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BlackStar Film Festival goes digital for 2020 edition

The Philadelphia-set BlackStar Film Festival — a celebration of Black, Brown and Indigenous film and video artists — is moving its ninth edition online in response to COVID-19. The week-long digital ...
June 26, 2020


The Philadelphia-set BlackStar Film Festival — a celebration of Black, Brown and Indigenous film and video artists — is moving its ninth edition online in response to COVID-19.

The week-long digital event will be held Aug. 20 to 26, presenting more than 90 films, an array of live panels and special events bringing together filmmakers, producers and thinkers.

BlackStar will work with digital distribution channel CineSend to make films accessible to festival goers in their own homes. Ticketed attendees will be able to view all the films through a single online portal.

Additional information on ticketing, judging, sponsors, programming, and the slate of films that will be featured at this year’s festival are expected to be announced soon.

“I am incredibly proud of our team and the work they have done to meet the challenges of this moment and present our festival this year,” BlackStar artistic director and CEO Maori Karmael Holmes said in a statement. “The format might be different, but our nearly decade-long mission of centering and celebrating the voices of Black, Brown, and Indigenous people from around the world is not. We look forward to sharing these incredible films and the immense talents behind them.”

Last year’s festival, which drew nearly 10,000 attendees, saw the best feature documentary award go to The Infiltrators, directed by Cristina Ibarra and Alex Rivera.

BlackStar’s 2019 edition also hosted a discussion between Spike Lee and #MeToo founder Tarana Burke commemorating the 30th anniversary of Lee’s Do The Right Thing, as well as the festival premiere of Solange Knowles’ film When I Get Home.

About The Author
Andrew Jeffrey joined Realscreen in 2021 as its news editor. Here, he helps to oversee assignment, reporting and editing for Realscreen's daily newsletter. Prior to his work covering documentary and non-fiction film and TV, he worked as a reporter and associate producer for CBC Edmonton, and as a reporter for The Star Calgary, where he covered daily news on beats such as local and provincial politics, health care and harm reduction, sports and education. His work has appeared in other Canadian news outlets such as TVO, the Edmonton Journal and Avenue Magazine.

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