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]

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Apply today for the 2021 BlackStar Pitch! Submit your nonfiction project for a chance to win a prize from WarnerMedia On...
04/30/2021
BlackStar Pitch

Apply today for the 2021 BlackStar Pitch! Submit your nonfiction project for a chance to win a prize from WarnerMedia OneFifty and personal feedback from a distinguished panel of funders, executives, distributors and producers. ⁠

8 finalists will present their works-in-progress during this year's BlackStar Film Festival. Submit by May 31: blackstarfest.org/pitch

In 2021, BlackStar Film Festival will host the third annual BlackStar Pitch. Filmmakers will pitch their short nonfiction projects in front of a virtual audience and a panel of judges to receive feedback and have an opportunity to win an artist grant from WarnerMedia OneFifty, which is WarnerMedia.....

Share your memories with us! We're celebrating 10 years of BlackStar and want to hear from you about your favorite momen...
04/29/2021

Share your memories with us! We're celebrating 10 years of BlackStar and want to hear from you about your favorite moments from the last decade of the film festival.⁠

Submit at blackstarfest.org/10years and we might feature your content during this year's festival!⁠

#BlackStar10 ⁠#tbt⁠ #throwbackthursday

In Vanity Fair, writer Cassie da Costa profiles five Black indie directors who have recently released work, including tw...
04/28/2021
5 Black Indie Directors Who Haven’t Let the Pandemic Stop Them

In Vanity Fair, writer Cassie da Costa profiles five Black indie directors who have recently released work, including two - Shatara Michelle Ford (TEST PATTERN) and Tayler Montague (IN SUDDEN DARKNESS) - who had their films world premiere at BlackStar.

Filmmakers Jeanetta Rich, Shatara Michelle Ford, Ephraim Asili, Tayler Montague, and Merawi Gerima have made or released brilliant new work in the last year.

"Terrell Mullin, [Cynthia] Erivo’s makeup artist, said Black makeup artists and hairstylists are so rare on set that 'I'...
04/19/2021
Black makeup artists and hairstylists want more access, representation in Hollywood

"Terrell Mullin, [Cynthia] Erivo’s makeup artist, said Black makeup artists and hairstylists are so rare on set that 'I'm almost like Jesus when a Black talent walks into the trailer and sees me. I literally have had talent cry in front of me walking in the trailer and seeing that there was a Black artist on their face for that particular project and know that they'll be taken care of and not have to worry about the color of their foundation — there will be no just making sure they pass on camera.'" - NBC News

More projects with Black actors doesn't always mean the makeup artists and hairstylists in the trailer understand how to make their stars shine.

The newest print in our year-long 10th Anniversary Print Sale is from visionary artist Cauleen Smith! ⁠Drawing from stru...
04/15/2021
Cauleen Smith — BlackStar 10th Anniversary Print Sale

The newest print in our year-long 10th Anniversary Print Sale is from visionary artist Cauleen Smith! ⁠Drawing from structuralism, third world cinema, and science fiction, Smith (#BSFF13, #BSFF19) makes things that deploy the tactics of activism in service of ecstatic social space and contemplation. This still is from the 2018 film SOJOURNER, which explores what a radical feminist utopia might look like.⁠⁠

Purchases of this limited edition print support BlackStar as we celebrate a decade of our annual Film Festival. A new print from a festival alum will be unveiled on the 15th of every month for the rest of the year. #BlackStar10 🎉

Print 4 of 12 Cauleen SmithStill from Sojourner2018 11 x 8.5 in. EDITION OF 30 PIGMENT PRINT $300 ︎︎︎ Add to...

"In Bradley’s hands, Fox’s extensive collection of home video footage (that the director only learned about on the last ...
04/13/2021
AnArchiveOfLove — Seen by BlackStar

"In Bradley’s hands, Fox’s extensive collection of home video footage (that the director only learned about on the last day of shooting) is transformed into an allegory for the revolutionary power of love—Black love—in the face of the prison-industrial complex that destroys Black families and robs individuals of their dignity and humanity." - Racquel Gates

From Issue 001 of our #SeenJournal, a review of the now Oscar-nominated TIME, directed by Garrett Bradley.

Time (2020) film stills courtesy of Amazon Studios AN ARCHIVE OF LOVEA review of Garrett Bradley’s Time by Racquel...

