2022 BlackStar Film Festival Program Guide

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Who tells the story makes the difference It takes skill, vision, imagination, and dedication to make films that move the heart and soul. The BlackStar Philadelphia Filmmaker Lab presented by Xfinity created space for the inaugural class of talented filmmakers to bring their vibrant stories to life on film. We congratulate Bettina Escauriza for Tonight, We Eat Flowers; Jasmine Lynea for The Love Machine; Julian Turner for The Big Three; and Xenia Matthew for Ourika! for their outstanding work. Watch their films at the BlackStar Film Festival and on the Black Experience on Xfinity channel. To see their movies and much more, just say “Black Experience” into your Xfinity Voice Remote.

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2022 BlackStar Film Festival


About Us 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, podcast, a journal of visual culture, and this annual film festival.

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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 dialogue 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/about.

Our Funders BlackStar Projects and its year-round programs are generously supported by Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts, Critical Minded, Ford Foundation/JustFilms, Forman Arts Initiative, Gucci Changemakers Fund, Independence Public Media Foundation, John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation, John S. and James L. Knight Foundation, Jordan Black Community Commitment Fund, Mellon Foundation, Mighty Arrow Family Foundation, Nathan Cummings Foundation, National Endowment for the Arts, Perspective Fund, Pew Center for Arts and Heritage, Philadelphia Cultural Treasures, Philadelphia Foundation, Pop Culture Collaborative, Ruth Foundation for the Arts, Samuel S. Fels Fund, Surdna Foundation, Wallace Foundation, William Penn Foundation, and Wyncote Foundation, in addition to its board of directors, community partners, and a host of generous individual donors, businesses, and organizations. blackstarfest.org • #BSFF22

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Table Of Contents WHO WE ARE 5 8 10 11 12 17

About Us Welcome Letter Staff Board Program Committees Jurors

PROGRAM 21 28 34 48 78 82 84 86 88

BlackStar Pitch The Daily Jawn Feature Films Short Films Panels & Conversations Awards Filmmaker Index Country Index Film Title Index

ATTENDING THE FESTIVAL 90 92 94 96

In-person Schedule Virtual Schedule Philadelphia Filmmaker Lab Tickets & Admission

SUPPORT 99 101 103

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Membership Partners Sponsors 2022 BlackStar Film Festival


Counseling & Connection to Reclaim Your Voice and Vision Proud to support the BlackStar Film Festival!

FIND US ONLINE

www.TheResiliencyCenter.com TheResiliencyCenter ResiliencyCntr blackstarfest.org • #BSFF22 resiliencygatherings

FIND US IN FLOURTOWN, PA

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

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WELCOME Maybe it’s not easy for me to change the reality, but at least I was able to deliver [our] voice to the world. — Shireen Abu Akleh Welcome, family, to the 11th annual BlackStar Film Festival. Time has truly become incomprehensible, as we often say these days. It feels like BlackStar 2021 was days ago, but in reality, what a full year it has been — both for better and for worse. We always hope that our films and panels are a source of inspiration and education. But this year I wish more — I wish that they can be portals into other worlds, a temporary escape from the everyday and an opportunity for our collective imagination to envision a better way of being. I hope that our program can be a soothing balm. We are all experiencing general fatigue, enduring financial difficulties, and wondering how to wage struggle that is more collective and therefore powerful. BlackStar’s contribution is modest — it is an invitation to celebrate the storytelling, creativity, and grit of Black, Brown, and Indigenous makers. We hope you feel taken care of at our film festival, as our team strives to create a space where we can commune safely and feel radically welcomed.

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When we launched a virtual festival two years ago, we didn’t anticipate the visibility and reach that our “little festival that could” would achieve. Today, we gather with a global audience, both in person and virtually — the latter of which has become a crucial component of the festival. The virtual program makes BlackStar accessible to audiences and filmmakers who otherwise cannot make it to Philadelphia. This reality also prompted us to think more holistically about accessibility, to live up to our goals by being intentional about inclusion and create space for all of our community. Centering access is an incremental process and one that we hope to continue to grow and learn from in the coming years. This year, we expanded our program committees and invited programmers from around the world. Over the course of four months, this powerhouse group attentively watched hundreds of films, thought and wrote about them, and discussed them. Our deliberations were long yet fruitful collaborations; it was a challenge that everybody involved met with generosity, curiosity, and grace. It was also a difficult process, with another recordbreaking year for submissions — over 1,200. Every film is worthy of being seen and discussed, worthy of being shared; yet, we are bound by the reality of time and the limitations it poses on a five-day festival. We returned again and again to the idea

2022 BlackStar Film Festival


of joy and how to center it in our programming. So, even with the heavier-subject films, we hope you can still find that joy. A warm thank-you goes to all of our screening interns first — you are all phenomenal. And, of course, special gratitude to the members of our five program committees. I have great respect for every one of you: Alia Ayman, Arjun Shankar, Ben-Alex Dupris, Chloë Walters-Wallace, David Hernandez Palmar, Dessane Lopez Cassell, Eugene Haynes, Heitor Augusto, Jemma Desai, Joan Legalamitlwa, Kim Brundidge, Marcellus Armstrong, Melissa Bisagni, Siku Allooloo, Tina Morton, Tshay Williams, and Tzutzumatzin Soto. I’m proud of what we’ve accomplished together. Internally, the BlackStar Projects team is also growing — a loving BlackStar shout-out to Cienna Benn, Mariam Dembele, and Pablo Alarcon, Jr., for hitting the ground running with festival 2022! Thank you to our business manager, Autumn F. Valdez, for keeping the finances in line while deftly bringing the comedy! Patrice Worthy, thank you for running operations (aka running offense). Thank you to Leo Brooks for designing the visual identity of the festival — which you can see in all of our festival merchandise and materials, including this program guide. Love and appreciation to eagle-eyed Shauna Swartz for proofreading this guide. To Farrah Rahaman, the royalty of panels, and Lendl Tellington, tech director extraordinaire — thank you both for your dedication, your care, and your patience. Of course, none of this would be possible without the festival staff, who bring the vibes, the fun, and the order to our festivities — a gorgeous bunch of folks. I extend deepest love to my wonderful colleagues Sara Zia Ebrahimi, chief operations officer, and Imran Siddiquee, chief communications officer. Their persistence makes the festival and all of BlackStar’s programs possible, and though they work tirelessly, Sara Zia and Imran maintain a calming and encouraging presence. My undying gratitude and deep love

blackstarfest.org • #BSFF22

for Sydney Alicia Rodriguez, BlackStar’s program associate—a most wonderful colleague, work spouse, and festival-planning comrade who works with me diligently on every detail of the festival. Sydney, you are a powerhouse, and words will not express the full appreciation that I have for your commitment to this work. And finally, the deepest gratitude to my sister-friend-boss Maori Karmael Holmes, a most generous human whose guidance, vision, and support are an eternal gift. I continue to learn so much from Maori about building community, creating new spaces, acting from a place of abundance, and more. Working alongside you all is the prize. Finally, I would be remiss if I didn’t mention Shireen Abu Akleh, the prolific Palestinian journalist who defied journalism’s expectations of objectivity in order to more truthfully tell the story of her people. Shireen was assassinated by the Israeli military on May 11, 2022, in Jenin Refugee Camp while she was working. Nobody has been held accountable for her murder. I bring up Shireen’s name in honor of storytellers everywhere who are silenced for speaking the truth, and for all people who are demanding a more just world. With all of these different sentiments, I say again, welcome to the 11th Annual BlackStar Film Festival, family. We are always blessed to be back and to have you in our presence. We hope that you enjoy the 2022 edition. Warmly,

Nehad Khader Festival Director June 2022 Edinburgh, Scotland

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STAFF BlackStar Projects Staff

Maori Karmael Holmes CEO & Artistic Director

Dennis Nelson, Jr. Onsite Coordinator

Mariam Dembele Marketing Associate

Eugene Haynes Industry Liaison & House Manager

Akili Davis Administrative Coordinator

Nehad Khader Festival Director

ashley ijoema omoma Program Coordinator

Pablo Alarcon, Jr. Design Associate

Autumn Faith Valdez Business Manager

Patrice Worthy Operations Director & Development Manager

Brandon Anaya Summer Fellow Cienna Benn Program Fellow Dave “lil’ dave” Adams Music in Cinema Fellow Dessane Lopez Cassell Editor-in-Chief, Seen Farrah Rahaman Curatorial & Research Fellow Hope Steinman-Iacullo Executive Coordinator Imran Siddiquee Chief Communications Officer Jess Garz Development Consultant Lendl Tellington Technical Director Leo Brooks Design Manager

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Isabel Rieser Festival Office Coordinator Jenné Afiya Matthews Virtual Festival Coordinator Jo Brown Accessibility Coordinator

Sara Zia Ebrahimi Chief Operations Officer

Katy Bagli The Daily Jawn Producer

Sydney Alicia Rodriguez Program Associate

Kerrin Lyons Volunteer Coordinator

Festival Staff Aidan Un Videographer & Editor Amber Hunnicutt Onsite Producer Animah Danquah Social Media Coordinator Antoinette Stewart Box Office Coordinator Asha Haki-Tyler Hospitality Coordinator Daniel Jackson Photographer & Editor

Koyuki Yip Merchandise Coordinator Lorina Morton Web Manager Marla Harris Social Media Moderator Medha Ghosh Pitch Coordinator Michael Moody Box Office Coordinator Mochi Robinson Photographer Sabrina Stewart Merchandise Coordinator Sandra Bowser Childcare Provider

2022 BlackStar Film Festival


BOARD Shanti Mayers Festival Bazaar Curator

Creative Team

Shauna Swartz Print Traffic Manager

2022 Identity Design Leo Brooks

Shaquan Battle Videographer

Pre-Roll Animator The Unloved

Stephanie Malson Box Office & Merchandise Manager

Production Partners All Ages Productions PASSERINE

Tamira Moore Festival Office Coordinator Taylor Lamb Press Coordinator Yasmine Carruthers Special Events Producer

Business Team Accounting Services Firm Sutro Li Legal Counsel Anjali Kumar Media Relations Cultural Counsel

Accessibility Committee Andraéa LaVant Thomas Reid Wit Lopez

Board of Directors Denise C. Beek Chief Communications Officer, ‘me too.’ International Co-Chair Sekou Campbell Partner, Culhane Meadows PLLC Co-Chair Amanda Branson Gill Co-Founder, Kilo Films Treasurer Tayyib Smith Principal, Little Giant, Smith & Roller, Pipeline Philly Secretary Eric Bai Strategic Partnerships Manager, Airwallex Jamila Farwell Director of Documentary Series, Netflix Maori Karmael Holmes Artistic Director & CEO, BlackStar Sunanda Ghosh Nonprofit Strategy Consultant Ted Passon President, All Ages Productions

blackstarfest.org • #BSFF22

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PROGRAM COMMITTEES EXPERIMENTAL

Alia Ayman, chair

Alia Ayman is the co-founder of the Cairo-based Zawya Cinema and an independent film and moving image curator who has worked with Berlinale Forum, the International Documentary Film Festival Amsterdam (IDFA), BlackStar Film Festival, and Flaherty NYC, among others. She lives and works between Cairo, New York, and Philadelphia.

David Hernandez Palmar David Hernandez Palmar is a curator of Latin American and Caribbean film specializing in Indigenous film, director of the Indigenous Audiovisual Foundation Wayaakua, curator and programmer of the Wayuu Film and Video Showcase, curator and programmer of the International Indigenous Film Showcase of Venezuela, political advisor for Latin American Coordinator of Cinema and Communication of Indigenous Peoples, former advisor for special selection NATIVe of the Berlinale International Film Festival, member of the Indigenous Media and Communication Caucus, and member of the Programmers of Colour Collective. You can find David on Twitter: @davidhpalmar.

FEATURE DOCUMENTARY

Arjun Shankar

Arjun is an anthropologist, pedagogue, and media maker. He is concerned with the politics of help and its role in upholding systems of racial capitalism. In Brown Saviors and Their Others, he shows how colonial, racial, caste, and class formations undergird how NGO work is done in India today. Second, he is a visual anthropologist and ethnographic filmmaker who develops decolonial, participatory visual methodologies that challenge the representation of “impoverished” and “suffering” Third World children.

Joan Legalamitlwa, chair Joan Legalamitlwa is a film and visual arts curator from South Africa. She has a BA in cultural and literary studies from the University of Cape Town. Legalamitlwa has curated various film programs, festivals, and events in South Africa, Portugal, Brazil, and Germany. She has served on film festival juries in South Africa, the Netherlands, and Germany. In the visual arts space, Legalamitlwa has curated and produced several exhibitions, art programs, and publications in South Africa.

Dessane Lopez Cassell

Melissa Bisagni

Dessane Lopez Cassell is an editor, writer, and curator based in New York. Her work focuses on moving image and visual art concerned with race, gender, and decoloniality. Cassell has been on the festival’s programming team since 2018 and is editor-in-chief of Seen, BlackStar’s journal of film and visual culture.

Melissa Bisagni is the festival director of the D.C. Asian Pacific American Film Festival. She serves on the board for the D.C. Shorts Film Festival and is a Ward 5 PAVE Parent Leader in Education board member. Melissa is a museum specialist at the Smithsonian’s National Museum of the American Indian (NMAI) in the Department of Museum Learning and Programs, where she focuses on training staff in cultural competency, museum

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2022 BlackStar Film Festival


access, and institutional knowledge transfer. Previous to her current role, she served for 15 years as NMAI’s film and video program manager.

FEATURE NARRATIVE

Benjamin Alex Dupris

Ben-Alex Dupris is Mnicoujou Lakota and an enrolled member of the Colville Confederated Tribes in Washington state. He directed Sweetheart Dancers (Showtime), Bunky EchoHawk: the Resistance with American Masters PBS and Firelight Media, and the short animation Sister Wolves. His film commission for the Smithsonian AIB Futures exhibit, Nuwu Means the People, will run until July 2022 in partnership with the Alliance for Media Arts + Culture.

Jemma Desai, chair Jemma Desai is based in London. Her practice engages with film programming through research, writing, and performance.

