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BlackStar Film Festival

BlackStar Film Festival Celebrating the visual and storytelling traditions of black, brown and indigenous people from around the world. Mailing List --> http://eepurl.com/m1YTD.

The BlackStar Film Festival is an annual celebration of the visual and storytelling traditions of the African diaspora and of global indigenous communities, showcasing films by black people from around the world.For press inquiries, please email [email protected]

Operating as usual

Join the team behind the 2022 BlackStar Film Festival!✨As we gear up for this year's events, we're hiring for an Accessi...
03/18/2022

Join the team behind the 2022 BlackStar Film Festival!✨

As we gear up for this year's events, we're hiring for an Accessibility Coordinator, a Hospitality Coordinator, an Onsite Producer, a Virtual Festival Coordinator, and a Volunteer Coordinator.

Visit our website to learn more about the open positions and send in an application by April 6th: blackstarfest.org/opportunities

Photo by Daniel Jackson.

Deadline extended to March 27th!
03/17/2022

Deadline extended to March 27th!

🎉 PAID OPPORTUNITY ALERT! We’re delighted to launch our inaugural CULTURAL CRITICS FELLOWSHIP (April-Dec) for #Philadelphia-based new, emerging and industry-curious writers. Get published AND paid while learning—LEARN MORE + APPLY: forms.gle/it3EAWwigR8568Lo6 (Deadline: Sun 3/13)

We are so excited to announce the launch of BlackStar's Audio Description for Film program! This day-long training for B...
03/16/2022

We are so excited to announce the launch of BlackStar's Audio Description for Film program! This day-long training for Black, Brown, and Indigenous creators will take place on Saturday, April 30th in Philadelphia.

The in-person training will teach the basic principles of audio description for audiences with low or no vision, using practical guidelines and real examples.

Apply to attend by Wednesday, March 30th: https://www.blackstarfest.org/festival/audiodescription/

We are so saddened to hear of the passing of Michelle Materre. Michelle was — in addition to being an influential produc...
03/15/2022

We are so saddened to hear of the passing of Michelle Materre. Michelle was — in addition to being an influential producer, writer, film programmer, scholar, and professor — a beloved early supporter of BlackStar and a constant presence at our festival. Our thoughts today are with her friends and family.

These photos are from the 2017 Curator's Roundtable featuring Michelle, Dessane Cassell, Ashley Clark, Jon-Sesrie Goff, and Roni Nicole Henderson.

Read more about Michelle's life and work: http://www.creativelyspeaking.tv/materre

Photos by Daniel Jackson.

✨Tomorrow✨
03/14/2022

✨Tomorrow✨

We are excited to share an exclusive opportunity to see Mariama Diallo's new feature film MASTER, in Philadelphia, before its release! The thriller from the BlackStar alum (#BSFF17, #BSFF18) will be screening at the PFS Bourse Theater, Tuesday, March 15 at 7PM.✨

Register for a pass here: https://amazonscreenings.com/main/movie_landing/QmxhY2tTdGFyTWFzdGVy

If you are prompted to enter a code, write in "BlackStarMaster". There are a limited number of passes available to our community and any customer service questions should be directed to Amazon via the link.

Don't lose anymore sparks of inspiration! Use our official BlackStar Moleskine notebook to jot down great ideas as they ...
03/11/2022

Don't lose anymore sparks of inspiration! Use our official BlackStar Moleskine notebook to jot down great ideas as they happen. ⁠

Our notebook is available for purchase at our online BlackStar shop, alongside other apparel and collectibles. ⁠

https://shop.blackstarfest.org/

All purchases help BlackStar continue to uplift and provide resources for Black, Brown, and Indigenous artists!⁠

#ByIndieMeansNecessary

As women around the world continue to lead revolutionary movements and create liberatory spaces for their communities, o...
03/08/2022

As women around the world continue to lead revolutionary movements and create liberatory spaces for their communities, on #InternationalWomensDay check out some documentaries — all screened at BlackStar Film Festival — that are directed by and about women across the globe!

