2021 BlackStar Film Festival Program Guide

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ANNENBERGCREATIVE Expanding the Boundaries of Scholarship

The Annenberg School for Communication at the University of Pennsylvania is committed to generating and disseminating new knowledge through film, art, audio, performing arts, and more.

asc.upenn.edu/creative


About BlackStar Film Festival BlackStar Film Festival is an annual celebration of the visual and storytelling traditions of the African diaspora and global communities of color — showcasing films by Black, Brown, and Indigenous people from around the world. For the last decade the film festival has brought together filmmakers, supporters, and enthusiasts through screenings, panels, workshops, and conversations. This yearly gathering creates space for dialogue and opens the opportunity for greater understanding within and across our communities. The films presented by BlackStar constitute a dynamic and important collection — one that is unlike any other — because they highlight both independent and cultural communities. Through the festival and our other projects, BlackStar is building a liberatory world in which a vast spectrum of Black, Brown, and Indigenous experiences are irresistibly celebrated in arts and culture. #ByIndieMeansNecessary

Credits Editors

Imran Siddiquee Maori Karmael Holmes Nehad Khader Sara Zia Ebrahimi Sydney Rodriguez Yasmine Mezoury

Copy Editor Shauna Swartz

blackstarfest.org • #BSFF21

Festival Identity & Layout Leo Brooks

Printing

Standard Offset Printing Co. © BlackStar Projects, Philadelphia

BlackStar Film Festival 1901 South 9th Street Room 314 Philadelphia, PA 19148 267.603.2755 star@blackstarfest.org www.blackstarfest.org Printed in Philadelphia

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THE OPEN SOCIETY FOUNDATIONS ARE A PROUD SPONSOR OF THE 2021 BLACKSTAR FILM FESTIVAL


Table Of Contents Who We Are

Attending The Festival

5 About The Festival 8 Welcome 10 Staff 11 Board 12 Program Committees 13 Jurors 15 About BlackStar Projects

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Program 21 BlackStar Pitch 28 The Daily Jawn 30 Feature Films 42 Short Films 80 Panels & Conversations 86 Awards 88 Filmmaker Index 90 Country Index 92 Film Title Index

blackstarfest.org • #BSFF21

Festival Schedule Tickets & Admissions

Support 97 Membership 101 Partners 102 Sponsors

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WELCOME No! Nobody is allowed to steal it ya 3ammi!

Greetings to our friends and family around the world!

— Muna El Kurd’s viral clapback at the settler from Long Island who has stolen her home in Jerusalem with the support of the Israeli courts, when he insolently tells her that if he doesn’t steal her home, somebody else will.

The voices quoted above have shaped our narratives over the past year. While it’s a year marked by illness and death, economic woes, and a surge in violence, it has also been a year of narrative reframing, a year of shifting power, a year of possibilities.

Because of your colonial mindset and your colonial way of being, your white privilege, your white fragility, you can’t take our truth. This is over.

This year we also celebrate BlackStar Film Festival’s 10-year anniversary. What Maori envisioned as a one-time cultural contribution to Black cinema grew into an annual celebration of visionaries from Black, Brown, and Indigenous communities around the world. We want to thank all of you for your presence, whether you’ve been with us along our journey or are joining us at this moment for the first time. In collaboration with all of you — our filmmakers, artists, audiences, and staff — BlackStar has evolved into a wideranging organization that produces a semi-annual journal, an annual filmmaker seminar, a podcast, exhibitions, year-round screenings, and of course the beloved BlackStar Film Festival. We built the festival on both imagining and subsequently creating a world where creators of color from across the globe share a space for exchange, from which we hope to foster and grow collective power, together. We were pleasantly surprised to see the number of film submissions to BlackStar double in a year of global pandemic.

— Jocelyn Wabano-Iahtail’s powerful shutdown of a press conference north of our constructed border.

You’re lucky that we’re appealing to your humanity. You’re lucky that we’re not asking for vengeance or revenge, cuz that’s easy. But our love is radical, it’s abolitionist, it’s a future where everybody has what they need, what they deserve, what they want. — Ravyn Wngz’s clear and direct words into the microphones at a rally in Toronto during last summer’s Black uprisings.

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The voices of the women quoted here as well as those of other courageous Black, Brown, and Indigenous organizers became a compass in our personal, social, and professional lives this year. We’re rooting even more deeply in our vision

2021 BlackStar Film Festival


of a festival that is global in its outlook. The cycle of state-led violence, people’s resistance, subsequent state-led repression, and more people’s resistance is never unique to a single place. To borrow from Ghassan Kanafani, that is the history of the world. And even as we live in different places under different legal and organizational structures, even as we speak in different tongues, our resistance language has been co-created transnationally over decades. Our aspirations for joy, beauty, safety, and new futures overlap. So, for our 10th anniversary, we bring this ethos of internationalism into our space through a carefully curated program. These films create surprising possibilities in their genre-bending forms and inspire groundbreaking new ways of image making, new ways of relating. They may demonstrate that Palestine and Puerto Rico are both colonized, occupied lands that represent a microcosm for the violence that the entire world may endure if systems of oppression are not dismantled. These films may enlighten us about important, though marginalized, histories of Black folks in the Dominican Republic, Mohawk peoples on Turtle Island, and Dalit communities in India. They may connect a Black diaspora that speaks Spanish, Akan, German, Arabic, English, Yoruba, Creole, and Zulu. In addition to whatever else these films may do for you, we hope that they move you in a way that only cinema can, and that you see some or many parts of yourself and your people in them. As always, there are many people to thank for the realization of the BlackStar Film Festival. The entire BlackStar Projects staff: Hope Steinman-Iacullo, Imran Siddiquee, Kira Rodriguez, Lauren Hunter, Leo Brooks (who designed this guide), Lorina Morton, Sara Zia Ebrahimi, and Tshay Williams. Warm appreciation goes to our luminous program committees, who share in our vision and give of their time and ideas in lively discussions about every submitted film: Alia Ayman, Darol Olu Kae, Dessane Lopez Cassell, and Jessica Lynne on the experimental film committee; Arjun Shankar, Melissa Bisagni, and Sarah Jackson on the feature documentary committee; Ben-Alex Dupris, Chloe Walters-

blackstarfest.org • #BSFF21

Wallace, Tina Morton, and Tshay Williams on the short documentary committee; Kim Brundidge, Lendl Tellington, and Mohannad Ghawanmeh on the feature narrative committee; and Eugene Haynes, Lauren Jane Holland, Li Sumpter, and Marcellus Armstrong on the short narrative committee. Deep gratitude to the BlackStar board, our volunteers, and the growing BlackStar Film Festival staff, especially to our tech director, Lendl Tellington; our panel producer, Farrah Rahaman; eagle-eyed Shauna Swartz, who copyedited this guide and serves as our print traffic manager; our brother and resident creative, Rashid Zakat, who co-directed the 2021 trailer with Maori; and our wonderful summer fellow, Yasmine Mezoury. Finally, and most importantly, a special thanks to Sydney Rodriguez, who stepped into their position as program associate with great clarity, energy, and excitement for the work. Without their support as a thought partner, creative comrade, and patient colleague, this festival wouldn’t be possible. Shukran, Sydney! We hope you enjoy BlackStar 2021, and may this year bring us solidarity, justice, magic, and new radical imaginations and realities. By indie means necessary. necessary With great love,

Nehad Khader, Festival Director

Maori Karmael Holmes, Founder & Artistic Director

June 2021, Philadelphia, PA

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Staff BlackStar Projects Staff

Hope Steinman-Iacullo Executive Coordinator Imran Siddiquee Communications Director Kira Rodriguez Administrative Coordinator

Festival Staff Aidan Un Videographer & Editor Animah Danquah Onsite Coordinator Antoinette Stewart Box Office Coordinator & Pass Master

Lauren Hunter Operations Director

Asha Tyler Web Manager & Press Coordinator

Leo Brooks Communications and Design Associate

Daniel Jackson Photographer & Videographer

Lorina Morton Marketing Associate Maori Karmael Holmes Artistic Director & CEO Nehad Khader Festival Director Sara Zia Ebrahimi Deputy Director Sydney Alicia Rodriguez Program Associate Tshay Williams Lab Producer Yasmine Mezoury Summer Fellow

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Dennis Nelson, Jr. Onsite Coordinator Eugene Haynes Industry Liaison Farrah Rahaman Panel Producer Gabi Madsen Onsite Technical Production Coordinator Katy Bagli The Daily Jawn Producer

Medha Ghosh Pitch Coordinator Michael Moody Box Office Coordinator Nabta Idries Onsite Producer Sabrina Stewart Merchandise Coordinator Shauna Swartz Print Traffic Manager Stephanie Baker Development Intern Stephanie Malson Box Office & Merchandise Manager Tamira Moore Office Coordinator Taylor Lamb Social Media Coordinator Tim Belknap Technical Production Coordinator Yasmine Carruthers Party Producer

Koyuki Yip Merchandise Coordinator

Creative Team

Lendl Tellington Technical Director

2021 Identity Design Leo Brooks

Marla Harris Social Media Moderator

2021 Poster Artist Andrea Pippins

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Pre-Roll Animator Andrea Bitai Production Partners All Ages Productions the Mann PASSERINE Phl Dept. of Parks & Recreation Radio Kismet

Board Board of Directors

Denise C. Beek Chief Communications Officer, ‘me too.’ International Co-Chair

Trailer Directors Rashid Zakat Maori Karmael Holmes

Sekou Campbell Partner, Culhane Meadows PLLC Co-Chair

Choreographers Meena Murugesan d. Sabela Grimes

Amanda Branson Gill Co-Founder, Kilo Films Treasurer

Costume Designer Kate Fry

Tayyib Smith Principal, Little Giant, Smith&Roller, Pipeline Philly Secretary

Composer David “ lil’ dave” Adams

Business Team Accounting Firm Joyce E. Miller / J. Miller & Associates Bookkeeping Melissa MacNair Development Consultant Jess Garz Legal Counsel Anjali Kumar

Maori Karmael Holmes Artistic Director & CEO, BlackStar Michael Garden Principal, Michael Garden Group Sunanda Ghosh Nonprofit Strategy Consultant Taj Reid EVP, Executive Design Director, Edelman Ted Passon President, All Ages Productions

Media Relations Cultural Counsel

blackstarfest.org • #BSFF21

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Program Committees Experimental

Feature Narrative

Short Narrative

Alia Ayman Independent Curator; Project Consultant and Co-Founder, Zawya Cinema and Distribution

Kim Brundidge Writer, Instructional Designer, Writing Coach & Editor

Eugene Haynes Producer & Scholar

Darol Olu Kae Artist & Filmmaker

Lendl Tellington Filmmaker

Dessane Lopez Cassell Editor, Writer, & Curator

Mohannad Ghawanmeh Executive Director, Al-Bustan Seeds of Culture

Jessica Lynne Writer, Critic & Co-founder of ARTS.BLACK

Short Documentary

Feature Documentary Arjun Shankar Assistant Professor of Culture and Politics, Georgetown University Melissa Bisagni Festival Director, DC Asian Pacific American Film Festival & Film and Video Program Manager, Smithsonian's National Museum of the American Indian Sarah J. Jackson Presidential Associate Professor, Annenberg School for Communication, University of Pennsylvania

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Ben-Alex Dupris Filmmaker Chloe Walters-Wallace Manager of Artist Programs, Firelight Media Tina Morton Associate Professor of Media Journalism and Film, Howard University Tshay Williams Filmmaker

Lauren Holland Agent, CAA Li Sumpter Mythologist & Multidisciplinary Artist Marcellus Armstrong Program Manager, Scribe Video Center

Pitch Arjun Shankar Assistant Professor of Culture and Politics, Georgetown University Felix Endara Filmmaker & Consultant Gerry Leonard Impact Coordinator, Working Films Lamonia Deanne Brown Producer Luisa Dantas Filmmaker, JoLu Productions

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Jurors Experimental Caroline Monnet Filmmaker David Hartt Assistant Professor Graduate Fine Arts Stuart Weitzman School of Design, University of Pennsylvania Portia Cobbs Associate Professor Peck School of the Arts, Film, Video, Animation and New Genres, University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee

Feature Documentary Asad Muhammad Vice President of Impact and Engagement Strategy, American Documentary (AmDoc) Monika Navarro Filmmaker & Senior Director of Artist Programs, Firelight Media

Feature Narrative Fiction

Short Narrative Fiction

Dagmawi Woubshet Ahuja Family Presidential Associate Professor of English, University of Pennsylvania

D'Lo Actor, Writer, Comedian

Rajendra Roy The Celeste Bartos Chief Curator of Film, Musuem of Modern Art

Jason Reynolds Author & National Ambassador for Young People's Literature Lynnée Denise Artist, Scholar, Writer

Tayarisha Poe Filmmaker

Short Documentary Louis Massiah Filmmaker & Executive Director, Scribe Video Center Rea Tajiri Filmmaker, Visual Artist & Associate Professor School of Theater, Film and Media Arts, Temple University Yance Ford Filmmaker

Tracy Rector Managing Director of Storytelling, Nia Tero

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FIL M AND MEDI A AR T S AT T EMP LE UNI V ER SI T Y • Study independent and socially conscious film and media with world-renowned faculty • Learn to use state-of-the-art technology • Follow in the footsteps of prominent alumni, including BlackStar founder Maori Karmael Holmes ’05 and Sundance Grand Jury Prize winner Chinonye Chukwu ’10 • Explore undergraduate, graduate and doctoral programs

LE A R N M OR E AT T FM A .T EM P L E. EDU | EM A IL T FM A @ T EM P L E. EDU


About BlackStar Projects BlackStar Projects creates the spaces and resources needed to uplift the work of Black, Brown, and Indigenous artists working outside the confines of genre. We do this by producing year-round programs including film screenings, exhibitions, a filmmaker seminar, a film production lab, a journal of visual culture, and this annual film festival. We prioritize work that is experimental in its aesthetics, content, and form and builds on the work of elders and ancestors to imagine a new world. We elevate artists who are overlooked, invisibilized, or misunderstood and celebrate the wide spectrum of aesthetics, storytelling, and experiences that they bring. We bring that work to new audiences and place it in dialog with other past and contemporary work. And we curate every aspect of our events to be intentional community-building efforts, connecting diverse audiences in a Black-led space centered on joy and thriving. Learn more at blackstarfest.org/mission.