Kim Brundidge Kim Brundidge has been in the Atlanta theater community for several years as a playwright, director, dramaturge, and producer. Her work has been workshopped and performed at Actor’s Express, Horizon Theater, Push Push Theater, Theatre in the Square (Marietta), Philly Fringe Festival, and Clark Atlanta University. She won prizes at the Georgia Theatre Conference, University of Louisville’s Juneteenth Festival, and the National Black Theater Conference. Her short plays have been performed in various writer’s conferences and festivals, and her monologue, I am not a black woman, is published in New Monologues for Women by Women, edited by Tori Haring-Smith (Heinemann, 2004). Brundidge has been a member of the Dramatists Guild, the Playwrights Center, and on the board of Working Title Playwrights. She has been a teaching artist for the Alliance Theater, Horizon Theatre, and the Fox Theatre Educational outreach programs.

blackstarfest.org • #BSFF22

SHORT DOCUMENTARY

Chloë Walters-Wallace

Chloë Walters-Wallace is the director of regional initiatives at Firelight Media, where she oversees the Groundwork Regional Lab and the new HOMEGROWN nonfiction shorts slate, both supporting filmmakers of color in the South, Midwest, and U.S. Territories.

Heitor Augusto, chair Heitor Augusto works as a film curator, researcher, and lecturer. He has served as a guest curator or member of the programming team for festivals, retrospectives, film series, and community screenings, both in Brazil and abroad, over the past 14 years. He is currently the head programmer for NICHO 54, an institute working for racial equity in the Brazilian film industry, as well as reshaping the collective imaginary.

Tina Morton Tina Morton is a media activist, video oral historian, and an associate professor of film at Howard University. Deeply committed to facilitating members of community groups in telling their own stories in their own voice, she has taught various organizations from Dakar to Philadelphia how to use media for social activism. Her award-winning works focus on documenting the oral histories of families and underrepresented communities and have screened internationally. A sample of her work includes Severed Souls (2001), Belly of the Basin (2008), When We Came Up Here (2016), Build Your Own Door (2018), and most recently, Passtown School: Past, Present, and Future (2022). Morton has received prestigious residencies and grants, including a Pew Fellowship in the Arts grant, the Leighton Artists’ Colony residency from the Banff Centre (Calgary, Canada), 18th Street Artist Residency in Santa Monica, and a Leeway Transformation Award.

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Tzutzumatzin Soto Tzutzumatzin Soto is an activist for the preservation and public access to audiovisual archives in Mexico. Since 2012 she is in charge of videographic and iconographic collections at Cineteca Nacional de Mexico. In 2019 she funded Archivo Mixtli, an audiovisual community archive in Xochimilco, México City. As a programmer she collaborates with initiatives that program renegade archive material and new films of found footage (Ambulante Documentary Festival, Reencuentros al Margen, and the Experiences Archive Group).

SHORT NARRATIVE

Eugene Haynes

Eugene Haynes has experience as a film producer, film festival arts administrator, film acquisitions/ distribution executive, marketing specialist, public speaker, and educator. Early in his career, he was an associate producer for the nationally syndicated TV show Entertainment Tonight in New York City. As the director of production and acquisition at USA Films, he evaluated script packages and completed films for acquisitions. He also served as the executive producer on The Adventures of Teddy P. Brains, an award-winning featurelength animation film for children. As a festival arts administrator, Eugene has experience as the artistic director for the Jamerican International Film and Music Festival created by artist/activist Sheryl Lee Ralph held in Montego Bay, Jamaica. He is currently a project consultant for The Greener Grass, an animated adult comedy series within an insect universe based on the history and culture of the Philadelphia area.

Marcellus Armstrong Marcellus is an interdisciplinary media maker, media programmer, and educator. He is invested in archives of Blackness, queerness, and their relationship to materials. Marcellus received his MFA in fiber and material studies from Cranbrook Academy of Art in 2017. His work has been

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exhibited both nationally and internationally, developing community-based projects with the Detroit Symphony Orchestra and Red Bull House of Art Detroit, and he has been featured in the online publications of Arts.Black and Vice’s the Creator’s Project.

Siku Allooloo, chair Siku Allooloo is an Inuk/Haitian/Taíno artist, writer, filmmaker, and community builder from Denendeh (northern Canada). She is a programmer with Available Light Film Festival (2021, 2022), imagineNATIVE Film + Media Arts Festival (2021), and BlackStar Film Festival (2022). Rooted in her Inuit, Haitian/Taíno and Dene homelands, Siku is well-regarded as a leader in Indigenous resurgence working across the arts, cultural landbased education, and decolonial advocacy. She is honored to join the team for BSFF22.

Tshay Williams Tshay creates intimate portraits of her loved ones to insist on the humanity of Black people. Through film and photography she creates openings for the full range of our humanity to be expressed: grief, fear, delight, and sensuality exist in delicate harmony. Her work calls upon a rigorous practice of writing, sketching, playing, and conversing to ignite her capacity to regard life for what it is: a strange and stunning miracle.

BLACKSTAR PITCH REVIEW COMMITTEE Amanda Branson Gill, Kilo Films Felix Endara, Filmmaker and consultant Gerry Leonard, Director of Filmmaker Services and Impact, Working Films Lamonia Brown, Warner Bros. Discovery Luisa Dantas, Filmmaker, JoLu Productions Tshay Williams, Filmmaker

2022 BlackStar Film Festival


The Urban Affairs Coalition is Proud to Support the

BLACKSTAR FILM FESTIVAL

The Urban Affairs Coalition is home to 80+ nonprofits and community initiatives that work to improve the quality of life in the Greater Philadelphia region @UACoalition

blackstarfest.org • #BSFF22

LEARN MORE AT UAC.ORG

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CONGRATULATIONS to the #FirelightFamily screening films at BlackStar Film Festival 2022!

Byron Hurt Hazel Gurland-Pooler Jasmin Mara López Kevin Shaw Nadia Shihab

firelightmedia.tv

ITS TIME

To Get

Watch "Reclaiming The Earth"

@CultureStrike

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2022 BlackStar Film Festival


JURORS Experimental Asinnajaq Visual Artist, Filmmaker, and Writer

Feature Short Narrative Fiction Narrative Fiction

Christopher Harris F. Wendell Miller Associate Professor and Head of Film and Video Production, Department of Cinematic Arts, University of Iowa

Kamilah Forbes Executive Producer, The Apollo Theater

Jason Reynolds Author & National Ambassador for Young People’s Literature

Reveca Torres Co-director of ReelAbilities Film Festival Chicago

Naomi Johnson Executive Director, ImagiNATIVE Film Festival

Feature Documentary

Short Documentary

Janaína Oliveira Film Scholar and Programmer

Asad Muhammad Vice President of Impact and Engagement Strategy, POV

Louis Massiah Filmmaker & Executive Director, Scribe Video Center Theresa Hill Acquisitions Manager, AfriDocs AnyTime

blackstarfest.org • #BSFF22

D’Lo Actor, Writer, and Comedian Dagmawi Woubshet Ahuja Family Presidential Associate Professor of English, University of Pennsylvania Lynnée Denise Artist, Scholar, and Writer

Errin Haines Journalist, Founding Mother, & Editor at Large for The 19th Michelle Ortiz Visual artist, Muralist, Community Arts Educator, and Filmmaker

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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

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2022 BlackStar Film Festival


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 over a 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 filmmakers 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 Alicia Rodriguez

COPY EDITOR Shauna Swartz

blackstarfest.org • #BSFF22

FESTIVAL IDENTITY & LAYOUT Leo Brooks

PRINTING Point B Solutions

© BlackStar Projects, Philadelphia 1901 South 9th Street, Suite 414 Philadelphia, PA 19148 267.603.2755 star@blackstarfest.org www.blackstarfest.org Printed in Minneapolis

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2022 BlackStar Film Festival


BlackStar Pitch Warner Bros. Discovery presents the 4th annual BlackStar Pitch on Wednesday, August 3, 12-2pm ET. The Pitch is designed to connect new voices in the independent film community with industry professionals. 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 receive an artist grant from OneFifty, a Warner Bros. Discovery brand. The grant will assist the filmmaking team in completing their pitch materials, and the OneFifty team will provide consultancy and general guidance on moving the film towards completion. This includes giving formal feedback and notes at the rough and fine cut stages and developing a plan to pitch the completed short. A second-place winner will receive an invitation to be a part of IF/Then Shorts’ FINISH LINE program. IF/Then Shorts will be available to the filmmaking

team as consulting producers on distribution and exhibition opportunities, as well as for general guidance on moving the film towards completion. This includes giving formal feedback and notes at the rough and fine cut stages and developing a distribution plan for the completed short. The BlackStar Pitch will showcase a group of eight filmmakers who will be selected by applications following an open call. The filmmakers will pitch their works-in-progress to a distinguished panel of funders, executives, distributors, and producers. The eight 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. Each pitch will last seven minutes (including video reel), followed by eight minutes of constructive feedback. The panelists will choose the best pitch, to be announced during the Filmmaker Brunch & Awards on August 6.

The 2022 BlackStar Pitch is presented by Warner Bros. Discovery with additional support from IF/Then Shorts. blackstarfest.org • #BSFF22

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HOST:

Denise Beek Denise Beek is a Caribbean-American writer, performer, improv artist, and communications strategist who has worked with arts, culture, and social justice organizations for over a decade. She currently serves as board co-chair of BlackStar Projects. Denise is also chief communications officer for me too. International, where she develops content and strategies that center survivors and shift the narrative around sexual violence. Denise’s passion for gender equity and racial justice fuels all of her artistic, cultural, and community work, such as writing sketch comedy and live shows. She has also performed and worked with productions like Philly Improv Theater, BlackStar Live!, and The Daily Jawn.

2021 PITCH PANELISTS:

Alex Hannibal, CNN Films 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.

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Andrew Catauro, Perspective Fund Andrew Catauro is a program officer at Perspective Fund. The organization currently offers grant support to nonfiction film projects and the documentary field, in recognition of the many ways these practices can fit into the larger landscape of cultural and narrative strategies for positive social change. Through Perspective’s Direct Film Support program, a primary focus of Andrew’s work is helping to guide the development of strategy and fundraising for impact campaigns — during any stage of production — while also accounting for the realities of film financing, and the immediacy of shooting and editing schedules for supported filmmakers. Prior to joining Perspective, Andrew worked as manager of the JustFilms program at the Ford Foundation, overseeing proposals and deliverables for independent filmmakers and media organizations. Andrew also previously served as series producer of the primetime PBS documentary showcase POV, coordinating programming and production workflows for the series.

Caitlin Mae Burke, IF/Then Shorts Caitlin Mae Burke is the co-director of IF/Then Shorts at Field of Vision, through which she’s overseen the story development, production, and distribution of over 70 short documentaries. She’s an Emmy-winning producer and inaugural inductee into DOC NYC’s 40 Under 40 and alumna of Berlinale Talents, and her film and television producing output has been broadcast worldwide and screened in movie theaters internationally. Notable recent works include Robin Frohardt’s The Plastic Bag Store (Time Square Arts/Pomegranate Arts), which premiered at CAP UCLA and is currently touring internationally; the Gotham Award-winning Fourteen (dir. Dan Sallitt, Berlinale

2022 BlackStar Film Festival


2019); and Anbessa (dir. Mo Scarpelli, Berlinale 2019, SIMA Award for Best Cinematography.) She produced the documentary features Nuts! (dir. Penny Lane, Sundance 2016), which won a Special Jury Prize at Sundance and was nominated for Cinema Eye Honors and a Critic’s Choice Award, and Obit (dir. Vanessa Gould, Tribeca 2016), one of Entertainment Weekly’s “Ten Best Movies of 2017.” Other acclaimed productions include Feast of the Epiphany (dirs. Michael Koresky, Jeff Reichert, and Farihah Zaman), Film Comment’s “Best Unreleased Films 2018;” We Could Be King (dir. Judd Ehrlich, Tribeca 2014), winner of a Grand Clio and Sports Emmy for Outstanding Sports Documentary; and co-producer on Approaching the Elephant (dir. Amanda Rose Wilder, True/False 2014), a nominee at the Gotham Awards, Cinema Eye Honors, and Independent Spirit Awards. Caitlin is a voting member of the Television Academy (Documentary Programming Branch) and the lead producer on the Webby-nominated podcast Other Men Need Help.

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 with San Francisco International Asian American Film Festival, MoMA’s Documentary Fortnight, and the Flaherty Seminar.

Chloë Walters-Wallace, Firelight Media Chloë Walters-Wallace is the director of Regional Initiatives at Firelight Media, where she leads the Groundwork Regional Lab and the new HOMEGROWN nonfiction shorts slate, both programs supporting filmmakers of color in the South, Midwest, and U.S. Territories.

blackstarfest.org • #BSFF22

Erika Dilday, POV Erika Dilday, a producer, journalist, and media executive, is the executive director of American Documentary Inc. and executive producer of its award-winning documentary series POV on PBS and America ReFramed on WORLD Channel. Most recently, she was the CEO of Futuro Media Group, a multimedia organization that gives a critical voice to the diversity of the American experience through award-winning journalistic content for and about BIPOC. Prior to Futuro Media, she was the executive director of Maysles Documentary Center, where she oversaw community cinema and filmmaking programs and produced the acclaimed documentary In Transit. Erika also held strategic planning and financial management roles at The New York Times, National Geographic Television, and CBS. She is a graduate of Harvard College, the Columbia School of Journalism, and Columbia Business School. In 2020 she was a Knight Nieman fellow at Harvard University, where she authored a piece for the Nieman Reports on authentic journalism in communities of color. Erika is a 2016 recipient of the Columbia Journalism School Alumni Award and a 2017 National Arts Strategies Chief Executive Fellow. Her latest film projects include Civil War with Rachel Boynton and Meanwhile with Catherine Gund.

Lamonia Deanne Brown, Warner Bros. Discovery Lamonia Deanne Brown leads content strategy for the Warner Bros. Discovery brand OneFifty (onefifty.com), where she also manages a slate of 22 projects spanning feature films, TV pilots, podcasts, and animation from a wide variety of creative teams and strategizes innovative opportunities to amplify the OneFifty content. She also works on the film festival sponsorship team, partnering Warner Bros. Discovery brands with over 50 identity-based festivals each year through the Corporate Social Responsibility department. Brown worked as the head of programming,

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outreach, and brand partnerships at the American Black Film Festival (ABFF). During her time there, in addition to programming and producing the festival, she created several pipeline initiatives and unique methods to amplify and elevate the company’s public profile. Prior to ABFF she spent eight years at New York Women in Film & Television as the director of programming and events, while continuing to work with independent filmmakers on various projects. She is currently in preproduction on two projects, an unscripted lifestyle series and a scripted dramatic thriller. Hailing from Williamsburg, Brooklyn, where she grew up and still lives, Brown holds firm to the belief that all storytellers must be heard to create the paradigm shift necessary to bring about true equity within all media — and the entire world.

