLOG03/120919934&NoCache=1

@TMFHousel: More charts showing who pays what in taxes have been made in the last 24 hours than in the previous decade combined.

@ReformedBroker: I support a tax on people who talk about taxes all day.

@conorsen: 14-straight extra inning wins for the Orioles. This team will infuriate stat geeks for decades.

@robdelaney: The smell of tomato plants in my garden reminds me of my grandmother. My grandmother was a bag of tomatoes.


You can follow me on Twitter, too: @markgongloff

"; var coords = [-5, -72]; // display fb-bubble FloatingPrompt.embed(this, html, undefined, 'top', {fp_intersects:1, timeout_remove:2000,ignore_arrow: true, width:236, add_xy:coords, class_name: 'clear-overlay'}); });

Obama leads in Va., Wis.; Tight in Col. - CBS News

Swing State Stories - Romney Obama(Credit: CBS)

(CBS News) President Obama holds a narrow lead over Mitt Romney in the key swing states of Virginia, Wisconsin and Colorado, according to a new Quinnipiac University/CBS News/New York Times survey.

Mr. Obama leads his GOP opponent 51 percent to 45 percent in Wisconsin, the home state of GOP vice presidential nominee Rep. Paul Ryan. The president held a two-point lead in an August 23 Quinnipiac University/CBS News/New York Times survey and nine points in an August 8 survey. Mr. Obama won the state by 14 points in 2008.

In Virginia, Mr. Obama leads Romney 50 percent to 46 percent, matching his four-point lead from August. Mr. Obama took the state by seven points four years ago, making him the first Democrat to carry it since 1964.

In Colorado, the survey found Mr. Obama holds a one-point lead, 48 percent to 47 percent. That's within the survey's three-point margin of error. In the August survey, Romney led the president by five points in Colorado.

The survey found that Mr. Obama has gained some ground on the issue of the economy - where Romney has until now held an advantage.

The Candidates on the Issues: Domestic and Foreign

The president has gained some ground on handling the economy since last month. In August, Romney had an advantage on this issue (including a 10-point lead on it Colorado), but the candidates are now running much closer. In Colorado, 48 percent of voters think Romney will handle the economy better compared to 47 percent for Mr. Obama. In Virginia and Wisconsin, Mr. Obama has a 49-47 percent and 49-46 percent edge respectively on the economy issue.

Amid the protests and violence in the Middle East, likely voters in all three of these battlegrounds see Mr. Obama as the candidate who would best handle an international crisis - 50-43 percent in Colorado, 53-42 percent in Virginia and 53-41 percent in Wisconsin. He also has an advantage over Romney in both Virginia and Wisconsin on national security and terrorism - 51-44 percent in Virginia and 50-43 percent in Wisconsin - and a two-point edge over Romney on the issue in Colorado, 48-46 percent. In last month's Colorado poll, Romney beat the president on the issue of national security, 50 percent to 41 percent.



A Night At The Museum: The Best Art Hotels (PHOTOS) - Huffington Post

Long gone are the days when a hotel could get by with a random smattering of thoughtless watercolors. Here are 10 Tablet hotels that give the local art galleries a run for their money.

Want to check in? Our Top 10 lists feature a wide range of top 10 hotel lists for any theme or purpose.

Loading Slideshow...
  • Gramercy Park Hotel - New York, New York

    A hotel designed by Julian Schnabel sets the bar high for art works, and the <a href="http://www.tablethotels.com/Gramercy-Park-Hotel/New-York-City-Hotels-New-York-USA/63812" target="_hplink">Gramercy Park Hotel</a> doesn’t disappoint â€" its permanent collection includes pieces by Hirst, Warhol, Basquiat, Picasso and Keith Haring.

  • Semiramis Hotel - Athens, Greece

    It takes some bold works to stand out against the backdrop of Karim Rashid’s typically riotous design, and <a href="http://www.tablethotels.com/Semiramis-Hotel/Hotels-Athens-Greece/26069" target="_hplink">Semiramis</a> opted only for the boldest, including pop-inspired works by the likes of Jeff Koons, Takashi Murakami, Jenny Holzer, Michael Bevilacqua, and Tim Noble & Sue Webster.

  • The Surrey - New York, New York

    <a href="http://www.tablethotels.com/The-Surrey-Hotel/New-York-City-Hotels-New-York-USA/115619" target="_hplink">The Surrey</a> is stuffed to the gills with modern and contemporary art works, beginning with Chuck Close’s one-of-a-kind portrait of Kate Moss, a daguerreotype image printed as a digitally-produced jacquard tapestry.

  • Haymarket Hotel - London, England

    <a href="http://www.tablethotels.com/Haymarket-Hotel/London-Hotels-England/64368" target="_hplink">The Haymarket</a>’s location near Trafalgar Square places it close to the National Gallery and the ICA, among others, but the lobby is a mini-museum unto itself, prominently featuring a sculpture by Tony Cragg and a landscape painting by John Virtue.