Our Funders The programs of BlackStar Projects are generously supported by the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts, Ford Foundation/JustFilms, Independence Public Media Foundation, John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation, John S. and James L. Knight Foundation, Mid Atlantic Arts Foundation,

blackstarfest.org • #BSFF21

Mighty Arrow Family Foundation, Nathan Cummings Foundation, Perspective Fund, Samuel S. Fels Fund, Surdna Foundation, William Penn Foundation, Wyncote Foundation, and Xfinity. We are also supported by BlackStar Projects’ board of directors, community partners, corporate partners, and a host of generous individual donors and organizations.

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Schedule

All times EDT. Film showtimes are the virtual releases and are available on Eventive for 24 hours.

WEDNESDAY AUGUST 4 The Daily Jawn 9:30 am Shorts: Duology 10:00 am Strength (Ska´yaa) 12:00 pm Nuotama Bodomo and Fox Maxy in Conversation 12:00 pm Shorts: Symbiosis 2:00 pm Glitch and the Moving Image 2:00 pm Beans 4:00 pm Composers Roundtable 4:00 pm Shorts: Frontier 6:00 pm Sacha Jenkins in Conversation with Dyana Williams 6:00 pm Eyimofe (This Is My Desire) 8:00 pm Opening Night Party 8:00 pm Beans @ Eakins Oval 8:00 pm

Virtual Film Screening Morning Show In person Event Panel

THURSDAY AUGUST 5

FRIDAY AUGUST 6

The Daily Jawn 9:30 am

Yoga @ Drexel Square 8:30 am

Shorts: Demiurgic 10:00 am

The Daily Jawn 9:30 am

Faya Dayi 12:00 pm

Shorts: Phototropism 10:00 am

Meshell Ndegeocello in Conversation with Imani Perry 12:00 pm

The Inheritance 12:00 pm

Shorts: Denouements 2:00 pm Mental Health and Filmmaking 2:00 pm Lower Frequency Politics 4:00 pm Shorts: Physiography 4:00 pm R-E-S-P-E-C-T: Balancing Power and Care in Doc Filmmaking 6:00 pm Elder's Corner 6:00 pm Eyimofe (This Is My Desire) @ Eakins Oval 8:00 pm

Director's Brunch & Awards Ceremony 12:00 pm Love + Grit Podcast at BlackStar 2:00 pm Homeroom 2:00 pm Shorts: Phosphene 4:00 pm On a Move! 6:00 pm Liborio 6:00 pm Shorts: Phototropism @ Eakins Oval 8:00 pm

2021 BlackStar Film Festival


BlackStar @ the Mann SATURDAY AUGUST 7

SUNDAY AUGUST 8

Yoga @ Drexel Square 8:30 am

Yoga @ Drexel Square 8:30 am

The Daily Jawn 9:30 am

The Daily Jawn 9:30 am

Uprooted: The Journey of Jazz Dance 10:00 am

Between Fire & Water 10:00 am

Caribbean Film and Relational Poetics 10:30 am

Coral Messam in Conversation With Jasmine Johnson 11:00 am

Shorts: Emergent 12:00 pm

Their Algeria 12:00 pm

Going Back to Get It: On Cinematic Archival Practice 12:00 pm

Shorts: Concomitance 2:00 pm

Writing With Fire 2:00 pm Agent’s & Manager’s Roundtable 2:00 pm Shorts: Antumbra 4:00 pm Waikiki 6:00 pm BITCHIN': The Sound and Fury of Rick James @ Eakins Oval 8:00 pm

Bitchin': The Sound and Fury of Rick James 4:00 pm Shorts: Egress 6:00 pm Eyes on the Prize: Hallowed Ground 6:00 pm Closing Night Party @ Sunset Social at Cira Green 8:00 pm

SUNDAY AUGUST 8 at

the Mann Center for the Performing Arts, TD Pavilion

Waikiki 11:00 am Uprooted 1:00 pm Shorts Program: Emergent 4:00 pm Eyes on the Prize: Hallowed Ground 6:00 pm



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A journal of film and visual culture, from BlackStar. Now on sale. seen.blackstarfest.org


BlackStar 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. BlackStar Pitch will showcase a group of seven filmmakers who will be selected based on their applications. The filmmakers will pitch their works-in-progress to a distinguished panel of funders, executives, distributors, and producers. The seven finalists will also have a chance to meet with a minimum of two panelists in one-on-one sessions prior to the Pitch contest to get direct feedback and advice on their projects.The panelists will choose the best pitch, to be announced during the virtual awards ceremony on August 8, 2021. Each pitch will last seven minutes (including video reel), followed by eight minutes of constructive feedback. The Pitch is designed to connect new voices in the independent film community with industry professionals.

The 2021 BlackStar Pitch is supported by WarnerMedia/OneFifty, and additional partnerships with American Documentary/POV, IF/Then, Vimeo, and Working Films.

blackstarfest.org • #BSFF21

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HOST:

2021 PITCH PANELISTS:

D’Lo

Alex Hannibal, CNN Films

D’Lo is a queer/transgender Tamil-Sri LankanAmerican actor/writer/comic whose work includes stand-up comedy, solo theater, plays, films, short stories, and poetry. His solo shows RambleAtions, D’FunQT, D’FaQTo Life, and To T, or not To T have toured theaters and festivals nationally, and he is a regular performer/speaker on the college/university circuit as well. He is currently working on his latest solo, called Queer Noise, with support from CTG's Library Series and LA LGBT Center. His work has been published or written about in academic journals and anthologies, with features in The Guardian, NBC, and The Advocate. He created the “Coming Out, Coming Home” writing workshop series with South Asian and/ or immigrant LGBTQ organizations nationally. His acting credits include Looking, Transparent, Sense 8, Mr. Robot, and the Issa Rae-produced Minimum Wage. Currently, he has a series based on his life that is set up at BTR Media and Paul Feig’s Powderkeg Media. Most recently, D’Lo was awarded the Artist Disruptor Fellowship through the Center for Cultural Performance and 5050x2020, an initiative started by Joey Soloway, and he is also a Senior Civic Media Fellow through USC’s Annenberg School of Innovation funded by the MacArthur Foundation.

Alex Hannibal is director of content development for CNN Films. Hannibal joined CNN in 2016 and is responsible for the development and acquisitions of CNN Films titles. Most recently, Hannibal was supervising producer for Dreamland: the Burning of Black Wall Street, directed by Salima Karoma, and senior producer for John Lewis: Good Trouble, directed by Dawn Porter. Hannibal’s other recent credits include Scandalous: the Untold Story of the National Enquirer, directed by Mark Landsman; Linda Ronstadt: the Sound of My Voice, directed by Rob Epstein and Jeffrey Friedman; Apollo 11, directed by Todd Douglas Miller; Halston, directed by Frédéric Tcheng; the Oscar-nominated RBG, directed by Betsy West and Julie Cohen; and Three Identical Strangers, directed by Tim Wardle.

Caitlin Mae Burke, IF/Then Shorts

Caitlin Mae Burke is the co-director of IF/Then Shorts, a fund and mentorship initiative at Field of Vision, through which she has overseen the story development, production, and distribution of over 50 short documentaries. Caitlin is an Emmy-winning producer, inaugural inductee into DOC NYC's 40 Under 40, and alumna of Berlinale Talents, and her work has been broadcast in the U.S. and worldwide, and screened in movie theaters internationally. Her films have been recognized with Emmy, Grand Clio, and Gotham awards, and nominated for Critic’s Choice, Independent Spirit, and Cinema Eye honors, as well as numerous “best of” designations at festivals.

Chi-hui Yang, JustFilms

Chi-hui Yang is a senior program officer for Ford Foundation’s JustFilms initiative, a global effort that supports filmmakers and organizations whose work addresses the most urgent social issues of our time. Yang has also worked extensively as a film curator and educator, including work with the San Francisco International Asian American Film Festival, MoMA’s Documentary Fortnight, and the Flaherty Seminar.

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Chloe Walters-Wallace, Firelight Media

Chloe Walters-Wallace is a Jamaican creative with a passion for curation, travel, documentary film, dancehall, and installation art. Currently she manages Firelight Media’s artist programs, including the Documentary Lab and the Groundwork Regional Lab, an initiative to support filmmakers of color in the South, Midwest, and U.S. territories. In 2021 she’s helming Firelight’s new digital shorts series, Hindsight, which chronicles the cultural shifts, community ingenuity, and pivotal conversations by and from the perspective of diverse communities in the American South and Puerto Rico during the unprecedented experience of 2020. This year she also guest-curated the upcoming ’21-’22 season for South Arts’ Southern Circuit Tour of Independent Filmmakers, and launched The Caribbean Film Academy presented by Third Horizon with co-creator Themba Bhebe. Previously Chloe was program director of the New Orleans Film Society’s Emerging Voices Mentorship Program, and in 2018 she designed and launched the Southern Producers Lab. She has hosted documentary funding workshops for JAFTA and worked for the Tribeca Film Institute, Clinica Estetico (under the late director Jonathan Demme), Article 19 Films, and production companies in New York, London, New Orleans, and Jamaica. Chloe is a 2021 JustFilms Rockwood Fellow, a 2015 Ortique Institute Fellow, and a 2007 Mellon Mays Undergraduate Fellow. She lives in New York and New Orleans and is on the board of Third Horizon.

Chris Hastings, World Channel

Chris Hasting’s passion for television started at age of 10, when got a chance to help produce a daily news show at his elementary school outside Philadelphia. After college, he became a founding team member in the development and production of Black Entertainment Television’s award-winning BET Tonight. At WGBH, Chris has worked with children’s television program Zoom and the WGBH Lab, an innovative incubator for up-and-coming filmmakers. Chris joined World Channel in 2011, where he cocreated the award-winning documentary series America ReFramed ; Local, USA; and Doc World, blackstarfest.org • #BSFF21

and provided editorial oversight to the other original series on World. Series in Chris’s portfolio have won many awards, including a Peabody Award, an Alfred I. duPont-Columbia Award, and a National News and Documentary Emmy Award.

Jeff Seelbach, Topic/First Look Media

Jeff Seelbach oversees nonfiction projects at Topic, the new streaming service from First Look Media. Recent projects include Philly DA, produced with PBS and Independent Lens (Sundance and Berlin); Trans In Trumpland, directed by Tony Zosherafatain; Call Center Blues, directed by Geeta Gandbhir (2021 Oscar shortlist); Miss Panama, directed by Lamar Bailey Karamañites, Pascale Boucicaut, and David Felix Sutcliffe (Tribeca & BlackStar); Dear Mr. Brody, directed by Keith Maitland (Tribeca and Telluride); A Cure For Fear, directed by Lana Wilson (SXSW and IDA Award nominee); 16 Shots, directed by Oscar-nominee Richard Rowley (News and Documentary Emmy Award winner). Jeff oversaw short doc production and helped to launch AJ+, the innovative digital network from Al Jazeera, and he spent four years working on the Emmy Awardwinning PBS international documentary series Wide Angle, including the Overseas Press Club Awardwinning film Heart of Jenin.