Raeshem Nijhon, Culture House

Sonya Childress, Color Congress Sonya Childress co-directs the Color Congress, a new national collective of majority POC-led and -serving organizations with programming aimed at centering and strengthening nonfiction storytelling by, for, and about people of color. She spent 20 years as an impact producer at Firelight Media and Active Voice and served most recently as senior fellow with the Perspective Fund. Sonya is a board member of the Center for Cultural Power, a member of the Documentary Accountability Working Group and Brown Girls Doc Mafia, and was an inaugural Rockwood JustFilms Fellow.

As founder and executive producer of Culture House, Raeshem develops and produces film, television, and events at the intersection of pop culture and politics. Culture House is committed to a deeply diverse “content supply chain” that centers the connection between those creating the work and the work itself. Select current projects include a doc series about race and gender through the lens of women in hip hop for Netflix with dream hampton, Troy Carter, MC Lyte, and Universal Music Group; a doc series about Gen Z art and activism for Disney+ with Brie Larson; and The Hair Tales, a doc series about Black hair and beauty with executive producers Oprah Winfrey and Tracee Ellis Ross.

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2022 BlackStar Film Festival


Coco Fusco


CONFERENCE TICKETS ON SALE IN AUGUST SEPTEMBER 17th — 23rd, 2022 @thegotham

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@weare_thegotham

thegotham.org

2022 BlackStar Film Festival


ACCESS THE ARTS

For $75, Individuals with disabilities can purchase an ACCESS Card directly from Art-Reach that allows them to receive $2 admission to over 60 museums, gardens, theaters and cultural sites throughout Greater Philadelphia & Northern Delaware.

Learn how to get your ACCESS Card at Art-Reach.org

blackstarfest.org • #BSFF22

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August 3 –7 7:00 – 8:00pm ET The Prince Theater Penn Live Arts at Annenberg Center Livestreaming on watch.blackstarfest.org and YouTube

The Daily Jawn is a live evening program hosted by BlackStar’s founder, Maori Karmael Holmes, with trusty sidekick filmmakerartist Rashid Zakat as DJ and rabble rouser and Luke Carlos O’Reilly as bandleader. This is an evening show like, well, most — but make it BlackStar. The show features interviews with filmmakers and panelists participating in the festival, musical guests, games, insightful social critique, and much more. It is presented by MediaJustice, PBS, and Urban Outfitters. The Daily Jawn will livestream on YouTube as well as our watch platform.

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2022 BlackStar Film Festival


Rashid Zakat

Maori Karmael Holmes Maori is a curator, filmmaker, and writer. She founded BlackStar in 2012 and serves as its CEO and artistic director. 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. She has also directed and produced works for Colorlines.com, Visit Philadelphia, India.Arie, and Mike Africa, Jr. Her writing has most recently appeared in Seen, Documentary Magazine, The Believer, Film Quarterly, 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. She is a founding member of Lalibela Baltimore and is a member of Brown Girls Doc Mafia, the Community Board, and Programmers of Colour Collective. Maori was a 2019-2020 Soros Equality Fellow and recently announced as one of the Kennedy Center’s #Next50 List. She serves as mediamaker-in-residence at the Annenberg School for Communication at University of Pennsylvania, curator-at-large at Penn Live Arts/Annenberg Center, and host of BlackStar’s signature podcast, Many Lumens.

Rashid Zakat is a professional filmmaker and video 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. In his 20-year career as a director and cinematographer, he has made nonfiction, experimental films, and music videos for India.Arie, Carmelo Anthony, Black Thought, the Philadelphia Museum of Art, BlackStar Film Festival, Soul Train, Topic, WHYY, Philadelphia Contemporary, Mural Arts, 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.

Luke Carlos O’Reilly Luke Carlos O’Reilly has always had a passion for music. Whether it be jazz, soul, R&B, gospel, Latin jazz, classical, or any other genre, Luke was drawn to good music at an early age. When he was 4 years old, he and his mother started taking group piano lessons together. By age 10 he had begun to study the saxophone as well. It was the introduction of Oscar Peterson’s music at the age of 14 that steered Luke in the direction of jazz. Until then, Ray Charles, Stevie Wonder, James Brown, Otis Redding, and Earth, Wind and Fire had been his heaviest influences. Through years of practicing and support from his family, Luke became well known on the music scene in the Boston area, where he spent most of his childhood. Before the age of 17, through his high school’s music program, Luke had been given the opportunity to play with Clark Terry, Joshua Redman, Walter Blanding, and Steve Turre, as well as to play on a 15-day tour in Europe. He also took part in several international music festivals at Berklee, IAJE, and University of New Hampshire, as well as participating in alldistrict and all-state competition bands.

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THE DAILY JAWN TEAM A Co-production of All Ages Productions BlackStar Projects Executive Producer Maori Karmael Holmes Ted Passon Dave Dunn

Hair Stylist for Ms. Holmes Angelyn Mapp Makeup Artist for Ms. Holmes Meredith Marshall Production Assistant Nile Shareef-Trudeau

Streaming Producer StreamByte TV

Teleprompter Frank Spadafora

Managing Producer Katy Bagli

Identity Design Leo Brooks Pablo Alarcon Jr.

Producer James Doolitte Denise Beek Floor Director Desmond Thorne Lead Writer Denise Beek Writer Rashid Zakat House DJ Rashid Zakat Musical Director Luke Carlos O'Reilly

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Production Designer Debora Charmelus Product Sponsors Feast Kamperett Mara Hoffman NorBlack NorWhite The Sable Collective Stine Goya Support Provided by Media Justice PBS Urban Outfitters Talent Producer Nehad Khader Sydney Rodriguez

2022 BlackStar Film Festival


DREXEL.EDU/ WESTPHAL

PROUD SUPPORTER OF THE 2022 BLACKSTAR FILM FESTIVAL

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VISIT OUR TABLE DURING THE FESTIVAL TO LEARN MORE ABOUT WORKING WITH UO URBN.COM/WORK-WITH-US

Restaurant & Lounge | Opens 7am daily Chestnut & 33rd Street | 215.398.1874 | www.coopphilly.com

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2022 BlackStar Film Festival


THE OPEN SOCIETY FOUNDATIONS ARE A PROUD SPONSOR OF THE 2022 BLACKSTAR FILM FESTIVAL

blackstarfest.org • #BSFF22

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FEATURE

FILMS

All virtual screenings will be released and available on a timed schedule. Individual ticket holders and pass holders can unlock a film screening within 48 hours of its release, and they have 24 hours to finish watching from the moment they hit play.

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The African Desperate

Aftershock

Feature Narrative United States, 2022, 99 min. Philadelphia Premiere

Feature Documentary United States, 2022, 87 min. Philadelphia Premiere Presented by Gotham Film & Media Institute

NOMINATED FOR BEST FEATURE NARRATIVE The African Desperate follows Palace Bryant on one very long day in 2017 that starts with her MFA graduation in upstate New York and ends at a Chicago Blue Line station. Directed by: Martine Syms Virtual screening: Friday, August 5 at 12pm EDT In-person screening: Friday, August 5 at 11am EDT at Penn Live Arts — Zellerbach Theater *Film includes flashing lights and/or disorienting images from 01:00:00 to 01:03:00. Some sexual content.

blackstarfest.org • #BSFF22

Following the preventable deaths of their loved ones due to childbirth complications, two families galvanize activists, birth-workers, and physicians to reckon with one of the most pressing American crises of our time: the U.S. maternal health crisis. Directed by: Paula Eiselt & Tonya Lewis Lee Virtual screening: Friday, August 5 at 4pm EDT In-person screening: Friday, August 5 at 3pm EDT at Penn Live Arts — Zellerbach Theater *Film features difficult themes about loss and grief.

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Ãjãí: the Headball Game of Blackalachia the Myky and Manoki (Ãjãí: o jogo de cabeça dos Myky e Manoki)

Experimental United States, 2021, 67 min. Philadelphia Premiere

Feature Narrative Brazil, 2019, 48 min. U.S. Premiere Portuguese with English subtitles Ãjãí is a fun game where only the players’ heads can touch the ball. This practice, shared by a few Indigenous people in the world, is present among the Myky and Manoki populations of Brazil, who speak a language of an isolated linguistic family. Myky people decided to film it for the first time.

Blackalachia is a film by Moses Sumney featuring a live conceptual performance with a seven-piece band atop the Blue Ridge Mountains. The hourlong immersive was shot outdoors in 2020 in the North Carolina Appalachians, capturing the intersection between nature, music, dance, and cinematography. Directed by: Moses Sumney Screening in-person only: Friday, August 5 at 7pm EDT at the Barnes Foundation. Access to the screening is free for all-access pass holders. All other attendees must purchase a ticket to First Friday! at the Barnes.

Directed by: Typju Myky & André Lopes Screening virtually only: Sunday, August 7 at 10am EDT *Film features animal slaughter for celebration/festival.

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2022 BlackStar Film Festival


Bonded (Bandhua)

Hazing

Feature Documentary India, 2022, 56 min. U.S. Premiere Hindi with English subtitles

Feature Documentary United States, 2022, 104 min. Philadelphia Premiere Presented by Firelight Media and ITVS

The film takes an ethnographic look into the life of a bonded laborer in a remote tribal village in central India.

Director Byron Hurt lifts the veil on a variety of underground hazing rituals that are abusive and sometimes deadly.

Directed by: Shobhit Jain

Directed by: Byron Hurt

Screening virtually only: Wednesday, August 3 at 4pm EDT

Virtual screening: Saturday, August 6 at 8pm EDT In-person screening: Saturday, August 6 at 8:30pm EDT at Penn Live Arts — Zellerbach Theater *Film features difficult themes and scenes about peer violence, loss, and grief.

blackstarfest.org • #BSFF22

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Jasmine Is a Star

Kash Kash

Feature Narrative United States, 2022, 58 min. East Coast Premiere

Feature Documentary Germany, Lebanon, Qatar, 2022, 90 min. North America Premiere Arabic with English subtitles

Jasmine Is a Star follows the journey of a determined 16-year-old with albinism (lack of pigment in the hair, skin, and eyes) who makes it her mission to become a professional model in her hometown of Minneapolis, while attempting to go unnoticed in every other aspect of her teenage life. Directed by: Jo Rochelle Virtual screening: Thursday, August 4 at 6pm EDT In-person screening: Thursday, August 4 at 5pm EDT at Penn Live Arts — Montgomery Theater

Above Beirut flies an unexpected bearer of hope: the pigeon game “Kash Hamam.” During the recent dystopian political collapse, we embark on a journey from roof to roof where we encounter three players and a young girl fighting to become one. Directed by: Lea Najjar Virtual screening: Saturday, August 6 at 6pm EDT In-person screening: Saturday, August 6 at 5pm EDT at Penn Live Arts — Montgomery Theater

*Audio description

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2022 BlackStar Film Festival


Let the Little Light Shine

Lingui, the Sacred Bonds

Feature Documentary United States, 2022, 86 min. Philadelphia Premiere Presented by Firelight Media, Gotham Film & Media Institute, ITVS, MediaJustice, and POV

Feature Narrative Chad, France, Germany, Belgium, 2021, 87 min. Chadian Arabic & French with English subtitles

When a thriving, top-ranked Chicago African American elementary school is threatened to be closed and replaced by a new high school that favors the community’s wealthier residents, the elementary school’s parents, students, and educators fight for the school’s survival. Directed by: Kevin Shaw Screening virtually only: Wednesday, August 3 at 2pm EDT

On the outskirts of the capital of Chad, determined single mother Amina works tirelessly to provide for herself and her 15-yearold daughter Maria. When Amina discovers Maria is pregnant and does not want a child, the two women begin to seek out an abortion, condemned by both religion and law. Directed by: Mahamat-Saleh Haroun Virtual screening: Available for the duration of the festival to BlackStar ticket and pass holders via MUBI. Instructions can be found at watch.blackstarfest.org. In-person screening: Wednesday, August 3 at 11am EDT at Penn Live Arts — Zellerbach Theater

blackstarfest.org • #BSFF22

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Lowndes County and the Road to Black Power Feature Documentary United States, 2022, 90 min. Philadelphia Premiere Through first-person accounts and searing archival footage, Lowndes County and the Road to Black Power tells the story of the local movement and young Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee organizers who fought not just for voting rights but for Black Power in Lowndes County, Alabama. Directed by: Geeta Gandbhir & Sam Pollard Virtual screening: Saturday, August 6 at 10am EDT In-person screening: Saturday, August 6 at 10am EDT at Penn Live Arts — Montgomery Theater

Mars One (Marte Um) Feature Narrative Brazil, 2022, 115 min. Philadelphia Premiere Portuguese with English subtitles

NOMINATED FOR BEST FEATURE NARRATIVE A Brazilian family copes with an uncertain future as a far-right conservative leader rises to power. Through this time of turbulent change, the family’s optimism and deep capacity for love guides them through. Directed by: Gabriel Martins Virtual screening: Saturday, August 6 at 8pm EDT In-person screening: Saturday, August 6 at 8:30pm EDT at Penn Live Arts — Zellerbach Theater

*Film includes flashing lights and/or disorienting images from 00:26:54 to 00:27:14.

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2022 BlackStar Film Festival


One Take Grace Feature Documentary South Africa, 2021, 91 min. North America Premiere English, Sepedi, & Isizulu with English subtitles

NOMINATED FOR BEST FEATURE DOCUMENTARY Eclectic cinematic portrait of 58-year-old Mothiba Grace Bapela, South African mother, grandmother, film and television actor, and former domestic worker for over 40 years. Narrating events from her extraordinary life, Bapela searches for a way to break out of the societal roles cast for her. Directed by: Lindiwe Matshikiza Virtual screening: Thursday, August 4 at 2pm EDT In-person screening: Thursday, August 4 at 3pm EDT at Penn Live Arts — Zellerbach Theater

The Passion of Remembrance Feature Narrative United Kingdom, 1986, 80 min. *In-person screening is free and open to the public. Shifting between real and mystic landscapes, Maureen Blackwood and Isaac Julien create a visual mosaic in The Passion of Remembrance to signify the complexity of the Black British experience and the often-overlooked intersections between race, class, gender, and sexuality. Directed by: Maureen Blackwood & Isaac Julien Virtual screening: Wednesday, August 3 at 10pm EDT In-person screening: Wednesday, August 3 at 2pm EDT at Penn Live Arts — Zellerbach Theater

*Film features discussion of sexual violence.

blackstarfest.org • #BSFF22

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Rewind & Play

Silent Beauty

Feature Documentary France, Germany, 2022, 65 min. U.S. Premiere English & French with English subtitles

Feature Narrative United States, Mexico, Malta, 2022, 87 min. East Coast Premiere Presented by Firelight Media, Gotham Film & Media Institute and ITVS

The machine is on the move, holds the microphone without listening, marvels without seeing, and makes as many stereotypes as images. Thelonious Monk recorded a French TV show in 1969. We found the rushes. To see Monk differently, to see and hear him. Directed by: Alain Gomis Virtual screening: Sunday, August 7 at 2pm EDT In-person screening: Sunday, August 7 at 1pm EDT at Penn Live Arts — Montgomery Theater

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Silent Beauty is a lyrical and sensitive autobiographical exploration of the filmmaker’s family history with child sexual abuse and a culture of silence. Directed by: Jasmín Mara López Virtual screening: Friday, August 5 at 6pm EDT In-person screening: Friday, August 5 at 5pm EDT at Penn Live Arts — Montgomery Theater *Film features difficult discussions about child sexual abuse.

