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black star film festival

Program Guide


Lead Sponsor

Signature Sponsors

Media Sponsors

Product Sponsors

Community Partners

Host Venues


1st Annual BlackStar Film Festival A celebration of film by and about people of African descent BlackStar’s mission is to celebrate the visual and storytelling traditions of the African Diaspora and to showcase independent film and video works by and about black people from around the world. The annual festival provides an opportunity to watch artistically innovative and genre-defying films from a unique point-of-view that is not always given attention at mainstream festivals.

Table of Contents  Partners & Sponsors (p.2)  About the Festival (p. 3)  Letter from the Founder (p. 5)  Staff & Advisory Board (p. 5)

Ticketing Info $75 Festival All-Festival pass (excluding parties) $8 general admission $5 students & seniors Special pricing for FunkJazz Kafé: Diary of a Decade (The Story of a Movement) $12 general admission $10 students + seniors + International House members

 Individual Donors (p. 8)  Letters of Support (pp. 9-10)  Film Synopses (pp. 14-26)  Staged Readings (p. 27)  Media Roundtable (pp. 29-31)

CONTACT INFO www.blackstarfest.org star@blackstarfest.org Twitter.com/blackstarfest Facebook.com/blackstarfest

 Conversation (p. 35 & p.37)  Schedule-at-a-Glance (p. 40)

Fiscal sponsor: Art Sanctuary, 628 S. 16th St., Philadelphia, PA 19146



Letter from the Artistic Director “Our lives preserved. How it was; and how it be. Passing along in the relay. That is what I work to do: to produce stories that save our lives.” --Toni Cade Bambara Cinema impacts the way we think and gives us the space to create our own worlds. As a visual and aural medium, it has an indisputable power to transform how we “be” and thus is one of the most important modes of storytelling as social change. The 1st Annual BlackStar Film Festival is a gathering of filmmakers, film patrons, and film enthusiasts from more than four continents who have come together for four days of screenings, panels, workshops, and conversations, that will expand our vision and understanding of the global black experience. Our current ability to access a wide diversity of images is limited. Thus, BlackStar hopes to become a highly visible platform for the voices of independent black filmmakers, by bringing brilliant, genre-defying, beautifully-crafted works home to their intended audience—us, the longing masses. It is exciting that in our inaugural year we are presenting the US premieres of United States of Hoodoo (Germany) and Adopted ID (England), as well as several Philadelphia premieres, chief among them Byron Hurt’s Soul Food Junkies. It is also significant that more than half of the directors will participate in Q&As, including writer, director and producer Nelson George, who is presenting his film Brooklyn Boheme. Award-winning writer, director, producer and impresario Ava DuVernay is sharing an exclusive excerpt of her critically-acclaimed film, Middle of Nowhere—for the first time on the East Coast— before its release in October 2012. BlackStar is meant to provide opportunities for artists, scholars, and cultural workers to connect. The festival is named to recall the legacy of Marcus Garvey’s Black Star Steamship Line, one of the most enduring symbols of black economic self-reliance, and Kwame Nkrumah’s use of the black star as a symbol for Ghana—the first African nation to regain its independence from European occupation. On behalf of the producing committee and the advisory board, we are deeply grateful to the many institutions and individuals whose time, resources, and skills have made this festival possible.

Producing Committee

Maori Karmael Holmes Artistic Director Rameerah Anderson Phil Asbury Nina Ball Denise Beek Amadee Braxton Jazmyn Burton Kayla Crawley Haidara Jos Duncan Tayyibah Hasan Lauren Jane Holland Adrienne Kenton Dave McDowell Chakka Reeves Rashid Zakat 2012 Advisory Board

Nicole Ross Giles Chair Erica Atwood Yaba A. Blay Almaz Crowe Brigitte F. Daniel Sara Zia Ebrahimi Karim Lateef Shantrelle P. Lewis Marangeli Mejia-Rabell Brandon Pankey Imani Perry James Braxton Peterson Donyale Y. H. Reavis Alex Shaw Tayyib Smith Kamau Stanford

We could not carry out our work without your love and support. 5

INDIVIDUAL DONORS Director ($1,000)

Mercedes Martinez & Richard Nichols Associate Producer ($500)

Donyale Y. H. Reavis

Assistant Director ($250)

Denise M. Brown Kim Brundidge

Assistant Producer ($100)

Amadee Braxton Bonnie Davis Adrienne Kenton Kavita Rajanna

Production Assistant ($50)

Carolyn Chernoff Casey Cook


(A)Gain Dir. Adam Tilman-Young Music Video 2011, USA, 5 min

A Lovers Call Dir. Najma Nurridin Narrative 2012, USA, 25 min

Adopted ID Dir. Sonia Godding Togobo Documentary 2012, UK/Canada/Haiti, 60 min

Philadelphia Premiere

Philadelphia Premiere

United States Premiere

August 3, 4:45 PM

August 4, 12:30 PM

August 2, 4:15 PM

Life Moves in cycles. (Life) is a story. It ends. Then begins. All over again. This song by def Sound explores that idea in a more conversational form over production by RC that sampled Bird & The Bee. Even when its all over there is something to be gained by every experience.