Good Pitch Local returns to Philadelphia this summer for a third edition in partnership with PhillyCAM on July 27, 2021 ...
04/12/2021
Good Pitch

Good Pitch Local returns to Philadelphia this summer for a third edition in partnership with PhillyCAM on July 27, 2021 in a half-day virtual event. Submit your project by May 5!

Good Pitch connects the world's best social justice documentaries with new allies and partners.

The latest print in our year-long 10th Anniversary Print Sale is "Wutang is for the Children" by Damon Davis (who co-dir...
04/05/2021

The latest print in our year-long 10th Anniversary Print Sale is "Wutang is for the Children" by Damon Davis (who co-directed "Whose Streets?" which screened at #BSFF17).

All sales of this limited edition artwork support BlackStar as we celebrate a decade of the festival: blackstarfest.org/anniversary

New prints announced on the 15th of every month! Previous editions still one sale include works by artists Garrett Bradley and Louis Massiah.

⁠#BlackStar10

Congrats to director Shantrelle P. Lewis on this incredible news! "In Our Mothers' Gardens" won the Shine Award at BSFF2...
04/01/2021
ARRAY Acquires ‘In Our Mothers’ Gardens,’ Sets Limited Theatrical Release and Netflix Debut

Congrats to director Shantrelle P. Lewis on this incredible news! "In Our Mothers' Gardens" won the Shine Award at BSFF20 and will be released in select theaters and begin streaming on Netflix on May 6. 👏🏾 🎉

ARRAY Releasing has acquired the documentary “In Our Mothers’ Gardens,” which marks filmmaker Shantrelle P. Lewis’ directorial debut. ARRAY president Tilane Jones announced …

The Netflix Nonfiction Directing and Producing Fellowship, developed with Ghetto Film School, will provide career develo...
03/31/2021
Netflixnonfictionfellowship - About The Netflix Non Fiction Fellowship

The Netflix Nonfiction Directing and Producing Fellowship, developed with Ghetto Film School, will provide career development curriculum, coaching, and production company placements for selected filmmakers — with a particular focus on filmmakers of color. ⁠

Learn more and apply by April 26!

The Netflix Nonfiction Directing and Producing Fellowship, developed in partnership with Ghetto Film School, invests in a cohort of select Directors and Producers with sustained career development curriculum, coaching and production company placements for 12 months.

"Nearly 140 documentary filmmakers have signed onto a letter given to PBS executives, suggesting the service may provide...
03/31/2021
Filmmakers Call Out PBS For A Lack Of Diversity, Over-Reliance On Ken Burns

"Nearly 140 documentary filmmakers have signed onto a letter given to PBS executives, suggesting the service may provide an unfair level of support to white creators, facing a 'systemic failure to fulfill (its) mandate for a diversity of voices.'" - NPR

#BeyondInclusion

A group of documentarians have signed a letter to PBS expressing concerns that white stars like Ken Burns get too much airtime and resources, while filmmakers of color struggle to build careers.

The FINAL deadline for submitting to the 10th Annual BlackStar Film Festival is approaching this Wednesday! Enter your f...
03/29/2021

The FINAL deadline for submitting to the 10th Annual BlackStar Film Festival is approaching this Wednesday! Enter your film by March 31. ⏰⁠⁠ blackstarfest.org/submissions
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#BSFF21 will take place this year from August 4-8!

#BlackStar10

The Sundance Uprise Grant Fund is for U.S.-based emerging artists of color "whose creative and/or professional developme...
03/24/2021

The Sundance Uprise Grant Fund is for U.S.-based emerging artists of color "whose creative and/or professional development was negatively impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic."

Uprise Grants range from $1K to $5K, and are unrestricted.

Apply here by April 5: sndnc.org/uprise2021

The Sundance Uprise Grant Fund is for U.S.-based emerging artists of color "whose creative and/or professional development was negatively impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic."

Uprise Grants range from $1K to $5K, and are unrestricted.

Apply here by April 5: sndnc.org/uprise2021

"The Disruptors Fellowship is an unprecedented fellowship supporting emerging television writers of color who identify a...
03/22/2021
The Disruptors

"The Disruptors Fellowship is an unprecedented fellowship supporting emerging television writers of color who identify as transgender, non-binary, disabled, or undocumented/formerly undocumented. This 3-month fellowship for LA-based emerging talent includes mentorship, professional development, master classes and a $6,000 stipend."

Apply by this Friday, March 26!