2022 BlackStar Film Festival


Storming Caesars Palace Feature Documentary United States, 2022, 86 min. World Premiere Presented by Firelight Media, Gotham Film & Media Institute, ITVS, and MediaJustice

NOMINATED FOR BEST FEATURE DOCUMENTARY This film uplifts the story of Las Vegas activist Ruby Duncan and a band of ordinary mothers who launched one of the most extraordinary yet forgotten feminist, anti-poverty movements in U.S. history, providing a blueprint today for an equitable future.

Teine Sā — the Ancient Ones Feature Narrative New Zealand, 2021, 60 min. North America Premiere English & Samoan with English subtitles

NOMINATED FOR BEST FEATURE NARRATIVE

Directed by: Hazel Gurland-Pooler

After centuries of slumber, the Teine Sā are evoked into the modern world by five women who call on these ancient goddesses of Polynesia to help them in their struggles. But these notorious spirit women don’t play, and leave powerful lessons in their wake.

Virtual screening: Thursday, August 4 at 10am EDT

Directed by: Matasila Freshwater, Mario Gaoa, Miki Magasiva, Anapela Polataivao & Mario Faumui

In-person screening: Wednesday, August 3 at 8:30pm EDT at Penn Live Arts — Zellerbach Theater

Virtual screening: Thursday, August 4 at 8pm EDT

*Audio description and open captions

In-person screening: Thursday, August 4 at 8:30pm EDT at Penn Live Arts — Zellerbach Theater *Horror film; alludes to sexual violence. *Audio description

blackstarfest.org • #BSFF22

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Tug of War (Vuta N'Kuvute) We Still Here / Nos Tenemos Feature Narrative Tanzania, South Africa, Germany, Qatar, 2021, 90 min. Philadelphia Premiere English & Swahili with English subtitles

NOMINATED FOR BEST FEATURE NARRATIVE A coming-of-age political love story set in the final years of British colonial Zanzibar. Denge, a young freedom fighter, meets Yasmin, an Indian-Zanzibari woman in the middle of the night as she is on her way to be married. Passion and revolution escalate.

Feature Documentary Puerto Rico, 2021, 54 min. English & Spanish with English subtitles In response to the government’s disregard and poor relief management during Hurricane Maria, young residents from Comerio, Puerto Rico, activate themselves by taking control and transforming not only their lives but their community. Directed by: Eli Jacobs-Fantauzzi Screening virtually only: Wednesday, August 3 at 8pm EDT

Directed by: Amil Shivji Virtual screening: Sunday, August 7 at 12pm EDT In-person screening: Sunday, August 7 at 11am EDT at Penn Live Arts — Zellerbach Theater

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2022 BlackStar Film Festival


Wisdom Gone Wild Feature Documentary United States, 2022, 84 min. World Premiere Presented by ITVS & Leeway Foundation

NOMINATED FOR BEST FEATURE DOCUMENTARY In this immersive meditation on elder consciousness and the act of caregiving for a parent with dementia, filmmaker Rea Tajiri weaves her mother’s storytelling wisdom into the fabric of the film. Rose’s songs provide a soundtrack for time travel as we witness her evolution across nine decades of living. Directed by: Rea Tajiri Virtual screening: Saturday, August 6 at 4pm EDT In-person screening: Saturday, August 6 at 3pm EDT at Penn Live Arts — Zellerbach Theater *Audio description

blackstarfest.org • #BSFF22

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where media meets movement

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mediajustice.org

2022 BlackStar Film Festival


PBS IS PROUD TO SUPPORT THE BLACKSTAR FILM FESTIVAL.

me too. International believes in the power of film & media to inspire healing and action. We congratulate the BlackStar Film Festival on 11 years of expanding global narratives about Black, Brown and Indigenous communities.

VISIT SURVIVOR SANCTUARY

SIGN UP FOR THE DISRUPTOR’S DIGEST

blackstarfest.org • #BSFF22

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SHORT FILMS All virtual screenings will be released and available on a timed schedule. Individual ticket holders and pass holders can unlock a film screening within 48 hours of its release, and they have 24 hours to finish watching from the moment they hit play. (Titles listed in screening order) *Audio Description for short films provided by trainees of BlackStar's 2022 Audio Description Training Program.

Gather Me

Revivify

Sillage

Wednesday, Aug 3 — 5pm EDT

Thursday, Aug 4 — 10am EDT

Thursday, Aug 4 — 11am EDT

A commitment to care.

Holistic repair.

The Fourfold Barry the Beekeeper Weidle’s For Love You Can Always Come Home Night

The Ritual to Beauty Woman of the Earth Still Waters Tomorrow Is Another Day Sunday Morning

The lingering of memories that keep them alive.

*Audio description

*Audio description

*Program suitable for children Quarantine Kids Hoop Dreams One Magenta Afternoon Half-Day My Parents’ Bazaar *Audio description

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Savvy Friday, Aug 5 — 10am EDT From every experience, an education. Glitter Ain’t Gold Body Language Vortex (What They’ve Been Taught) Losing Joy The Town Presented by Center for Cultural Power

Effectuate Saturday, Aug 6 — 11am EDT The rewards of our work. Night Shift Strictly Two Wheel Angakusajaujuq: the Shaman’s Apprentice Patty vs. Patty The Panola Project

Observer Effect Saturday, Aug 6 — 1pm EDT

Pulsate Friday, Aug 5 — 1pm EDT A family affair. Selahy “My Weapon” The Spirit God Gave Us A Morsel of Love The Syed Family Xmas Eve Game Night Clones

Locomote Friday, Aug 5 — 8:30pm EDT Moving under one’s own power. Echolocation The Season of Burning Things Conspiracy Black Beauty Sub Eleven Seconds Presented by Firelight Media and MediaJustice

blackstarfest.org • #BSFF22

Affecting by bearing witness. Show Me Other Places My Saints Recognize Your Saints The Game God(S) The Fire This Time By Water OUT / SIDE OF TIME Presented by Scattergood Foundation and WORLD Channel

Rising Tides Sunday, Aug 7 — 10am EDT In response to human-made climate disasters. Freshwater Freedom Hill Foreign in a Domestic Sense Presented by Center for Cultural Power and MediaJustice

Philadelphia Filmmaker Lab Films Sunday, Aug 7 — 3pm EDT World premiere of four short films produced in BlackStar’s Philadelphia Filmmaker Lab. Big Three The Love Machine Ourika! Tonight, We Eat Flowers Presented by Expressway Cinema Rentals, and Leeway Foundation

Withstand Sunday, Aug 7 — 5pm EDT …the weight of time, the weight of power. Another Story (With Esperanza Spalding) Piiksi/Huia (Bird) Men Nan Men Pili Ka Mo'o Golden Jubilee Forgotten Paradise

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(What They've Been Taught)

Angakusajaujuq: The Shaman's Apprentice

Short Documentary United States, 2022, 10 min. Philadelphia Premiere

Short Narrative Canada, 2021, 20 min. Inuktitut with English subtitles

Filmed on the Qualla Boundary and Cherokee Nation, (What They’ve Been Taught) explores expressions of reciprocity in the Cherokee world, brought to life through a story told by an elder and first language speaker.

A young shaman must face her first test: a trip underground to visit Kannaaluk, the One Below, who holds the answers to why a community member has become ill. Facing dark spirits and physical challenges, she must trust her mentor’s teachings and learn to control her fear.

Directed by: Brit Hensel

Directed by: Zacharias Kunuk

Virtual screening: Friday, August 5 at 10am EDT

Virtual screening: Saturday, August 6 at 12pm EDT

In-person screening: Friday, August 5 at 10am EDT at Penn Live Arts — Montgomery Theater

In-person screening: Saturday, August 6 at 11am EDT at Penn Live Arts — Zellerbach Theater

Program: Savvy

Program: Effectuate

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Another Story (with Esperanza Spalding) Experimental France, 2022, 6 min. World Premiere Gystere and Esperanza are going to the center of the Earth to confront the Intergalactic Colonizer, master of the Europe Normale officers and drinking all the water of the world! Directed by: Adrien Gystere Peskine & anthony peskine Virtual screening: Sunday, August 7 at 6pm EDT In-person screening: Sunday, August 7 at 5pm EDT at Penn Live Arts — Montgomery Theater Program: Withstand

blackstarfest.org • #BSFF22

Barry the Beekeeper Short Documentary United Kingdom, 2021, 10 min. East Coast Premiere An intergenerational tale about Barry, a Jamaican-born beekeeper who has been the heart of his local community in Liverpool for over 20 years. Despite the pandemic threatening the closure of his beloved Caribbean center, Barry takes inspiration from his bees and is still reminded to have hope. Directed by: Ikram Ahmed Virtual screening: Wednesday, August 3 at 6pm EDT In-person screening: Wednesday, August 3 at 5pm EDT at Penn Live Arts — Montgomery Theater Program: Gather Me *Audio description

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Big Three

Black Beauty

Short Narrative United States, 2022, 18 min. World Premiere

Short Documentary United States, 2022, 26 min. East Coast Premiere

In the early 1960s, a budding soul music label brings in a savvy group of local teenage musicians to offer feedback and inspiration to its early signees.

Black Beauty is a visual diary that traces Elle’s story in her own words — as she reconnects with loved ones from the past, recalls her coming-of-age experience as a woman from the Midwest, and reflects on her journey as a movement leader and founding strategic partner of BLM.

Directed by: Julian Turner Virtual screening: Sunday, August 7 at 4pm EDT In-person screening: Sunday, August 7 at 3pm EDT at Penn Live Arts — Zellerbach Theater Program: BlackStar Philadelphia Filmmaker Lab Films

Directed by: Elle Moxley Virtual screening: Friday, August 5 at 8pm EDT In-person screening: Friday, August 5 at 8:30pm EDT at Penn Live Arts — Zellerbach Theater Program: Locomote

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Body Language

By Water

Short Documentary United States, 2022, 10 min. U.S. Premiere

Short Documentary United States, 2020, 9 min. World Premiere Winner of the 2020 BlackStar Pitch

Body Language is a candid conversation about body image and experience for Black gay, queer, and same-gender-loving men. Brothers share their personal journeys in authentic dialogues about heartache and healing. This film speaks directly to Black g/q/SGL men, but the ideas of self-love are universal. Directed by: Odu Adamu Virtual screening: Friday, August 5 at 10am EDT In-person screening: Friday, August 5 at 10am EDT at Penn Live Arts — Montgomery Theater Program: Savvy

blackstarfest.org • #BSFF22

By Water is a documentary that was initiated when the filmmaker’s brother left an unexpected message on her phone three years after his disappearance. She saved this voicemail for more than a year before she decided to heed its instructions. By weaving both herself and her brother into the film’s structure, they met again. Directed by: Iyabo Kwayana Virtual screening: Saturday, August 6 at 2pm EDT In-person screening: Saturday, August 6 at 1pm EDT at Penn Live Arts — Montgomery Theater Program: Observer Effect

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Clones

Conspiracy

Short Narrative United States, 2022, 14 min. World Premiere

Experimental United States, 2022, 24 min. North America Premiere

Suburban couple Calvin and Lisa document their experience of a trial cloning experiment in a mockumentary short film. The film starts off productively with three Calvin clones and three Lisa clones. Groceries are placed away, dinner is cooked, and the house is cleaned. However, they quickly realize that the copies aren’t the life hack they thought they would be.

NOMINATED FOR BEST EXPERIMENTAL FILM

Directed by: Letia Solomon Virtual screening: Friday, August 5 at 2pm EDT In-person screening: Friday, August 5 at 1pm EDT at Penn Live Arts — Montgomery Theater

On the occasion of her pavilion at the Venice Biennale, Simone Leigh co-directs a film with Madeleine Hunt-Ehrlich in her studio. Directed by: Simone Leigh & Madeleine Hunt-Ehrlich Virtual screening: Friday, August 5 at 8pm EDT In-person screening: Friday, August 5 at 8:30pm EDT at Penn Live Arts — Zellerbach Theater Program: Locomote

Program: Pulsate

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2022 BlackStar Film Festival


Echolocation

The Fire This Time

Experimental United States, 2021, 9 min. East Coast Premiere English & Turkish (Iraqi dialect) with English subtitles

Short Documentary United States, 2022, 26 min. Philadelphia Premiere

NOMINATED FOR BEST EXPERIMENTAL FILM Assembled through field recordings, voice messages, and photographs, Echolocation is a layered experiment exploring existence in the aftermath of change. Directed by: Nadia Shihab Virtual screening: Friday, August 5 at 8pm EDT In-person screening: Friday, August 5 at 8:30pm EDT at Penn Live Arts — Zellerbach Theater Program: Locomote

A kaleidoscopic trip through the intertwined histories of pandemics, riots, and colonial violence. An archive constantly haunted by its possible collapse. Featuring the voices of science journalist Sonia Shah, poet and literary scholar Anjuli Raza Kolb, medical anthropologist Christos Lynteris, epidemiologist Keiji Fukuda, economist William A. Darity Jr., and historians Nayan Shah, Kellie Carter Jackson, and Nancy Tomes. Directed by: Mariam Ghani Virtual screening: Saturday, August 6 at 2pm EDT In-person screening: Saturday, August 6 at 1pm EDT at Penn Live Arts — Montgomery Theater Program: Observer Effect

blackstarfest.org • #BSFF22

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For Love Short Narrative United Kingdom, 2021, 13 min. East Coast Premiere

