The 2nd annual BlackStar Film Festival, which opens today, running from August 1- 4 in Philadelphia, will screen quite an impressive lineup that includes several titles you should be familiar with, since we've covered them here - to name a few: Andrew Dosonmu's Mother of George, David Tosh Gitonga’s Kenyan drama Nairobi Half Life, Alain Gomis' French/Senegalese drama Aujord'hui/Tey and Charles Murray's Things Never Said.
BSFF will also premiere the documentary Black February, which profiles legendary Jazz composer Lawrence D. "Butch" Morris and Roxana Walker-Canton's documentary Living Thinkers: An Autobiography of Black Women in the Ivory Tower.
BSFF - which will screen 75 feature films, shorts, and music videos, from 4 continents - will hold an awards competition, including an audience awards component to honor the Howard University Film Program, presented by acclaimed director Haile Gerima.
Festival founder and artistic director Maori Karmael Holmes released the following statement:
“Black identity is not small or narrow. Yet often, when we watch movies created by the major studios we see the same stories repeated. Our hope is that BlackStar disrupts stereotypes and creates a visual conversation about the diversity of blackness that carries on long after the credits roll. Too many filmmakers spend countless hours and thousands of dollars to create brilliant films that never get seen. BlackStar is part of a burgeoning independent infrastructure that connects underrepresented artists of color with their kindred audiences and opportunities for greater exposure.”