2014 Festival Juries Announced!

June 10, 2014

The 3rd annual international festival also announces a new partnership for selected works to appear on Black&Sexy TV’s VOD Platform

PHILADELPHIA – The producing committee of the third annual BlackStar Film Festival announced its juries for the film and screenplay competitions today. This announcement comes about three weeks after the submissions closed. The full film program will be announced later this month. The awards in each category will be presented during an awards ceremony at World Café Live on Sunday August 3.

The 2014 award categories:

•   Short Documentary
•   Short Narrative
•   Feature Documentary
•   Feature Narrative
   Short Screenplay Competition
•   BlackStar Special Jury Prize

This year’s jurors include film and television professionals with a wide range of experience including directors Terence Nance and Pete Chatmon, actress/producer Numa Perrier, executive Franklin Leonard (The Black List), producer Warrington Hudlin, and critic Tambay Obenson. The winning films will receive an award and recognition during the ceremony. The winning screenplay will be produced by BlackStar and directed by celebrated mediamaker Terence Nance.

Films presented in the festival will also be part of a special competition in partnership with Black&Sexy TV. Three projects will be offered distribution through the VOD platform recently launched by the network.

Black&Sexy co-founder Numa Perrier says, “The BlackStar Film Festival is exactly what we have been waiting for- a rich and discerning curation of the best in Indie Black Cinema.  The entire festival experience is invigorating and inspiring for us as fellow creators and lovers of Black Film.  We are extremely excited to partner with BlackStar in giving these films an additional platform.”

The third annual festival takes place from Thursday, July 31st through Sunday, August 3rd at venues throughout University City including International House Philadelphia, Institute of Contemporary Art at University of Pennsylvania, Scribe Video Center, and World Café Live.

2014 BlackStar Film Festival Juror Bios

Feature Documentary Jury

Jacquie Jones
Jacquie Jones is a producer, writer and director of documentary films. Her 2013 series for PBS, 180 Days: A Year Inside an American High School, won a Peabody Award, a Gracie Award and is a finalist for the Media for a Just Society Award for best film. Her other work includes Africans in America: America’s Journey Through Slavery, From Behind Closed Doors: Sex in the 20th Century and the series Matters of Race.  Jacquie was formerly the executive director of the National Black Programming Consortium (NBPC), a 30-year-old media arts organization that funds, distributes and produces public interest media for all platforms, where she instituted a range of innovative digital initiatives. She is also a Girl Scout troop leader and enjoys nature hikes … haha …

Michelle Materre
Michelle Materre’s professional background spans 25 years in television, film and video with a concentration on independent film. She managed the marketing and positioning of 23 films, including Julie Dash’s highly acclaimed film Daughters of the Dust and by Raoul Peck’s L’Homme Sur Les Quais (The Man by the Shore). For the past 15 years, she has served as the lead curator of Creatively Speaking, a film series that introduces audiences to the work of independent filmmakers of color.

Warrington Hudlin
Warrington Hudlin is a celebrated filmmaker, film curator, and producer of popular feature films, HOUSE PARTY, BOOMERANG, and BEBE’S KIDS. Warrington Hudlin is a member of the board of trustees and guest film curator at the Museum of the Moving Image in NYC and serves on the advisory board of the Tribeca Film Institute’s All Access Program. Hudlin has programmed film festivals and series in Europe, Africa, and the Caribbean and was the co-founder and curator of the Acapulco Black Film Festival, which was held in Mexico from 1997 to 2001.

Feature Narrative Jury

Layne Eskridge
Layne Eskridge is an Executive at Ellen DeGeneres’ production company, A VERY GOOD PRODUCTION, where she is responsible for developing scripted projects for both broadcast and cable television, and digital platforms.

Montré Missouri
Montré Missouri is an assistant film professor at Howard University, independent filmmaker, curator and Founding Director of the Parallel Film Collective.  Montré is a Washingron, DC native who has directed and produced short films in England, Northern Ireland Ghana and Nigeria.