NOMINATED FOR BEST SHORT NARRATIVE FILM Nkechi lives happily in the shadows with her partner Martha, but when immigration officers turn up unexpectedly, they have to make difficult decisions about their future together. Directed by: Joy Gharoro-Akpojotor Virtual screening: Wednesday, August 3 at 6pm EDT In-person screening: Wednesday, August 3 at 5pm EDT at Penn Live Arts — Montgomery Theater Program: Gather Me *Audio description

Foreign in a Domestic Sense Experimental Puerto Rico, United States, 2021, 32 min. World Premiere Spanish with Spanish & English subtitles

NOMINATED FOR BEST EXPERIMENTAL FILM A constellation of testimonies and imaginaries of Puerto Ricans who have migrated to Central Florida as a result of political and environmental disasters in the Caribbean archipelago. The four-channel video unsettles space and time through the layering of fictional and nonfictional narrative forms. Directed by: Sofía Gallisá Muriente & Natalia Lassalle Morillo Virtual screening: Thursday, August 4 at 4pm EDT In-person screening: Sunday, August 7 at 10am EDT at Penn Live Arts — Montgomery Theater Program: Rising Tides

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Forgotten Paradise: Dream The Fourfold the Other Side of the River Experimental Senegal, 2022, 14 min. U.S. Premiere Pulaar, Arabic, and Tamil with English subtitles

NOMINATED FOR BEST EXPERIMENTAL FILM Energy cannot be destroyed; it can only be transformed. Director Charlotte Brathwaite, in collaboration with photographer Malick Welli, imagines the dreams and nightmares of forcibly enslaved Muslim scholar Omar ibn Said, transforming the darkness of captivity into the light of freedom and love. Directed by: Charlotte Brathwaite Virtual screening: Sunday, August 7 at 6pm EDT In-person screening: Sunday, August 7 at 5pm EDT at Penn Live Arts — Montgomery Theater

Short Narrative Canada, 2020, 7 min. Philadelphia Premiere Mongolian with English subtitles Based on the ancient animistic beliefs and shamanic rituals in Mongolia and Siberia, an exploration of the Indigenous worldview and wisdom. With hand-painted imagery with mixed materials, it is a reclaiming of the ideas of animism for planetary health and nonhuman materialities. Directed by: Alisi Telengut Virtual screening: Wednesday, August 3 at 6pm EDT In-person screening: Wednesday, August 3 at 5pm EDT at Penn Live Arts — Montgomery Theater Program: Gather Me *Audio description

Program: Withstand *Film includes flashing lights and/or disorienting images from 00:00:00 to 00:00:27.

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Freedom Hill

Freshwater

Short Documentary United States, 2022, 29 min. Philadelphia Premiere

Short Documentary United States, 2022, 10 min.

Princeville, N.C., is the first town incorporated by freed enslaved Africans in America. This historical significance sits on a precipice: It is gradually being washed away. Directed by: Resita Cox Virtual screening: Thursday, August 4 at 4pm EDT In-person screening: Sunday, August 7 at 10am EDT at Penn Live Arts — Montgomery Theater

Freshwater is a short film by dream hampton about her disappearing Black city, flooded basements, and the fluid nature of memory. Directed by: dream hampton Virtual screening: Thursday, August 4 at 4pm EDT In-person screening: Sunday, August 7 at 10am EDT at Penn Live Arts — Montgomery Theater Program: Rising Tides

Program: Rising Tides

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2022 BlackStar Film Festival


The Game God(S)

Glitter Ain't Gold

Short Documentary United States, 2022, 19 min. U.S. Premiere

Short Narrative United States, 2022, 14 min. East Coast Premiere

NOMINATED FOR BEST SHORT DOCUMENTARY FILM

A sixth grader takes a trip with his best friend to the flea market in order to buy his first fake chain.

The Game God(S) shows four characters: Martina, Frank, Brianna, and Craig. They share their experiences as the Goddess of the Crossroads pushes us between the then and the now, connecting the Game God, the Game, and capitalism to Blackness. Directed by: Adrian L. Burrell Virtual screening: Saturday, August 6 at 2pm EDT

Directed by: Christian Nolan Jones Virtual screening: Friday, August 5 at 10am EDT In-person screening: Friday, August 5 at 10am EDT at Penn Live Arts — Montgomery Theater Program: Savvy

In-person screening: Saturday, August 6 at 1pm EDT at Penn Live Arts — Montgomery Theater Program: Observer Effect

blackstarfest.org • #BSFF22

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Golden Jubilee Experimental United States, India, 2021, 16 min. Philadelphia Premiere English & Konkani with English subtitles

NOMINATED FOR BEST EXPERIMENTAL FILM In Golden Jubilee, Sanzgiri reconsiders ideas of freedom, loss, and recovery in the wake of colonial and neocolonial theft. The film asks us to consider: What is liberation when so much has been lost? Directed by: Suneil Sanzgiri Virtual screening: Sunday, August 7 at 6pm EDT In-person screening: Sunday, August 7 at 5pm EDT at Penn Live Arts — Montgomery Theater

Half-Day Short Narrative United States, 2021, 16 min. Philadelphia Premiere

NOMINATED FOR BEST SHORT NARRATIVE FILM A young boy wrestles with his imagination as he learns about his estranged father through a visit to his stepbrother’s home. Directed by: Morgan Mathews Virtual screening: Thursday, August 4 at 12pm EDT In-person screening: Thursday, August 4 at 11am EDT at Penn Live Arts — Zellerbach Theater Program: Sillage *Audio description

Program: Withstand

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2022 BlackStar Film Festival


Hoop Dreams

Losing Joy

Short Narrative United States, 2019, 10 min. Philadelphia Premiere

Short Narrative United Kingdom, 2022, 15 min. U.S. Premiere

Savannah Walker’s fear of speaking publicly in poetry class leads her to steal her mother’s magical golden hoops, believing that they’ll help her overcome her fear.

NOMINATED FOR BEST SHORT NARRATIVE FILM

Directed by: Kasey Elise Walker Virtual screening: Thursday, August 4 at 12pm EDT In-person screening: Thursday, August 4 at 11am EDT at Penn Live Arts — Zellerbach Theater Program: Sillage *Audio description

A young woman struggling to acknowledge the first anniversary of her sister’s death is lost in her grief. Can her close friend and past lover guide her into acceptance? Directed by: Juliana Kasumu Virtual screening: Friday, August 5 at 10am EDT In-person screening: Friday, August 5 at 10am EDT at Penn Live Arts — Montgomery Theater Program: Savvy

blackstarfest.org • #BSFF22

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The Love Machine

Men Nan Men

Short Narrative United States, 2022, 9 min. World Premiere

Short Documentary Haiti, 2022, 15 min. Philadelphia Premiere Haitian Creole with English subtitles

After successfully building a time machine that uses love to help heal and replace harmful childhood memories, a teenage scientist/influencer puts his new invention to the test to challenge intergenerational trauma. Directed by: Jasmine Lynea Virtual screening: Sunday, August 7 at 4pm EDT In-person screening: Sunday, August 7 at 3pm EDT at Penn Live Arts — Zellerbach Theater

Inspired by a popular American TV show about a female jailhouse, a young Haitian girl galvanizes her friends to help women prisoners in Haiti. Directed by: Wilson Edmond Virtual screening: Sunday, August 7 at 6pm EDT In-person screening: Sunday, August 7 at 5pm EDT at Penn Live Arts — Montgomery Theater Program: Withstand

Program: BlackStar Philadelphia Filmmaker Lab Films

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2022 BlackStar Film Festival


A Morsel of Love Short Narrative Iran, 2020, 12 min. Philadelphia Premiere Farsi with English subtitles An old man’s monotonous days are mostly spent on a house’s rooftop facing an old city — until he hears a soft voice singing a folklore love song and curiously follows the sound. Directed by: Helia Behrooz & Sana Norouzbaji Virtual screening: Friday, August 5 at 2pm EDT In-person screening: Friday, August 5 at 1pm EDT at Penn Live Arts — Montgomery Theater Program: Pulsate

My Parents' Bazaar (El Bazar De Mis Padres) Short Documentary Spain, 2022, 28 min. North America Premiere Spanish with English subtitles According to the Indian family tradition, the eldest son is obliged to take care of the business and his parents in case any serious problem affects the family. Directed by: Rakesh Narwani Virtual screening: Thursday, August 4 at 12pm EDT In-person screening: Thursday, August 4 at 11am EDT at Penn Live Arts — Zellerbach Theater Program: Sillage *Audio description

blackstarfest.org • #BSFF22

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My Saints Recognize Your Saints (Meus Santos Saúdam Teus Santos) Short Documentary Brazil, 2021, 14 min. North America Premiere Portuguese with English subtitles

NOMINATED FOR BEST SHORT DOCUMENTARY FILM After returning to the Marajó island, homeland of his grandparents, Rodrigo meets shaman Roxita and discovers that he inherited spiritual guides. After that, Rodrigo begins his initiation in the marajoara shaman practice and registers his relationship with Roxita, who will be his guide in a meeting. Directed by: Rodrigo Antonio Virtual screening: Saturday, August 6 at 2pm EDT In-person screening: Saturday, August 6 at 1pm EDT at Penn Live Arts — Montgomery Theater

Night Short Narrative Germany, Qatar, Palestine, Jordan, 2021, 16 min. East Coast Premiere Arabic with English subtitles The dust of war keeps the eyes sleepless. Night brings peace and sleep to all the people in the broken town. Only the eyes of the mother of the missing child stay resilient. Night must trick her into sleeping to save her soul. Directed by: Ahmad Saleh Virtual screening: Wednesday, August 3 at 6pm EDT In-person screening: Wednesday, August 3 at 5pm EDT at Penn Live Arts — Montgomery Theater Program: Gather Me *Film features themes of war and loss *Audio description

Program: Observer Effect

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Night Shift

One Magenta Afternoon

Short Narrative United Kingdom, 2021, 11 min. U.S. Premiere

Short Narrative United States, 2022, 8 min. Philadelphia Premiere

A Deaf female security guard on the night shift observes a man in the midst of a crisis. They find a new way to communicate.

The lesson is love: When Pop and his grandson Les play jazz, they summon six queer spirits and tumble through their memories.

Directed by: Bim Ajadi

Directed by: Vernon Jordan, III

Virtual screening: Saturday, August 6 at 12pm EDT

Virtual screening: Thursday, August 4 at 12pm EDT

In-person screening: Saturday, August 6 at 11am EDT at Penn Live Arts — Zellerbach Theater

In-person screening: Thursday, August 4 at 11am EDT at Penn Live Arts — Zellerbach Theater

Program: Effectuate

Program: Sillage *Audio description

blackstarfest.org • #BSFF22

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Ourika!

OUT / SIDE OF TIME

Short Narrative United States, 2022, 25 min. World Premiere

Experimental United States, United Kingdom, 2022, 5 min.

Ourika!, a glamorous surreal sci-fi short film, deconstructs the old tale of Ourika, a Senegalese girl who was enslaved by a French aristocrat. She must see her true self to be set free. Directed by: Xenia Matthews Virtual screening: Sunday, August 7 at 4pm EDT In-person screening: Sunday, August 7 at 3pm EDT at Penn Live Arts — Zellerbach Theater Program: BlackStar Philadelphia Filmmaker Lab Films

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OUT / SIDE OF TIME is a “Black imaginary repository,” a container space for our collective Black imaginaries that exist outside of time + space that honors the legacy of Seneca Village, a 19th-century (1825-1857) settlement that stood on Black-owned land, known today as Central Park in NYC. Directed by: Jenn Nkiru Virtual screening: Saturday, August 6 at 2pm EDT In-person screening: Saturday, August 6 at 1pm EDT at Penn Live Arts — Montgomery Theater Program: Observer Effect

2022 BlackStar Film Festival


The Panola Project

Patty vs. Patty

Short Documentary United States, 2021, 17 min. Philadelphia Premiere

Short Documentary Canada, 2022, 18 min. U.S. Premiere

Highlighting the heroic efforts of Dorothy Oliver to keep her small town of Panola, Alabama, safe from COVID-19. A chronicle of how an often-overlooked rural Black community came together in creative ways to survive.

Patty vs. Patty tells the story of Toronto’s bizarre 1985 “Patty Wars,” when Jamaican Canadian bakers, facing hefty fines, went head-to-head with the federal government over the name of their beloved beef patty.

Directed by: Rachael DeCruz & Jeremy S. Levine

Directed by: Chris Strikes

Virtual screening: Saturday, August 6 at 12pm EDT

Virtual screening: Saturday, August 6 at 12pm EDT

In-person screening: Saturday, August 6 at 11am EDT at Penn Live Arts — Zellerbach Theater

In-person screening: Saturday, August 6 at 11am EDT at Penn Live Arts — Zellerbach Theater

Program: Effectuate

Program: Effectuate

blackstarfest.org • #BSFF22

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Piiksi/Huia (Bird)

Pili Ka Mo'o

Short Narrative New Zealand, 2020, 9 min. East Coast Premiere

Short Documentary United States, 2021, 14 min. Philadelphia Premiere

Huia dreams of being a principal ballerina for the country’s top academy. During her audition, an unexpected visitor shows up during her final bid to impress — only this time, her ancestors are the audience.

The Fukumitsu ‘Ohana (family) of Hakipu’u are Native Hawaiian taro farmers. When a nearby corporation digs up the Fukumitsu’s familial burial ground to further their development plans, the ‘Ohana are drawn into a logistically and emotionally complex quest to preserve their ancestral land.

Directed by: Cian Elyse White & Joshua Manyheads Virtual screening: Sunday, August 7 at 6pm EDT In-person screening: Sunday, August 7 at 5pm EDT at Penn Live Arts — Montgomery Theater Program: Withstand

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Directed by: Justyn Ah Chong Virtual screening: Sunday, August 7 at 6pm EDT In-person screening: Sunday, August 7 at 5pm EDT at Penn Live Arts — Montgomery Theater Program: Withstand

2022 BlackStar Film Festival


Quarantine Kids

The Ritual to Beauty

Short Documentary United States, 2022, 7 min. World Premiere

Short Documentary United States, 2020, 14 min. English & Spanish with English subtitles

The impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on children has been devastating. Quarantine Kids tells the courageous story of 9-year-old Bria Motley, in her own words. Using previously recorded audio notes, home video, and animation, Quarantine Kids is an honest testimony from a child’s point of view.

Three generations of Dominican women explore their relationship to relaxing their hair. By conjuring the magic of water and power of her ancestors, a daughter uses spoken word poetry to break the generational curse that has blocked the women in her family from feeling where joy lives inside of them.

