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A still from Happy Birthday Marsha of Marsha P. Johnson on stage. She is wearing a red dress and a hat with flowers, and is smiling at the crowd.
Happy Birthday Marsha (2018) dir. by Sasha Wortzel and Reina Gossett.
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Announcing the 2018 BlackStar Film Festival Lineup

The seventh annual BlackStar Film Festival, announces its full lineup of films for the 2018 program. The celebration of black cinema will take place in Philadelphia on Thursday, August 2 through Sunday, August 5.

Festival favorite and multidisciplinary artist Terence Nance will debut his new HBO comedy series Random Acts of Flyness on Friday, August 3 at 8pm at Lightbox Film Center, followed by a premiere reception at the Institute of Contemporary Art. This year’s lineup of over 80 films also includes:

World Premieres

Menelek Patrice Lumumba’s feature 1 Angry Black Man, about a college senior drawing inspiration from favorite writers to navigate his emotional reality

Four Days in May, a short documentary about state violence in Jamaica

Naima Ramos-Chapman’s short narrative film Piu Piu, about a young woman’s surreal trip to the city.

Other Highlights

Jenn Nkiru’s afrofuturist short Rebirth is Necessary

Alaska is a Drag, Shaz Bennett’s tale of a drag performer in rural Alaska

Khalik Allah’s documentary Black Mother about Jamaica’s gender dynamics and cultural contradictions

The Black Museum, Oliver Hardt’s documentary about the National Museum of African American History and Culture

Faraday Okoro’s Nigerian Prince, about a Nigerian-American teenager who joins forces with an internet scammer

Roni Nicole Henderson’s bridge/refrain, an experimental short about a young woman traveling to the land of her ancestors

Douvan Jou Ka Leve, Gessica Généus’ documentary about life in Haiti

A Drop of Sun Under the Earth, Shikeith Cathey’s experimental short about trauma and compassion

Assia Boundaoui’s documentary The Feeling of Being Watched, about FBI surveillance in an Arab-American community in Chicago

Ephraim Asili’s Fluid Frontier, an experimental short about the African Diaspora in Detroit and Windsor

French Fries, Janine Sherman Barrois’ short about a couple‘s creative interplay and emotional conflicts

Fucked Like A Star, Stefani Saintonge’s experimental short about women’s work

Mariama Diallo’s short Hair Wolf, about gentrification and a black hair salon in Brooklyn

Happy Birthday Marsha, a short about transgender artist and activist Marsha Johnson, legendary inciter of the Stonewall Riots in New York

Mr. Soul!, a feature documentary about Ellis Haizlip, producer and host of the public television show SOUL!

The full festival schedule can be viewed at Screenings take place at Lightbox Film Center and Pearlstein Gallery at Drexel University, with panel discussions at the Institute of Contemporary Art, the Opening Reception at Johnny Brenda’s on Thursday, August 2, and the Closing Awards Show on Sunday, August 5 at World Cafe Live.

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Seen is BlackStar’s journal of film and visual culture, published twice each calendar year. Issue 005 is now available.

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