The inaugural Blackstar Film Festival went down in Philly this past weekend under the direction of Maori Karmael Holmes.
Guests included Nelson George, Louis Massiah, Ava DuVernay and Radha Blank among others.
I am admittedly jaded in regards to festivals. I enjoy a good festival, but often times, newer and smaller fests bite off more than they can chew and don’t offer a decent slate of films. A few years back I attended a festival where the fest’s director hadn’t screened the opening night film and had no idea of how bad (and unfinished) it was until it was too late and the audience was groaning.
Blackstar, however, was the most enjoyable festival I’ve been to in years. It managed to create a space that felt more like a reunion, than an industry event.
Ava DuVernay tweeted after her talk, “Something extraordinary is happening in Philly. So beautiful. So nourishing. So necessary. A stellar experience.”
A graduate of the American Film Institute (M.F.A., Screenwriting), Phill is currently an Assistant Professor of English and Cinema Studies at his undergraduate alma mater Hampton University (B.A., Mass Media). Phill is a former president of the Los Angeles chapter of the National Association of Black Journalists. He also has an essay in the upcoming anthology “For Colored Boys Who Have Considered Suicide when the Rainbow is Still Not Enough: Coming of Age, Coming Out and Coming Home." In addition, he co-created and writes an award-winning web series, The PuNanny Diaries.