These films are online and available to stream today. Check out the image captions for film synopses and streaming information.

Philly film lovers! Check out CineSpeaks' indie film round-up in Sunday's Inquirer. There are a ton of amazing screening...
03/07/2022

Philly film lovers! Check out CineSpeaks' indie film round-up in Sunday's Inquirer. There are a ton of amazing screenings and events happening this spring!

LONG LIVE ARTHOUSE CINEMA! Catch our indie film round-up in today’s Philadelphia Inquirer —proudly featuring our friends Philadelphia Latino Film Festival, Philadelphia Asian American Film Festival, BlackStar Film Festival, Lightbox Film Center, Bryn Mawr Film Institute, The Colonial Theatre, Philadelphia Film Society, Tri-Co Film Festival and Scribe Video Center—🎥❤️

We are excited to share an exclusive opportunity to see Mariama Diallo's new feature film MASTER, in Philadelphia, befor...
03/03/2022

We are excited to share an exclusive opportunity to see Mariama Diallo's new feature film MASTER, in Philadelphia, before its release! The thriller from the BlackStar alum (#BSFF17, #BSFF18) will be screening at the PFS Bourse Theater, Tuesday, March 15 at 7PM.✨

Register for a pass here: https://amazonscreenings.com/main/movie_landing/QmxhY2tTdGFyTWFzdGVy

If you are prompted to enter a code, write in "BlackStarMaster". There are a limited number of passes available to our community and any customer service questions should be directed to Amazon via the link.

We can't wait to see everyone tomorrow in LA!
03/02/2022

We can't wait to see everyone tomorrow in LA!

Join us on March 3 at the Hammer Museum in LA for an evening of music, videos, and conversation! ⁠

'Mass of Images: Experimental Music Videos', organized by BlackStar, will feature a panel of filmmakers and artists who will discuss the influence of experimental music videos, including the work of Ulysses Jenkins, on contemporary culture and their own work.

This is a free event! Learn more: https://www.blackstarfest.org/events/panel/mass-of-images/

Filmmakers! Send in your film by tomorrow, March 2, to meet our preferred festival submission deadline. 🎥The 2022 BlackS...
03/01/2022
Submissions - BlackStar Projects

Filmmakers! Send in your film by tomorrow, March 2, to meet our preferred festival submission deadline. 🎥

The 2022 BlackStar Film Festival will take place from Aug 3-7.

https://www.blackstarfest.org/festival/submissions/

The BlackStar Film Festival is an annual celebration of the visual and storytelling traditions of the African diaspora and of global Indigenous communities, showcasing films by Black, Brown, and Indigenous artists from around the world.

Check out the first article for Seen Journal's online-only column, Observed! The piece dives into the work of Emma Amos,...
02/25/2022
Emma Amos, They Weren’t Ready For You - BlackStar Projects

Check out the first article for Seen Journal's online-only column, Observed! The piece dives into the work of Emma Amos, a prolific painter, printmaker, and textile artist.

"While her experimentation with combining disciplines and mediums broke open formal traditions, her artistic choices were also always politically situated...[Emma Amos's] aim was to visualize the depth, richness, and plurality of Black life," writes Rachell Morillo.

https://www.blackstarfest.org/seen/read/observed/emma-amos-color-odyssey-review/

Observed Online Reviews Emma Amos, They Weren’t Ready For You A testament to a prolific career, Color Odyssey highlights Amos’s appetite for destabilizing the norms of painting, printmaking, and society at large. by Rachell Morillo Emma Amos, Equals, 1992. Emma Amos; Courtesy of RYAN LEE Gallery...

Join us on March 3 at the Hammer Museum in LA for an evening of music, videos, and conversation! ⁠⁠'Mass of Images: Expe...
02/17/2022

Join us on March 3 at the Hammer Museum in LA for an evening of music, videos, and conversation! ⁠

'Mass of Images: Experimental Music Videos', organized by BlackStar, will feature a panel of filmmakers and artists who will discuss the influence of experimental music videos, including the work of Ulysses Jenkins, on contemporary culture and their own work.