Aasim, a young single Muslim man living in Washington DC has an instant connection with a beautiful poet named Kala. After spending more time with her, Aasim realizes she isn’t Muslim. He is torn by his new discovery of attraction towards Kala and the principles of his own faith.

Adopted ID is a gripping, observational film that uncovers Judith’s extraordinary journey as she bravely returns to the impoverished nation of Haiti to find her birth parents. From the poverty-stricken families who’ve given up a child to the foreign families looking to adopt one, these disparate worlds collide amid her quest to solve the puzzle of her past. With the insights and sounds of pre-earthquake Haiti as a backdrop, these intersecting lives provide a rare and intimate insight into the conditions surrounding transracial adoption.



Amor Em Jogo Dir. Kwesi Johnson Narrative 2012, USA, 5 min

Audre Lorde: The Berlin Years Dir. Dagmar Schultz Documentary 2011, Germany, 84 min

Philadelphia Premiere

August 5, 3:50 PM

August 5, 2:00 PM

Audre Lorde, the highly infuential, award winning African-American lesbian poet came to live in WestBerlin in the 1980s. During her stay as a visiting professor, she was the mentor and catalyst who ignited the Afro-German movement. Lorde also had a decisive impact on white women, chal- lenging them to acknowledge the signifcance of their white privilege and learning to deal with difference in constructive ways.

As his parents fight day in and day out, a boy finds support in the martial arts.

Bad Friday: Rastafari After Coral Gardens Dirs. Deborah A. Thomas & John L. Jackson, Jr. Documentary 2011, Jamaica/USA, 63 min August 5, 5:40 PM Bad Friday focuses on a community of Rastafarians in western Jamaica who annually commemorate the 1963 Coral Gardens “incident,” a moment just after independence when the Jamaican government rounded up, jailed and tortured hundreds of Rastafarians. It chronicles the history of violence in Jamaica through the eyes of its most iconic community, and shows how people use their recollections of past traumas to imagine new possibilities for a collective future.  



Be Good by Gregory Porter Dir. Pierre Bennu Music Video 2012, USA, 5 min

Being Bilal Dir. Roni Nicole Documentary 2012, USA, 7 min

Breathe Again Dir. Kurt Orderson Documentary 2011, South Africa, 72 min

Philadelphia Premiere

Philadelphia Premiere

Philadelphia Premiere

August 3, 4:45 PM

August 4, 8:00 PM

August 3, 6:00 PM

“Be Good” is the first video from Jazz singer Gregory Porter’s critically acclaimed album of the same name. Shot entirely on location in Baltimore, Maryland, director Pierre Bennu visually compliments Porter’s intense lyrics and smooth, soulful vocals with vibrant colors and whimsical storytelling, and sets it all against Charm City’s unique backdrop.

Being Bilal: Atlanta is the first installment of a series exploring the enigmatic brilliance of Bilal Oliver. In Episode 1, Bilal soaks in the energy of a rainy Atlanta day, spends a cool night vibing with fans at eclectic music store, Moods Music and bears the pain of beauty at ATL’s dopest tattoo parlor, City of Ink. As fans from all over the Southeast gather to rock out at Bilal’s early March 2012 show, we close this chapter wanting to know more of what one of our time’s most unique voices has to say. Conceived and executive produced by Bilal Oliver and Hans Elder.

In 1986 Derrick Orderson, a swimmer from the Cape Flats, swam a time of 25.81 seconds in the 50m Freestyle, 2 seconds under the world record at the time, yet he was prevented from representing his country on the world stage. This film tells Orderson’s story but also reminds us of the revolutionary role that the South African Council on Sport (SACOS) played during these troubled times in our past. The film explores an expression of the intersection between the personal and the political for a black sportsperson growing up in abnormal society, who despite inhumane prejudice excelled, and still continues to participate in the transformation of sports in the post-Apartheid era today.



Brooklyn Boheme Dir. Nelson George & Diane Paragas Documentary 2012, USA, 75 min

Bumming Cigarettes Dir. tiona.m. Narrative 2012, USA, 23 min

Bump Dir. Rodney Lee Narrative 2012, USA, 18 min

August 2, 6:30 PM

August 5, 2:00 PM

Philadelphia Premiere

Brooklyn Boheme is a love letter to a vibrant African American artistic community who resided in Fort Greene and Clinton Hill Brooklyn during the 80’s and 90’s that included the great Spike Lee, Chris Rock, Branford Marsalis, Rosie Perez, Saul Williams, Lorna Simpson, Talib Kweli just to name a few.

Bumming Cigarettes is a short film about a brief and intimate meeting between a young Black lesbian woman who is in the process of taking an HIV test and a middle aged Black Gay HIV Positive man. Coming off of the devastation of a bad breakup with a girlfriend, Vee musters up the courage to go and take an HIV test to put her worst fears to rest.

August 4, 12:30 PM Trevor wakes up with an unknown woman in unknown surroundings. As he struggles to put the pieces together, we follow him through New York as he finds the match to what ignited his night of haze.