Directed by: Bilal Motley & Bria Motley

Directed by: Shenny De Los Angeles & Maria Marrone

Virtual screening: Thursday, August 4 at 12pm EDT In-person screening: Thursday, August 4 at 11am EDT at Penn Live Arts — Zellerbach Theater Program: Sillage *Audio description

blackstarfest.org • #BSFF22

Virtual screening: Wednesday, August 3 at 12pm EDT In-person screening: Thursday, August 4 at 10am EDT at Penn Live Arts — Montgomery Theater Program: Revivify *Audio description

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The Season of Burning Things Experimental United Kingdom, Ethiopia, 2021, 9 min. World Premiere The film seeks to track and trace movement/ migration between countries. The narrative revolves around water and the recurring sonic landscape of the sea as a portal between realms and worlds and a site of myth-making and storytelling. Directed by: Gouled Ahmed & Asmaa Jama Virtual screening: Friday, August 5 at 8pm EDT In-person screening: Friday, August 5 at 8:30pm EDT at Penn Live Arts — Zellerbach Theater Program: Locomote

Selahy “My Weapon” Short Narrative United States, Jordan, 2020, 14 min. East Coast Premiere Arabic & Arabic sign language with English subtitles A young, Deaf Arab girl, born in the ravages of a war zone, whose only weapons are her hearing aids and an old video camera. Directed by: Alaa Zabara Virtual screening: Friday, August 5 at 2pm EDT In-person screening: Friday, August 5 at 1pm EDT at Penn Live Arts — Montgomery Theater Program: Pulsate *Film features war scenes.

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2022 BlackStar Film Festival


Show Me Other Places

The Spirit God Gave Us

Experimental Sri Lanka, United States, 2022, 11 min. Philadelphia Premiere

Short Narrative United States, 2022, 19 min. East Coast Premiere

Navigating through a multitude of spaces from the natural world to manmade environments as well as virtual planes, traditional relationships between the creator, the tool, and the subject are questioned, shattered, and reconstructed.

The Spirit God Gave Us is a love story about the intersection of faith and queer love as we follow two young Black men who volunteer as ushers for their Baptist church and their journey towards love, connection, and spirituality. This imaginative film proposes an alternative opportunity for Black queer individuals to exist authentically in spaces that have so often limited them.

Directed by: Rajee Samarasinghe Virtual screening: Saturday, August 6 at 2pm EDT In-person screening: Saturday, August 6 at 1pm EDT at Penn Live Arts — Montgomery Theater Program: Observer Effect

Directed by: Michael Donte Virtual screening: Friday, August 5 at 2pm EDT In-person screening: Friday, August 5 at 1pm EDT at Penn Live Arts — Montgomery Theater Program: Pulsate

blackstarfest.org • #BSFF22

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Still Waters

Strictly Two Wheel

Short Documentary United States, 2022, 12 min. World Premiere

Short Documentary Jamaica, 2022, 10 min. East Coast Premiere

NOMINATED FOR BEST SHORT DOCUMENTARY FILM

An intimate portrait of a family-owned mechanic shop in rural Jamaica and a father’s love for his family and community. Bobo uses minimal resources to provide his community with a medium for mobility and independence and imbues his children with the skills to maintain the craft of bicycle building.

A daughter asks her mother a question about her mother’s childhood. Her answer begs them to wade through its rippling effects throughout their lives. Directed by: Aurora Brachman Virtual screening: Wednesday, August 3 at 12pm EDT In-person screening: Thursday, August 4 at 10am EDT at Penn Live Arts — Montgomery Theater Program: Revivify

Directed by: Ania Freer Virtual screening: Saturday, August 6 at 12pm EDT In-person screening: Saturday, August 6 at 11am EDT at Penn Live Arts — Zellerbach Theater Program: Effectuate

*Audio description

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2022 BlackStar Film Festival


Sub Eleven Seconds Short Documentary United States, 2021, 24 min. Philadelphia Premiere

NOMINATED FOR BEST SHORT DOCUMENTARY FILM A rumination on time, loss, and hope, and a poetic imagining of the quest of Sha'Carri Richardson, a young track and field athlete, to achieve her dream of qualifying for the Olympic Games. Directed by: Bafic Virtual screening: Friday, August 5 at 8pm EDT In-person screening: Friday, August 5 at 8:30pm EDT at Penn Live Arts — Zellerbach Theater Program: Locomote

Sunday Morning (Manhã de Domingo) Short Narrative Brazil, 2022, 25 min. North America Premiere Portuguese with English subtitles

NOMINATED FOR BEST SHORT NARRATIVE FILM Gabriela is a young pianist who will perform at her first major recital. However, a dream about her dead mother destabilizes Gabriela’s mind and heart, putting her presentation at risk. Directed by: Bruno Ribeiro Virtual screening: Wednesday, August 3 at 12pm EDT In-person screening: Thursday, August 4 at 10am EDT at Penn Live Arts — Montgomery Theater Program: Revivify *Audio description

blackstarfest.org • #BSFF22

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The Syed Xmas Eve Game Night

Tomorrow Is Another Day (Kesho Pia Ni Siku)

Short Narrative United States, 2021, 11 min. Philadelphia Premiere

Short Documentary Kenya, 2021, 9 min. Philadelphia Premiere

All cards are on the table when a queer Pakistani Muslim woman brings her Puerto Rican partner home for the first time on the family’s annual game night.

Njeri is a smooth-talking, hymn-singing, 67-yearold grandmother who runs Kanyoko Boutique in Nairobi, Kenya — a business she unintentionally started from the boot of her 1990 Toyota Corolla.

Directed by: Fawzia Mirza

Directed by: Ng'endo Mukii

Virtual screening: Friday, August 5 at 2pm EDT

Virtual screening: Wednesday, August 3 at 12pm EDT

In-person screening: Friday, August 5 at 1pm EDT at Penn Live Arts — Montgomery Theater

In-person screening: Thursday, August 4 at 10am EDT at Penn Live Arts — Montgomery Theater

Program: Pulsate

Program: Revivify *Audio description

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2022 BlackStar Film Festival


Tonight, We Eat Flowers

The Town

Short Narrative United States, 2022, 22 min. World Premiere

Short Narrative Germany, 2021, 15 min. North America Premiere Tswana with English subtitles

Luis, a recent immigrant who sells “hold music,” and Jamilah, a gourmet chef stuck working in a cubicle, fall in love under unlikely circumstances that involve absolutely terrible music, a lot of blood, and edible flowers. Directed by: Bettina Escauriza Virtual screening: Sunday, August 7 at 4pm EDT In-person screening: Sunday, August 7 at 3pm EDT at Penn Live Arts — Zellerbach Theater Program: BlackStar Philadelphia Filmmaker Lab Films

NOMINATED FOR BEST SHORT NARRATIVE FILM Lesedi spends her days throwing stones at passing cars and hoping for something to happen. Unexpectedly, a car breaks down, leading her to fear that she is responsible. Still, a transient connection is formed between Lesedi and the reluctant visitor. Directed by: Lindiwe Makgalemele Virtual screening: Friday, August 5 at 10am EDT In-person screening: Friday, August 5 at 10am EDT at Penn Live Arts — Montgomery Theater Program: Savvy

blackstarfest.org • #BSFF22

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Vortex

Weidle’s

Experimental United States, 2022, 16 min. World Premiere

Short Documentary United States, 2022, 3 min. World Premiere

Vortex is a meditative short documentary on “process.” Vortex is an examination of the path and process of multidisciplinary artist Terence Nance — taking you on a journey inside the thoughts, questions, prayers, and inspiration that have inspired Nance’s musical journey.

Weidle’s was a delicatessen in the artist’s hometown of Mansfield, Ohio, that serviced the Northside community. In this 16mm silent short film, a neighborhood butcher in Charlottesville, Virginia, is filmed as he prepares the goods.

Directed by: Rikkí Wright & Terence Nance

Virtual screening: Wednesday, August 3 at 6pm EDT

Virtual screening: Friday, August 5 at 10am EDT In-person screening: Friday, August 5 at 10am EDT at Penn Live Arts — Montgomery Theater Program: Savvy

Directed by: Kevin Jerome Everson

In-person screening: Wednesday, August 3 at 5pm EDT at Penn Live Arts — Montgomery Theaterr Program: Gather Me *Audio Description Image: ©Kevin Jerome Everson; courtesy the artist; trilobite-arts DAC; Picture Palace Pictures.

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2022 BlackStar Film Festival


Woman of the Earth (Mujer de Tierra) Short Documentary Mexico, 2021, 15 min. U.S. Premiere Spanish with English subtitles

NOMINATED FOR BEST SHORT DOCUMENTARY FILM In the Nahua community of Hueyapan, Puebla, we encounter the stories of a generation of women who have challenged society. Through their embroidery work, their innate rebelliousness, and their self-belief, they have joined forces to transform themselves and the history of their own community. Directed by: Evelyn Mercedes Muñoz Marroquín Virtual screening: Wednesday, August 3 at 12pm EDT

You Can Always Come Home Short Narrative United States, 2021, 6 min. Philadelphia Premiere As a young family and their friends prepare for a gathering, young children play throughout the home, revealing quotidian aspects of ritual, celebration, and love cultivated in the Black diasporic household. Directed by: Juan Luis Matos Virtual screening: Wednesday, August 3 at 6pm EDT In-person screening: Wednesday, August 3 at 5pm EDT at Penn Live Arts — Montgomery Theater Program: Gather Me *Audio description

In-person screening: Thursday, August 4 at 10am EDT at Penn Live Arts — Montgomery Theater Program: Revivify *Audio description blackstarfest.org • #BSFF22

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Panels & Conversations

All in-person venues are wheelchair accessible.

CONVERSATION

CONVERSATION

Wednesday, August 3 | 2-4:30pm EDT (conversation to follow film screening) Penn Live Arts, Zellerbach Theater With Coco Fusco and Louis Massiah

Wednesday, August 3 | 5-6pm EDT Penn Museum - Rainey Auditorium

The Passion of Remembrance

This conversation between Coco Fusco and Louis Massiah will follow a screening of the 1986 experimental visual mosaic, The Passion of Remembrance. The discussion will focus on the film’s exploration of the raced, classed, and gendered intersections of Black British life and the work of cultural memory through filmmaking, and will consider the influence and poetics of Isaac Julien’s cinematic corpus as a whole. This panel is organized in conjunction with the series Poetic Cinema: Isaac Julien and the Sankofa Film and Video Collective, organized by the Barnes Foundation, BlackStar Projects, Fabric Workshop and Museum, and Institute of Contemporary Art, on the occasion of the Barnes’ centennial and newly commissioned film installation, Once Again … (Statues Never Die), on view through September 4, 2022.

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Seen with Dindga McCannon Join us for a special conversation with visual artist Dindga McCannon and Seen’s editor-in-chief, Dessane Lopez Cassell. A prolific, Philadelphiabased fiber artist, McCannon is also a writer, illustrator, painter, wearable-art-maker, costume designer, muralist, print-maker, and mother. This conversation will extend Zoé Samudzi’s recent profile of McCannon in Seen (issue 004). The two will discuss McCannon’s highly expressive approach to texture, surface, and color; her lifetime of making art about everyday Black people and cultural practices; how both Harlem and Philadelphia have shaped her work; her desires for the next chapter of her career; and how she taps into daily practices and rituals of creativity.

2022 BlackStar Film Festival


PANEL

Childhood on Screen Thursday, August 4 | 1-2pm EDT Penn Live Arts, Montgomery Theater With Alaa Zabara, Bria and Bilal Motley, Iyana Le’Shea, and Jo Rochelle; moderated by Stormy Kelsey Bring your young ones and join BlackStar for this special panel featuring young directors and actors and the adults who worked with them to create some of the films featured in BlackStar 2022. We will hear from creative youth who direct, act, and produce content about their processes, interests, and goals. We will also discuss how childhood is reflected on-screen and consider the nuances of what it means to tell stories from the perspective of young people.

PANEL

Horror and Sound Thursday, August 4 | 5-6pm EDT Virtual event With Nikyatu, Tanerélle, Mario Gaoa, and Lisa Taouma; moderated by Sultana Isham Groans, shouts, murmurs, silence. The crescendo that builds, the vibrations that make your heart rate rise as the story builds. This panel will consider the affective power of sound in Black and Indigenous storytelling. Each moment of a film is embedded with sensory material, and for horror films every layer packs a punch. From the vantage point of two directors, a sound designer, a composer, and an actor, we will hear about the collaborative process of designing and making sonic worlds within films, with a consideration towards music, pacing, performance, and special effects that frighten.

blackstarfest.org • #BSFF22

WORKSHOP

From Reflection to Release: Uplifting a Values-Based Filmmaking Practice Friday, August 5 | 1-2:30pm EDT Annenberg School for Communication Room 110 With Bhawin Suchak, Dr. Kameelah Mu’Min Rashad, Natalie Bullock Brown, Sherry Simpson, and Sonya Childress What is a values-based filmmaking practice, and why is it important? Join the Documentary Accountability Working Group (DAWG) for a deep dive into healing-centered practices at all phases of production through release and impact. This interactive workshop will engage filmmakers in deep reflection, discussion, and planning for centering consent, care, and accountability in your work.

PANEL

Expressions of Spirit Friday, August 5 | 5-6pm EDT Virtual event With Ashon Crawley, Dr. Kokahvah Zauditu-Selassie, rashid shabazz, Rashid Zakat, and Taylor Aldridge Black spiritual traditions are expansive and multitudinous. They contain ancestral histories that span continents and emerge from syncretic Muslim, Christian, Ifa, and other African belief systems. This group of artists, curators, and scholars will consider sound and image’s relationship to Afro-diasporic practices of religiosity being attuned to how spiritual traditions are rendered through the moving image. Such representations include Black bodies in collective worship, exaltation, the chorus, the breath, the embodiment of the Holy Spirit, line dance, and dance circles, among other modes of spirituality, ecstasy, and transcendence.

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Many Lumens: Mira Nair PANEL and Maori Karmael Holmes Disability Justice and Filmmaking Saturday, August 6 | 1-2pm EDT Virtual event Sponsored by Temple University School of Theater, Film and Media Arts

This special episode of BlackStar’s signature podcast, Many Lumens, celebrates the brilliance of 2022 Richard Nichols Luminary Award recipient Mira Nair. Holmes and Nair will discuss Nair’s prolific multi-decade-long career, the nuances of South Asian diasporic storytelling, and the task of crafting stories that center vibrance, joy, and intimacy even as they expose casteist, patriarchal, and anti-Black systems of power. Nair is known for her feature films including Mississippi Masala, The Perez Family, My Own Country, Kama Sutra: a Tale of Love, The Namesake, Monsoon Wedding, and Salaam Bombay!, as well as more recent cinematic adaptations including Queen of Katwe and A Suitable Boy. This conversation will also address the power of film collectives, Nair’s founding of the Maisha Film Lab in Uganda, and the work of visioning and materializing more pleasurable worlds through cinema.