Lamonia Deanne Brown WarnerMedia OneFifty

Lamonia Deanne Brown is a consultant at WarnerMedia OneFifty, part of the company's Corporate Social Responsibility. In addition to her work at OneFifty, her scope of work also includes working with the film festivals and Art & Culture portfolios. She utilizes her experience as a film festival producer specializing in amplifying programming and building strong brand partnerships, as well as her years in nonprofit entertainment, to execute these initiatives within the Warner Media Group business units. Lamonia started her entertainment career working at Prince's Paisley Park Music publishing company and went on to work in the music industry for

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Mervyn Marcano, Field/House Productions

many years at companies such as Sony, BMG and Universal. While at Sony, she attended Fordham University where she majored in Film, with a Creative Writing minor. In 2006, she joined New York Women in Film & Television as the Director of Programming & Events, while continuing to work with independent filmmakers on various projects. During her eight years at NYWIFT, she realized that working with film festivals she could fulfill her passion for serving creatives who are marginalized by gender, race and economic disparities, and leveraged her position to support them. Throughout her career, Lamonia has amplified numerous festivals including African American Women in Cinema, Produced By: NY, the Hamptons Film Festival, LatinBeat, IFP Week, New York Int’l Film Festival, Human Rights Watch Festival, Montclair Film Festival and many more. Post NYWIFT, Lamonia worked as the Head of Programming, Outreach & Brand Partnerships at the American Black Film Festival (ABFF). During her tenure, in addition to producing the panel discussions, screening programs and securing talent for the festival, she spearheaded key milestones including the launching a student program designed to pipeline more inclusive industry hirings, creating a branded digital magazine and securing the permanent ABFF exhibit at the National Museum of African American History & Culture. Lamonia is also the writer and Executive Producer of the indie television pilot Black Rose, which won the NY Television Festival. She is also in pre-production on the documentary feature Black Ivy, (which looks at the relationship of the Ivy League colleges to slavery), and is the creator of the unscripted series That Word. She is finalizing her feature screenplay The 'Burg, which peels back the cultural layers of a multidimensional love story set in the heart of Williamsburg, Brooklyn where she grew up and still lives. Lamonia holds firm to the belief that all storytellers must be heard in order to create the paradigm shift necessary to bring about true equity.

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Marcano is currently an executive producer on both an untitled long-form docuseries set at HBO and a film special for HBO Max. In the TV landscape, he is known for his work on YouTube Original’s Resist series and BET’s Finding Justice. Marcano also leads communications and storytelling at Blackbird, a strategy hub for racial and social justice movements, offering counsel to issues campaigns. Mervyn is a strategic communications leader with 15 years of experience in racial justice work. He has served as a communications director at ColorofChange.org, The League of Young Voters and The Praxis Project. As a consultant, Mervyn managed communications for broad publicprivate initiatives around housing and economic development in the San Francisco Bay Area; strengthened advocacy efforts for juvenile justice reform; and served as counsel during tough media cycles for both elected officials and labor unions.

Opal H. Bennett, POV

Opal is co-producer and shorts producer at POV. Her first season curating POV Shorts won the 2020 IDA Award for Best Short Form Series. Previously she was the shorts programmer and director of artist development at DOC NYC and senior programmer at Athena Film Festival. Prior to that, Opal also worked with Nantucket Film Festival, Aspen ShortsFest, Tribeca Film Festival, and IFP. She is a programming consultant for the March on Washington Film Festival. Opal has served on juries for SxSW, HotDocs, Cleveland, the Milwaukee and Seattle International Film Festivals, and IndieMemphis Film Festival, among others. She has also served on the shorts selection committees for Cinema Eye Honors and the IDA. Opal has participated on various selection committees for film programming and grants. A Columbia Law grad, Opal holds a master’s in media studies from the LSE and received her B.A. from New York University.

2021 BlackStar Film Festival



Powering partnerships. At PECO, we recognize that great leaders grow where diversity is celebrated and people are empowered. That’s why we contribute more than $6 million each year to diverse programs that promote education, the environment, arts and culture, and community enrichment—to help create communities where every individual is valued and respected. PECO is proud to partner with BlackStar Film Festival in celebrating the visual and storytelling traditions of the African diaspora.

© PECO Energy Company, 2020


We stand as a reflection of our community, reaching

1.3 MILLION

people per week in Pennsylvania, New Jersey and Delaware. WHYY-TV 12, in the fourth largest media market, is considering films for broadcast.

Interested? Email Sreedevi Sripathy at ssripathy@whyy.org.

WHYY is proud to be a BlackStar Film Festival Media Sponsor


the Daily Jawn August 4 – 8 9:30 am EDT Facebook Live

Co-hosted by BlackStar’s founder Maori Karmael Holmes and filmmaker-artist Rashid Zakat — plus a rotating crew of special guest hosts — this is a morning talk show unlike any other. The show features interviews with filmmakers and panelists, astrological updates, insightful social critique, and much more. Presented by PBS/WORLD Channel

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2021 BlackStar Film Festival


Maori Karmael Holmes

Rashid Zakat

Maori is a curator, filmmaker, and writer. She founded BlackStar in 2012 and serves as its artistic director and CEO. She has organized programs in film at a myriad of organizations, including Anthology Film Archives, Museum of Contemporary Art (Los Angeles), The Underground Museum, and the Whitney Museum of American Art. As a director, her works have screened internationally, including her feature documentary Scene Not Heard: Women in Philadelphia Hip-Hop (2006). She has also directed and produced works for Colorlines.com, Visit Philadelphia, India.Arie, and Mike Africa Jr. of MOVE. Her writing has most recently appeared in The Believer, Film Quarterly, Seen, Pleasure Activism: the Politics of Feeling Good, How We Fight White Supremacy: a Field Guide to Black Resistance, and the forthcoming Collective Wisdom: Co-Creating Media Within Communities Across Disciplines and Algorithms. Maori received her MFA in film and media arts from Temple University and her BA in history from American University. She currently serves on the board of American Documentary (POV), Asian Arts Initiative; the advisory boards of Ulises, Vidiots, and Lightbox Film Center; and is a member of Brown Girls Doc Mafia, The Community Board, and Programmers of Color Collective. Maori was a 2019-2020 Soros Equality Fellow and serves as mediamaker-in-residence at the Annenberg School for Communication at the University of Pennsylvania, curator-at-large at the Annenberg Center for the Performing Arts, and a creative executive with Blackbird.

Rashid Zakat is a filmmaker and artist based in Philadelphia. He uses video, photography, design, audio, and the web to encourage people to find as much beauty, joy, and wonder as possible. Professionally, Rashid has a 15-year career as a director and cinematographer for nonfiction and experimental films and music videos. He has done work for Nike, Intel, Grammy Award-winning artist India.Arie, Carmelo Anthony, Black Thought of the Roots, The Philadelphia Museum of Art, NBC, Comcast, BlackStar Film Festival, Soul Train, Topic, WHYY, Philadelphia Contemporary, Mural Arts, Rashaad Newsome, and BET, to name a few. His personal work includes short documentary, iPhone and traditional portrait projects, visual mixtapes, digital publications, video installations, open mics, and dance parties that experiment with visuals. Obsessed with the internet and new modes of communication, Rashid routinely shares his media experiments on social platforms.

blackstarfest.org • #BSFF21

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Feature Films

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2021 BlackStar Film Festival


Beans Feature Narrative Canada, United States, 2020, 92 min. Philadelphia Premiere 12-year-old Beans is on the edge: torn between innocent childhood and delinquent adolescence, and forced to grow up fast to become the tough Mohawk warrior she needs to be during the Indigenous uprising known as The Oka Crisis, which tore Quebec and Canada apart for 78 tense days in the summer of 1990. Dir. Tracey Deer WEDNESDAY, AUGUST 4, AT 4:00 PM EDT Streaming restricted to U.S. viewers Outdoor Screening @ Eakins Oval WEDNESDAY, AUGUST 4, AT 8:00 PM EDT

Between Fire and Water (Entre Fuego y Agua) Feature Documentary Colombia, 2020, 92 min. Philadelphia Premiere Camilo is the adopted son of an Indigenous couple of the Quillasinga tribe from the Cocha Lagoon, in the southwest of Colombia. He is the only Black person in his community and has always felt different. For years he has been wondering about his biological parents. The Indigenous Quillasinga governor gives him ayahuasca, a sacred remedy for spiritual guidance. During this transcendent experience, Camilo has visions of his biological mother. Supported by his adoptive father, Camilo embarks on a journey to find his true identity. Dirs. Viviana Gómez Echeverry & Anton Wenzel SUNDAY, AUGUST 8, AT 10:00 AM EDT

blackstarfest.org • #BSFF21

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BITCHIN': The Sound and Fury of Rick James Feature Documentary United States, 2021, 113 min. Philadelphia Premiere Co-presented by Showtime Bitchin’: The Sound and Fury of Rick James tells the story of the legendary funkster’s extraordinary and tumultuous life, times, and musical legacy.

Elder's Corner Feature Documentary Nigeria, United States, 2020, 97 min. Philadelphia Premiere Elder’s Corner is a musical voyage of rediscovery through key moments in Nigeria’s history as told through the lives and work of the nation’s longlost, pioneering music legends. Dir. Siji Awoyinka THURSDAY, AUGUST 5, AT 6:00 PM EDT

Dir. Sacha Jenkins SUNDAY, AUGUST 8, AT 4:00 PM EDT Outdoor Screening @ Eakins Oval SATURDAY, AUGUST 7, AT 8:00 PM EDT

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2021 BlackStar Film Festival


Eyimofe (This Is My Desire)

Faya Dayi

Feature Narrative Nigeria, 2020, 116 min.

Feature Documentary Ethiopia, Qatar, United States, 2021, 158 min.

Philadelphia Premiere

Ethiopian legend has it that khat, a stimulant green leaf, was found by Sufi imams in search of eternity. Inspired by this myth, Faya Dayi takes on a spiritual journey through Harar, weaving a tapestry of intimate stories to offer a window into the dreams of the youth hunted by a repressive regime.

NOMINATED FOR BEST FEATURE NARRATIVE Set in Lagos, Nigeria, and told in two chapters, Eyimofe (This Is My Desire) follows the stories of Mofe, a factory technician, and Rosa, a hairdresser, on their quest for what they believe will be a better life on foreign shores.

Dir. Jessica Beshir THURSDAY, AUGUST 5, AT 12:00 PM EDT

Dirs. Arie Esiri & Chuko Esiri THURSDAY, AUGUST 5, AT 8:00 PM EDT Outdoor Screening @ Eakins Oval WEDNESDAY, AUGUST 4, AT 8:00 PM EDT

blackstarfest.org • #BSFF21

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Homeroom

The Inheritance

Feature Documentary United States, 2021, 90 min.

Feature Narrative United States, 2020, 100 min.

Philadelphia Premiere

Co-presented by Philadelphia Printworks

NOMINATED FOR BEST FEATURE DOCUMENTARY

Ephraim Asili’s The Inheritance weaves the history of the West Philadelphia-based MOVE Organization, the Black Arts Movement, and a narrative based on the filmmaker’s younger years, when he was a member of a Black radical collective.

Co-presented by MediaJustice Oakland High School’s class of 2020 confronts the developing pandemic while fighting to eliminate the school district’s police force amid nationwide demands for systemic change.

Dir. Ephraim Asili FRIDAY, AUGUST 6, AT 12:00 PM EDT

Dir. Peter Nicks FRIDAY, AUGUST 6, AT 2:00 PM EDT

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2021 BlackStar Film Festival


Liborio

Strength (Ska´yaa)

Feature Narrative Dominican Republic, Puerto Rico, Qatar, 2021, 99 min.

Feature Documentary México, 2021, 84 min.

Philadelphia Premiere NOMINATED FOR BEST FEATURE NARRATIVE In the early 20th century, Liborio, a peasant, disappears in a hurricane and returns as a prophet. He says he’s been given a mission: to bring the good and take away the evil, curing the sick and teaching by example. People begin to congregate by his side, and they move to the mountains to have total freedom and develop the dream of an independent community. Everything changes when the invading U.S. Marines want to disarm and disband the community. Liborio wants to avoid a confrontation but knows that they can’t run forever.

World Premiere Sergio arrived in the Oaxaca highlands and created a project for Indigenous kids to discover their capacity to dream through basketball. Through studying, effort, and willpower, they struggle to break the cycle of poverty around them and defeat their most powerful rival: hunger. Dir. Jorge Díaz Sánchez WEDNESDAY, AUGUST 4, AT 12:00 PM EDT

Dir. Nino Martínez Sosa FRIDAY, AUGUST 6, AT 6:00 PM EDT

blackstarfest.org • #BSFF21

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Their Algeria (Leur Algérie) Feature Documentary Algeria, France, 2020, 72 min. U.S. Premiere NOMINATED FOR BEST FEATURE DOCUMENTARY After 62 years of living together, Lina’s grandparents, Aïcha and Mabrouk, have decided to separate. Together, they came from Algeria to Thiers, a small medieval town in the middle of France, over 60 years ago. Side by side, they have experienced this chaotic immigrant life. For Lina, their separation is an opportunity to question their long journey of exile and their silence. Dir. Lina Soualem SUNDAY, AUGUST 8, AT 12:00 PM EDT

Uprooted: The Journey of Jazz Dance Feature Documentary Canada, France, United Kingdom, United States, 2020, 94 min. Philadelphia Premiere Co-presented by Ars Nova Workshop Uprooted is a feature-length documentary celebrating the history, lineage, and future progressions of jazz dance. Exploring and commenting on political and social influences, the film is an honest conversation about jazz dance addressing topics such as appropriation, racism, socialism, and sexism. Dir. Khadifa Wong SATURDAY, AUGUST 7, AT 10:00 AM EDT Outdoor Screening @ the Mann Center for the Performing Arts, TD Pavilion SUNDAY, AUGUST 8, AT 1:00 PM EDT

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2021 BlackStar Film Festival


Waikiki

Writing With Fire

Feature Narrative Hawai'i, United States, 2020, 77 min.