Capoeira: Fly Away Beetle Dir. Cosmos Corbin & Ri Stewart Documentary 2011, Brazil, 71 min

Chamber of Echoes Dir. Raphael Xavier Documentary 2012, Brazil, 45 min

Dreamcatchers Dir. Sonia Godding Togobo Experimental 2012, UK, 7 min

August 3, 1:00 PM

Philadelphia Premiere

United States Premiere

Three world renowned masters tell of the oppressive conditions during and after slavery which shaped the unique art form of Capoeira. Sharing radically different views their focuses range from the violence of Capoeira’s early days, to the modern social benefits of Capoeira for a youth in troubled times. Living under bridges on the ghetto streets of Salvador Brazil a young man turns to Capoeira in order to save himself from destitution. In the struggle to better his life he becomes a teacher of Capoeira, and we meet his young student as she turns to the art form in an effort to avoid the dangers of street life. Weaving between interviews, rare old footage, and modern exhibitions of Capoeira, the film tells the stories of these people. In so doing, connections to slavery, African Candomble and magic are discovered.

August 2, 5:30 PM

August 5, 2:00 PM

When an African American Hip Hop dancer visits Brazil to teach his technique to a group of dancers from the favelas of Rio, it becomes a history lesson all to familiar. Prejudice, discrimination and poverty are universal obstacles reflected in a powerful dance theater work.

Dreamcatachers is a poetical narrative that creatively depicts Nicholas Hope’s journey to realizing a life long dream. Hope’s life is going nowhere. He is in a mundane job and hates every day he has to go to work. When Nicholas is thrown into his past, he remembers the dream he once had to play football. He decides to take drastic action, and go after the Dream that nearly got away.



Drift Dir. Joshua Bee Alafia Narrative 2012, USA, 5 min Philadelphia Premiere August 5, 2:00 PM These days it’s so hard for us to stay together. It’s hard to forget the past and remain in the present. Yaya Dacosta Alafia and joshua bee alafia star in this short portrait of inability to let go.

FunkJazz Kafé: Diary of Decade (The Story of a Movement) Dir. Jason Orr Documentary 2011, USA, 144 min

Johnny Popcorn Next Episode by Hezekiah Dir. Joshua Coyne Music Video 2010, USA, 4 min

Philadelphia Premiere

August 3, 4:45 PM

August 4, 8:00 PM

Funk and soul have been arranged and dragged so much it had aged prematurely. 2011 may have offered a revival when “Johnny Popcorn” offered a drug with impact more potent than domestic painkillers. Lead vocalist and song writer Hezekiah is no stranger to the music industry with three full length solo albums as a hip hop artist. Aided by Bass Guitarist and producer Tony Whitfield the “Johnny Popcorn” project offers its own formula, a concoction of highly fueled croons, layered with their own views on topics ranging from teenage growing pains, masturbation, weed, and humdrum suburbia and family values.

Spanning the late 1980’s through to the early 2000’s, this story goes deep into the fabric of soul music, its definitions, its pioneers, its offspring, its movements, the challenges in the “mainstream” industry as well as the evolution of the FunkJazz Kafé Arts & Music Festival, a music and artistic renaissance movement born out of Atlanta’s diverse musical and cultural arts heritage. The film also explores how the presence of live soul bands has diminished in the commercial music landscape of the 21st century when there once was a plethora of soul and R&B bands. Appearances by: Cornel West, Erykah Badu, George Clinton, Jill Scott, Roy Ayers, Jamie Foxx, Janelle Monáe, Chuck D, André 3000, and many others.  



Korokoza by Comrade Fatso & Chabvondoka ft. OutSpoken & Lassane Diabate Dir. Magee McIlvaine Music Video 2011, Zimbabwe, 5 min

Leaked Night at the Five Spot Dir. Mike Dennis Documentary 2012, USA, 90 min

Memoria by Bocafloja Dir. Magee McIlvaine Music Video 2012, Mexico, 5 min

August 3, 2:30 PM

Philadelphia Premiere

Philadelphia Premiere

In celebration of the 10th Anniversary of the Award-winning Reelblack production Jazzyfatnastees In Process and the upcoming release of the long-awaited concert film Last Night At The Five Spot, Reelblack is digging into its vault to screen classic clips by artists who made their name at the legendary Black Lily. The Black Lily was a weekly live music showcase founded by Mercedes Martinez and Tracey Moore of The Jazzyfatnastees, which ran from 2000-2005 at the Five Spot in Old City. Many of the artists who performed there would quickly garner nationwide fame including Jazmine Sullivan, Floetry, Kindred The Family Soul, Lady Alma and Jaguar Wright. The film includes rare short films and performance clips by these artists as well as by unsigned Lily legends like Nou Ra, Aaries and Sh-keenan.

August 3, 4:45 PM

August 3, 4:45 PM Zimbabwe-bred Comrade Fatso & Chabvondoka’s latest single: Korokoza. Korokoza (which means ‘to hustle’ in Shona) features leading international artists Lassana Diabaté from Mali of the grammy nominated “Afrocubism” and pioneering Zimbabwean MC Outspoken. “Korokoza” is a hopeful song dedicated to the resilience of Zimbabweans and people across the world who struggle to survive. Combining English with Shona, hip hop with the balafon and Zimbabwe with Mali the track presents a fresh, new international urban sound.