  • The James Chicago - Chicago, Illinois

    <a href="http://www.tablethotels.com/The-James-Chicago-Hotel/Chicago-Hotels-Illinois-USA/63850" target="_hplink">The James</a> is filled with works by local and international artists, starting with the lobby: Chicago-based artist Joel Ross dismantled a classic American motel room and rebuilt it whole in the entryway of the hotel, as an installation titled "Room 28."

  • The Dolder Grand - Zurich, Switzerland

    <a href="http://www.tablethotels.com/The-Dolder-Grand-Hotel/Zurich-Hotels-Switzerland/103846" target="_hplink">The Dolder Grand</a>'s owner Urs Ernst Schwarzenbach’s collection includes some modernist treasures, from Dalí's "Femmes Metamorphoses" to LeWitt’s "Horizontal Brushstrokes" and Henry Moore's "Three Piece Reclining Figure: Draped."

  • 21c Museum Hotel - Louisville, Kentucky

    Here the hotel is the contemporary art museum; <a href="http://www.tablethotels.com/21c-Museum-Hotel/Louisville-Hotels-Kentucky-USA/63843" target="_hplink">21c Museum Hotel</a> contains 9,000 square feet of gallery space for its rotating exhibitions and impressive permanent collection, and serves as a venue for artist lectures, film screenings, poetry readings and more.

  • Byblos Art Hotel - Verona, Italy

    In a mansion outside Verona the <a href="http://www.tablethotels.com/Byblos-Art-Hotel-Villa-Amista/Verona-Hotels-Veneto-Italy/63849" target="_hplink">Byblos Art Hotel</a> has assembled a wide-ranging collection, from photography by Marina Abramović and Beatriz Millar to paintings by Damien Hirst and even a (thankfully) sealed tin of Piero Manzoni’s “Merda d’Artista.”

  • River Retreat Garku - Toyama-shi, Japan

    The tranquil grounds of this Toyama ryokan create the perfect atmosphere for contemplating an outstanding collection of contemporary Japanese art and sculpture. In the <a href="http://www.tablethotels.com/River-Retreat-Garaku-Hotel/Toyama-shi-Hotels-Toyama-Japan/114911" target="_hplink">River Retreat Garku</a>'s restaurant, there’s an entire wall of plaques by Ogawa Machiko, one of Japan's best-known ceramic artists.

  • Tantalo Hotel / Kitchen / Roofbar - Panama City, Panama

    Each of <a href="http://www.tablethotels.com/Tantalo-Hotel-Kitchen-Roofbar/Panama-City-Hotels-Panama/116685" target="_hplink">Tántalo</a>’s thirteen guest rooms was designed by a different local artist, and management clearly didn't keep them on a tight leash. The result is not a knick-knack here and a painting there, but bold wall-spanning murals inspired by the neighborhood's colorful street art.

Follow Tablet on Twitter: www.twitter.com/TabletHotels

Time to give Ahmadinejad hell - New York Daily News

Mahmoud Ahmadinejad of the Islamic Republic of Iran addresses at the UN General Assembly in 2007.

TIMOTHY A. CLARY/AFP/Getty Images

Mahmoud Ahmadinejad of the Islamic Republic of Iran addresses at the UN General Assembly in 2007.

Among the tyrants and thugs who venture every year to the UN General Assembly, which began Tuesday here in New York, is the autocratic and anti-Semitic president of Iran, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, who always uses the event to spread hateful ideas and insane conspiracy theories.

Last week, Ahmadinejad’s regime released the courageous Christian pastor Youcef Nadarkhani, who had spent nearly three years in prison after having been convicted of apostasy and sentenced to death in 2010 . Don’t be fooled, though: The timely release of innocents is a time-honored regime public relations tactic, particularly in the run-up to the General Assembly.

Anyone paying attention to what the regime is up to can tell you that its bad deeds are more pernicious than ever. Its nuclear program is getting closer to weaponization, its human rights abuses continue unabated, its facilitation of bloodshed in Syria is ongoing and it is increasingly trying to throw its weight around geopolitically.

New Yorkers don’t simply have to grouse and bear it. The General Assembly can be an opportunity not only for the likes of Ahmadinejad to broadcast his message to the world, but for our city â€" which millions of Jews call home and where thousands of immigrants of all faiths have settled seeking better, freer lives â€" to return rhetorical fire at a man who exudes hate.

To this end, we at Iran180 have launched a campaign that we are calling “Most #UNwelcome.” By using digital tools and some old fashioned protesting, we hope to allow everyday New Yorkers, and Americans in general, to tell Iran’s leader how they feel about his toxic presence â€" a right, we should note, that he denies his own people.

