Presented by Kelly Strayhorn Theater
Originating in Philadelphia, the BlackStar Film Festival illuminates the global black experience through films by and about people of African descent from across the world. KST will share films from the festival, an outlet for often-overlooked cinema by directors, writers, and producers working in narrative, documentary, experimental, and music video filmmaking.
Festival Schedule | 1 PM – 11 PM
- All Day Ujamaa Collective Marketplace
- 1–2:30 PM “Black Film Now” Panel Discussion
- 2:45–3:45 PM The Couple + Q&A w/ Numa Perrier
- 4–5:30 PM African Short Films + Q&A w/ Sosena Solomon
- 5:45–7:45 PM Things Never Said + Q&A w/ Charles Murray
- 8–11 PM FunkJazz Kafé: Diary Of A Decade (The Story Of A Movement) + Q&A w/ Jason Orr
“Black Film Now” Panel Discussion
“Black Film Now” explores the state of black independent film, looking at industry and representation. The panel will be moderated by janera solomon, executive director of KST.
Trailer :: The Couple is a comedy that explores the issues that couples face at some point in their relationships. Created by Jeanine Daniels and Dennis Dortch, and directed by Dortch, the web series stars Numa Perrier and Desmond Faison. Due to the popularity and success of this show, Spike Lee has come on board as an executive producer for a new venture deal with HBO.
African Short Films
Highlighting the international flair of the festival, these shorts are directed by female filmmakers from throughout the Diaspora living in different parts of the United States.
Trailer :: Director: Sosena Solomon, Documentary Short Film, Ethiopia, USA, 19 min.
Merkato takes a personal journey through one of the largest and oldest open-air markets in Africa (Addis Ababa, Ethiopia). From the perspective of five personal stories a reflection emerges of a fascinating place that is a true microcosm of the human condition. The culture and way of life for many of Merkato’s merchants is under threat by modern development.
Trailer :: Director/Writer: Frances Bodomo, Short Film, Ghana, USA, 12 min.
An African family, lost in America, travels to a Louisiana church to find a cure for its problem child.
Sweet, Sweet Country (2013)
Trailer :: Director/Writer: Dehanza Rogers, Short Film, USA, 18 min.
A 20 year-old refugee, Ndizeye lives in a small Southern town struggling to support not only herself, but the family she left behind in a Kenyan refugee camp. Her struggle becomes so much more when her family literally shows up at her doorstep.
Things Never Said (2013)
Trailer :: Director/Writer: Charles Murray, Film, USA, 112 min.
Kalinda Stepney (Shanola Hampton) is an aspiring poetess, but inside she’s an artist who’s lost. Haunted by dreams deferred and a dangerous marriage, this Los Angelean yearns to perform on New York’s most acclaimed spoken word stage.
Diary of a Decade (2012)
Trailer :: Director/Writer: Jason Orr, Film, USA, 143 min.
Spanning the late 1980’s through to the early 2000s, Diary of a Decade goes deep into the fabric of soul music, its definitions, pioneers, offspring, movements, and the challenges with the “mainstream” industry, as well as the evolution of the FunkJazz Kafé Arts & Music Festival. Includes special appearances by Jamie Foxx, Erykah Badu, Andre 3000, and Janelle Monae.