“The diaspora is part of my essence, from before my physical existence. I don’t embrace any nation or state. Everywhere I go, I surround myself with communities that embrace similar values as me. There’s a lot of work to be done in our communities everywhere.” Bocafloja is a pioneer, a member of the first generation of Mexico City’s hip-hop scene. “Somehow we built a platform that developed into a community,” he says. Since then, Bocafloja’s art and activism have taken him around the world. Today he bears a certain responsibility in the action of his art, an ideology that has been built over a decade of hip-hop and world travel. This video tells that story.


Milk + Honey Dir. Jeannette McDuffie Narrative 2011, USA, 11 min

Missed Dir. Michelle Serieux Narrative 2012, Jamaica, 20 min

One-Fifty by Ethel Cee Dir. Haj of Dumhi Music Video 2012, USA, 5 min

Philadelphia Premiere

Philadelphia Premiere

August 3, 4:45 PM

August 3, 11:00 AM

August 4, 12:30 PM

Milk + Honey, produced for the web, is a dramedy series that focuses on the spiritual, professional and romantic journeys of four young, ambitious African- American women navigating through the lights, smoke and mirrors of Hollywood.

A startling reality unfolds for Catherine when she is forced to confront her husband’s Blue Mountain roots. Missed is a story about human folly and the devastation of unmet expectation.

“One Fifty” is the new video from Philadelphia emcee Ethel Cee and beatmaker Haj of Dumhi. For the first video from their project “Seven Thirty” they decided to make their album cover “come to life”. In order to achieve their vision, the duo recruited Joe “Sick Six” Painter and Adam “Monkey Toed Abu” Wiesen. Joe captured the “video” portion and added some color and aging effects so that it would resemble the cover photo. The footage was then sent to Adam who added all of the formatting and animation. For more information on Ethel Cee, Dumhi, and “Seven Thirty”, please visit Dumhi.com.



Party of Ministers Dir. Abba Makama Narrative 2012, USA/Nigeria, 5 min

Precipice Dir. Julius Amedume Narrative 2010, UK, 25 min

QueenS by Stas & Cat Dir. dream hampton Music Video 2012, USA, 5 min

Philadelphia Premiere

Philadelphia Premiere

Philadelphia Premiere

August 3, 8:00 PM

August 5, 2:00 PM

August 3, 4:45 PM

The Party of Ministers is a fashion film, written, directed and cut by Abba and styled by Adeniyi; whose pocket squares are the centre piece of this short film. The Party of Ministers meshes art and humor in a tongue in cheek way whilst portraying fashion to you in a avant garde way. The film satire features a cabal of African corrupt government official dressed to death and swagged out!

Roman is flown in to do a job, maybe his last. It is the evening before Jasper’s financial wrong doings become public and Jasper’s co- conspirators are unsure if Jasper will talk or take the fall. What should be a straightforward pick up and drop off for Roman is not, it seems Jasper wants to make one last stop along the way.

QueenS is the debut video for Seattle duo TheeSatisfaction. It is also dream hampton’s music video directorial debut. QueenS celebrates women celebrating one another.



Restless City Dir. Andrew Dosonmu Narrative 2011, USA, 80 min August 3, 8:00 PM The story of a young man surviving on the fringes of New York City where music is his passion, life is a hustle, and falling in love is his greatest risk. Djbirl survives on a series of odd jobs that skirt the edges of legality, including a gig for an African gangster whose underground empire hawks everything from bootleg CDs to prostitutes, one of whom, Trini (Sky Grey), Djbirl falls in love with.

Reveil: The Awakening by Alesh Dir. Ben Herson Music Video 2011, Democratic Republic of Congo, 5 min Philadelphia Premiere August 3, 4:45 PM Out of the chaos and instability that has dominated the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) over the past decade comes the latest single from Congolese hip-hop artist Alesh, entitled ‘Reveil,’ or ‘the Awakening’. The song presents a vivid and complex picture of the Congolese experience at this critical juncture in the country’s history. A combination of frustration and hope, Alesh’s poignant lyrics reflect how, in many ways, both Congolese leaders and citizens have failed their country.

Solace Dir. Tchaiko Omawale Narrative 2012, USA, 13 min. Philadelphia Premiere August 5, 2:00 PM Sole finds comfort in her secret binges, and one day she discovers her neighbor, the beautiful and popular Jasmine, but people are never as perfect as they seem.



Soul Food Junkies Dir. Byron Hurt Documentary 2012, USA, 54 min

Sound Rite Dir. Ja’Tovia Gary Documentary 2011, USA, 12 min.

Philadelphia Premiere

Philadelphia Premiere

August 5, 7:30 PM

August 4, 4:10 PM

Food traditions are hard to change, especially when they’re passed on from generation to generation. In this PBS documentary, awardwinning filmmaker Byron Hurt shares his journey to learn more about the African American cuisine known as soul food. Through candid interviews with soul food cooks, historians, and scholars, as well as doctors, family members, and everyday people, Soul Food Junkies blends history, humor, and heartwarming stories to place this culinary tradition under the microscope.

