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BlackStar Projects Announces 2024 BlackStar Film Festival Dates

Festival’s 13th edition to take place August 1–4, 2024
Registration for the Greaves Seminar is open through Feb 9, 2024
Organization welcomes new Senior Director of Development & Operations Catherine Lee

(Philadelphia, PA — January 11, 2024) — BlackStar Projects, the premier organization celebrating visionary Black, Brown, and Indigenous film and media artists, is thrilled to announce that the next edition of its annual film festival will take place August 1–4, 2024. The 2024 BlackStar Film Festival will be held in a hybrid format, with festival-goers able to attend in-person or online around the world. This year marks the 13th edition of the BlackStar Film Festival. Submissions are now open through April 1 via FilmFreeway.

“As BlackStar evolves and branches into new realms as an organization, our dedication to uplifting the work of genre-defying Black, Brown, and Indigenous artists remains at the core of our mission,” said Maori Karmael Holmes, Chief Executive & Artistic Officer and Founder of BlackStar Projects. “The 13th edition of the film festival will continue this legacy as the premiere destination for discovering visionary films from the global majority.” 

BlackStar Film Festival - BSFF 2024 - August 1st - 4th

The 2024 BlackStar Film Festival will again take a hybrid format, with in-person screenings in downtown Philadelphia, alongside digital access. Information on additional Philadelphia events and venues is forthcoming. 

Additionally, registration is open through February 9 for the 2024 William and Louise Greaves Filmmaker Seminar, taking place March 8–10, 2024. This three-day in-person gathering for Black, Brown, and Indigenous artists working in cinematic realms will be presented in partnership with the Stanford Institute for Diversity in the Arts, on the campus of Stanford University in Palo Alto, CA. This year’s speaker for the keynote address will be multi-hyphenate actor, playwright, and director Anisia Uzeyman. Uzeyman is the co-director and cinematographer of the sci-fi punk musical Neptune Frost. She has also starred in a number of films, including Tey (2012), Aujourd’hui (2012), and Ayiti Mon Amour (2016). 

Seminar attendees can expect workshops, panels, and deep discussions about filmmaking practices. Additionally, artists’ wellness will be prioritized, with yoga classes and mindfulness sessions offered throughout the seminar’s programming.

BlackStar Projects is also thrilled to announce the appointment of Senior Director of Development and Operations Catherine Lee, a non-profit administrator and fundraiser who brings extensive experience with community-based arts and culture spaces. Prior to joining Blackstar Projects, Catherine most recently served as the Development Director at Fleisher Art Memorial in the Bella Vista neighborhood of South Philadelphia. Catherine also brings nearly a decade of experience in resource development, board engagement, program design, and development operations from her time at Asian Arts Initiative, the Smithsonian Asian Pacific American Center, and work as a consultant managing an extensive portfolio of nonprofit clients. 

Further BlackStar initiatives include Seen, a journal of film and visual culture, which recently published Issue 006 with Emmy-award-winning actor Colman Domingo featured on the cover. And Many Lumens, BlackStar’s signature podcast, which finds BlackStar founder Maori Karmael Holmes in dialogue with the most groundbreaking artists, changemakers, and cultural workers of today. 

Last year’s 12th-anniversary BlackStar Film Festival featured 97 films, including 19 world premieres, representing 31 countries. The lineup spanned narrative features and shorts, documentary features and shorts, and experimental films and showcased 19 world, 11 North America, 5 US, and 10 East Coast premieres. 47 films were Philadelphia premieres. In addition to presenting an array of live programs, panels, and select in-person events and screenings, 2023 also marked BlackStar’s biggest festival to date and its first time taking place on Philadelphia’s Broad Street. 

BlackStar Projects and its year-round programs are generously supported by Ford Foundation/JustFilms, Forman Arts Initiative, Gucci ChangeMakers Fund, Independence Public Media Foundation, John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation, John S. and James L. Knight Foundation, Mellon Foundation, Michael Jordan Black Community Commitment Fund, Mid Atlantic Arts Foundation, Mighty Arrow Family Foundation, Nathan Cummings Foundation

Perspective Fund, Philadelphia Cultural Treasures Fund, PopCultureCollaborative, Ruth Foundation for the Arts, Samuel S. Fels Fund, Surdna Foundation, Wallace Foundation, William Penn Foundation, Wyncote Foundation, in addition to its board of directors, community partners, and a host of generous individual donors and organizations.

Additional information on ticketing, jurors, sponsors, programming, and the slate of films that will be featured at this year’s festival will be announced soon. For overall information on BlackStar, including its festival and programs, visit


About BlackStar Projects

BlackStar Projects is the producer of BlackStar Film Festival, 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. In addition to the acclaimed festival, BlackStar presents an array of programming across film and visual culture year-round and produces the journal Seen.


Press Contacts

Ed Winstead

Vice President, Cultural Counsel

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Devon Ma

Senior Account Coordinator, Cultural Counsel

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Jane Drinkard

Account Coordinator, Cultural Counsel

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Seen is BlackStar’s journal of film and visual culture, published twice each calendar year. Issue 006 is now available.

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BlackStar is a leader in a global movement recognizing media arts and visual culture as a vital component in rectifying historical imbalances and creating a more equitable world. Help BlackStar shine by becoming a Member today.

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