July 31, 2015
The BlackStar Film Festival runs from Thursday to Sunday, featuring some of the best films from black directors, writers, and documentarians encompassing the African diaspora. Films such as BaddDDD Sonia Sanchez and dream hampton's Treasure: From Tragedy to Trans Justice, Mapping a Detroit Story aren't the only must-sees at the fest. We chose five more. All tickets are $12; $8 for students or seniors: Life Essentials with Ruby Dee: Director Muta'Ali Muhammad tells the story of his grandparents, who happen to be famed actors and activists Ruby Dee and Ossie Davis.
July 31, 2015 |
When the BlackStar Film Festival, highlighting cinema culled from the African diaspora, hits venues around University City starting Thursday, it will bring its usual retinue of serious narrative and documentary fare. BlackStar's closing film happens to be its starkest, darkest entry: Treasure: From Tragedy to Trans Justice, Mapping a Detroit Story , a documentary from filmmaker dream hampton about the vicious 2011 murder of a black trans teen, 19-year-old Shelley "Treasure" Hilliard, who was ritually burned and dismembered, as though her murderer had a desire to erase rather than kill.
August 2, 2014 |
On Saturday at the Annenberg School for Communication, the BlackStar Film Festival spotlights movies by local youths and kids from around the country, screening short films written, directed, and produced by African American filmmakers 14 to 22. The festival, which features indie black films, continues through Sunday at International House with celebrity appearances and post-film Q&A sessions. Saturday's cinematic journey begins at 1:30 p.m. with the full-length film Troop 491: The Adventures of the Muddy Lions , about a young boy caught between the code of the street and the Boy Scouts.
August 1, 2014 |
When she brought Philadelphia's BlackStar Film Festival into being two years ago, Maori Holmes, its producing artistic director, was carrying out an imperative. She thought it necessary, she says, "to address what felt then - and feels now - like an absence of representation of people of African descent in the mainstream festivals in town. " Even black film fests have tended to cast the spotlight on "Hollywood films that feature black people," Holmes says. But she wanted to look beyond the best-knowns - the Spike Lees, the Steve McQueens - and "create a space" to explore the African diaspora and "global black identity through an independent lens.
July 24, 2014 |
OMAR coming! Michael K. Williams , of "The Wire," who also was seen in last weekend's box-office success "The Purge: Anarchy" and in HBO's "Boardwalk Empire," will be an honored guest at the BlackStar Film Festival, taking place July 31 to Aug. 3. Williams is in "They Die by Dawn," a neo-Western also featuring Giancarlo Esposito ("Breaking Bad"), Jesse Williams ("Grey's Anatomy"), Rosario Dawson ("Men in Black II"), Isaiah Washington ("Grey's Anatomy") and Erykah Badu . Williams will appear with director Jeymes Samuel at the screening at International House (3701 Chestnut St.)
March 22, 2014 |
GLASSBORO As a high school student, Madeline Brewer was a bit of an outsider, shy and subject to criticism over her hopes of going into acting. As an actress known for her role as the cornrowed, tattooed, and drug-addicted Tricia on Orange Is the New Black , Brewer finds many of those insecurities remain despite her success. "Everybody struggles with things, and although you can think someone is the most put-together person, everybody struggles. There's always something to overcome," Brewer said, noting the entertainment industry can be "very unforgiving to women.
February 17, 2013 |
If anyone out there has a giant (27-inch by 41-inch) original MGM-issued poster for the 1929 King Vidor film Hallelujah! , John Kisch would very much like to meet you. The director of A Separate Cinema, an archive of almost 35,000 posters, lobby cards, film stills, and graphic images chronicling the history of black cinema in America - from the Silent Era to the not-at-all-silent Tyler Perry - Kisch is still on the prowl, 40 years since he began...
August 24, 2012 |
WASHINGTON - The news came this week that movie director Tony Scott had committed suicide by leaping from a Los Angeles bridge, and many of the remembrances have focused on his most famous action movies, including Top Gun , and his kinetic visual style. But as interesting as how he told his stories is the people they were about. Scott frequently directed black stars, including Eddie Murphy in Beverly Hills Cop II , Wesley Snipes in The Fan , Will Smith in Enemy of the State , and his frequent leading man Denzel Washington in Man on Fire , Deja Vu , his remake of The Taking of Pelham 1 2 3, and Unstoppable . And while action movies with male main characters made up much of his career, Scott's movies also included a number of fascinating, unsettling roles for women.
August 3, 2012 |
'I didn't know it would be a festival. " That's Maori Karmael Holmes, artistic director of the first annual BlackStar Film Festival, which runs Thursday through Sunday at the African American Museum, Art Sanctuary, and International House. It wasn't supposed to get this big, but now BlackStar is four days of black films and filmmakers from all over the globe - "40 films, 4 continents, 4 days. " Holmes has been "curating films in and around Philadelphia for years. I wanted to do a showcase of some films at International House," in West Philadelphia, she says, "and I secured the dates months and months ago. " But as she started talking to people, she heard of filmmakers and films crying out for larger audiences.
August 1, 2012 |
MAORI Karmael Holmes didn't set out to create a film festival. She had booked some dates at West Philly's International House simply to screen some good movies about the African experience. But there were so many worthy entries to choose from, she couldn't bear to pare them down. "I'm pretty pragmatic, but I do dream big," said Holmes, a graduate of Temple University's Master of Fine Arts program and, by day, the associate director of the Leeway Foundation, a nonprofit that focuses on women and the transgendered.