Sound Rite is an innovative documentary that explores the work and inspirations of Val Jeanty, a Haitian born musician based in Brooklyn, New York. Her unique genre of music, Afro Electronica, hopes to fuse the ancient and the modern worlds, while projecting the rich cultural tapestry of Haiti and Africa


The Cape Flats, Mitchells Plain by Black Noise Dir. Magee McIlvaine Music Video 2011, South Africa, 5 min Philadelphia Premiere August 3, 4:45 PM After over 20 years of beats, raps and rhymes, Black Noise is South Africa’s oldest active hip-hop crew. Their latest “The Cape Flats, Mitchell’s Plain” is a fun party track celebrating an oft misunderstood and misrepresented area. To many, the only reported stories from the media tell of organized crime, drug dealings and gang violence. They miss out on the music and culture coming from this region including house music tracks like this one.


The Connection: Black Love Lives Dir. Nisa Ra Documentary 2011, USA, 20 min

The Model Dir. Kahlil Joseph Music Video 2010, USA, 12 min

August 5, 1:00 PM

August 3, 4:45 PM

Black Love Lives explores lasting and loving relationships in the African American community interviewing couples from 20s - 90s.  

Kahlil Joseph serves up another winner with Brazilian music artist Seu Jorge’s “The Model.” The short, divided into two chapters -- “Marcello in Limbo” and “Oshun and The Dream” -- is a companion piece to the release of Jorge’s latest album Seu Jorge and Almaz.

The PuNanny Diaries Episode: Ashes to Ashes Dir. Lisa Robinson Narrrative 2012, USA, 7 min. Philadelphia Premiere August 3, 11:00 AM “The PuNanny Diaries” follows Cozy Leigh, as she ventures into the world of celibacy. Going “cold turkey” on the dating scene leads to a new understanding of men, relationships and, most importantly, herself. Episode Synopsis: Cozy comes to terms with the loss of a loved one and considers new possibilities.  



The Tickler Dir. Tchaiko Omawale Music Video 2010, USA, 5 min

United States of Hoodoo Dir. Oliver Hardt Documentary 2012, Germany, 100 min.

Walking Home Dir. Nuala Cabral Experimental 2011, USA, 4 min

August 3, 4:45 PM

United States Premiere

August 5, 2:00 PM

The clip, from the D.C. native Yahzarah, is described asbeing flirty, sultry and seductive. Pushing the limits, the songmatches the visual package to a tee.

August 4, 4:10 PM

Nuala Cabral entered into antistreet harassment activism in 2009 with this short film. Walking Home attempts to question and disrupt the acceptance around these normalized, everyday interactions.


African-American writer Darius James´ world is turned inside out after his father´s death. Uprooted from his life in Berlin, he unwillingly returns to his childhood home. Back in a house that is now his, Darius finds himself in need of answers. He encounters artists, musicians, writers, spiritual leaders and scholars. He finds out that African gods have taken on new forms since their arrival on North America’s shores. Their spirit now manifests itself in turn-table wizardry, improvisational skills and mind-blowing collages, performances, and rituals. He also finds out that an age old figure from the voodoo pantheon, a divine trickster, plays a major role in all of this...

readings General Written by Serena Reeder August 4, 11:00am “The heroes aren’t always pure and the villains aren’t always evil” During the aftermath of the crack-cocaine era which erupted in the late seventies, substance abuse along with violence and failing socio-economic systems, cast a dubious shadow over the nations’s capital, Washington DC. AARIF WASHINGTON, is on the road to redemption yet darkness lights his way. He and his neighborhood friends form an unstructured vigilante gang that engages in selling drugs and petty crimes. After a member is murdered, the gang finds a temporary remedy to their malaise by avenging his honor through violence. Violence begets more violence and AARIF’S fate is questionable. What choice for his future will he make- good or bad? GENERAL is a high octane urban drama that explores the continuation of conflict that permeates those living in inner cities.

Would You Be Mine? Created by Brandon Pankey Written by Davian Peat August 5, 11:00am Would You Be Mine? is a half-hour comedy-drama about Terrance Wayne’s journey of love, career and friendship. It all starts with the young, successful marketing executive standing at the altar awaiting his beautiful bride. However, we don’t see this bride and the story of who Terrance chooses as his wife unfolds over a long flashback that encompasses the entire series. Terrance’s best friends during this time are Sharif, a talented but immature music producer; and Lisa, a stunning Philadelphia socialite attending law school. In the beginning; Terrance is an intern at the powerful Blake Montgomery marketing firm in Philadelphia and is in a budding relationship with Renee Covington, a centered, altruistic elementary school teacher. Terrance is smart and charming and quickly earns the respect the firm’s top executives. Can Terrance successfully balance the often conflicting demands of friendship, career, and romance in the fast, concrete, winner-take-all city of Philadelphia? 27


Black Independent Media Join a diverse panel of accomplished media makers for a dialogue about today’s independent media landscape. How do they approach financing their projects and where do they find their audiences? How do their backgrounds in other fields inform their work in media? What does it take to produce work that is commercially viable? From backgrounds as diverse as law, radio, music, and theater, these directors, writers, and producers will discuss how they use their creativity, innovation, and persistence to chart new paths to audiences both inside and outside of the mainstream. Participants will discuss the latest in production, distribution, and marketing practices and reflect on the changing climate of the industry. The audience can join in the discussion via Twitter and in person and learn about key issues affecting multicultural communities in the fields of film, television, and web programming. The roundtable will begin with a screening of the independent web series The PuNanny Diaries and Milk+Honey.