From now through the end of the month, you will be able to visit www.mostunwelcome.com to sign our petition and send Ahmadinejad a personal message. You can also use Twitter, and the hashtag #UNwelcome, to tell him why.

If you are not sure about how we should receive Ahmadinejad, please consider these sins of the regime:

Bolstering brutality in Syria . Iran is actively supporting Bashar Assad’s crackdown in Syria, where civilians have taken the brunt of the violence. The UN has placed the death toll at over 20,000, most caused by Assad regime forces.

This unwavering support was most recently highlighted by Tehran’s decision to falsify the translation into Farsi of a speech by Egyptian President Mohammed Morsi. Translators for state-owned media altered statements by Morsi expressing “solidarity with the struggle of the Syrian people against an oppressive regime” to “we must support the ruling regime in Syria.”

Urbanworld fest taps a fresh & energetic film world - New York Daily News

Viola Davis, Maggie Gyllenhaal in Won't Back Down

Kerry Hayes

Viola Davis (l.) and Maggie Gyllenhaal's 'Won't Back Down,' which opens Sept. 28, will have an early screening at Urbanworld Film Festival.

Yes, the Sundance, Cannes and New York film festivals all have glitz and glamour. But after 16 years, New York’s Urbanworld Film Festival â€" running Wednesday through Sunday at AMC’s 34th St. theater â€" has undeniable thrills of its own.

“Film festivals are messy and crazy,” says Ava DuVernay, who admits running into “weird things,” technical mistakes and the anxiety of filmmakers. “Now imagine all that, with brothers and sisters from New York City. There’s energy pulsating all over the place.”

DuVernay should know. She was a publicist for Urbanworld a half-dozen years ago and this year is presenting her own film, “Middle of Nowhere,” as the festival’s closing-night work.

Gabrielle Glore, executive producer and head of programming for the festival, adds, “We’re redefining what the urban world means. It’s a cross-cultural sensibility that represents what America looks like today.”

Urbanworld’s events start Wednesday with a reception for filmmakers and industry professionals at 7:30 p.m. at the HBO Theater, 1100 Sixth Ave. The event follows a pair of panels starting at 4 p.m. about how to fund and distribute a film.

Thursday night at 8 p.m. will see the premiere of “Being Mary Jane,” a rom-com starring Gabrielle Union (“Think Like a Man”) and written and directed by Mara Brock and Salim Akil (“Sparkle”).

“Mary Jane” has got “that ‘Sex and the City’ feel to it,” says Queens native Tika Sumpter (“Gossip Girl”), who co-stars as Union’s gal pal. “My character is like Samantha â€" she says all the wrong things, but people still want to be her.”

Other highlights will include an advance screening of “Won’t Back Down,” Friday at 6 p.m., co-starring Oscar nominees Viola Davis and Maggie Gyllenhaal as mothers fighting to improve their kids’ inner-city school. The film opens Sept. 28.

Two faces familiar from TV â€" Columbus Short of “Scandal” and Wilmer Valderrama of “That ’70s Show” â€" play change-of-pace roles as victim and villain in “The Girl Is in Trouble” on Friday at 8:15 p.m. It’s a crime drama exec-produced by Spike Lee.

“It’s a classic New York film,” Glore says. “It’s got grit.”

The festival also offers documentaries like: “BMF: The Rise and Fall of a Hip Hop Drug Empire,” on Saturday at 10:30 p.m., the story of the “Black Mafia Family,” which trafficked cocaine from Atlanta to L.A.; and “Soul Food Junkies” on Saturday at noon. The latter film chronicles director Byron Hurt’s attempts to understand his dad’s culturally significant yet deeply unhealthy diet.

Notable short films include up-and-coming Brooklyn filmmaker Christina Choe’s unconventional Western “I Am John Wayne” on Friday at noon and Saturday at 2 p.m., and “CSI: NY” star Hill Harper’s directorial debut, “The Truth,” on Friday and Saturday at 2:45 p.m.

Attendees can vote for their favorite features and shorts via text message. Awards will be presented at a Sunday brunch.

The fest culminates on Saturday at 8 p.m. with DuVernay’s “Middle of Nowhere,” a romantic drama about a med student torn between her incarcerated husband and a new love interest.

DuVernay’s film, which she also wrote, won her the Best Director award at Sundance last January. She’s the first African-American woman to receive that honor.

Showing the film in New York brings her journey full circle, she says.

“What sets Urbanworld apart is beyond the diversity on screen,” DuVernay says. “It’s the people behind the fest. They understand the importance of these images to our community. It’s about really knowing what our lives are like.”

IF YOU GO

When: Sept. 19-23

Where: 312 W. 34th St., between Eighth and Ninth Aves.

Cost: Ranges from $15 per ticket to $500 for V.I.P. access to festival events

Website: urbanworld.org