Aug. 4

Pearlstein Gallery

BlackStar Youth: Behind the Camera & Beyond the Reel Panel

Some folks are in the business of making films, some folks are in the business of managing the structures that support filmmaking…and some folks do both!

Join us for Behind the Camera & Beyond the Reel, a dynamic panel of filmmakers and cultural workers, who will discuss how they navigate careers making films, managing commercial work, and collaborating with organizations on artistic projects as part of their creative practice.

This panel with serve youth film and media artists ages 22 and under. Join diverse film and media professionals as they share their insights on developing creative approaches to visual and cinematic arts as well as the experiences and lessons gained in their ongoing journey across fields.

Because this is a free event we will enable up to 250 people to register, however the venue can only accommodate 120 attendees. RSVP Required.

Aniya Wolfe


16-years-old, filmmaker/director Aniya Wolfe from Philadelphia, started her company Beauty Scene Productions, LLC, two years ago where she uses the proceeds to fund her film projects. Aniya has written, produced, directed and edited two short films and a full-length feature film called Beyond My Skin. Her second film SKIN addresses the various challenges and issues facing today’s youth. She is currently casting and filming her most recent project, a 7-part series called SEVEN where she is giving youth a voice from a Gen-Z perspective. Beauty Scene Productions specializes in directing, videography and editing services. Despite her age, Aniya has taken full advantage of every opportunity to gain experience and pursue her dream of becoming a successful thought-provoking filmmaker. This past summer she moved to Los Angeles and has worked as a director on several projects, including season two of the Google series GODCOMPLX that had its premiere at American Black Film Festival and a music video for NDJ called “Make Me Say”which has over 115,000 views on YouTube.

Heidi Saman

Heidi Saman was named one of Filmmaker Magazine’s 25 New Faces to Watch. Her first feature film, Namour, was acquired by Ava DuVernay’s distribution collective, ARRAY, and is currently streaming on Netflix. In 2008, Saman’s short film The Maid (il Shaghala) premiered in competition at the Cannes Film Festival and received the Princess Grace Foundation Honorarium Award. She is a 2016-2018 Pew Fellow in the Arts and is currently a producer for NPR’s Fresh Air with Terry Gross. Heidi is developing her second feature film The Armenian Club with the Sundance Institute’s Film Two Initiative.

Iyabo Boyd

Iyabo Boyd is an independent film producer, writer, and director working in documentary and fiction. She was a 2018 Sundance Screenwriting Intensive participant for a fiction script in development, as well as a 2016 Sundance Creative Producers Fellow and a 2016 Impact Partners Creative Producers Fellow. Iyabo produced the feature documentary For Ahkeem which had its international premiere at the 2017 Berlin International Film Festival, and its US premiere at the 2017 Tribeca International Film Festival. She co-wrote and directed the short fiction film Forever Ally, which premiered at the Seattle Lesbian & Gay Film Festival in 2015. Iyabo is the founder of Feedback Loop, a documentary consulting firm, and started the Brown Girls Doc Mafia, a collective for women filmmakers of color working in documentary, which has over 1,700 members globally. Originally from Denver, she graduated from NYU’s Tisch School of the Arts with a BA in Film & Television, and lives in Brooklyn, NY.

Lendl Tellington

Lendl Tellington is a filmmaker and photographer working in both documentary and fiction. He creates short films, commercials and a podcast for science museum, The Franklin Institute. Currently, he is in post-production on his first feature film, …that’s why he made momma. His work will be projected on the façade of the International Center for Photography this fall. When he’s not behind the camera he is the Production Coordinator at BlackStar film Festival.

Marie Alarcón

Marie Alarcón is a multimedia artist who’s work combines documentary, performance, and sound design. They are inspired by liminality, hybridity and the way that cinema functions as collective memory with a focus on the silent historical relationships embedded in geography. She is currently a collaborator with the performance collective SWARM.

Michael Premo

Michael Premo is a multi-disciplinary artist, journalist and documentary storyteller. He is co-founder and Executive Producer at Storyline. Michael has created, produced and presented original work with numerous companies including Hip-Hop Theater Festival, The Foundry Theater, The Civilians, and the Peabody Award winning StoryCorps. Michael’s photography has appeared in publications like The Village Voice, The New York Times, and Het Parool (Holland), among others. He is an affiliate consultant/trainer for the Interaction Institute for Social Change and most recently he is working with Naomi Klein and Avi Lewis, helping design and implement a global outreach and engagement campaign for their book and film project, This Changes Everything. Michael is on the Board of Trustees of A Blade of Grass.