The 11th annual BlackStar Film Festival opens tonight with cinematic screenings, panels, parties and workshops, running through to August 7th.
Going on eleven years, Philadelphia’s BlackStar Film Festival has gone far beyond its initial round of local and coastal filmmakers, screenwriters and producers and has grown into something global: a worldwide celebration of Black, Brown, and Indigenous film and media artists gathering for the good of cinema.
Starting tonight, August 3, and running through August 7 with panels, screenings, workshops, and parties, live and online, BlackStar is, as of Fest 11 at its personal peak, what with its klatch of filmmakers such as singer-turned-director Moses Sumney, activist Ruby Duncan and author/entrepreneur Marc Lamont Hill in attendance.
To go with each night’s programming of film at various locations around the city (many in-person screenings take place at Penn Live Arts at Annenberg Center for the Performing Arts in University City), BlackStar founder-curator Maori Karmael Holmes hosts The Daily Jawn, live each night of the fest at 7 PM from The Prince Theatre’s stage as well as streaming online via the fest’s watch platform or through the BlackStar Film Festival Apple TV and Roku apps.
While August 3’s opening night Daily Jawn features Holmes interviewing fest fave Hazing director Byron Hurt with a live performance by Kingsley Ibeneche, the BlackStar welcome party starts at 9:30 PM in my neck of the woods (literally) at South West Philadelphia’s Bartram’s Garden with sets by DJ Laylo and DJ lil’dave and host Ayesha Jordan.
dosage MAGAZINE has not yet had a chance to peel through all 78 cinematic offerings for the fest, but of particular interest is August 3rd world premiere of “Storming Caesars Palace” at Penn Live Arts (8:30 pm), a documentary on Las Vegas activist Ruby Duncan and a band of mothers who launched their own feminist anti-poverty movement in the 1960s.
Then there is August 5’s screening of avant-garde house-music artist Moses Sumney’s experimental film Blackalachia at the Barnes Foundation at 6:00 PM with Sumney and independent filmmaker Iyabo Kwayana talking about the “innovative use of sensorial and immersive techniques in cinematography, directing and editing” post-screening.
See you at BlackStar.