PANEL

Gate-OPENING — Exec Roundtable Saturday, August 6 | 5-6pm EDT Filmmakers-only event Participants to be confirmed Presented by STARZ/Lionsgate How do you know when your film or pilot is ready for streaming? Who do you need to know in order to get it in front of the right set of eyes and ears? This roundtable gathers some of the leading studio executives from STARZ and Lionsgate, in a candid and open conversation about getting your work developed and distributed to wider audiences.

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Sunday, August 7 | 1-2pm EDT Virtual event With Andres “Jay” Molina, Natasha Ofili, and Reveca Torres; moderated by Andraéa LaVant Sponsored by MediaJustice Join these visionary thinkers and cultural workers at the intersection of filmmaking and building a more accessible world. They discuss accessibility as a feature of filmmaking practice, not an afterthought. This conversation will orbit around the creative and technical considerations of making more accessible production, distribution, and viewing experiences for creators and audiences alike. Drawing on lived and professional experience, these thinkers will offer strategies and practices for making more equitable and thoughtful film and television.

PANEL

Loss, Grief, Legacy Sunday, August 7 | 5-6pm EDT Virtual event With Arthur Jafa, dream hampton, Lynneé Denise, and Marcia Smith; moderated by alexis pauline gumbs Sponsored by the Scattergood Foundation Energy cannot be created or destroyed; it can just change shape. This chorus of kindred spirits reminds us that grief work is cultural work and gives us an opportunity to hold space for the recent transitions of Greg Tate, bell hooks, Michelle Materre, Gary Smalls, and Lewis Erskine among so many others. As writers, filmmakers, play cousins, friends, and artists of all forms, we engage in a practice of ancestorship by commemorating the ones we’ve lost in ways that aren’t suspended in the past. We reflect on what it means to keep their energies alive as we build more tender, sacred worlds in the here and now.

2022 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.

blackstarfest.org • #BSFF22 © PECO Energy Company, 2020

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JURY AWARD NOMINEES BlackStar Juried Awards Categories & Nominees

Best Feature Documentary One Take Grace dir. Lindiwe Matshikiza Storming Caesars Palace dir. Hazel Gurland-Pooler Wisdom Gone Wild dir. Rea Tajiri

Best Short Documentary The Game God(S) dir. Adrian L. Burrell My Saints Recognize Your Saints dir. Rodrigo Antonio

Best Feature Narrative The African Desperate dir. Martine Syms Mars One dir. Gabriel Martins Tug of War dir. Amil Shivji

Best Short Narrative For Love dir. Joy Gharoro-Akpojotor Half-Day dir. Morgan Mathews Losing Joy dir. Juliana Kasumu

Still Waters dir. Aurora Brachman

Sunday Morning dir. Bruno Ribeiro

Sub Eleven Seconds dir. Bafic

The Town dir. Lindiwe Makgalemele

Woman of the Earth dir. Evelyn Mercedes Muñoz Marroquín

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Best Experimental Film Conspiracy dirs. Simone Leigh & Madeleine Hunt-Ehrlich Echolocation dir. Nadia Shihab Foreign in a Domestic Sense dirs. Sofía Gallisá Muriente & Natalia Lassalle Morillo Forgotten Paradise: Dream the Other Side of the River dir. Charlotte Brathwaite Golden Jubilee dir. Suneil Sanzgiri

Other Awards BlackStar Pitch Winner Lionsgate/STARZ Award for Best Speculative Fiction Love+Grit Philadelphia Filmmaker Award Shine Award for First-Time Filmmakers

2022 BlackStar Film Festival


F I L M AN D M E D I A A R T S AT T EMP L E UN I V E R S I 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 ’12 • Explore undergraduate, graduate and doctoral programs

blackstarfest.org • #BSFF22

L E A R N MOR E AT T F M A . T E M P L E. ED U | EM A IL T F M A @ T EM P L E. ED U

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FILMMAKER INDEX Adrian L. Burrell — 59, 82 The Game God(S)

Bettina Escauriza — 75 Tonight, We Eat Flowers

Fawzia Mirza — 74 The Syed Xmas Eve Game Night

Adrien Gystere Peskine — 51 Another Story (With Esperanza Spalding)

Bilal Motley — 69, 79 Quarantine Kids

Gabriel Martins — 40, 82 Mars One

Bim Ajadi — 65 Night Shift

Geeta Gandbhir — 40 Lowndes County and the Road to Black Power

Ahmad Saleh — 64 Night Alaa Zabara — 70, 79 Selahy "My Weapon"

Bria Motley — 69 Quarantine Kids

Gouled Ahmed — 70 The Season of Burning Things

Alain Gomis — 42 Rewind & Play

Brit Hensel — 50 (What They’ve Been Taught)

Alisi Telengut — 57 The Fourfold

Bruno Ribeiro — 73, 82 Sunday Morning

Helia Behrooz — 63 A Morsel of Love

Amil Shivji — 44, 82 Tug Of War

Byron Hurt — 37 Hazing

Ikram Ahmed — 51 Barry the Beekeeper

Anapela Polataivao — 43 Teine Sā — the Ancient Ones

Charlotte Brathwaite — 57, 82 Forgotten Paradise: Dream the Other Side of the River

Isaac Julien — 41, 78 The Passion of Remembrance

André Lopes — 36 Ãjãí: the Headball Game of the Myky and Manoki

Chris Strikes — 67 Patty vs. Patty

Ania Freer — 72 Strictly Two Wheel

Christian Nolan Jones — 59 Glitter Ain't Gold

Anthony Peskine — 51 Another Story (With Esperanza Spalding)

Cian Elyse White — 68 Piiksi/Huia (Bird)

Asmaa Jama — 70 The Season of Burning Things Aurora Brachman — 72, 82 Still Waters Bafic — 73, 82 Sub Eleven Seconds

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dream hampton — 26, 58, 80 Freshwater Eli Jacobs-Fantauzzi — 44 We Still Here / Nos Tenemos Elle Moxley — 52 Black Beauty Evelyn Mercedes Muñoz Marroquín — 77 Woman of the Earth

Hazel Gurland-Pooler — 43, 82 Storming Caesars Palace

Iyabo Kwayana — 53 By Water Jasmín Mara López — 42 Silent Beauty Jasmine Lynea — 62 The Love Machine Jenn Nkiru — 66 OUT / SIDE OF TIME Jeremy S. Levine — 67 The Panola Project Jo Rochelle — 38, 79 Jasmine Is a Star Joshua Manyheads — 68 Piiksi/Huia (Bird)

2022 BlackStar Film Festival


Joy Gharoro-Akpojotor — 56, 82 For Love

Mario Gaoa — 43, 79 Teine Sā — the Ancient Ones

Rikkí Wright — 76 Vortex

Juan Luis Matos — 77 You Can Always Come Home

Martine Syms — 35, 82 The African Desperate

Rodrigo Antonio — 64, 82 My Saints Recognize Your Saints

Julian Turner — 52 Big Three

Matasila Freshwater — 43 Teine Sā — the Ancient Ones

Juliana Kasumu — 61, 82 Losing Joy

Michael Donte — 71 The Spirit God Gave Us

Sam Pollard — 40 Lowndes County and the Road to Black Power

Justyn Ah Chong — 68 Pili Ka Mo’o

Miki Magasiva — 43 Teine Sā - The Ancient Ones

Kasey Elise Walker — 61 Hoop Dreams

Morgan Mathews — 60, 82 Half-Day

Kevin Jerome Everson — 76 Weidle's

Moses Sumney — 36 Blackalachia

Kevin Shaw — 39 Let the Little Light Shine

Nadia Shihab — 55, 82 Echolocation

Lea Najjar — 38 Kash Kash

Natalia Lassalle Morillo — 56 Foreign in a Domestic Sense

Letia Solomon — 54 Clones

Ng'endo Mukii — 74 Tomorrow Is Another Day

Lindiwe Makgalemele — 75, 82 The Town

Odu Adamu — 53 Body Language

Lindiwe Matshikiza — 41, 82 One Take Grace

Paula Eiselt — 35 Aftershock

Madeleine Hunt-Ehrlich — 54 Conspiracy

Rachael DeCruz — 67 The Panola Project

Mahamat-Saleh Haroun — 39 Lingui, the Sacred Bonds

Rajee Samarasinghe — 71 Show Me Other Places

Maria Marrone — 69 The Ritual to Beauty

Rakesh Narwani — 63 My Parents’ Bazaar

Mariam Ghani — 55 The Fire This Time

Rea Tajiri — 4 5, 82 Wisdom Gone Wild

Mario Faumui — 43 Teine Sā — the Ancient Ones

Resita Cox — 58 Freedom Hill

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Sana Norouzbaji — 63 A Morsel of Love Shenny De Los Angeles — 69 The Ritual to Beauty Shobhit Jain — 37 Bonded Simone Leigh — 54, 82 Conspiracy Sofía Gallisá Muriente — 56, 82 Foreign in a Domestic Sense Suneil Sanzgiri — 60, 82 Golden Jubilee Terence Nance — 76 Vortex Tonya Lewis Lee — 35 Aftershock Typju Myky — 36 Ãjãí: the Headball Game of the Myky and Manoki Vernon Jordan, III — 65 One Magenta Afternoon Wilson Edmond — 62 Men Nan Men Xenia Matthews — 66 Ourika! Zacharias Kunuk — 50 Angakusajaujuq: the Shaman's Apprentice

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COUNTRY INDEX Belgium

Ethiopia

Jamaica

Lingui, the Sacred Bonds

The Season of Burning Things

Strictly Two Wheel

Brazil

France

Jordan

Ãjãí: the Headball Game of the Myky and Manoki (Ãjãí: o jogo de cabeça dos Myky e Manoki) Angakusajaujuq: the Shaman’s Apprentice Mars One (Marte Um) My Saints Recognize Your Saints (Meus Santos Saúdam Teus Santos) Sunday Morning (Manhã de Domingo)

Another Story (With Esperanza Spalding) Lingui, the Sacred Bonds Rewind & Play

Night Selahy "My Weapon"

Canada Angakusajaujuq: the Shaman's Apprentice The Fourfold Patty vs. Patty

Chad Lingui, the Sacred Bonds

Germany Kash Kash Lingui, the Sacred Bonds Night Rewind & Play The Town Tug of War

Haiti Men Nan Men

India Bonded (Bandhua) Golden Jubilee

Iran A Morsel of Love

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Kenya Tomorrow Is Another Day (Kesho Pia Ni Siku)

Lebanon Kash Kash

Malta Silent Beauty

Mexico Silent Beauty Woman of the Earth (Mujer de Tierra)

New Zealand Piiksi/Huia (Bird) Teine Sā — the Ancient Ones

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Palestine

Sri Lanka

Night

Show Me Other Places

Puerto Rico

Tanzania

Foreign in a Domestic Sense We Still Here / Nos Tenemos

Tug of War

Qatar Kash Kash Night Tug of War

Senegal Forgotten Paradise: Dream the Other Side of the River

South Africa One Take Grace Tug Of War

Spain My Parents' Bazaar (El Bazar de mis Padres)

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United Kingdom Barry the Beekeeper Losing Joy Night Shift OUT / SIDE OF TIME The Passion of Remembrance The Season of Burning Things

United States (What They’ve Been Taught) The African Desperate Aftershock Big Three Black Beauty Blackalachia Body Language By Water Clones Conspiracy Echolocation The Fire This Time Foreign in a Domestic Sense Freedom Hill Freshwater The Game God(S)

Glitter Ain't Gold Golden Jubilee Half-Day Hazing Hoop Dreams Jasmine Is a Star Let the Little Light Shine The Love Machine Lowndes County and the Road to Black Power One Magenta Afternoon Ourika! OUT / SIDE OF TIME The Panola Project Pili Ka Mo’o Quarantine Kids The Ritual to Beauty Selahy "My Weapon" Show Me Other Places Silent Beauty The Spirit God Gave Us Still Waters Storming Caesars Palace Sub Eleven Seconds The Syed Xmas Eve Game Night Tonight, We Eat Flowers Vortex Weidle's Wisdom Gone Wild You Can Always Come Home

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FILM TITLE INDEX (What They’ve Been Taught)

49, 50

Freedom Hill

49, 58

The African Desperate

35, 82, 91

Freshwater

49, 58

Aftershock

35, 91

The Game God(S)

49, 59, 82

Ãjãí: the Headball Game of the Myky and Manoki (Ãjãí: o jogo de cabeça dos Myky e Manoki)

36

Glitter Ain't Gold

49, 59

Golden Jubilee

49, 60, 82

Angakusajaujuq: the Shaman's Apprentice

48, 50

Half-Day

49, 60, 82

Hazing

37

Another Story (With Esperanza Spalding)

49, 51

Hoop Dreams

49, 61

Barry the Beekeeper

48, 51

Jasmine Is a Star

38, 90

Big Three

48, 52

Kash Kash

38, 91

Black Beauty

49, 52

Let the Little Light Shine

39

Blackalachia

36, 91

Lingui, the Sacred Bonds

39

Body Language

49, 53

Losing Joy

49, 61, 82

Bonded (Bandhua)

37

The Love Machine

48, 62

By Water

49, 53

Lowndes County and the Road to Black Power

40, 91

Clones

49, 54

Mars One (Marte Um)

40, 82, 91

Conspiracy

49, 54, 82

Men Nan Men

49, 62

Echolocation

49, 55, 82

A Morsel of Love

49, 63

The Fire This Time

49, 55

49, 63

For Love

48, 56, 82

My Parents' Bazaar (El Bazar de mis Padres)

Foreign in a Domestic Sense

49, 82

Forgotten Paradise: Dream the Other Side of the River

57, 82

The Fourfold

48, 57

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My Saints Recognize Your Saints 49, 64 (Meus Santos Saúdam Teus Santos) Night

48, 64

Night Shift

48, 65

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One Magenta Afternoon

49, 65

Teine Sā — the Ancient Ones

43

One Take Grace

41, 82, 90

49, 74

Ourika!