Feature Documentary India, 2021, 93 min.

Philadelphia Premiere

Philadelphia Premiere

NOMINATED FOR BEST FEATURE NARRATIVE

NOMINATED FOR BEST FEATURE DOCUMENTARY

Co-presented by the Scattergood Foundation and the Philadelphia Asian American Film Festival

Co-presented by the Philadelphia Asian American Film Festival and the The Women's Film Festival

In this cinematic allegory of love and loss, a hula dancer fights for survival and her sanity in the shadows of Waikiki for an unflinching glimpse into paradise, where there remains hope through human connection and reconnection to 'aina (nature).

In a cluttered news landscape dominated by men emerges India’s only newspaper run by Dalit women. Armed with smartphones, chief reporter Meera and her journalists break traditions, be it on the frontlines of India’s biggest issues or within the confines of their homes, redefining what it means to be powerful.

Dir. Christopher Kahunahana SATURDAY, AUGUST 7, AT 6:00 PM EDT Outdoor Screening @ the Mann Center for the Performing Arts, TD Pavilion SUNDAY, AUGUST 8, AT 11:00 AM EDT

blackstarfest.org • #BSFF21

Dirs. Rintu Thomas & Sushmit Ghosh SATURDAY, AUGUST 7, AT 2:00 PM EDT Streaming restricted to U.S. viewers

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and Media Studies arts.columbia.edu/blackstar


Sophisticated yet relaxing hotel in the heart of University City

The Ladipo Group is a Black-owned company dedicated to the emotional wellness of Black and African-American people and communities. In our communities there has been stigma against therapy and mental health support for many generations. In 2004 The Ladipo Group was founded to increase access to Black therapists and decrease the stigma of mental health treatment. Contact Us: www.theladipogroup.com


SALUTES THE

2021 BLACKSTAR FILM FESTIVAL

TUNE IN TO WURD RADIO PA’S ONLY BLACK TALK RADIO STATION

96.1FM - 900AM wurdradio.com or on the WURD App Follow - Like - Share


Short DUOLOGY

FRONTIER

DENOUEMENTS

Stories about coupling, decoupling, and recoupling.

Communities leading the charge across time and geography.

The intimacy of portraits.

• By Your Side • There Was Nobody Here We Knew • Teeth • Negotiating Liberation: Don’t Be a Dream, Please Be Real • Noor & Layla • The Future Isn’t What It Used to Be

• From Digital Divide to Digital Equity • The War Against Our Schools • Vaka • The Silent Protest: 1929 Jerusalem

• • • • • • •

Co-presented by MediaJustice

Co-presented by Firelight Media and the Leeway Foundation

SYMBIOSIS

DEMIURGIC

PHYSIOGRAPHY

We are our families, our families are us.

Creators of a new material world.

“You want to fly, you got to give up the shit that weighs you down.” — Toni Morrison.

WED • AUG. 4 • 10:00 AM EDT

WED • AUG. 4 • 6:00 PM EDT

THU • AUG. 5 • 2:00 PM EDT

Family Business The Trucker A Door Away What’s Behind Me Wonderfully Made This Body The Beauty President

Co-presented by the Leeway Foundation

WED • AUG. 4 • 2:00 PM EDT

• • • • • •

The South Is My Sister’s Skin Heartland Nuevo Rico Pink & Blue No Entry Tallahassee

Co-presented by MediaJustice and the Scattergood Foundation

42

THU • AUG. 5 • 10:00 AM EDT

• BabyBangz • From Trash to Treasure: Turning Negatives Into Positives in Lesotho • Death Is Our Business • Sisters of the Soil Co-presented by Firelight Media, the Scattergood Foundation, and the UAC/Ending Racism Partnership

THU • AUG. 5 • 4:00 PM EDT

• UXO • Testimony: 52nd St. and the Invisible Violence of UPenn • Inheritance • Heaven Reaches Down to Earth • Softer • You Can’t Stop Spirit • Miss Panama

2021 BlackStar Film Festival


Films PHOTOTROPISM

EMERGENT

CONCOMITANCE

Outdoor Screening @ Eakins Oval FRI • AUG. 6 • 8:00 PM EDT

Outdoor Screening @ Eakins Oval FRI • AUG. 6 • 4:00 PM EDT

Relational poetics.

Lean deep into the light.

Blossomings of youth.

• • • • • •

• • • • •

FRI • AUG. 6 • 10:00 AM EDT

Friendzone L.A. The Price of Cheap Rent I Like It Here Mercury Afrograde Gales. Abundance

SAT • AUG. 7 • 12:00 PM EDT

Rejoice Resist Pride Team Meryland Al-Sit Lizard

SUN • AUG. 8 • 2:00 PM EDT

• • • •

A Mother's Body This Is Forever Totems Here Is the Imagination of the Black Radical • Dear Philadelphia Co-presented by Vimeo

Co-presented by the Scattergood Foundation

PHOSPHENE

ANTUMBRA

EGRESS

Swirling, spiraling, luminous creative interventions.

Citizenship: contested.

Emergence of new identities on space-time journeys.

FRI • AUG. 6 • 4:00 PM EDT

• • • •

Process In Place of Monuments Between Starshine & Clay Letter From Your Far Off Country • San Diego

SAT • AUG. 7 • 4:00 PM EDT

• • • • •

Pink Carnations Melting Snow Video Visit Elena When the Sun Sets

Co-presented by Firelight Media and the Leeway Foundation

SUN • AUG. 8 • 6:00 PM EDT

• • • • • •

Phillis Wheatley Miles and Kilometres Plowing the Stars Malembe The Door of Return Madame Pipi

Co-presented by Firelight Media

Film showtimes are the virtual releases and are available on Eventive for 24 hours. blackstarfest.org • #BSFF21

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Abundance

Al-Sit

Short Narrative United States, 2021, 30 min.

Short Narrative Qatar, Sudan, 2020, 20 min.

U.S. Premiere

Philadelphia Premiere

Abundance is a three-part short film exploring the limitations and radical possibilities of identity from the perspective of a jaded politico, Black storyteller, and pop culture enthusiast with Black, queer, feminist intentions. *No white, cis-heterosexal men were involved in the making of this film.*

In a cotton-farming village in Sudan, 15-year-old Nafisa has a crush on Babiker, but her parents have arranged her marriage to Nadir, a young Sudanese businessman. Nafisa’s grandmother, Al-Sit, the powerful village matriarch, has her own plans for Nafisa’s future. But can Nafisa choose for herself?

Dir. Kym Allen FRIDAY, AUGUST 6, AT 10:00 AM EDT Program: Phototropism Outdoor Screening @ Eakins Oval FRIDAY, AUGUST 6, AT 8:00 PM EDT

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Dir. Suzannah Mirghani SATURDAY, AUGUST 7, AT 12:00 PM EDT Program: Emergent Outdoor Screening @ Eakins Oval SUNDAY, AUGUST 8, AT 4:00 PM EDT

2021 BlackStar Film Festival


BabyBangz

The Beauty President

Short Documentary United States, 2021, 11 min.

Short Documentary United States, 2021, 10 min.

World Premiere Anastasia Ebel, owner of the BabyBangz hair salon in Mid-City, New Orleans, reflects on her continuing desire to cultivate spaces of intentional reflection for both herself and her local New Orleans community.

“If a bad actor can be president, why not a good drag queen?” In 1992, Joan Jett Blakk made a historic bid for the White House as one of the first openly queer write-in candidates. Today, Terence Smith, the man behind the persona, reflects back on his place in gay rights history at the height of the AIDS crisis.

Dir. Juliana Kasumu

Dir. Whitney Skauge

THURSDAY, AUGUST 5, AT 10:00 AM EDT

THURSDAY, AUGUST 5, AT 2:00 PM EDT

Program: Demiurgic

Program: Denouements

blackstarfest.org • #BSFF21

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Between Starshine & Clay

By Your Side

Experimental United States, 2021, 13 min.

Short Documentary United States, 2021, 16 min.

World Premiere

By Your Side highlights the story of Mike and Debbie — how they maintained their relationship through the harsh Rizzo era, and the 40 years they spent in prison separated from each other, their children, families, and freedom. This story tells of their determination and commitment to never giving up.

NOMINATED FOR BEST EXPERIMENTAL FILM This ritual story remembers an evening on MLK Day ’19, where Lead to Life, a collective that transforms guns into the otherwise, to commemorate Black folks and land impacted by the wake of violence, transforms guns into the constellations above Oscar Grant as they appeared 10 years prior, on the evening he was murdered. Dirs. brontë velez & Mer Aldao

Dirs. Mike Africa Sr. (Michael Davis) & Debbie Africa (Debbie Davis) WEDNESDAY, AUGUST 4, AT 10:00 AM EDT Program: Duology

FRIDAY, AUGUST 6, AT 4:00 PM EDT Program: Phosphene

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2021 BlackStar Film Festival


Dear Philadelphia

Death Is Our Business

Short Documentary United Kingdom, United States, 2020, 28 min.

Short Documentary United States, 2021, 30 min.

Philadelphia Premiere

With the help of their family, friends, and faith, three fathers unravel the incomparable partnership of forgiveness and community in North Philly. While walking through the intimate truths of life that can sometimes become a barrier, the film is a reminder that hope can be found in all situations.

In Death Is Our Business, filmmaker Jacqueline Olive shines a light on how the coronavirus has rocked the Black community’s cherished cultural practices in New Orleans — a city that is no stranger to loss and grief. While revealing the racial disparities of the virus’s toll, the documentary film goes inside two of the oldest Black-owned funeral homes in the city, offering an intimate look at rituals that are specific to how many Black Americans funeralize their loved ones and the troubling ways that the pandemic has impacted them.

Dir. Renee Maria Osubu

Dir. Jacqueline Olive

SUNDAY, AUGUST 8, AT 2:00 PM EDT

THURSDAY, AUGUST 5, AT 10:00 AM EDT

Program: Concomitance

Program: Demiurgic

NOMINATED FOR BEST SHORT DOCUMENTARY

blackstarfest.org • #BSFF21

47


A Door Away

The Door of Return

Short Documentary United States, 2020, 10 min.

Short Documentary Germany, 2021, 30 min.

Philadelphia Premiere

NOMINATED FOR LIONSGATE/STARZ AWARD FOR BEST SPECULATIVE FICTION

Still living in his childhood home, 25-yearold DeVaughn reflects on his relationship with his family as he continues to build a life of meaning. Dir. Alex H. Rafi THURSDAY, AUGUST 5, AT 2:00 PM EDT Program: Denouements

Two Black women in a hologramm context. The year: 2440. Place of residence: Saturn. Racism, sexism, and capitalism have been overcome. The destination: Earth. The Door of Return is an Afrofuturistic documentary. A thought experiment. Dirs. Anna Zhukovets & Kokutekeleza Musebeni SUNDAY, AUGUST 8, AT 6:00 PM EDT Program: Egress

48

2021 BlackStar Film Festival


Elena

Family Business

Short Documentary Dominican Republic, United States, 2021, 30 min.

Experimental United States, 2020, 5 min.

NOMINATED FOR BEST SHORT DOCUMENTARY In 1937, tens of thousands of Haitians and Dominicans of Haitian descent were exterminated by the Dominican army, on the basis of anti-Black racism. Fast-forward to 2013: The Dominican Republic’s Supreme Court stripped the citizenship of anyone with Haitian parents, retroactive to 1929, rendering more than 200,000 people stateless. Elena, the young protagonist of the film, and her family stand to lose their legal residency in the Dominican Republic if they don’t manage to get their documents in time. Negotiating a mountain of opaque bureaucratic processes and a racist, hostile society, Elena becomes the face of the struggle to remain in a country built on the labor of her father and forefathers.

World Premiere A portrait of the Black American family told through audio textures and family photos. Dir. Damon Davis THURSDAY, AUGUST 5, AT 2:00 PM EDT Program: Denouements

Dir. Michèle Stephenson SATURDAY, AUGUST 7, AT 4:00 PM EDT Program: Antumbra

blackstarfest.org • #BSFF21

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Friendzone L.A. Short Narrative United States, 2021, 3 min. World Premiere Best friends explore a day in L.A. — but he's quietly in love with her. Dir. Angel Kristi Williams FRIDAY, AUGUST 6, AT 10:00 AM EDT Program: Phototropism Outdoor Screening @ Eakins Oval FRIDAY, AUGUST 6, AT 8:00 PM EDT

From Digital Divide to Digital Equity Short Documentary United States, 2020, 7 min. Philadelphia Premiere In this short documentary, we explore how the digital divide is both a public health and education crisis in Philadelphia and why the internet should be a public utility for everyone — especially students and teachers. Dir. Nasya Jenkins WEDNESDAY, AUGUST 4, AT 6:00 PM EDT Program: Frontier

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2021 BlackStar Film Festival


From Trash to Treasure: Turning Negatives Into Positives in Lesotho Short Documentary Lesotho, United States, 2020, 25 min. NOMINATED FOR BEST SHORT DOCUMENTARY From Trash to Treasure: Turning Negatives Into Positives encourages us to take lessons from those who rethink, reuse, and reinvent in order to promote positive change in Lesotho. Dir. Iara Lee THURSDAY, AUGUST 5, AT 10:00 AM EDT Program: Demiurgic

The Future Isn't What It Used To Be Short Narrative United Kingdom, 2021, 22 min. World Premiere NOMINATED FOR LIONSGATE/STARZ AWARD FOR BEST SPECULATIVE FICTION By the year 2080, climate change has forced human beings from Earth, and those who remain are forced to live an isolated nomadic existence. In the desolate landscape, Dez forages for survival until they unearth a morsel of the past, which leads them on an unexpected mission. Dir. Adeyemi Michael WEDNESDAY, AUGUST 4, AT 10:00 AM EDT Program: Duology

blackstarfest.org • #BSFF21

51


Gales.

