BlackStar Film Festival Goes Digital

June 25, 2020NewsPress Release

BlackStar Film Festival Goes Digital

June 25, 2020

9th edition will take place August 20-26, 2020

PHILADELPHIA, PA —BlackStar Film Festival, the world’s premier celebration of Black, Brown, and Indigenous film and video artists, is pleased to announce that the ninth edition of our annual festival will take place August 20-26, 2020. In response to COVID-19, the festival will be presented entirely online. Additional information on ticketing, judging, sponsors, programming, and the slate of films that will be featured at this year’s festival will be announced soon. The festival schedule, participants, and events will be accessible at the festival’s website here as announcements are made. 

The week-long, all-digital program will be a dynamic endeavor; BlackStar will present more than 90 films, an array of live panels, and special events bringing together some of the most innovative and impactful filmmakers, producers, and thinkers working today.

“I am incredibly proud of our team and the work they have done to meet the challenges of this moment and present our festival this year,” says BlackStar Artistic Director & CEO Maori Karmael Holmes. “The format might be different, but our nearly decade-long mission of centering and celebrating the voices of Black, Brown, and Indigenous people from around the world is not. We look forward to sharing these incredible films and the immense talents behind them.”

BlackStar will work with digital distribution channel CineSend to make films easily accessible to festival goers in their own homes. Ticketed attendees will be able to view all the films through a single online portal, which will be available at

BlackStar receives support from its dedicated audience along with private foundations, public agencies, corporate, non-profit and individual sponsors. 2020 supporters include: Academy of Motion Pictures Arts & Sciences, Annenberg Center for the Performing Arts, Annenberg School for Communication at University of Pennsylvania, Barra Foundation, British Film Council, CineReach, Color of Change, Ford Foundation/JustFilms, Independent Public Media Foundation, MacArthur Foundation, Nathan Cummings Foundation, Netflix, PECO, Pennsylvania Department of Community & Economic Development, Pennsylvania Humanities Council, Philadelphia Cultural Fund, Surdna Foundation, WarnerMedia, and WHYY.

Last year’s festival, which drew nearly 10,000 attendees, saw the Best Feature Narrative Award go to Selah And The Spades, directed by Tayarisha Poe, and the Best Feature Documentary Award to The Infiltrators, directed by Cristina Ibarra & Alex Rivera. BlackStar’s 2019 edition also hosted a discussion between Spike Lee and #MeToo founder Tarana Burke commemorating the 30th anniversary of Lee’s Do The Right Thing, as well as the festival premiere of Solange Knowles’ film When I Get Home.

The full slate of films, parties and events will be announced in the coming weeks. For more overall information on the festival and its programs, visit

About BlackStar Film Festival
The BlackStar Film Festival is an annual celebration of the visual and storytelling traditions of
the African diaspora and global communities of color — showcasing films by Black, Brown, and
Indigenous people from around the world.

Press Contacts

Ed Winstead
Director, Cultural Counsel

Danellys “D.W.” Wong
Account Coordinator, Cultural Counsel

Robert Grand
Account Coordinator, Cultural Counsel

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