Sherwood Herndon
Sherwood Herndon is Executive Chairman at Wu-World Radio and Partner at Wu-Tang Management. As a partner with Wu Management, his endeavors have expanded the Wu-Tang brand into fashion merchandising, comic books, games and film.

Short Documentary Jury

Dyana Williams
Dyana Williams is a producer and on-air personality at Radio One. Credits include Unsung (TV One), among others. Dyana is CEO of Influence Entertainment, an in-demand celebrity strategist, and has served as governor for the Philadelphia Chapter of the Recording Academy, and is an active board member of the Marian Anderson Award.

Shantrelle Lewis
Shantrelle P. Lewis is a 2014 United Nations Programme for People of African Descent Fellow and 2012-13 Andy Warhol Curatorial Fellow. She is a U.S. based curator and researcher who travels internationally researching Diasporic aesthetics, spirituality and the survival and evolution of African retentions. She is currently directing and producing a documentary about blackface in the Netherlands.

Tambay Obenson
38, is a director, actor, writer and film critic. The Nigerian-born filmmaker financed, directed, produced and starred in his first film in 2006, Beautiful Things.  His personal blog, Shadow and Act, has grown into a vital part of IndieWire’s film coverage by bringing more coverage and awareness to the work of African Americans in the film business.

Short Narrative Jury

Numa Perrier
Numa Perrier is Co-Founder of Black&SexyTV, where she is responsible for creating and writing for numerous hit series for the network.  She is notably known for starring in and writing for The Couple, which is in development at HBO with Spike Lee as Executive Producer.

Pete Chatmon
Pete Chatmon is an award winning writer and director.  Chatmon is the recipient of the 2008 Tribeca Film Festival “All Access” Program’s Creative Promise Narrative Award for the bank heist screenplay $Free.99 His debut feature, Premium, starred Dorian Missick, Zoe Saldana, and Hill Harper.

Tanya Wright
Tanya Wright is an actor, writer and director; she currently recurs in the role of Crystal Burset on ORANGE IS THE NEW BLACK and Deputy Kenya Jones on TRUE BLOOD. Her directorial debut from her screenplay, Butterfly Rising, was a finalist for the HBO Best Feature Film award at the Martha’s Vineyard African-American Film Festival. She is currently producing a transmedia interactive project called HAIRiette of HARLEM based on her sad, funny relationship with her natural hair.

Short Screenplay Competition

Angela Northington
Angela Northington is the VP of Content Licensing & Acquisitions at Revolt Media & TV. Angela is a seasoned entertainment executive with an extensive background in content acquisitions and development. Angela has held previous posts at several companies on the cutting edge of independent film distribution, including Code Black Entertainment, Simmons Lathan Media Group and Urban Entertainment (Time Warner).

Franklin Leonard
Franklin Leonard is the founder of the Black List and a former film executive for the production companies of Will Smith, Sydney Pollack & Anthony Minghella, and Leonardo DiCaprio. The Black List is a yearly publication featuring Hollywood’s most popular unproduced screenplays. Since its inception, more than 200 Black List screenplays have been made into feature films, earning over 16 billion in box office sales and receiving 25 Academy Awards and 148 nominations.

Tanya Hamilton
Tanya Hamilton is a Jamaica-born filmmaker who made her feature film debut with the award-winning Night Catches Us. The film won five Black Reel Awards, including Best Film and Best Screenplay. It was also nominated for an Independent Spirit Award, four Image Awards, and the Sundance Grand Jury Prize.  Night Catches Us features a soundtrack by The Roots and stars Kerry Washington and Wendell Pierce.

Terence Nance
Terence Nance is an artist who writes and directs feature films. His first film, An Oversimplification of Her Beauty, premiered at the 2012 Sundance Film Festival. Terence is also a musician who makes music under the name Terence Etc. His sound is classified as “Art – Funk”.  Terence is currently bicoastal, residing in both Oakland, CA and Bedford-Stuyvesant, Brooklyn – along with the rest of The Swarm.

For more information contact Lauren Jane Holland at or 267.225.7754.