Heartland

Short Narrative United States, 2020, 17 min.

Short Narrative United States, 2021, 10 min.

World Premiere

Philadelphia Premiere

Nurse Indigo needs shift coverage to attend a steamy weekend. How far will she go to achieve the much-needed work-life balance?

NOMINATED FOR LIONSGATE/STARZ AWARD FOR BEST SPECULATIVE FICTION

Dirs. Ingred Prince & Tshay FRIDAY, AUGUST 6, AT 10:00 AM EDT

A woman attempts to immortalize her dying grandfather using virtual reality technology, but her obsession with documenting drives a wedge between them.

Program: Phototropism

Dir. Jahmil Eady

Outdoor Screening @ Eakins Oval FRIDAY, AUGUST 6, AT 8:00 PM EDT

WEDNESDAY, AUGUST 4, AT 2:00 PM EDT

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Program: Symbiosis

2021 BlackStar Film Festival


Heaven Reaches Down to Earth

Here Is the Imagination of the Black Radical

Short Narrative South Africa, 2020, 10 min.

Experimental Bahamas, United Kingdom, 2020, 10 min.

Philadelphia Premiere

Philadelphia Premiere

NOMINATED FOR BEST SHORT NARRATIVE

Junkanoo, a celebration in the Bahamas, is a culture with innovative costume designs. The aesthetic and the political intertwine as we follow the Shell Saxon Superstars in the yearlong production of costumes. Here is Black radical imagination, a resistance, a uniquely Bahamian identity.

After Tau comes to a realization about their sexuality, it sets in motion a cascade of thoughts and emotions in Tumelo. Nothing will ever be the same between them. Dir. Tebogo Malebogo THURSDAY, AUGUST 5, AT 4:00 PM EDT Program: Physiography

blackstarfest.org • #BSFF21

Dir. Rhea Storr SUNDAY, AUGUST 8, AT 2:00 PM EDT Program: Concomitance

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I Like It Here

Inheritance

Short Narrative Ghana, 2020, 15 min.

Short Narrative United States, 2021, 14 min.

World Premiere

Philadelphia Premiere

A third-culture Ghanaian-American youth takes the taxi ride of his life in an attempt to catch a flight out of Accra, leaving his country, ailing grandfather, and deep-rooted feelings of cultural displacement behind.

NOMINATED FOR LIONSGATE/STARZ AWARD FOR BEST SPECULATIVE FICTION

Dir. Amartei Armar FRIDAY, AUGUST 6, AT 10:00 AM EDT Program: Phototropism Outdoor Screening @ Eakins Oval FRIDAY, AUGUST 6, AT 8:00 PM EDT

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On Norra’s 25th birthday, she and her brother inherit the deed to their family’s small cabin. With this auspicious birthday, she starts seeing the spirits that have been haunting her brother and father for years. Dir. Annalise Lockhart THURSDAY, AUGUST 5, AT 4:00 PM EDT Program: Physiography

2021 BlackStar Film Festival


In Place of Monuments Experimental United States, 2020, 9 min. World Premiere With somatic knowledge, Naima RamosChapman sculpts a kinetic monument on the same rooftop — in the name of healing and freedom — where she was arrested at gunpoint as a teen in 2005. May this be a balm. Dir. Naima Ramos-Chapman FRIDAY, AUGUST 6, AT 4:00 PM EDT Program: Phosphene

Letter From Your Far-Off Country Experimental India, United States, 2020, 18 min. Philadelphia Premiere NOMINATED FOR BEST EXPERIMENTAL FILM A search for solidarity in the sounds and colors of a spontaneous movement in Delhi led by Muslim women, an Iqbal Bano song, the poetry of Agha Shahid Ali, and images of B.R. Ambedkar — a radical, anti-caste Dalit intellectual — all revolving around a letter addressed to a distant relative. Dir. Suneil Sanzgiri FRIDAY, AUGUST 6, AT 4:00 PM EDT Program: Phosphene

blackstarfest.org • #BSFF21

55


Lizard

Madame Pipi

Short Narrative Nigeria, United Kingdom, 2020, 18 min.

Short Documentary Haiti, United States, 2021, 25 min.

Philadelphia Premiere

World Premiere

NOMINATED FOR BEST SHORT NARRATIVE

Madame Pipi follows the lives of Haitian bathroom attendants working the nightclubs in Miami. Despite the rising cost of living and now the uncertainty of COVID-19 shutting down nightlife, their remittances from tips contribute to more than one-third of the GDP in Haiti.

An 8-year-old girl with an ability to sense danger gets ejected from Sunday school service. She unwittingly witnesses the underbelly in and around a megachurch in Lagos. Dir. Akinola Davies Jr. SATURDAY, AUGUST 7, AT 12:00 PM EDT Program: Emergent

Dir. Rachelle Salnave SUNDAY, AUGUST 8, AT 6:00 PM EDT Program: Egress

Outdoor Screening @ Eakins Oval SUNDAY, AUGUST 8, AT 4:00 PM EDT

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2021 BlackStar Film Festival


Malembe

Melting Snow

Experimental United States, Venezuela, 2020, 13 min.

Experimental United States, 2021, 9 min.

Philadelphia Premiere

NOMINATED FOR BEST EXPERIMENTAL FILM

Through its rhythmic montage and mix of observational and surreal imagery, Malembe forges oblique linkages between the United States and Venezuela, conveying the strange dissociation of being uprooted, of living between places.

Melting Snow is a short archival documentary exploring the coloniality of Puerto Rico’s labor force through the symbol of water.

Dir. Luis Arnías SUNDAY, AUGUST 8, AT 6:00 PM EDT

Dir. Janah Elise SATURDAY, AUGUST 7, AT 4:00 PM EDT Program: Antumbra

Program: Egress

blackstarfest.org • #BSFF21

57


Mercury Afrograde

Miles and Kilometres

Short Narrative United States, 2020, 11 min.

Experimental United States, 2021, 3 min.

Philadelphia Premiere

World Premiere

On a crazy day during Mercury retrograde, a family’s deepest secrets are revealed, forcing them to realize that they are not the model African family.

A lingering haiku poem of migration, separation, dislocation, and exile.

Dir. Blanche Akonchong

SUNDAY, AUGUST 8 AT 6:00 PM EDT

FRIDAY, AUGUST 6 AT 10:00 AM EDT

Program: Egress

Dir. Sonali Gulati

Program: Phototropism Outdoor Screening @ Eakins Oval FRIDAY, AUGUST 6, AT 8:00 PM EDT

58

2021 BlackStar Film Festival


Miss Panama Short Documentary Panama, United States, 2020, 28 min. Philadelphia Premiere In 1980, Gloria Karamañites made history by becoming the first Black woman to be named Miss Panama. Through her story, the film explores race, national identity, and the effects of a white standard of beauty in a country that is largely Afro-descendant. Dirs. Lamar Bailey Karamañites, Pascale Boucicaut, & David Felix Sutcliffe THURSDAY, AUGUST 5 AT 4:00 PM EDT Program: Physiography

A Mother’s Body (En Mammas Kropp) Short Documentary Sweden, 2020, 9 min. U.S. Premiere A Mother's Body is an intimate portrayal of two women hotel cleaners from a daughter's perspective. While the women perform their daily work, the daughter reflects on how their profession affects their bodies and relationship to time. Meanwhile, the women navigate and negotiate the demands of the strenuous labour with experience, preciseness, and beauty. Dir. Jonelle Twum SUNDAY, AUGUST 8 AT 2:00 PM EDT Program: Concomitance

blackstarfest.org • #BSFF21

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Negotiating Liberation: Don’t Be a Dream, Please Be Real

No Entry

Short Narrative United Arab Emirates, 2021, 7 min.

World Premiere

Short Narrative United Kingdom, 2021, 12 min.

Negotiating Liberation: Don’t Be a Dream, Please Be Real touches on the idea of the spirit of the United Arab Emirates as a place where new metropolises are being built, where dreams are born, and to which the title of “the new world” currently belongs.

Against the backdrop of the Windrush scandal, a Jamaican mother, Valerie Powell, struggles to keep her relationship with her son Eli intact. She suffers in silence as she battles with the government’s hostile environment tactics. As she keeps the threat of deportation a secret, her psychological state begins to deteriorate while she grapples with the fear of losing her son and the country she calls home.

Dir. Amirah Mohamed Tajdin

Dir. Kaleb D'Aguilar

WEDNESDAY, AUGUST 4, AT 10:00 AM EDT

WEDNESDAY, AUGUST 4, AT 2:00 PM EDT

Program: Duology

Program: Symbiosis

North American Premiere

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Noor & Layla

Nuevo Rico

Short Narrative Canada, 2021, 13 min.

Short Narrative Puerto Rico, United States, 2021, 16 min.

East Coast Premiere

NOMINATED FOR BEST SHORT NARRATIVE

Noor and Layla are breaking up. Is it the end of the road for these two Muslim women, or is it just the beginning? A film about reclaiming ritual through queer, Muslim love told at five moments in their relationship marked by the Azaan (call to prayer).

A brother and sister stumble upon a celestial secret that changes their lives forever and propels them into reggaetón stardom, but they soon discover that their newfound fame comes at a deep price.

Dir. Fawzia Mirza WEDNESDAY, AUGUST 4, AT 10:00 AM EDT Program: Duology

blackstarfest.org • #BSFF21

Dir. Kristian Mercado Figueroa WEDNESDAY, AUGUST 4, AT 2:00 PM EDT Program: Symbiosis

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Phillis Wheatley

Pink & Blue

Experimental Ethiopia, 2021, 2 min.

Short Narrative United States, 2021, 13 min.

World Premiere

East Coast Premiere

An exploration of Ethiopianism, and the ways in which diasporic youth find strength in the PanAfrican messages put forth by figures such as Marcus Garvey, Phillis Wheatley, and countless reggae musicians. A historical conversation that extends in many directions.

After a surprise first-time pregnancy, a trans couple of color wrestles with how the new baby will affect their relationship and how to raise their child in a binary world.

Dir. Nesanet Teshager Abegaze

WEDNESDAY, AUGUST 4, AT 2:00 PM EDT

SUNDAY, AUGUST 8, AT 6:00 PM EDT

Program: Symbiosis

Dir. Carmen LoBue

Program: Egress

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Pink Carnations

Plowing the Stars

Experimental United States, 2019, 10 min.

Experimental Guadeloupe, 2020, 14 min.

Philadelphia Premiere

Philadelphia Premiere

An experimental reflection of a Japanese American family’s history at an internment camp during World War II, Pink Carnations recalls the lasting effects that fear and racism have when implemented by a government upon its own people.

On her way to meet her dad, a woman reflects on her life. Along the way, the country looks empty to her and, slowly, memories of past lives are coming back to her. Is it real? Or is it only a dream?

Dirs. Nadia Hironaka & Matthew Suib SATURDAY, AUGUST 7, AT 4:00 PM EDT Program: Antumbra

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Dir. Wally Fall SUNDAY, AUGUST 8, AT 6:00 PM EDT Program: Egress

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The Price of Cheap Rent

Pride

Short Narrative United Kingdom, 2020, 6 min.

Experimental United States, 2021, 7 min.

Philadelphia Premiere

North American Premiere

An aspiring artist discusses the challenges of finding affordable housing in a new city and the compromises she has to make with her spooky new roommates. Blending genres between documentary filmmaking and internet profile piece, this sharp satire pokes fun at aspirational living.

Set in Charlottesville during the early 1990s, Pride follows an aspiring writer as she finalizes stories for the latest issue of Pride, a studentrun newspaper at the University of Virginia that historically provided a space for critical engagement with issues affecting Black students on campus.

Dirs. Amina Sutton & Maya Tanaka

Dirs. Kevin Jerome Everson & Claudrena N. Harold

FRIDAY, AUGUST 6, AT 10:00 AM EDT Program: Phototropism Outdoor Screening @ Eakins Oval FRIDAY, AUGUST 6, AT 8:00 PM EDT

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SATURDAY, AUGUST 7, AT 12:00 PM EDT Program: Emergent Outdoor Screening @ Eakins Oval SUNDAY, AUGUST 8, AT 4:00 PM EDT

2021 BlackStar Film Festival


Process

Rejoice Resist

Music Video United States, 2020, 7 min.

