Flashpoint Extra: BlackStar Film Festival draws big names to Philadelphia

July 31, 2019 - 6:00 am
BlackStar Film Festival.

Courtesy of BlackStar Film Festival


PHILADELPHIA (KYW Newsradio) — The eighth annual BlackStar Film Festival, which includes more than 100 films, will kick off Thursday in University City, and it's drawing big-name filmmakers.

BlackStar is the annual celebration of the visual storytelling traditions of people of the African diaspora and global communities of color.

"It's a boutique festival," said Maori Holmes, a filmmaker, curator and director of BlackStar. "We curate films that are either pushing the boundaries esthetically, politically, and it's really beautiful when they do that together."

The event started with 40 films, and it has grown over the years. This year, Holmes curated 115 films ranging from documentaries to features to music videos.

She says their goal is to showcase independent filmmakers from around the world.

Some highlights include talk backs and panels with power players.

Maori Holmes.
Cherri Gregg/KYW Newsradio

"We have a special program with Spike Lee and Tarana Burke. They'll be talking about 'Do the Right Thing' 30 years later," she said. "We also have a program, Amir 'Questlove' Thompson and Tariq 'Black Thought' Trotter have executive produced a new documentary series, and we will sneak preview the first episode."

Other highlights include "Jezebel," which is about internet fetish camera girls, and "When I get Home," a film by singer Solange Knowles. 

BlackStar kicks off Aug. 1 and runs through Aug. 4. For details, go to blackstarfest.org