COVID-19 continues to cause significant hardship in our communities, but it is also a catalyst for unprecedented cultural change. At The Center for Cultural Power we are doubling down on our commitment to invest in artists and storytellers to help us reimagine a new world where we all belong and thr...

Today we launch the inaugural William + Louise Greaves Filmmaker Seminar — a three-day gathering of Black, Brown, and In...
03/19/2021
William and Louise Greaves Filmmaker Seminar — 2021 Program

Today we launch the inaugural William + Louise Greaves Filmmaker Seminar — a three-day gathering of Black, Brown, and Indigenous artists working in cinematic realms! Supported by Cinereach.

Here's a peek into what participants will be doing, seeing, and learning during this online gathering:

William and Louise Greaves Filmmaker Seminar — 2021 Program

Our own Maori Karmael Holmes is among the 95 profiles of women featured in the new 600-page book, They Carried Us: The S...
03/17/2021
‘They Carried Us’ tells the story of Philadelphia’s Black women leaders

Our own Maori Karmael Holmes is among the 95 profiles of women featured in the new 600-page book, They Carried Us: The Social Impact of Philadelphia's Black Women Leaders!

"The book, written by Allener (Sissy) M. Baker-Rogers and Fasaha M. Traylor, includes profiles of Black women spanning hundreds of years in the city." - Philadelphia Inquirer

Allener M. Baker-Rogers and Fasaha Traylor saw that most stories during Black History Month featured Black men. Their book, “They Carried Us,” focuses on Black women, from history and today.

We just released the third print in our year-long 10th Anniversary Print Sale: Damon Davis' "Wutang is for the Children"...
03/15/2021
Damon Davis — BlackStar 10th Anniversary Print Sale

We just released the third print in our year-long 10th Anniversary Print Sale: Damon Davis' "Wutang is for the Children"! ⁠⁠This limited edition pigment print is now on sale.
⁠⁠
Davis (#BSFF17) is an award-winning, post-disciplinary artist who works and resides in St. Louis, Missouri. In a practice that is part therapy, part social commentary, his work spans across a spectrum of creative mediums to tell stories exploring how identity is informed by power and mythology. Davis seeks to empower and give voice to the powerless and combat systems of oppression, focusing not only on pain but also on the joy of the Black experience.⁠⁠
⁠⁠
Davis co-directed, with Sabaah Folayan, the 2017 documentary “Whose Streets?” — chronicling the Ferguson uprising of 2014 — which won Best Documentary Feature at the sixth annual BlackStar Film Festival.⁠⁠
⁠⁠
Purchases of this limited edition print support BlackStar as we celebrate a decade of our annual film festival. A new print from a festival alum will be unveiled on the 15th of every month for the rest of the year.

Previously announced prints include work from TIME director Garrett Bradley and Scribe Video Center founder Louis Massiah. 🎉⁠⁠
⁠⁠
#BlackStar10

Print 3 of 12 Damon DavisWutang is for the Children2019 11 x 8.5 in. EDITION OF 30 PIGMENT PRINT $300 ︎︎︎ Add to...

03/15/2021
PANEL: A Love Song and the LA Uprisings

Congrats to Sophia Nahli Allison and #ALoveSongForLatasha on the Oscar nomination today! #Oscars2021

The film won Best Documentary Short at #BSFF19 and in 2020 we hosted this powerful discussion about the film as well:

"This fund meets the most urgent needs of U.S.-based emerging artists of color from historically marginalized communitie...
03/11/2021
2021 Uprise Grant Fund - Sundance Institute

"This fund meets the most urgent needs of U.S.-based emerging artists of color from historically marginalized communities who are looking to sustain their creative practice, ensuring that these critical stories and voices are not erased. Artists must identify as being Black, Indigenous, and/or a person of color, and we encourage artists who also identify as disabled, LGBTQ+, and/or undocumented to apply." - Sundance Film Festival

Check out this new grant opportunity from Sundance:

As part of the Sundance Institute's continued commitment to supporting artists from underrepresented communities, we are pleased to announce the launch of the Uprise Grant Fund. Acknowledging the disproportionate effects the pandemic and racial terror have had on storytellers of color and other syst...