Short Narrative United Kingdom, 2020, 5 min.

Process is a short film by Christian Padron featuring music from Samora Pinderhughes. It is a meditation on grief and loss, dedicated to all those we have lost during these unpredictable and tumultuous times. This film is for those in mourning and all those supporting each other.

Rejoice Resist celebrates Black joy and Black pleasure as the ultimate form of resistance. It highlights the importance of allowing yourself to feel joy, especially in the face of adversity. The film, surreal and lighthearted, depicts a woman on a quest to discover this truth.

Dir. Christian Padron

Dir. Elisha Smith-Leverock

FRIDAY, AUGUST 6, AT 4:00 PM EDT

SATURDAY, AUGUST 7, AT 12:00 PM EDT

Program: Phosphene

Program: Emergent Outdoor Screening @ Eakins Oval SUNDAY, AUGUST 8, AT 4:00 PM EDT

blackstarfest.org • #BSFF21

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San Diego Short Documentary United States, 2020, 32 min. Philadelphia Premiere This film is a reaction to colonialism and quarantine. It’s made from multiple perspectives and experiences, pieced together. There are various qualities of footage: lo-fi camcorders, iPhone, archival images, and screen recordings. The content is based on a question of how to keep our communities safe. Dir. Fox Maxy FRIDAY, AUGUST 6, AT 4:00 PM EDT Program: Phosphene

The Silent Protest: 1929 Jerusalem

(١٩٢٩ ‫ القدس سنة‬:‫)املظاهرة الصامتة‬ Short Documentary Palestine, 2019, 20 min. U.S. Premiere On October 26, 1929, Palestinian women launched their women’s movement in Jerusalem. Approximately 300 women converged into the city from all over Palestine. They held a silent demonstration in protest of the British colonization of their country. This is their story on that day. Dir. Mahasen Nasser-Eldin WEDNESDAY, AUGUST 4, AT 6:00 PM EDT Program: Frontier

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Sisters of the Soil

Softer

Short Documentary United States, 2021, 15 min.

Short Narrative United States, 2020, 5 min.

Just weeks before the pandemic hit, Jeannine Cook opened Harriett’s Bookshop in Philadelphia as a way to celebrate Black women authors, activists, and artists. Since then, her work has taken on a larger role in the fight for space and sovereignty.

Philadelphia Premiere

Dirs. Raishad M. Hardnett & Aidan M. Un THURSDAY, AUGUST 5, AT 10:00 AM EDT Program: Demiurgic

Softer examines the demands of “softening” that are requested of Black women’s bodies in society — from job prospects to romantic ones — be that in their voice, their manners, or, critically, their hair. The experimental short plays upon the grooming rituals of softening that are terrifyingly rough. Dir. Ayanna Dozier THURSDAY, AUGUST 5, AT 4:00 PM EDT Program: Physiography

blackstarfest.org • #BSFF21

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The South Is My Sister's Skin Short Narrative United States, 2019, 2 min. East Coast Premiere Told through a series of vignettes, a Black woman recounts her coming-of-age story with the American South as her backdrop. Dir. Zenzele Ojore WEDNESDAY, AUGUST 4, AT 2:00 PM EDT Program: Symbiosis

Tallahassee Short Narrative United States, 2021, 22 min. World Premiere On the day of her release from a psychiatric facility, Mira, an Arab American woman, returns to her mother’s home in Brooklyn to attend her grandmother’s 90th birthday — only to discover that her sister Lara has lied to the family that she was on a trip to Florida. Dir. Darine Hotait WEDNESDAY, AUGUST 4, AT 2:00 PM EDT Program: Symbiosis

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Team Meryland

Teeth

Short Documentary United States, 2021, 28 min.

Experimental United Kingdom, 2020, 14 min.

East Coast Premiere

U.S. Premiere

NOMINATED FOR BEST SHORT DOCUMENTARY

NOMINATED FOR BEST EXPERIMENTAL FILM

Born and raised in the Watts projects of Los Angeles, 12-year-old Mexican American boxer Meryland Gonzalez fights in and out of the ring for her dream to be crowned the 2019 Junior Olympics champion. Dir. Gabriel Gaurano

A couple interrogated by U.K. Home Office agents endures a series of assessments that become progressively performative to evidence their relationship’s legitimacy. The office space becomes a theater stage for a gruelling audition of acceptability. Awkwardness quickly escalates into surreal horror.

SATURDAY, AUGUST 7, AT 12:00 PM EDT

Dir. Jennifer Martin

Program: Emergent

WEDNESDAY, AUGUST 4, AT 10:00 AM EDT

Outdoor Screening @ Eakins Oval SUNDAY, AUGUST 8, AT 4:00 PM EDT

Program: Duology

blackstarfest.org • #BSFF21

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Testimony: 52nd St. and the Invisible Violence of UPenn Short Documentary India, United States, 2021, 9 min. World Premiere UPenn employee Amelia tells the story of her experience during the May 31, 2020, police attack on 52nd St. After she finds out that university police participated in the crackdown, she reflects on the white supremacist conditioning that leads to complicity in the face of institutionalized violence.

There Was Nobody Here We Knew Short Documentary United States, 2021, 10 min. East Coast Premiere After spotting what they believe is a UFO outside their window, a middle-aged Pakistani couple contemplates alien life and searches for answers during lockdown. Dir. Khaula Malik WEDNESDAY, AUGUST 4, AT 10:00 AM EDT Program: Duology

Dir. Amelia Carter THURSDAY, AUGUST 5, AT 4:00 PM EDT Program: Physiography

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This Body

This Is Forever

Short Documentary United States, 2021, 14 min.

Short Documentary United Kingdom, 2020, 15 min.

Philadelphia Premiere

U.S. Premiere

This Body explores the fraught relationship between African Americans and the medical industry. As Sydney Hall participates in an experimental coronavirus vaccine trial, she and her loved ones confront the history of medical abuse and experimentation upon Black bodies.

NOMINATED FOR BEST EXPERIMENTAL FILM

Dir. Zac Manuel THURSDAY, AUGUST 5, AT 2:00 PM EDT Program: Denouements

blackstarfest.org • #BSFF21

With dreams of being the best ancestor she can be for her teenage son, an Indigenous Bolivian single mother applies for a visa to remain in the U.K. while embarking on a journey of healing the wounds of her past. Dir. Susy Peña SUNDAY, AUGUST 8, AT 2:00 PM EDT Program: Concomitance

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Totems

The Trucker

Short Narrative United States, 2019, 14 min.

Short Narrative United States, 2021, 14 min.

Philadelphia Premiere

East Coast Premiere

A post-apocalyptic film about two Indigenous men existing in the aftermath of colonial America, Totems represents a slice of the subconscious mind of the modernday Indigenous man. The Id (Ben Dupris) and the Ego (Ajuawak Kapashesit) must find a new way of existing in 2019 America.

A portrait of an immigrant truck driver making his way home across the American Midwest.

Dir. Justin Deegan

Dir. Raven Johnson THURSDAY, AUGUST 5, AT 2:00 PM EDT Program: Denouements

SUNDAY, AUGUST 8, AT 2:00 PM EDT Program: Concomitance

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UXO

Vaka

Short Documentary Puerto Rico, 2020, 4 min.

Short Documentary New Zealand, Tokelau, 2019, 23 min.

An island’s microcosm shaken by the constant detonations of UXOs is captured in a brief composition of sublime yet forceful sound and image. For over 60 years, the island of Vieques was used as a bombing range by the United States Navy. Now its inhabitants are left to cope with the aftermath of war.

World Premiere

Dir. Margaret Mair

Dir. Kelly Moneymaker

THURSDAY, AUGUST 5, AT 4:00 PM EDT

WEDNESDAY, AUGUST 4, AT 6:00 PM EDT

Program: Physiography

Program: Frontier

blackstarfest.org • #BSFF21

Vaka is a short documentary about the energy and resilience of the Tokelauan people as they weave their customary wisdom regarding the environment with modern eco-technologies to respond to climate change.

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Video Visit Short Documentary United States, 2021, 21 min. Philadelphia Premiere Each week, scores of people visit the Brooklyn Public Library to see their incarcerated loved ones via a free video call. Video Visit tells the story of two mothers and their sons, and the librarians who negotiate daily with the Department of Corrections in an effort to keep the families connected. Dir. Malika Zouhali-Worrall SATURDAY, AUGUST 7, AT 4:00 PM EDT Program: Antumbra

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The War Against Our Schools (La Guerra Contra Nuestras Escuelas) Short Documentary Puerto Rico, 2021, 30 min. The War Against Our Schools is a documentary project exploring the short- and long-term impact of school closings and privatization of education in Puerto Rico. The short film utilizes nuanced storytelling to highlight the resistance of communities and micro-movements across the island. Dir. Mikey Cordero WEDNESDAY, AUGUST 4, AT 6:00 PM EDT Program: Frontier

2021 BlackStar Film Festival


What's Behind Me Short Documentary United States, 2020, 9 min. What’s Behind Me features Jaleel King, a disabled Philadelphia-native photographer. The film follows him for a day as he navigates the city in public transportation while sharing his journey as a gunshot survivor, the challenges of being in a wheelchair, and his inspiration to photograph. Dir. Gabriela Watson-Burkett THURSDAY, AUGUST 5, AT 2:00 PM EDT Program: Denouements

When The Sun Sets (Lakutshon' Ilanga) Short Narrative South Africa, 2020, 14 min. East Coast Premiere NOMINATED FOR BEST SHORT NARRATIVE A young Black nurse living in 1985 apartheid South Africa must face her worst fears when she learns that her activist younger brother may be in danger when he doesn’t return after school. Dir. Phumi Morare SATURDAY, AUGUST 7, AT 4:00 PM EDT Program: Antumbra

blackstarfest.org • #BSFF21

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Wonderfully Made

You Can't Stop Spirit

Short Documentary United States, 2021, 15 min.

Short Documentary United States, 2021, 16 min.

World Premiere

World Premiere

Kashmiere Culberson is a young African American woman who embodies strength and confidence. Kash was born without arms, but she does not allow her disability to limit her pursuit of happiness and self-love. This documentary piece gives us a glimpse of her world.

NOMINATED FOR BEST SHORT DOCUMENTARY

Dir. Benita Udodili Ozoude

Dir. Vashni Korin

THURSDAY, AUGUST 5, AT 2:00 PM EDT

THURSDAY, AUGUST 5, AT 4:00 PM EDT

Program: Denouements

Program: Physiography

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You Can’t Stop Spirit centers the Baby Doll Mardi Gras masking tradition: a group of self-liberated Black women who created an alternative social space where they are encouraged to be free.

2021 BlackStar Film Festival


ULYSSES JENKINS

SEPTEMBER 17— DECEMBER 30, 2021 ICA IS ALWAYS FREE. FOR ALL. www.icaphila.org

WITHOUT YOUR INTERPRETATION

Without Your Interpretation showcases an eclectic body of work by groundbreaking video and performance artist Ulysses Jenkins in this first major retrospective spanning fifty years. Ulysses Jenkins: Without Your Interpretation was coorganized by the Institute of Contemporary Art, University of Pennsylvania and the Hammer Museum, Los Angeles.

Major support for Ulysses Jenkins: Without Your Interpretation has been provided by The Pew Center for Arts & Heritage, with additional support from The Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts and the J. Paul Getty Trust. Portrait of the artist performing Peace and Anwar Sadat, 1985. Photographer unknown. Courtesy of the Artist.




Panels & Conversations

Visit blackstarfest.org/schedule for exact dates and times.

Nuotama Bodomo and Fox Maxy in Conversation With Tina Campt

WEDNESDAY AUGUST 4 | 12:00-1:00 PM EDT Nuotama Bodomo (Afronauts, Boneshaker, Everybody Dies!, Random Acts of Flyness) and Fox Maxy (San Diego, Maat Means Land, Watertight, Petroleum Jelly) invite us to repattern and relisten, to retune and reimagine the sensory experience through their works. Join these innovative and genre-bending artists in conversation with Tina Campt, Black feminist theorist of visual culture and contemporary art, as they discuss their practices of drawing from Indigenous sensibilities to break cinematic form and tap into ancestral ways of knowing and being in the creative process.

Glitch and the Moving Image WEDNESDAY AUGUST 4 | 2:00-3:00 PM EDT Co-presented by MediaJustice

with Legacy Russell, Cameron A. Granger, E. Jane and Jazmin Jones; moderated by Imran Siddiquee Considering and interrupting the racist, classist, and patriarchal logics embedded in film technologies and the digital platforms that profit off of Blackness while devaluing Black people, these thinkers and practitioners evoke a politics of refusal — finding liberatory possibilities in embracing the “glitch” in their acts of creation and curation.

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Composers Roundtable

WEDNESDAY AUGUST 4 | 4:00-5:00 PM EDT with Sultana Isham, Jlin, Tamar-Kali, and Amanda Jones; moderated by Dave “DJ lil’ dave” Adams Composers and sound designers create multisensory experiences that build the world of film, challenge form, and enhance the pleasure of spectatorship. These talented composers will discuss the process of scoring films and how they make decisions around mood, message, and musicality.

