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 them resonate with our audience,” says producing artistic director Maori Karmael Holmes. “We’re proud that BlackStar can provide a platform for excellent work across genres and give filmmakers of color a place to convene and share ideas.”

This year’s Festival, with the theme of Resistance, featured over 60 films from around the world. Juried awards were presented at the BlackStar Awards Ceremony at World Café Live.  Audience favorite awards are determined by audience member ballots. The 2017 award winners are:

 

JURIED AWARDS

 

Richard Nichols Luminary Award

Ava DuVernay

 

Best Documentary Feature

NOMINEES

  • Action Kommandant (Nadine Cloete)
  • Horace Tapscott: Musical Griot (Barbara McCullough)
  • Tell Them We Are Rising: The Story of Black Colleges and Universities (Stanley Nelson)
  • Whose Streets? (Sabaah Folayan and Damon Davis)

WINNER: Whose Streets? (Sabaah Folayan and Damon Davis)

 

Best Narrative Feature

NOMINEES

  • Ayiti Mon Amour (Guetty Felin)
  • Hello Cupid (Dennis Dortch, Numa Perrier, Tina Cerin)
  • Ironwood (Shahin Izadi)

WINNER: Ayiti Mon Amour (Guetty Felin)

 

Best Short Documentary

NOMINEES

  • black enuf* (Carrie Hawks)
  • How They Sway (Jaad Asante)
  • Kojo: A Short Documentary (Michael Fequiere)
  • Water Warriors (Michael Premo)

WINNER: Water Warriors (Michael Premo)

 

Best Short Narrative

NOMINEES

  • Conversations With Otura Mun (Omid Fatemi)
  • Marabout (Sy Alassane)
  • The Philadelphia Bicycle Vignette Story (Bryan Oliver Green)
  • See You Yesterday (Stefon Bristol)
  • The Tale of Four (Gabourey Sidibe)
  • They Charge for the Sun (Terence Nance)
  • To Be Free (Adepero Oduye)

WINNER: They Charge for the Sun (Terence Nance)

 

Best Experimental Film

NOMINEES

  • Forged from the Love of Liberty (Vashti Harrison)
  • A Hotel Called Memory (Akin Omotoso)
  • Kindah (Ephraim Asili)
  • Mtindo (Ng’endo Mukii)
  • Mugabo (Amelia Umuhire)
  • Proclamation Punctuation (Sewra G Kidane)

WINNER: Mugabo (Amelia Umuhire)

 

Best Youth Film (Ages 11-18)

NOMINEES

  • Moore’s Class Documentary (WHYY Media Lab)
  • We Are Sankofa (Big Picture Alliance)

WINNER: We Are Sankofa (Big Picture Alliance)

 

Best Youth Film (Ages 19-23)

NOMINEES

  • Flesh and Iron (Emma Michalak)
  • Greetings to Browned Blue Flowers (Udochi Ekwerike)
  • Hot & Bothered (Leah Byrd)

WINNER: Flesh and Iron (Emma Michalak)

 

FOX Inclusion Emerging Voices Award: Narrative

Sketch (Mariama Diallo)

 

Fox Inclusion Emerging Voices Award: Documentary

Kojo: A short Documentary (Michael Fequiere)

 

AUDIENCE AWARDS

 

2017 Festival Jurors:

 

Documentary

Patricia White
Eugene Lang Research Professor of Film and Media Studies, Swarthmore College

Heidi Saman
Filmmaker & Associate Producer, Fresh Air

Lina Srivastava
Founder, Creative Impact and Experience Lab (CIEL)

 

Feature Narrative

Tilane Jones
Executive Director, ARRAY

Michèle Stephenson
Filmmaker, Rada Film Group

Cauleen Smith
Artist & Faculty, Vermont College of Fine Art Low Residency MFA

 

Experimental

Layne Eskridge
Original Series-Content Acquisitions, Netflix

Anthony Elms
Chief Curator, Institute of Contemporary Art at University of Pennsylvania

Khaled Jarrar
Artist & Filmmaker

 

Youth

Omid Fatemi
Filmmaker & Creative Producer, What Matters Most

Roni Nicole
Henderson Filmmaker

Laura Deutch
Director of Education & Production, Philadelphia Community Access Media

 

Short Documentary

Opeyemi Olukemi
VP, Digital Production and Innovation–POV

Loira Limbal
Vice President, Firelight Media

King Britt
Musician

 

Short Narrative

Salamisha Tillet
Associate Professor of English and Africana Studies, University of Pennsylvania

Shawn Peters
Filmmaker

Damani Baker
Filmmaker & Producer, Sarah Lawrence College


BlackStar Film Festival officially announced festival dates and call for entries today. This marks the Festival’s fourth annual celebration of cinema focused on work by and about people of African descent in a global context, which will take place from July 30 through August 2, 2015 in Philadelphia, PA.

Films can compete for prizes in both short and feature lengths, with narrative, experimental and documentary categories. The early submission deadline is April 24 and the final submission deadline is May 8. Finalists will be announced on June 1 after thoughtful selection by a jury of industry professionals.

To submit your film click here.

Heralded by Ebony magazine as the “Black Sundance,” the films presented by the festival comprise a dynamic and important collection—one that is unlike any other—because they highlight both independence and cultural community. Past guests have included: Ava DuVernay, Spike Lee, Nelson George, Haile Gerima, Michael K. Williams, Lisa Cortés, Hank Willis Thomas, Greg Tate, King Britt, and Omari Hardwick.

The 2014 festival hosted over 40 films from around the world, including the Philadelphia premieres of THEY DIE BY DAWN, HALF OF A YELLOW SUN and TIME IS ILLMATIC. A special tribute honoring RZA was held on closing night at World Café Live featuring performances by Bilal and Ursula Rucker.

For more info contact submissions@blackstarfest.org


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. hairiette.com

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 lauren@blackstarfest.org or 267.225.7754.


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. hairiette.com

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 lauren@blackstarfest.org or 267.225.7754.


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. hairiette.com

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 lauren@blackstarfest.org or 267.225.7754.