This is a free event! Learn more: https://www.blackstarfest.org/events/panel/mass-of-images/

If love is on your mind today, take a look back at some sweet short films that have screened at BlackStar Film Festival ...
02/14/2022

If love is on your mind today, take a look back at some sweet short films that have screened at BlackStar Film Festival over the years!⁠ From romantic to familial to self love, these shorts represent a variety of experiences and are all available to stream with your loved ones tonight.

Check out the image captions for descriptions of the films and streaming information! ❤️

Applications for our Lab Shadow Program close next Tuesday, February 15! Don't miss this opportunity to shadow our lab f...
02/09/2022
Shadow Program - BlackStar Projects

Applications for our Lab Shadow Program close next Tuesday, February 15! Don't miss this opportunity to shadow our lab filmmakers as they create this year's films.

Individuals who are interested in sound, production design, wardrobe and other areas beyond directing are encouraged to apply!

This is a paid opportunity open to Philadelphia-based Black, Brown and Indigenous creators.

https://www.blackstarfest.org/lab/shadowprogram/

BlackStar’s Filmmaker Lab Shadow Program will offer filmmakers the opportunity to be on set and learn as this year’s Lab films are being produced.

02/08/2022
Questlove Talks 'Summer of Soul' and Preserving Our Stories (BlackStar Live!)

The Oscars just announced this year's Best Documentary Feature nominees and the list is filled with BlackStar alums and friends!

It includes BlackStar panelist & friend Questlove with Summer of Soul, BlackStar alums Rintu Thomas and Sushmit Ghosh with Writing With Fire, and Traci A. Curry and BlackStar alum Stanley Nelson with ATTICA.

Last year, we talked to Questlove about his experience creating SUMMER OF SOUL. Check it out below:

Today is the last day to apply, make sure to get those applications in! We're looking forward to sharing this space with...
02/04/2022
William and Louise Greaves Filmmaker Seminar - BlackStar Projects

Today is the last day to apply, make sure to get those applications in! We're looking forward to sharing this space with you all soon. ❤️

The work of Bill Greaves has an undeniable out-flowering of the human spirit and an attempt to reflect the truth of a people.

A must-read from BlackStar alum Assia Boundaoui."Where is the space for Muslim creatives to make beautifully intricate, ...
02/03/2022
Islamophobia and the Tyranny of Empathy: The Case of 'Jihad Rehab'

A must-read from BlackStar alum Assia Boundaoui.

"Where is the space for Muslim creatives to make beautifully intricate, nuanced films that center our positionality? Films that concern themselves not with war, but with life?"

https://www.documentary.org/online-feature/islamophobia-and-tyranny-empathy-case-jihad-rehab

January 31, 2022 Islamophobia and the Tyranny of Empathy: The Case of 'Jihad Rehab' By Assia BoundaouiShare: This past weekend I got cozy on my living room couch and attended my first screening of the 2022 Sundance Film Festival— the premiere of Meg Smaker’s Jihad Rehab. The film’s hapless tit...

✨Congratulations to BlackStar alum Nikyatu!✨It was announced that Nikyatu will be teaming up with Jordan Peele's product...
02/02/2022

✨Congratulations to BlackStar alum Nikyatu!✨

It was announced that Nikyatu will be teaming up with Jordan Peele's production company Monkeypaw to produce her next feature film. This comes after winning the Sundance U.S. Dramatic Grand Jury Prize for her thriller NANNY.

Nikyatu is the second Black woman to win the award. Additionally, her film is the first horror film to secure the prize.

Nikyatu screened two shorts are BlackStar Film Festival: FLOWERS, co-directed by Yvonne Michelle Shirley, in 2016 and SUICIDE BY SUNLIGHT in 2019.