The Firelight Media William Greaves Fund application for mid-career filmmakers of color from the U.S., Mexico, Brazil, P...
03/10/2021
William Greaves Fund — Firelight Media

The Firelight Media William Greaves Fund application for mid-career filmmakers of color from the U.S., Mexico, Brazil, Puerto Rico, and Colombia opens next week — March 15! This fund is dedicated to resourcing and supporting storytellers with grants ranging up to $40K each to support research and development on a feature-length nonfiction film. Applications are accepted through May 1, 2021, with an anticipated announcement and disbursement in late summer 2021.⁠

The Fund now includes a basic care stipend. Learn more:

Firelight Media's William Greaves fund offers support and resources for mid-career nonfiction filmmakers of color.

"O’Grady has made art using collage, performance, photo installation, and video. She has written criticism and curated s...
03/08/2021
Lorraine O’Grady Finally Has the World’s Attention

"O’Grady has made art using collage, performance, photo installation, and video. She has written criticism and curated shows. She has studied Egyptology and European modernism. Through every medium and subject, she has built a body of work that asserts two key ideas: the centrality of Black women and their stories and the ways in which hybridity — of people, cultures, ideas — has shaped the modern Western world."

At 86, the artist has cemented her (belated) trailblazing status.

The preferred deadline for submitting to this year's BlackStar Film Festival is March 8 — aka this Monday! Submit your w...
03/05/2021

The preferred deadline for submitting to this year's BlackStar Film Festival is March 8 — aka this Monday! Submit your work now (the final deadline is March 31 ⏰). ⁠⁠blackstarfest.org/submissions
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Films must be directed by a person who identifies as Black, as Indigenous, or as a person of color, from anywhere in the world. Work must feature Black, Indigenous, and/or other people of color, or tell a story about their experiences.⁠⁠
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🗓 The 10th Annual BlackStar Film Festival will take place from August 4-8, 2021.

03/04/2021
BLM @ Whole Foods (BlackStar Live!)

This February, Whole Foods introduced a new product that really shows how much they care about Black lives...

A sketch from Season 1.5 of #BlackStarLive — rewatch all episodes on Facebook!

Writer: Desmond Thorne
Director: Rashid Zakat
Featuring: Rashid Zakat, Sham-e-Ali Nayeem, Katy Bagli

03/03/2021
The Real Renaissance (BlackStar Live!)

Find out what happens when four heroes of the Harlem Renaissance stop being polite, and start getting real....

A sketch from #BlackStarLive, available on Facebook Watch (and via the BlackStar page).

Directed by Maori Karmael Holmes.
Written by Desmond Thorne
Featuring: Desmond Thorne, Rashid Zakat, Denise Beek, Yaba Blay, Dwayne Tennant, Katy Bagli, and Timothy Belknap.
DP: Lendl Tellington

02/27/2021
BlackStar Live! - Season 1.5 - Episode 4

Visionary artist Hank Willis Thomas stops by this Friday, plus a performance from April + VISTA, a short film by Rashida Bumbray, and a special appearance by Tariq "Black Thought" Trotter. Don't miss the finale of this season of #BlackStarLive!

#BlackHistoryMonth #BlackFuturesMonth

02/26/2021
More BlackStar Bootlegs! (BlackStar Live!)

Don't miss the season finale of #BlackStarLive TONIGHT at 9 PM ET on Facebook or at blackstarfest.org/blackstarlive!

Starring: Rashid Zakat and Shanti Mayers

Writer: Rashid Zakat
Director: Rashid Zakat

"Projected on a freestanding wall in the centre of the gallery is Everson's new dual-channel projection Opel, which refl...
02/26/2021
Exhibition | Kevin Jerome Everson, 'Mansfield Deluxe' at Andrew Kreps Gallery, 22 Cortlandt Alley, New York, USA

"Projected on a freestanding wall in the centre of the gallery is Everson's new dual-channel projection Opel, which reflects on Everson's own high school experience with Army Recruiters, who to this day maintain a disproportionate presence in working class communities, particularly communities of color. At the time, recruiters would often tell Black American teenagers that it was cheaper to purchase a car in Panama, or West Germany, and ship it than it would be to purchase one in the U.S. Comprised of two films, individually titled Kadett C Three and Rekord C Three, they each depict toy cars, filmed in black in white, moving from meditative takes to scenes of fast-paced movement, in which the cars nearly blur into abstraction."

Learn more about "Mansfield Deluxe," a new exhibition from BlackStar alum Kevin Jerome Everson at Andrew Kreps Gallery in NYC:

View images of the exhibition and selected artworks. Kevin Jerome Everson, 'Mansfield Deluxe' at Andrew Kreps Gallery, 22 Cortlandt Alley, New York, USA on 26 Feb–27 Mar 2021.

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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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