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BlackStar Film Festival Adds New Executive Staff

BlackStar has announced the appointment of Meg Onli as Festival Director and Patrice Worthy as Managing Director to join the part-time team. The creation of the Festival Director position was an intentional shift to focus on expanding administrative capacity as the organization evolves. Patrice Worthy steps into the role of Managing Director after serving as Operations Manager for the last two years.

“We are excited to welcome Meg to the BlackStar family, and to see Patrice in this new role as the festival continues to grow,” says founder and Artistic Director, Maori Karmael Holmes. “They will bring a new energy to the organization’s administration and festival operations that will ultimately improve the filmmaker and audience experience.” Current staff will remain in place: Maori Karmael Holmes, Artistic Director; Denise Beek, Communications Director; Nehad Khader, Senior Program Manager; and Swabreen Bakr, Social Media Manager.

Meg Onli is currently the Assistant Curator at the Institute of Contemporary Art (ICA) at the University of Pennsylvania. Her recent exhibition Speech/Acts explored experimental black poetry and how the social and cultural constructs of language have shaped black American experiences. Prior to joining the ICA, she was the Program Coordinator at the Graham Foundation for Advanced Studies in the Fine Arts. She worked on the exhibitions Architecture of IndependenceAfrican Modernism and Barbara Kasten: Stages. In 2010, she created the website Black Visual Archive for which she was awarded a 2012 Creative Capital/Warhol Foundation Arts Writers Grant. In 2014 she was the recipient of a research grant from the Graham Foundation for the collaborative project Remaking the Black Metropolis: Contemporary Art, Urbanity, and Blackness in America with curator Jamilee Polson Lacy. Onli holds a Master’s degree in art history from the Courtauld Institute of Art. Her writing has appeared in Art21, Daily Serving, and Art Papers.

Patrice Worthy is an educator and producer who works with emerging creatives of color. She is a graduate of Florida State University and Drexel University, with both a bachelor’s and master’s in biochemistry. Born in Agana, Guam to two military parents, she has lived around the world, which has influenced her approach to her creative work and teaching. Patrice has worked with the festival since 2012 and currently resides in Philadelphia, PA.

The 7th Annual BlackStar Film Festival is scheduled to take place August 2 through August 5 in Philadelphia. Submissions are open until April 22. For more information please visit and join us on social platforms @blackstarfest.

About the BlackStar Film Festival

BlackStar is an annual celebration of the visual and storytelling traditions of the African diaspora and of global indigenous communities, showcasing films by people of color from around the world. The only event of its kind in Philadelphia, the four-day weekend festival provides an opportunity for filmmakers, patrons and enthusiasts from all over the world to come together.


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