Radha Blank After writing for Nickelodeon/Nick Jr. shows Little Bill, The Backyardigans and original animated shorts like Papa Moco Jumbie, Radha decided to devote her time to writing stories through the lens of social justice issues. Her plays have been developed and/or presented by The Classical Theater of Harlem, The City Parks Foundation, Dixon Place, Here, The Public Theater, The Lark, Voice and Vision, Luna Stage, Hedgebrook, Arena Stage, Penumbra Theater, ACT Theater, The Vineyard Arts Project, The American Slavery Project, The New Black Fest and several seasons of The NYC Hip Hop Theater Festival. Awards and Fellowships include NYFA’s Artists Fellowship, Nickelodeon’s Writers Fellowship, The Public Theater’s Emerging Writers Group Fellowship, The National Endowment for the Arts New Play Development Award (for SEED) and the 2011 Helen Merrill Award for Playwriting. Other plays include HappyFlowerNail, American Schemes, nannyland, Casket Sharp and Kenya. Phil Branch Phil Branch is a graduate of the American Film Institute (MFA, Screenwriting) and an Assistant Professor of English and Film Studies at his undergraduate alma mater, Hampton University. Branch is a recent National Association of Television Program Executives (NATPE) Diversity Producing Fellow. In 2007, he was awarded a Screenwriting Fellowship from the National Association for Multi-Ethnicity in Communications (NAMIC). Branch created and serves as a writer-producer on the award-winning web series The PuNanny Diaries.


roundtable Fatin Dantzler Fatin is half of the popular Philadelphia-based husband and wife singing/song writing duo, Kindred The Family Soul. This Philadelphia native got his start in the music industry writing songs for Pebbles and Bell Biv DeVoe. The duo worked the Black Lily club scene in Philly, where they caught the attention of Jill Scott, who eventually helped them land a deal with her label, Hidden Beach. Their critically-acclaimed recording debut Surrender to Love was heralded as one of the best albums of the year by both USA Today and People Magazine. Their follow-up album, In This Life Together, spawned another Top 10 single, Where Would I Be? (The Question). The duo was nominated for the 2004 Soul Train Music Award for Best R&B/Soul Album, Group Band or Duo and the 2006 BET J Cool Like That Award. With their latest CD, Love Has No Recession, the evolution of Kindred The Family Soul continues. James Elam James Elam began his professional career at Philadelphia’s prestigious Dilworth Paxson law firm. After working as an associate in the Litigation department, then the Corporate Transactional group, he formed a Media Law Group. Soon he was representing film, television, and theater talent, professional athletes and authors, and such luminaries as Jill Scott, Lil Wayne and John Legend. James started his producing career with the play and film Nina Foxx’s Marrying Up. He co-produced the American feature film debut of French director Kader Ayd, 513, featuring Tom Sizemore, Taryn Manning, Danny Trejo, Michael Madsen, Bokeem Woodbine, and Steven Bauer. James also associate-produced Magic Valley, featuring Scott Glenn, Kyle Gallner, Matthew Gray Gubler, and Alison Elliott. His television production credits include VH-1’s Arranged, a docudrama about the Korean-American family of singer and actress Frankie Finch. James also produced the award-winning pilot, She’s Got IsShoes. Jovan Goldstein Jovan Goldstein is founder and Managing Principal of JT Goldstein, LLC, a Philadelphia-based Certified Public Accounting Firm. Mr. Goldstein has published articles in Accounting Today and the Pennsylvania CPA Journal. He is a member of the AICPA’s Ambassador Program and conducts various training sessions for Temple University. He graduated with honors from Cheyney State University, is a member of the Pennsylvania Institute of CPAs, American Institute of CPAs and is a licensed CPA in Pennsylvania, New York, and DC. Jovan advises film industry clients on state incentive tax credit programs and provides production accounting audits for domestic and internationally-made independent feature films and documentaries.


roundtable Nadine Patterson Over the past 20 years, this award-winning independent producer/director has taught video production at West Chester, Temple, Arcadia, and Drexel universities; University of Western Sydney (Australia) and Scribe Video Center. The only filmmaker in The Biennial 2000 at Philadelphia’s African American Museum, her films include I Used to Teach English, Anna Russell Jones: Praisesong for a Pioneering Spirit, Moving with the Dreaming, and Todo El Mundo Dance!. For her works, “grounded in historical context with a unique visual palette”, she received Independence Foundation and Pew Philadelphia Theater Initiative grants and curates the Trenton International Film Festival. She published her first book Always Emerging. Her first feature film as writer/ director, Tango Macbeth, is currently on the film festival circuit.

