7th Annual Festival

August 2-5, 2018

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#BSFF17’s Re-cap!



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Film Lineup

This year we’ll be screening over 60 films! The theme of this year’s festival is Resistance, examining political and social uprisings around the world and in the U.S., from the upheaval of the 1960s to the Los Angeles riots in the 1990s to the uprising in Ferguson and the current moment of unrest.

Feature Documentary

Action Kommandant

The untold story of slain South African liberation fighter Ashley Kriel who grew to become the symbol of 1980s youth resistance.

Short Documentary

black enuf*

A queer oddball on a quest for a Black Card (undeniable acceptance of their racial identity).

Short Narrative

The Tale of Four

Inspired by Nina Simone’s song Four Women, this narrative explores the inner lives and reflects multifaceted African American women.

Feature Narrative

Ayiti Mon Amour

A magical neorealist tale, where three stories combine to create a poetic portrait of the island nation of Haiti.

Feature Documentary

Tell Them We Are Rising

Directed by award-winning documentary filmmaker Stanley Nelson, this documentary examines the impact HBCUs on American history.

Feature Narrative

195 Lewis

A Black lesbian couple in Bed-Stuy strive to practice radical honesty in their newly polyamorous relationship.



Rebel slaves and their descendants fought a protracted war with the British in 1739, leading to the establishment of a treaty that granted them 1,500 acres of land.

A Look Back

Check out the gallery of photos from previous festivals

Latest News

February 11, 2018

BlackStar has announced the appointment of Meg Onli as Festival Director and Patrice Worthy as Managing Director to join the part-time team. The creation of the Festival Director position was an intentional shift to focus on expanding administrative capacity as the organization evolves. Patrice Worthy steps into the role of Managing Director after serving as […]

August 14, 2017

BlackStar Film Festival proudly announces the winners of the 2017 Festival awards. The Festival, which took place August 3-6, 2017 in Philadelphia, was the biggest yet, attracting thousands of film enthusiasts from around the world with multiple sold-out events. “We were lucky to have an exceptionally strong lineup of films this year, and we saw […]

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 […]

Sponsors & Partners

The 2017 BlackStar Film Festival is generously supported by the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation, Wyncote Foundation, Xfinity Streampix, Ford Foundation | JustFilms, Barra Foundation, PECO, Fox Inclusion, Fox Rothschild, Visit Philadelphia, University of Pennsylvania School of Social Policy and Practice, Lomax Family Foundation, Urban Movie Channel, 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, Pearlstein Gallery, The Alliance for Media Arts + Culture, Sundance Film Institute, and Moxy PR.

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