Submit your film today to meet our early deadline!
02/01/2022

Submit your film today to meet our early deadline!

The early deadline for BlackStar Film Festival submissions is quickly approaching! Send in your film by February 1: http...
01/28/2022

The early deadline for BlackStar Film Festival submissions is quickly approaching! Send in your film by February 1: https://www.blackstarfest.org/festival/submissions/

We can't wait to see what the line-up for #BSFF22 will be, as we continue our tradition of sharing stories that capture the fullness of humanity. ❤️

We're thrilled to share that Fox Maxy's SAN DIEGO is streaming exclusively via Seen Journal through February 8! Check ou...
01/27/2022

We're thrilled to share that Fox Maxy's SAN DIEGO is streaming exclusively via Seen Journal through February 8! Check out Fox's short alongside Cassie Da Costa's powerful profile on the boundary-breaking filmmaker here: https://blackstarfest.org/seen/read/issue003/a-hunger-to-be-heard/

"Maxy’s films explore many diverging and converging themes—from being Native to living on and respecting the land. But they also emphasize affect and expression, visual rhyme and currents of emotion, popular culture and carefree subversion." - Cassie Da Costa

Color Congress launches this Wednesday! Tune-in to their opening event and learn about their mission to strengthen docum...
01/24/2022

Color Congress launches this Wednesday! Tune-in to their opening event and learn about their mission to strengthen documentary and nonfiction storytelling by, for, and about people of color.

Join Sahar Driver + Sonya Childress on Jan 26 at 11 PM PT/ 2 PM ET as we launch Color Congress + celebrate the rich legacy of people of color in the documentary at #Sundance2022. Hear from Cornelius Moore, Tara Dorabji, Kiyoshi Ken Ikeda, Tracy Rector, Chloe Walters-Wallace, and Chi-hui Yang. RSVP: https://bit.ly/3zWkEHY

We are so excited about our brand new Filmmaker Lab Shadow Program! Black, Brown and Indigenous filmmakers will have the...
01/21/2022
Shadow Program - BlackStar Projects

We are so excited about our brand new Filmmaker Lab Shadow Program! Black, Brown and Indigenous filmmakers will have the opportunity to be on set as this year's lab films are made.

They will observe the productions as they happen, gain first-hand knowledge about film production, and make connections with others in the industry.

This is a paid opportunity open to BIPOC Philadelphia-based filmmakers. Apply by February 15th to be considered!

https://blackstarfest.org/lab/shadowprogram/

BlackStar’s Filmmaker Lab Shadow Program will offer filmmakers the opportunity to be on set and learn as this year’s Lab films are being produced.

We would like to extend a huge congratulations to our founder and CEO Maori Karmael Holmes! Maori was named as one of Th...
01/20/2022

We would like to extend a huge congratulations to our founder and CEO Maori Karmael Holmes! Maori was named as one of The Kennedy Center's Next 50, leaders who are lighting the way forward through art and action. ⁠

Next 50 both honors The Kennedy Center's 50th anniversary and looks towards the new creators who are building pathways for future generations. 💥

Read more: https://www.kennedy-center.org/our-story/social-impact/next-50/

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1901 South 9th Street, Bok 414
Philadelphia, PA
19104

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The BlackStar Film Festival is an annual celebration of the visual and storytelling traditions of the African diaspora and of global communities of color, showcasing films by black, brown and indigenous people from around the world.

For press inquiries, please email [email protected]