Reginald Wright Wright is a successful producer, director, writer, production manager, line producer, and post-production supervisor with extensive, award-winning experience. He has created and developed over sixteen television series, specials, and pilots, three of which garnered him EMMY nominations. He was previously an executive producer and writer with Banyan Productions, where he worked on shows like A Wedding Story, A Dating Story and Epicurious. He has also worked as a producer and director with WTXF/ Fox 29 Sports, director of operations at Toolbox Productions, coordinating producer at KYW-TV, and producer/director/writer at WJZ-TV. He attended graduate school at Kent State University and received his Bachelor of Science degree from Central State University in Wilberforce, Ohio. He also received additional training at UCLA and Scribe Video Center. He is currently a producer and director with CBS 3/CW Philly and WHYY-TV12. Envy McKee (MODERATOR) Envy McKee is a lifestyle maven, award-winning media host, content creator, writer and producer. She is an 8-year radio veteran, 5 time A.I.R. Award nominated and 2 time A.I.R. Award-winning talk show host for her work on WPHI-FM’s On the Real with Envy. Envy’s Blog, The Envy McKee Show, boasts readers and die-hard fans from around the world and shuttles them head first into her witty, highly inspired 6-year journey as a single mother and media entrepreneur. Envy also hosts two burgeoning web series: Fridays with Envy and The Envyous Life. Envy has written a speculative fiction book series called The Stellar Trilogy and a poetry offering called Functional Love Junkie. She’s recorded the companion album Functional Love Junkie produced by Grammyaward winning producer Carvin Haggins and is developing a one woman show of the same name. In the pipeline is a non-fiction book series titled the New Diva’s Guide. 31

Hair Skin Nails Body “Everything You Love to Be” 244 Race Street • Old City 215. 922. 2223 www.siojosalon.com

the Official Friday Night After Party for the BlackStar Film Festival – accept no substitutes!

¡WEPA! NYC + AFROTAINO = AFROCARIBE! congratulates the BlackStar Film Festival, all of its organizers & volunteers! This exciting initiative is an inspiration to all who commit their hearts to furthering the legacy of the African Diaspora. As proud sponsors of the BlackStar Festival, we are happy to celebrate you in this inaugural year of 2012! AfroTaino Productions focuses on event planning/execution, audience development, promotions/marketing, special events/campaigns targeting multicultural audiences. www.afrotaino.com

Join in the dance as we rejoice to the sounds of Afrobeat, House Music, Latin Soul, and so much more! Hosted by Joann Jimenez, Marangeli aka Maggie, & The BlackStar Film Festival family Live Percussion by Xande Cruz Friday August 3rd | Doors open 9PM Admission: $5 Festival Attendees/$8 General Public The Blockley (3801 Chestnut Street, Philadelphia)

Leeway Foundation invites you to an

Art & Change

HAPPY HOUR August 7, 2012

Natio nal Mech Art@ and Change Grantanics 22 S. 3rd St. Old City 4:30pm-7:00pm

proudly supports

BlackStar Film Festival and participating grantees: Jos Duncan (ACG ‘11) Producing Committee Member Maori Karmael Holmes (LTA ‘06, ACG ‘06, ‘05) Founder & Artistic Director Nuala Cabral (ACG ‘11) Director, Walking Home tiona.m. (LTA ‘09, ACG ‘07) Director, Bumming Cigarettes Sara Zia Ebrahimi (ACG ‘09) Advisory Board Member

Sip aNd SOCialize! This special Happy Hour is an opportunity for you to connect with friends, colleagues, and community members while making new acquaintances with like-minded folks working in the arts, social justice, gender equality, education, community activism, youth development, and other fields of social change in the greater philadelphia area. Come solo, bring a friend or your regular crew! To RSVp call 215.545.4078 or email rsvp@leeway.org You can also register online at leewayhappyhour.eventbrite.com

Yaba Ambgorale Blay (ACG ‘10) Advisory Board Member

>> www.leeway.org


Apresented Conversation with Ava DuVernay by the Leeway Foundation Writer, director, producer, and entertainment industry pioneer Ava DuVernay will talk about her work and strategies for creating a voice for African American filmmakers in the mainstream Hollywood industry. She will screen excerpts from her current film, the critically acclaimed Middle of Nowhere, for which she became the first African American to be awarded the prize for Best Directing at the 2012 Sundance Awards. Ava has quickly become a champion for independent filmmakers, specifically for women and people of color. In 2010, she launched the African-American Film Releasing Movement (AFFRM), a groundbreaking distribution company dedicated to diverse cinematic images, whose mission is to empower black filmmakers through a means of theatrical distribution beyond the studio system and connect their work with eager audiences. About Ava Ava DuVernay made her feature directorial debut with the critically acclaimed 2008 hip-hop documentary, This is The Life. Winner of Audience Awards in Toronto, Los Angeles and Seattle, the film was released theatrically and debuted on Showtime in April 2009. In 2010, she wrote, produced and directed the feature, I Will Follow. Released theatrically in 2011, the family drama was hailed by critic Roger Ebert as “one of the best films I’ve seen about the loss of a loved one.” DuVernay directed and produced three network music documentaries in 2010. My Mic Sounds Nice, a definitive history of female hip hop artists, which was BET Networks’ first original music documentary; Essence Music Festival 2010, a two-hour concert film, and Faith Through The Storm, about women who have reclaimed their lives after personal devastation during Hurricane Katrina, both for TV One. Previously, DuVernay worked in the world of film as a marketer and publicist for more than 14 years, forming DVA Media + Marketing in 1999. Her award-winning firm provided strategy and execution for more than 120 film and television campaigns for acclaimed directors such as Steven Spielberg, Clint Eastwood, Michael Mann, Robert Rodriguez, Kevin Smith, Bill Condon, Raoul Peck and Gurinder Chadha. A UCLA graduate, DuVernay is a member of the Academy of Television Arts & Sciences. She is based in Los Angeles. About Middle of Nowhere “Middle of Nowhere” is about a young woman (Emayatzy Corinealdi) struggles to maintain her marriage and her identity when her husband (Omari Hardwick) must serve a eight year prison sentence. The cast includes David Oyelowo (Red Tails), Lorraine Toussaint, Sharon Lawrence and Edwina Findley. 35