Sacha Jenkins in Conversation with Dyana Williams

WEDNESDAY AUGUST 4 | 6:00-7:00 PM EDT Co-Presented by Showtime Sacha Jenkins is a cutting edge visual artist, curator, writer, filmmaker and most recently director of Bitchin’: the Sound and Fury of Rick James. Dyana Williams is a beloved broadcast and print journalist and music industry expert. Tune into this conversation between two multifaceted chroniclers of jazz, soul, funk, and hip hop as they discuss their experiences coming of age in New York and Philadelphia Black arts scenes, Rick James' cultural significance, and witnessing and influencing the evolution of American music, fashion, style and cultural iconography.

2021 BlackStar Film Festival


Meshell Ndegeocello in Conversation with Imani Perry THURSDAY AUGUST 5 | 12:00-1:00 PM EDT

Singer-songwriter, rapper, bassist, and activist Meshell Ndegeocello is an architect of neosoul and contemporary R&B. Imani Perry is a prolific writer, legal and cultural studies scholar, professor and freedom dreamer. Join these two cutting edge cultural workers as they center Meshell’s virtuosic work as a recording artist and composer, consider the costs and pleasures of being interdisciplinary artists and thinkers, and the political imperatives of creative expression.

Mental Health and Filmmaking

THURSDAY AUGUST 5 | 2:00-3:00 PM EDT Co-presented by American Documentary (POV), PBS, Scattergood Foundation, and WORLD Channel with Michèle Stephenson, Lyric Cabral, Gessica Généus, and Nicole Naone; moderated by Yolo Akili Filmmaking can be a site of refuge and potential healing for audiences and creators alike. Yet the violent history of cinema and the conventions that facilitate extraction can end up hindering the possibility of getting well. This panel orbits around some of the ethical, culturally informed practices that directors dealing with trauma and mental wellbeing must consider in seeking to prevent further harm as they use their craft as a site for repair.

Lower-Frequency Politics

THURSDAY AUGUST 5 | 4:00-5:00 PM EDT with Rashaad Newsome, Maya Cozier, Leilah Weinraub, A'ziah “Zola” King and Vashni Korin; moderated by Samantha Noël In The Black Atlantic, Paul Gilroy evokes a “politics of transfiguration,” which is a kind of counterculture that “reconstructs its own critical, intellectual, and moral genealogy in a partially hidden public sphere of its own.” Gilroy points to the presence and possibility of this kind of politics that had been “created under the very nose of the overseers” existing fugitively “on a lower frequency where it is played, danced, and acted as well as blackstarfest.org • #BSFF21

sung and sung about.” These artists use visual approaches to lower frequencies that are sites for arousing, enacting, and negotiating power away from the idea of respectability and towards conditions of being free.

R-E-S-P-E-C-T: Balancing Power and Care in Doc Filmmaking THURSDAY AUGUST 5 | 6:00-8:00 PM EDT In Partnership with the Doc Accountability Working Group with Natalie Bullock-Brown, Sonya Childress, Michelle Lanier, Twiggy Pucci-Garcon, Poh Si Teng and Dr. Kameelah Rashad In the face of 2020’s intersectional reckonings, a movement of independent filmmakers and other documentary field stakeholders rose up to reshape the nonfiction industry in profound ways — from dismantling barriers in the field to advancing new, non-extractive, healing-centered approaches to storytelling. Last year, a group of colleagues desiring to activate more concrete change within the documentary field came together to craft a framework for values-based filmmaking. Over 100 stakeholders have weighed in on that framework since spring 2021. Join the Documentary Accountability Working Group as they share the evolution of their vision alongside a filmmaker, a film participant, and a funder, all of whose work embodies the spirit of a liberatory approach to documentary film.

Love + Grit Podcast at BlackStar

FRIDAY AUGUST 6 | 2:00PM-3:00 PM EDT Love + Grit is hosted by Laiya St. Clair, Rachel Ferguson and Justin Pizzi, with music by Philadelphia producer and DJ Dan “Dilemma” Thomas. Joining them in this special edition are Philadelphia filmmakers Nasya Jenkins (From Digital Divide to Digital Equity), Raishad Hardnett and Aidan Un (Sisters of the Soil ) and Jeannine Cook, founder of Harriett’s Bookshop and Ida’s Bookshop. Love + Grit explores some of Philadelphia’s best-kept secrets and the locals repping Philly love on a national scale. Learn more about Love + Grit at VisitPhilly.com.

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On a Move!

FRIDAY AUGUST 6 | 6:00-7:00 PM EDT Co-presented by Leeway Foundation and Temple University Department of Theater, Film and Media with Debbie Africa, Mike Africa, Mike Africa Jr., Louis Massiah, Maori Karmael Holmes, and Ephraim Asili; moderated by Krystal Strong This panel assembles friends and members of the Move! Organization who poetically reinscribe a sense of care, deep recognition, and aliveness against the dominant spectacle of Black death and suffering associated with the bombing, imprisonment, and unreturned bodily remains of the Africa family. Their works (The Bombing of Osage Ave, By Your Side, The Inheritance, 40 Years a Prisoner, Wilson No Goode, and Fly Baby! ) address the history of state violence and the intimate tenors of family life contained but on a move.

Caribbean Film and Relational Poetics

SATURDAY AUGUST 7 | 10:30-11:30 AM EDT In partnership with Third Horizon Co-presented by Black Public Media with Wally Fall, Jason Fitzroy Jeffers, Shari Petti, and Nino Martinez Sosa; moderated by Dessane Lopez Cassell Drawing on Glissant's poetics of relation, this conversation considers how the writer, and by extension, filmmaker and cultural worker, embrace créolité and transcend colonially produced “nonhistory” and isolation, by creating the conditions for cultural memory, connection, and transformation. The panel asks: What are the affordances of archipelagic thinking and making, and how are our subterranean connections palpable through film and media?

Going Back to Get It: On Cinematic Archival Practice SATURDAY AUGUST 7 | 12:00-1:00 PM EDT Co-presented by Black Public Media and Impact Partners

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with Darius Clark Monroe, Tzutzu Matzin, Mahasen Nasser-Eldin, Emily Jacir; moderated by Savannah Wood Cinema is ripe with archival reclamations. Such acts of retrieval challenge the silences and violences of archives that narrativize history through the lens of the oppressor. These thinkers and image makers will discuss using historic reference points and source materials as modes of retrieving and representing joyous, riotous, and contested histories across varied geographies and collections.

Agent’s & Manager's Roundtable

SATURDAY AUGUST 7 | 2:00-3:00 PM EDT Co-presented by CAA with Adesuwa McCalla, Noel Tedla Mesfin, Talitha Watkins and Rukayat Giwa; moderated by Brandon Pankey So you’re an actor, filmmaker, or writer and are looking for representation? Hear from some of the leading industry experts who will share what you need to know about forming and being in relationship with literary, film, and casting agents, and learn about new directions and opportunities for expanding your work.

Coral Messam in Conversation With Jasmine Johnson SUNDAY AUGUST 8 | 11:00AM-12:00 PM EDT

Join Movement Director Coral Messam and professor and practitioner Jasmine Johnson as they consider the intimacies of the moving body in the moving image, the relationship between choreography and cinematography, and the history of representing dance and embodiment on camera. Anchored in a retrospective of Messam’s work in theater and film, this conversation will consider the specificities of story and body to the frame while looking forward to what movement, intimacy, and dance direction might encompass.

2021 BlackStar Film Festival


Official Festival Merchandise!

August 4-8 2021 blackstarfest.org Artwork by Andrea Pippins

Poster, t-shirt, hoodie, and more on sale now. shop.blackstarfest.org



10th Anniversary Print Sale Andrea Pippins Arthur Jafa Cauleen Smith Garrett Bradley Damon Davis Fahamu Pecou Haile Gerima Kahlil Joseph Kevin Jerome Everson Louis Massiah Michelle Angela Ortiz Terence Nance Limited edition prints for sale, celebrating BlackStar’s 10th anniversary. anniversary.blackstarfest.org


Awards

BlackStar Juried Awards Categories & Nominees

Best Feature Documentary

Best Feature Narrative

Best Experimental Film

Homeroom dir. Peter Nicks

Eyimofe (This Is My Desire) dirs. Arie Esiri and Chuko Esiri

Between Starshine & Clay dirs. brontë velez & Mer Aldao

Their Algeria dir. Lina Soualem

Liborio dir. Nino Martínez Sosa

Letter From Your Far-Off Country dir. Suneil Sanzgiri

Writing with Fire dirs. Rintu Thomas &

Waikiki dir. Christopher Kahunahana

Malembe dir. Luis Arnías

Sushmit Ghosh

Best Short Documentary Dear Philadelphia dir. Renee Maria Osubu Elena dir. Michèle Stephenson From Trash to Treasure: Turning Negatives Into P ositives in Lesotho dir. Iara Lee Team Meryland dir. Gabriel Gaurano

Best Short Narrative Al-Sit dir. Suzannah Mirghani Heaven Reaches Down to Earth dir. Tebogo Malebogo Lizard dir. Akinola Davies, Jr. Nuevo Rico dir. Kristian Mercado Figueroa When the Sun Sets dir. Phumi Morare

Melting Snow dir. Janah Elise Teeth dir. Jennifer Martin

Other Awards Vimeo Staff Pick Award Shine Award WarnerMedia 150 BlackStar Pitch Award Lionsgate/STARZ Award for Best Speculative Fiction

You Can't Stop Spirit dir. Vashni Korin

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BLACKSTAR FILM FESTIVAL and congratulates BlackStar on 10 years of celebrating and providing platforms for visionary Black, Brown, and Indigenous artists

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Creative therapies and group programs to laugh, write, meditate, and connect

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www.TheResiliencyCenter.com TheResiliencyCenter ResiliencyCntr resiliencygatherings

FIND US IN FLOURTOWN, PA

Flourtown Commons 1811 Bethlehem Pike Suite 212-213 (215) 233-2002


Filmmaker Index Adeyemi Michael — 51 The Future Isn't What It Used To Be Akinola Davies Jr. — 56, 86 Lizard Alex H. Rafi — 48 A Door Away Amartei Armar — 54 I Like It Here Amelia Carter — 70 Testimony: 52nd St. and the Invisible Violence of UPenn Amina Sutton & Maya Tanaka — 64 The Price of Cheap Rent Amirah Mohamed Tajdin — 60 Negotiating Liberation: Don't Be a Dream, Please Be Real Angel Kristi Williams — 50 Friendzone L.A. Anna Zhukovets & Kokutekeleza Musebeni — 48 The Door of Return Annalise Lockhart — 54 Inheritance Arie Esiri & Chuko Esiri — 86 Eyimofe (This Is My Desire) Ayanna Dozier— 42, 67 Softer

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Benita Udodili Ozoude — 76 Wonderfully Made

Gabriela Watson-Burkett — 75 What's Behind Me

Blanche Akonchong — 58 Mercury Afrograde

Iara Lee — 51 From Trash to Treasure: Turning Negatives Into Positives in Lesotho

Brontë velez & Mer Aldao — 46 Between Starshine & Clay Carmen LoBue — 62 Pink & Blue Christian Padron — 65 Process Christopher Kahunahana — 37 Waikiki Damon Davis — 49 Family Business Darine Hotait — 68 Tallahassee Elisha Smith-Leverock — 65 Rejoice Resist Ephraim Asili — 34 The Inheritance Fawzia Mirza — 61 Noor & Layla Fox Maxy — 66 San Diego Gabriel Gaurano — 69 Team Meryland

Ingred Prince & Tshay — 52 Gales. Jacqueline Olive — 47 Death Is Our Business Jahmil Eady — 52 Heartland Janah Elise — 57 Melting Snow Jennifer Martin — 69 Teeth Jessica Beshir — 33 Faya Dayi Jonelle Twum — 59 A Mother's Body Jorge Díaz Sánchez — 35 Strength Juliana Kasumu — 45 BabyBangz Justin Deegan — 72 Totems Kaleb D'Aguilar — 60 No Entry

2021 BlackStar Film Festival


Sacha Jenkins — 32 Bitchin’: the Sound and Fury of Rick James

Kelly Moneymaker — 73 Vaka

Mikey Cordero — 74 The War Against Our Schools

Kevin Jerome Everson & Claudrena N. Harold — 64 Pride

Nadia Hironaka & Matthew Suib — 63 Pink Carnations

Khadifa Wong — 36 Uprooted: the Journey of Jazz Dance

Naima Ramos-Chapman — 55 In Place of Monuments

Sonali Gulati — 58 Miles & Kilometres

Nasya Jenkins — 50 From Digital Divide to Digital Equity

Suneil Sanzgiri — 55 Letter From Your Far-Off Country

Nesanet Teshager Abegaze — 62 Phillis Wheatley

Susy Peña — 71 This Is Forever

Khaula Malik — 70 There Was Nobody Here We Knew Kristian Mercado Figueroa — 61 Nuevo Rico Kym Allen — 44 Abundance Lamar Bailey Karamañites, Pascale Boucicaut & David Felix Sutcliffe — 42 Miss Panama Lina Soualem — 36 Their Algeria Luis Arnías — 57 Malembe Mahasen Nasser-Eldin — 66 The Silent Protest: 1929 Jerusalem Malika Zouhali-Worrall — 74 Video Visit Margaret Mair — 73 UXO

