Blackstar Film Festival Trailer from BlackStar on Vimeo.
By: Patricia Trutescu
A new black film festival is born in Philly – the 1st Annual BlackStar Film Festival set to take place from August 2nd to the 5th this year at the International House of Philadelphia in University City. The line-up includes several independent titles like Soul Food Junkies, Audre Lorde – The Berlin Years 1984 to 1992, United States of Hoodoo, Brooklyn Boheme, a 20-minute preview of Middle of Nowhere – which will open in theaters in October – and more.
According the official press release, which was published on the IndieWire blog, Shadow and Act, The 1st Annual BlackStar Film Festival is “Philadelphia’s only celebration highlighting film makers from the African Diaspora…the festival will include more than 40 films from across the globe. This event is the creation of filmmaker and curator Maori Karmael Holmes.
Holmes says, “I’ve attended many film festivals and it’s been my experience that some of the most moving independent films go unnoticed by their intended audience – hometown folks, communities of color, etc. Films shape how we view ourselves and often the mainstream images most people have access to don’t accurately reflect our actual world.”
Holmes adds, “Philadelphia is an under-recognized source of artistic talent. Our goal with the festival is to highlight local filmmakers, offer an opportunity for networking among the creative, and also offer audiences a multicultural alternative to mainstream cinema.”
Maori Karmael Holmes is the director of the 2005 documentary, Scene Not Heard, a film that explores the struggles of women on the hip-hop scene in Philadelphia. She has also worked on numerous films and arts projects with mainstream and independent artists including heading up the Black Lily Film & Music Festival from 2006-2010.
For more details on the 1st Annual BlackStar Film Festival, please visit www.blackstarfest.org.