6th Annual Festival

August 3-6, 2017


Receive discounts, VIP access, and special perks.


2017 Pass

All-Access pass on pre-sale for 20% off until June 30.



Special rates apply for festival goers.



Help support this year’s festival.


A Look Back

Check out the gallery of photos from previous festivals


Film Lineup

In 2016 we presented over 60 films—a carefully curated selection of some of the best independent films made by and about people of African descent and global indigenous communities. Here’s a small sample of some of the films we featured.

Feature Narrative

Lambadina (Night Light)

A journey that opens in the Addis Ababa and ends in Los Angeles, depicting the challenges of establishing life in a foreign land.

Feature Documentary

Spirits of Rebellion: Black Cinema from UCLA

Documenting critically acclaimed yet relatively unknown black filmmakers and media artists known as the Los Angeles Rebellion.

Short Narrative


A modern Romeo and Juliet meet on a city bus. Life is great when you’re in love. However, unfortunately your fate has already been sealed.


Reluctantly Queer

A young Ghanaian man struggles to reconcile his love for his mother with his love for same-sex desire amid the increased tensions incited by same-sex politics in Ghana.

Short Documentary

Two Cities

Locked inside the mind and memory of Dr. Mtangulizi Sanyika, reflecting what it means to be part of the displaced New Orleans population in Houston.

Short Narrative


After being beaten up and humiliated by a group of tough kids, an awkward and quirky pre-teen finds something out that inspires him to stand up to himself.

Feature Narrative

9 Rides

On the busiest night of the year, an Uber driver in Los Angeles gets life-changing news.

Join Us

For the 6th celebration of cinema focused on work by and about people of color in a global context.

2017 schedule and details to come!

Latest News

June 18, 2017

As part of Free First Sunday at the Barnes, BlackStar will be presenting a special screening of the film L.A. BURNING: THE RIOTS 25 YEARS LATER on Sunday, July 2, 2017, at the Barnes Foundation. Director Erik Parker (Nas: Time is Illmatic) and scholar Gwendolyn DuBois Shaw (University of Pennsylvania) will discuss the film, which […]

April 8, 2017

We’re very excited to have a selection of 17 films from the BlackStar catalog streaming on XFINITY’s Streampix channel! Beginning this month catch some past festival favorites and winners—new titles are added weekly. On the partnership, Comcast’s Executive Director of Multicultural Products and Consumer Services, Keesha Boyd, noted, “We’re excited to officially announce we have partnered […]

August 31, 2016

In case you missed the special public conversation on black aesthetics between legendary director and professor Haile Gerima and filmmaker/scholar John L. Jackson, Jr., during the festival, or if you were there and would like to relive it, you can watch the conversation online. The discussion of politics, love, black aesthetics, philosophy, self-definition, and depictions of the […]

Sponsors & Partners

The 2017 BlackStar Film Festival is generously supported by Ford Foundation | JustFilms, Barra Foundation, PECO, Fox Inclusion, University of Pennsylvania School of Social Policy and Practice, Annenberg School for Communication at the University of Pennsylvania, and individual donors; as well as a gracious network of partners including All Ages Productions, The Barnes Foundation, Institute of Contemporary Art Philadelphia, Lightbox Film Center, Johnny Brenda’s, World Café Live, Leonard Pearlstein Gallery at Drexel University, The Alliance for Media Arts + Culture, and Moxy PR.

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