48, 66

Tomorrow Is Another Day (Kesho Pia Ni Siku)

OUT / SIDE OF TIME

49, 66

Tonight, We Eat Flowers

48, 75

The Panola Project

48, 67

The Town

49, 75, 82

The Passion of Remembrance

41, 78, 90

Tug of War (Vuta N'Kuvute)

44, 82, 91

Patty vs. Patty

67

Vortex

49, 76

Piiksi/Huia (Bird)

49, 68

We Still Here / Nos Tenemos

44

Pili Ka Mo’o

49, 68

Weidle's

48, 76

Quarantine Kids

49, 69

Wisdom Gone Wild

44, 82, 91

Rewind & Play

42, 91

49, 77, 82

The Ritual to Beauty

49, 69

Woman of the Earth (Mujer de Tierra)

The Season of Burning Things

49, 70

You Can Always Come Home

48, 77

Selahy "My Weapon"

49, 70

Show Me Other Places

49, 71

Silent Beauty

42, 91

The Spirit God Gave Us

49, 71

Still Waters

49, 72, 82

Storming Caesars Palace

43, 82, 90

Strictly Two Wheel

48, 72

Sub Eleven Seconds

49, 73, 82

Sunday Morning (Manhã de Domingo)

49, 73, 82

The Syed Xmas Eve Game Night

74

blackstarfest.org • #BSFF22

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IN-PERSON SCHEDULE Wednesday August 3

Thursday August 4

Lingui, the Sacred Bonds 11:00am

Family-Friendly Yoga @ Drexel Square 9:00am

BlackStar Pitch 12:00pm The Passion of Remembrance (followed by conversation) 2:00pm Gather Me (shorts) 5:00pm Seen with Dindga McCannon Convo 5:00pm The Daily Jawn Evening Show 7:00pm Storming Caesars Palace 8:30pm Opening Night Party @ Bartram's Garden 9:30pm

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Revivify (shorts) 10:00am Sillage (shorts) 11:00am Childhood on Screen Panel 1:00pm One Take Grace 3:00pm Jasmine Is a Star 5:00pm Horror and Sound Panel VIRTUAL 5:00pm The Daily Jawn Evening Show 7:00pm Teine Sa — the Ancient Ones 8:30pm


Friday August 5

Saturday August 6

Sunday August 7

Yoga @ Drexel Square 9:00am

Yoga @ Drexel Square 9:00am

Yoga @ Drexel Square 9:00am

Savvy (shorts) 10:00am

Lowndes County and the Road to Black Power 10:00am

Rising Tides (shorts) 10:00am

The African Desperate 11:00am Pulsate (shorts) 1:00pm From Reflection to Release Workshop 1:00pm Aftershock 3:00pm Silent Beauty 5:00pm Expressions of Spirit Panel VIRTUAL 5:00pm First Friday! at the Barnes, featuring Blackalachia 6:00pm The Daily Jawn Evening Show 7:00pm Locomote (shorts) 8:30pm

Effectuate (shorts) 11:00am Observer Effect (shorts) 1:00pm Mira Nair Spotlight Convo VIRTUAL 1:00pm Wisdom Gone Wild 3:00pm Kash Kash 5:00pm The Daily Jawn Evening Show 7:00pm Hazing 8:30pm

Tug of War 11:00am Rewind & Play 1:00pm Disability Justice & Filmmaking Panel VIRTUAL 1:00pm Philadelphia Filmmaker Lab Films (shorts) 3:00pm Withstand 5:00pm Loss, Grief, Legacy Panel VIRTUAL 5:00pm The Daily Jawn Evening Show 7:00pm Marte Um/Mars One 8:30 pm Closing Night Party @ PLA Courtyard 9:30pm

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VIRTUAL SCHEDULE Virtual screenings for individual ticket holders will be released and available on the timed schedule below. Ticket and pass holders can unlock the film screening within 48 hours of its release, and they have 24 hours to finish watching the film from the moment they unlock it.

Wednesday August 3

Thursday August 4

Lingui, the Sacred Bonds 10:00am

Storming Caesars Palace 10:00am

Revivify (shorts) 12:00pm

Sillage (shorts) 12:00pm

Let the Little Light Shine 2:00pm

One Take Grace 2:00pm

Bonded (Bandhua) 4:00pm

Rising Tides (shorts) 4:00pm

Gather Me (shorts) 6:00pm

Jasmine Is a Star 6:00pm

We Still Here / Nos Tenemos 8:00pm

Teine Sā — ­ the Ancient Ones 8:00pm

The Passion of Remembrance 10:00pm

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2022 BlackStar Film Festival


Friday August 5

Saturday August 6

Sunday August 7

Savvy (shorts) 10:00am

Lowndes County and the Road to Black Power 10:00am

Ãjãí: the Headball Game of the Myky and Manoki (Ãjãí: o jogo de cabeça dos Myky e Manoki) 10:00am

The African Desperate 12:00pm Pulsate (shorts) 2:00pm Aftershock 4:00pm Silent Beauty 6:00pm Locomote (shorts) 8:00pm

blackstarfest.org • #BSFF22

Effectuate (shorts) 12:00pm Observer Effect (shorts) 2:00pm Wisdom Gone Wild 4:00pm Kash Kash 6:00pm Hazing 8:00pm

Tug of War 12:00pm Rewind & Play 2:00pm Philadelphia Filmmaker Lab Films (shorts) 4:00pm Withstand (shorts) 6:00pm Mars One (Marte Um) 8:00pm

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Philadelphia Filmmaker Lab Bettina Escauriza FELLOWS

ABOUT BlackStar is proud to present the inaugural Philadelphia Filmmaker Lab, an opportunity designed to uplift emerging and mid-career artists in the Greater Philadelphia area. The year-long fellowship provides access to equipment, funding, and mentorship. BlackStar acts as an executive producer, identifying mentors, instructors, and producers and providing feedback on works-inprogress, advice for working with crew, marketing support, and distribution strategy. Xfinity provided a major portion of the funding for production. The films will have their world premiere at this year’s BlackStar Film Festival and will be featured on the Black Experience on Xfinity channel, a first-of-itskind destination of Black entertainment, movies, TV shows, news, and more. The 2021-22 Philadelphia Filmmaker Lab fellows are Bettina Escauriza, Jasmine Lynea, Julian Turner, and Xenia Matthews. The 2021-22 BlackStar Philadelphia Filmmaker Lab is presented by Xfinity, with additional support from All Ages Productions, Independence Public Media Foundation, Kickstarter, Vimeo, and Wyncote Foundation.

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From Asunción, Paraguay, Bettina Escauriza is a filmmaker, writer, artist, and actor living in Philadelphia. She is a natural storyteller from a family of frustrated mystics, spectacular liars, ill-fated thieves, and awful politicians. Her work deals with Indigenous knowledge, colonization, immigration, and exile. Her aim as a filmmaker is to tell stories about Indigenous people and people of color that are lush, sensual, thrilling, and complex. Her desire is to tell the truth about the communities she comes from by centering narratives of joy, defiance, and resistance in the face of oppression. Bettina does international human rights work at the United Nations, focusing specifically on the role of Indigenous Peoples and Indigenous knowledge in mitigating the climate crisis. Bettina is the Community News Producer at PhillyCAM and a film instructor for Philadelphia youth at Big Picture Alliance. Bettina is a Sundance Knight Foundation Fellow, a Flaherty Seminar Fellow, an October Colony Screenwriters Residency Fellow, an Open Immersion Virtual Reality Creative Development Lab Fellow, a Research and Curatorial Fellow at Slought (UPenn), and an IEar Fellow (RPI).

Tonight, We Eat Flowers Luis, a recent immigrant who sells “hold music” and Jamilah, a gourmet chef stuck working in a cubicle, fall in love under unlikely circumstances that involve absolutely terrible music, a lot of blood, and edible flowers.

2022 BlackStar Film Festival


Jasmine Lynea Jasmine Lynea is an artist and educator focused on composing avant-garde short films as a director, editor, and cinematographer. In an effort to preserve Black history through cinema, Lynea’s work explores ways in which Black people “safely” maneuver through this world by capturing fictional stories with a layer of realism, often rooted in Jasmine’s own experiences as a Black queer womxn. Raw, colorful, and politically weighted, Jasmine’s catalog and future works aim to design worlds centering on Black queer people’s practices of self-love, family relationships, and how we construct and create our existence. Jasmine hopes to design worlds of the future where Black folks and people of color can re-command spaces to transform our realities. Jasmine Lynea is also a film instructor at Samuel Fels High School, working and living in Philly. As a film teacher, who still practices the craft, Jasmine enjoys sharing and including students in her work. Lynea is dedicated to inspiring the youth to use film with intention and as a weapon to help shape the world.

The Love Machine After successfully building a time machine that uses love to help heal and replace harmful childhood memories, a teenage scientist/ influencer puts his new invention to the test to challenge intergenerational trauma.

Julian Turner Julian has been developing his style in hybrid fiction and documentary cinema for the better part of a decade. His 2019 fiction short May premiered at SXSW and played at Mill Valley Film Festival before being named a Vimeo Staff Pick and premiering on Short of the Week. His followup short, Viewing Room, was the recipient of the Knight Foundation’s 2019 Artist Alumni Fund and premiered at the Maryland Film Festival in 2020.

blackstarfest.org • #BSFF22

He also workshopped his feature screenplay, Cousin Sarah, at the Sundance Institute’s 2017 Screenwriters Intensive in Philadelphia. A native of Tennessee, Julian draws inspiration from the region’s complex cultural imagery and is interested in crafting narratives exploring interweaving themes of youth, community, and nostalgia. A graduate of Swarthmore College with concentrations in history, Black studies, and film and media studies, Julian lives in Philadelphia and works as a freelance film editor while continually expanding his portfolio.

Big Three In the early 1960s, a budding soul music label brings in a savvy group of local teenage musicians to offer feedback and inspiration to its early signees.

Xenia Matthews Xenia Matthews is an innovative film and visual artist who creates highly saturated hybrid films that stimulate the senses. Her work focuses on her personal experiences of Black womanhood— the joys, the struggles, the misunderstood— externalizing what is often only experienced internally. Her previous film A Few Things I'm Beginning to Understand just completed its festival run, screening at Indie Memphis, Slamdance, NFFTY, and many others. It is currently streaming on The Metrograph’s website. In the future, Xenia seeks to install her films, using physical space to enhance the immersive experience.

Ourika! Ourika!, a glamorous surreal sci-fi short film, deconstructs the old tale of Ourika, a Senegalese girl who was enslaved by a French aristocrat. She must see her true self to be set free.

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Tickets & Admission All passes and tickets can be purchased at blackstarfest.org/tickets.

PASSES

$250 All-access pass •

Admission to all in-person and virtual screenings

Admission to all in-person events, including First Friday! at the Barnes Foundation

Discounted admission to the Philadelphia Museum of Art, August 3-7, 2022

Access to BlackStar Pitch Session

10% off massage or sauna at Formation Sauna + Wellness during the month of August

$125 Virtual pass access to all virtual events •

Admission to all virtual screenings

Access to BlackStar Pitch Session

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Tickets: •

$5 Individual tickets for virtual screenings

$15 Individual in-person tickets

*All festival venues are wheelchair accessible. If you need special accommodation or have any questions about accessibility, please contact Jo Brown at jo@blackstarfest.org

ADMISSION POLICIES

Film Screenings:

All virtual screenings will be released and available on a timed schedule. Individual ticket holders and pass holders can unlock a film screening within 48 hours of its release, and they have 24 hours to finish watching from the moment they hit play. 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.

2022 BlackStar Film Festival


Live Online Events:

ACCESS Card Holders:

Online events, such as The Daily Jawn, 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 YouTube page and on our festival platform at watch.blackstarfest.org. Check the website for more information: blackstarfest.org/schedule.

BlackStar is offering PA and Art-Reach ACCESS cardholders individual tickets to virtual and inperson screenings for $2.00. To receive the discounted tickets, use the discount code “ACCAR22” at checkout when purchasing an individual ticket. When arriving at an in-person event, you may be asked to present your ACCESS card at entry.

BlackStar Pitch:

COVID-19 Safety Protocols:

The BlackStar Pitch Session on August 3, 2022, 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.

All festival attendees must show proof of vaccination and IDs at the door at all venues and for all indoor and outdoor in-person festival events.

In-Person Events: In addition to the digital screenings, there will be a slate of in-person events in Philadelphia this year, held indoors and outdoors. These include a free opening night party at Bartram’s Garden (registration required), free weekend yoga at Drexel Square, a free closing night party outdoors at Penn Live Arts, First Friday! featuring live music at the Barnes Foundation (free for all-access pass holders), and daily in-person film screenings and live panels at Penn Live Arts, August 3-7. Additionally, The Daily Jawn, our festival talk show, will be held daily in person in the Prince Theater at Penn Live Arts.

We would all like to do our part to keep our community safe and healthy. Please bring a physical or digital copy of your proof of vaccination, along with your valid ID. Upon checking vaccination status, you will receive a dated wristband so that you don’t have to show proof of vaccination again that day. We will be asking for your proof of vaccinations and IDs daily, and providing dated wristbands for the full day. Wearing masks is mandatory for all indoor venues, except briefly when eating and drinking; please be mindful of others and keep a distance. Mask wearing during outdoor events is optional but encouraged.

Visit blackstarfest.org for the latest information about all of our in-person events. blackstarfest.org • #BSFF22

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Membership Help BlackStar shine! BlackStar is able to mobilize the resources Black, Brown, and Indigenous artists need to thrive because of the financial support of our members. Every time we create something, we’re not solely event producing or project managing; we’re weaving together connections between individuals and organizations and building the world we envision. Co-create that vision with us by becoming a BlackStar member through a financial contribution.

Membership Benefits An annual BlackStar membership includes access to a members-only newsletter, waived festival submission fee, and other year-round benefits. Contributors in the Luminary Circle ($1,000+) receive additional perks, including discounts and invitations to exclusive events. Learn more at blackstarfest.org/donate and join today!

For More Information If you are interested in discussing a significant and/or multi-year gift, please contact Sara Zia Ebrahimi, Chief Operations Officer, at sarazia@blackstarfest.org.

blackstarfest.org • #BSFF22

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TH E P H I L LY P O D C A S T FROM VISIT PHILADELPHIA

LISTEN & SUBSCRIBE

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#lovegritphilly

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Partners Producing Community

Media Product

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Sponsors Platinum

Gold Silver blackstar.pdf

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5/18/22

3:01 PM

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www. un ique photo .com

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te l 2 15- 608-2222


Bronze

Brass

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Stories That Inspire From Communities of Color We are proud to celebrate and support the Blackstar Film Festival for continuously giving a platform to storytellers in the Black, Brown and Indigenous communities.

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2022 BlackStar Film Festival