Artist to Artist: A Conversation Between a Filmmaker and Subject Join director, Steve Zegans, and rock-soul singer, Res, the artist at the center of his new work, The Res Documentary, for a special conversation between filmmaker and subject. This will be a rare opportunity to hear both perspectives on a critical issue in documentary film - how the filmmaker portrays their subject. Steve and Res will share their experience of working together to bring audiences this up-close story of the highs and lows of her life as an independent recording artist. What is it like to be a subject where the intimacies of your life are being captured for the world to see? How were decisions made about what and what not to shoot? How can the filmmaker stay true to their subject while making a compelling story for the audience? About The Res Documentary Ever loved a recording artist and wonder whatever happened them? Res (Shareese Ballard) is a wildly talented soul -rock singer who released her major label debut (“How I Do”) in 2001. Singles like “Ice King” received substantial radio play and the album has gone on to be considered a cult classic. Res completed work on a second album (Black Girls Rock!), which would be ultimately shelved. This provoked Res to break away from her label and go independent. During this time, working on new music with Talib Kweli under the name “Idle Warship” kept Res busy. In 2008, Res officially moved back east and started creating new music in Philly and New York City. Following Res from 2010 to present the “Res Documentary” gives us a performance filled, up close look at the highs and lows of being an independent recording artist after being signed to a major label. About Steve Zegans Steve Zegans has worked for DreamWorks in animation (“Shrek 2”) and features (“Norbit”, “Transformers”) Later, Steve became a creative executive for Ozla Films (“The Ring) where he’s a co producer on “Haunted Song” produced by Phoenix Pictures (“Black Swan”). Based in Manhattan, Steve started the production company Laurette Lane. Laurette Lane is developing a TV series with Ish Entertainment and is in post-production for the upcoming “The Res Documentary”. He is represented by The Abrams Agency.



BLACKSTAR FILM FESTIVAL on its inaugural year! Art Sanctuary, founded in North Philadelphia, uses the power of black art to transform individuals, unite groups of people, and enrich, and draw inspiration from the inner city. We invite established and aspiring artists to help create excellent lectures, performances, and educational programs. www.artsanctuary.org


Thursday August 2

Friday August 3

Saturday August 4

Sunday August 5

African American Museum 701 Arch Street

International House 3701 Chestnut Street

International House 3701 Chestnut Street

International House 3701 Chestnut Street

4:15pm Adopted ID ($8/$5) Chamber of Echoes 5:30pm ($8/$5)

Black Independent Media Roundtable w/Milk+Honey and The PuNanny Diaries 11:00am (Free)

Screenplay Reading: General 11:00am (Free)

Screenplay Reading: Would You Be Mine? 11:00am (Free)

Brooklyn Boheme 6:30pm ($8/$5)

Fly Away Beetle 1:00pm ($8/$5)

Shorts Program #1 A Lovers Call, Bump, Missed 12:30pm ($8/$5)

The Connection: Black Love Lives 1:00pm (Free)

A Conversation with Ava DuVernay 2:15pm (Free)

Shorts Program #2 Amor Em Jogo, Bumming Cigarettes, Dreamcatchers, Drift, Precipice, Solace, Walking Home 2:00pm ($8/$5)

Art Sanctuary 628 S. 17th Street Shaolin Jazz presents Color of Sound 8:00pm (Free)

Leaked: Last Night at the Five Spot 2:30pm ($8/$5) Music Video Program 4:45pm (Free)

United States of Hoodoo w/Sound Rite 4:10pm ($8/$5)

Breathe Again 6:00pm ($8/$5)

The Res Documentary: A Conversation 7:00pm (Free)

Restless City w/Party of Ministers 8:00pm ($8/$5)

The Blockley 3801 Chestnut Street WEPA! NYC + AfroTaino= AfroCaribe! 9:00pm ($8/$5)


FunkJazz KafĂŠ: Diary of a Decade (The Story of a Movement) w/Being Bilal 8:00pm ($12/$10)

Audre Lorde: The Berlin Years 3:50pm ($8/$5) Bad Friday: Rastafari After Coral Gardens 5:40pm ($8/$5) Soul Food Junkies 7:30pm ($8/$5)

Fluid Nightclub 613 S. 4th Street

The Denim Loft/ The Putnam Building 1627 N. 2nd Street

Tastytreats w/DJs Cash Money & Mike Nyce 10:00pm ($10)

frankwhite presents Philly & Brooklyn: Battle of the Freshest 7:00pm ($5 w/ RSVP)

Profile for BlackStar Film Festival

2012 BlackStar Festival Guide  

Official guide to the 2012 film festival.

2012 BlackStar Festival Guide  

Official guide to the 2012 film festival.