Nino Martínez Sosa — 35 Liborio Peter Nicks — 34 Homeroom Phumi Morare — 75 When the Sun Sets Rachelle Salnave — 56 Madame Pipi Raishad M. Hardnett & Aidan M. Un — 67 Sisters of the Soil Raven Johnson — 72 The Trucker Renee Maria Osubu — 47 Dear Philadelphia

Michèle Stephenson — 49 Elena

Rhea Storr — 53 Here Is the Imagination of the Black Radical

Mike Africa Sr. (Michael Davis) & Debbie Africa (Debbie Davis) — 46 By Your Side

Rintu Thomas & Sushmit Ghosh — 37 Writing With Fire

blackstarfest.org • #BSFF21

Siji Awoyinka— 32 Elder's Corner

Suzannah Mirghani — 44 Al-Sit Tebogo Malebogo — 53 Heaven Reaches Down to Earth Tracey Deer — 31 Beans Vashni Korin — 76 You Can't Stop Spirit Viviana Gómez Echeverry & Anton Wenzel — 31 Between Fire and Water Wally Fall — 63 Plowing the Stars Whitney Skauge — 45 The Beauty President Zac Manuel — 71 This Body Zenzele Ojore — 68 The South is My Sister's Skin

89


Countries Algeria

Germany

Bahamas

Ghana

Their Algeria

Here Is the Imagination of the Black Radical

Canada

Beans Noor & Layla Uprooted: the Journey of Jazz Dance

Colombia

Between Fire and Water

Dominican Republic Elena Liborio

Ethiopia

Faya Dayi Phillis Wheatley

France

Their Algeria Uprooted: the Journey of Jazz Dance

90

The Door of Return

I Like It Here

Guadeloupe Plowing the Stars

Haiti

Madame Pipi

India

Letter From Your Far-Off Country Testimony: 52nd St. and the Invisible Violence of UPenn Writing With Fire

Lesotho

From Trash to Treasure: Turning Negatives Into Positives in Lesotho

Nigeria

Elder's Corner Eyimofe (This Is My Desire) Lizard

Palestine

The Silent Protest: 1929 Jerusalem

Panama

Miss Panama

Puerto Rico

Liborio Nuevo Rico UXO The War Against Our Schools

Qatar

Al-Sit Faya Dayi Liborio Their Algeria

Mexico

South Africa

New Zealand

Sudan

Strength

Vaka

Heaven Reaches Down to Earth When the Sun Sets

Al-Sit

2021 BlackStar Film Festival


Sweden

A Mother's Body

Switzerland Their Algeria

Tokelau Vaka

United Arab Emirates

Negotiating Liberation: Don't Be a Dream, Please Be Real

United Kingdom

Dear Philadelphia The Future Isn’t What It Used to Be Here Is the Imagination of the Black Radical Lizard No Entry Rejoice Resist Teeth This Is Forever Uprooted: the Journey of Jazz Dance

United States Abundance BabyBangz

blackstarfest.org • #BSFF21

Beans The Beauty President Between Starshine & Clay Bitchin’: the Sound and Fury of Rick James By Your Side Dear Philadelphia Death Is Our Business A Door Away Elder’s Corner Elena Family Business Faya Dayi Friendzone L.A. From Digital Divide to Digital Equity From Trash to Treasure: Turning Negatives Into Positives in Lesotho Gales. Heartland Homeroom In Place of Monuments Inheritance The Inheritance Letter From Your Far-Off Country Madame Pipi Malembe Melting Snow Mercury Afrograde Miles and Kilometres Miss Panama Nuevo Rico Pink & Blue Pink Carnations The Price of Cheap Rent Pride

Process San Diego Sisters of the Soil Softer The South Is My Sister’s Skin Tallahassee Team Meryland Testimony: 52nd St. and the Invisible Violence of UPenn There Was Nobody Here We Knew This Body Totems The Trucker Uprooted: the Journey of Jazz Dance Video Visit Waikiki What’s Behind Me Wonderfully Made You Can’t Stop Spirit

Venezuela Malembe

91


Film Titles Abundance

43, 44

Al-Sit

43, 44, 86

BabyBangz

42, 45

Beans

31

The Beauty President

42, 45

Between Fire and Water

31

Between Starshine & Clay

43, 46, 86

Bitchin’: the Sound and Fury of Rick James

32

By Your Side

42, 46

Dear Philadelphia

43, 47, 86

Death Is Our Business

42, 47

A Door Away

42, 48

The Door of Return

43, 48

Elder's Corner

32

Elena

43, 49, 86

Eyimofe (This Is My Desire) 33, 86 Family Business

42, 49

Faya Dayi

33

Friendzone L.A.

43, 50

From Digital Divide to Digital Equity

42, 50

From Trash to Treasure: Turning Negatives Into Positives in Lesotho

42, 51

92

The Future Isn’t What It Used To Be

42,51

Gales.

43, 52

Heartland

42, 52

Heaven Reaches Down to Earth

43, 53, 86

Here Is the Imagination of the Black Radical

43, 53

Homeroom 34, 86 I Like It Here

43, 54

In Place of Monuments

43, 55

Inheritance

42, 54

The Inheritance

34

Letter From Your Far-Off Country

43, 55, 86

Liborio 35, 86 Lizard

43, 56, 86

Madame Pipi

43, 56

Malembe

43, 57, 86

Melting Snow

43, 57, 86

Mercury Afrograde

43, 58

Miles and Kilometres 43, 58 Miss Panama

42, 59

A Mother's Body

59

Negotiating Liberation: Don’t Be a Dream, Please Be Real

42, 60

No Entry

42, 60

2021 BlackStar Film Festival


Noor & Layla

42, 61

This Body

42, 71

Nuevo Rico

42, 61

This is Forever

43, 71

Phillis Wheatley

43, 62

Totems

43, 72

Pink & Blue

42, 62

The Trucker

42, 72

Pink Carnations

43, 63

36

Plowing The Stars

43, 63

Uprooted: the Journey of Jazz Dance

The Price of Cheap Rent

43, 64

UXO

42, 73

Pride

43, 64

Vaka

42, 73

Process

43, 65

Video Visit

43, 74

Rejoice Resist

43, 65

San Diego

43, 66

The Silent Protest: 1929 Jerusalem

42, 66

Sisters of the Soil

Waikiki 37, 86 The War Against Our Schools

42, 74

What’s Behind Me

42, 75

When the Sun Sets

43, 75, 86

42, 67

Wonderfully Made

42, 76

Softer

42, 67

Writing With Fire 37, 86

The South Is My Sister's Skin

42, 68

You Can’t Stop Spirit

Strength

35

Tallahassee

42, 68

Team Meryland

43, 69, 86

Teeth

42, 69, 86

Testimony: 52nd St. and the Invisible Violence of UPenn

42, 70

42, 76, 86

Their Algeria 36, 86 There Was Nobody Here We Knew

blackstarfest.org • #BSFF21

42, 70

93


Community Media Celebrates 10 Years of BlackStar Film Fest!


LIONSGATE AND STARZ ARE PROUD TO CHAMPION DIVERSE STORY TELLERS AND CONTINUE TO SUPPORT THE

2021 BLACKSTAR FILM FESTIVAL

Starz and related service marks are the property of Starz Entertainment, LLC.


FIRELIGHT MEDIA CONGRATULATES the Firelight-supported filmmakers screening at BlackStar Film Festival. Death Is Our Business, Jacqueline Olive This Body, Zac Manuel Video Visit, Malika Zouhali-Worrall Madame Pipi, Rachelle Salnave

firelightmedia.tv


Membership Help BlackStar shine!

BlackStar is committed to sustaining and advancing opportunities for Black, Brown, and Indigenous filmmakers, artists, and media makers through year-round public programming, exhibitions, publications, the annual BlackStar Film Festival, and much more. You can help BlackStar shine by becoming a member or making a one-time donation today. Members commit to giving monthly or yearly and are eligible for exclusive perks. By choosing to sustain us in this way, you also join a community of other film and media advocates, trailblazers, and game changers who are helping us grow while also addressing the structural barriers and inequities faced by Black, Brown, and Indigenous artists globally. You can make a donation today at blackstarfest.org/donate. Support BlackStar today with a monthly or yearly recurring membership, a one-time donation of any size, or by joining our Luminary Circle. Individuals who give $1,000 or more become a part of our Luminary Circle.

Membership Benefits

For More Information

An annual BlackStar membership includes access to a members-only newsletter, feefree festival submissions, and other yearround benefits. Donors in the Luminary Circle receive additional perks, including discounts and invitations to exclusive events. Learn more at blackstarfest.org/donate and join today!

If you are interested in discussing a significant and/or multi-year gift, please contact Sara Zia Ebrahimi, Deputy Director, at sarazia@blackstarfest.org.

blackstarfest.org • #BSFF21

97


Tickets & Admissions All passes and tickets can be purchased at blackstarfest.org/tickets. Passes:

Tickets:

$125 All-Access pass (access to all virtual and in-person events)

$5 Individual tickets for virtual screenings

$100 Virtual pass (access to all virtual events)

$45 Ten-ticket bundle (virtual only)

$45 BlackStar @ the Mann pass (access to all in-person events August 8) Admission Policies FILM SCREENINGS: Individual virtual screenings will be available for 24 hours after they are unlocked. All films and virtual events can be viewed at watch.blackstarfest.org. If you have any trouble using the ticketing system or technical issues with your screenings, please visit watch.blackstarfest.org/help. LIVE ONLINE EVENTS: Online events, such as the The Daily Jawn morning show, as well as all panels and conversations, do not require registration — with the exception of the BlackStar Pitch (details about this event follows). These events will be streamed for free from BlackStar’s Facebook page and on our festival platform at watch. blackstarfest.org. Check the website for more information: blackstarfest.org/schedule.

BLACKSTAR PITCH: The BlackStar Pitch Session on August 3, 2021 is a special event for invited guests and pass holders. A private URL will be made available to registered attendees only, and limited to festival pass holders, BlackStar members, and industry guests. IN-PERSON EVENTS: In addition to the digital screenings, there will be a slate of in-person events in Philadelphia this year, all held outdoors. These include a free opening night party at Bartram’s Garden, free weekend yoga at Drexel Square, a free closing night party at Cira Green, and free nightly screenings at Eakins Oval, in front of the Philadelphia Museum of Art, from August 4—7. BLACKSTAR @ THE MANN: On the final day of the festival, August 8, 2021, we’ll be hosting a full day of in-person outdoor screenings at the Mann Center for Performing Arts in Philadelphia, in the TD Pavilion. An All-Access pass or BlackStar @ the Mann pass is required for admission.

Visit blackstarfest.org for the latest information about all of our in-person events.

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2021 BlackStar Film Festival


PHILADELPHIA CONTEMPOR ARY

PROUD TO BE THE BROADCAST HOME OF BLACKSTAR FILMS

LANDFALL July 12

IS PROUD TO SUPPORT THE 10TH ANNUAL

blackstar film festival

STATELESS July 19

THE VIBRANCE YOU BRING TO PHILADELPHIA AND BEYOND INSPIRES US ALL. HERE’S TO ANOTHER DECADE OF SHINING ON.

PIER KIDS August 2 Philadelphia Contemporary presents cross-disciplinary art across Philadelphia, through a dynamic and sustainable model of collaboration and partnership. Join us for Water Marks, a public sculpture project presented in partnership with the Delaware River Waterfront Corporation. Now on view, at Race Street Pier, Tracey Emin's A Moment Without You. philadelphiacontemporary philacontemporary phlcontemporary

UNAPOLOGETIC December 27

DOCUMENTARIES WITH A POINT OF VIEW

PHILADELPHIACONTEMPORARY.ORG

WATCH ON pbs.org/pov @povdocs


Congratulations to BlackStar for ten years of celebrating and uplifting visionary Black, Brown, and Indigenous artists!

Bread & Roses Community Fund is the leading funder of racial, social, and economic justice in the Philadelphia region.

www.breadrosesfund.org @breadrosesfund

MORE IDEAS MORE VOICES MORE STORIES MORE ACCESS

SEPTEMBER 19TH - 24TH , 2021 CONFERENCE TICKETS ON SALE IN AUGUST thegotham.org


Partners PRODUCING

COMMUNITY

PITCH

Lead Sponsor

blackstarfest.org • #BSFF21

101


Sponsors LEAD

GOLD

SILVER

BRONZE

102

2021 BlackStar Film Festival


BRASS

CMYK: 17, 88, 100, 6 / RGB: 196, 55, 44 / PMS 7598

MEDIA


WATC H N OW

THE TREES REMEMBER

is proud to support the BlackStar Film Festival Watch the latest release from REI Co-op Studios, “The Trees Remember,” a short film series directed by Angela Tucker that explores the ways the outdoors connects us through generations.


PASSERINE is an independent creative agency and production company crafting culturally resonant stories that power the connection between our partners and the people. W W W. PA S S E R I N E .U S