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Have you sent your application in for this year’s Seminar? Apply today!
Color Congress launches this Wednesday! Tune-in to their opening event and learn about their mission to strengthen documentary and nonfiction storytelling by, for, and about people of color.
We are so excited about our brand new Filmmaker Lab Shadow Program! Black, Brown and Indigenous filmmakers will have the opportunity to be on set as this year's lab films are made. They will observe the productions as they happen, gain first-hand knowledge about film production, and make connections with others in the industry. This is a paid opportunity open to BIPOC Philadelphia-based filmmakers. Apply by February 15th to be considered! https://blackstarfest.org/lab/shadowprogram/
We would like to extend a huge congratulations to our founder and CEO Maori Karmael Holmes! Maori was named as one of The Kennedy Center's Next 50, leaders who are lighting the way forward through art and action. ⁠ ⁠ Next 50 both honors The Kennedy Center's 50th anniversary and looks towards the new creators who are building pathways for future generations. 💥 Read more: https://www.kennedy-center.org/our-story/social-impact/next-50/
Have you heard? Submissions for BlackStar Film Festival 2022 are now open! Send it in your film by February 1 to meet our early deadline: https://www.blackstarfest.org/festival/submissions/
A beautiful reflection on the last 10 years of BlackStar and hopes for the next 10 years by our founder Maori Karmael Holmes and Chief Communications Officer Imran Siddiquee. "Ultimately, the goal of BlackStar has always been to not have to do this work anymore, to help generate the conditions where all artists of color have the resources and platforms to freely create the work they desire, however they desire." https://www.documentary.org/feature/kind-time-travel-blackstar-film-festival-10
Applications are now open for our second annual William and Louise Greaves Filmmaker Seminar! Come learn and share space with other Black, Brown, and Indigenous artists working in cinematic realms. The seminar will take place from March 18-20, 2022. It will once again be virtual in order to keep our communities safe during the rise in COVID-19 cases. https://www.blackstarfest.org/seminar/
Apply to the *new* Philadelphia Filmmaker Lab Shadow Program! This is an opportunity to be on set and learn as this year’s Philadelphia Filmmaker Lab films are produced. ⁠ ⁠ Four local filmmakers are currently creating short films through the Lab, executive produced by BlackStar, which will then premiere at the 2022 festival. The Shadow Program offers Black, Brown, and Indigenous filmmakers the chance to observe these productions as they happen, gain first-hand knowledge about film production, and make invaluable connections with others in the industry. This is a paid opportunity and participants must live in the Greater Philadelphia area.⁠ ⁠⁠⁠⁠ Learn more and apply by February 15: https://blackstarfest.org/lab/shadowprogram/ ⁠⁠ The Philadelphia Filmmaker Lab is presented in partnership with Comcast Xfinity, with additional support provided by All Ages Productions, Independence Public Media Foundation, Kickstarter, Vimeo, and Wyncote Foundation.
BlackStar keeps shining (and growing) in 2022! We recently added 6 new full-time staff members to the team and promoted a few others. ✨ Learn more at the link:
Submissions for this year’s BlackStar Film Festival are officially open! The early deadline is February 1 and the final deadline to submit your work is April 1, 2022. ⁠ Films must be directed by a person who identifies as Black, as Indigenous, and/or as a person of color, from anywhere in the world. Work must feature persons of color or tell a story of Black, Indigenous, and/or POC experience.⁠ ⁠ Learn more and submit your film: blackstarfest.org/festival/submissions/ #BSFF22 #ByIndieMeansNecessary
"In all of his performances there’s a groundedness and an elegance — no matter the material. One of the most brilliant things about his work was an ability to find humanity and depth in these extraordinary, but sometimes flat, characters he was given to play.” - Maori Karmael on Sidney Poitier in Philadelphia Inquirer #RestInPower
The final print in our 10th Anniversary Print Sale is from artist, filmmaker, and cinematographer Arthur Jafa. AJ's "Cassie" is only available until January 15 in an edition of 50. In 2014 AJ's “Dreams are Colder than Death” won Best Documentary Feature at our festival, and his film “Love Is The Message, The Message Is Death” won an audience award for Best Experimental Film in 2016. ⁠ Purchase the print at anniversary.blackstarfest.org and help support our work to celebrate and uplift Black, Brown, and Indigenous artists! ⁠ The previous prints in the sale, all from alums of BlackStar Film Festival, are also still available in limited quantities.⁠ See them at the link. All orders will ship in January 2022 and the full sale will close on January 15.