(Philadelphia, PA — October 4, 2023) BlackStar Projects, the premier organization celebrating visionary Black, Brown, and Indigenous film and media artists, is pleased to announce five new episodes of its podcast, Many Lumens with Maori Karmael Holmes. Comprising the second half of the podcast’s third season, these latest episodes will be released on Wednesdays beginning October 11, with a trailer now available here. An additional bonus episode, featuring Holmes in conversation with writer J Wortham, is also now streaming, having been recorded live during the twelfth annual BlackStar Film Festival in August.
Featuring BlackStar’s Chief Executive & Artistic Officer in conversation with leading artists, change makers, and cultural workers, Many Lumens spotlights those making transformative contributions to today’s creative landscape. These latest episodes come on the heels of another successful year of the festival, which took place August 2–6, with screenings, panel discussions, workshops, yoga classes, parties, and more at venues across Philadelphia. The 2023 edition notably marked the transformation of The Daily Jawn—known in past years as a nightly talk show hosted by Holmes—into The Daily Jawn Stage, where conversations were led throughout each day by Holmes and a number of co-hosts, including Many Lumens Season 3 guest D’Lo.
In another nod to the festival, the second half of the season will kick off with an episode featuring producer and director Lisa Cortés and model, modeling agent, and activist Bethann Hardison, collaborators on the documentary film Invisible Beauty. Invisible Beauty—chronicling Hardison’s indelible impact on diversity in the fashion industry—made its Philadelphia premiere during the festival, and was one of a total of 93 films in this year’s lineup.
Several of this season’s guests transcend disciplines, including pianist, composer, and artist Jason Moran, whose career has spanned multimedia installations, collaborations with visual artists, and compositions for film and theater, among other projects. Subsequent episodes will also spotlight multidisciplinary artist Fariha Róisín, whose second collection of poetry, Survival Takes A Wild Imagination, will be released on October 17, and actress and artist Danielle Deadwyler, known for her critically-acclaimed portrayal of Mamie Till in the 2022 film Till. Lastly, the season will conclude with an episode featuring Omar Tate and Cybille St. Aude-Tate, Philadelphia-based chefs and founders of West Philadelphia’s Honeysuckle Provisions, together building community, celebrating Black culinary traditions, and creating more equitable and sustainable food systems.
In addition to actor, writer, and comic D’Lo, guests from the first half of Season 3—released earlier this year—included filmmaker and television showrunner Sterlin Harjo, the visionary behind Reservation Dogs; curator and writer Meg Onli, appointed in June as Curator-at-Large at the Whitney Museum; and director, writer, and actor Cherien Dabis, who last year became the first Arab American woman nominated for an Emmy in the directing category.
“These new episodes take us in exciting new directions, with some of today’s most engaging cultural figures,” said Maori Karmael Holmes. “We look forward to sharing discussions tackling a range of themes, from Black food and Soul Music, to representation and the enduring power of poetry.”
Previous seasons of Many Lumens have featured notable guests including fashion impresarioTelfar Clemens, filmmaker dream hampton, artists Arthur Jafa, Terence Nance, and Amy Sherald, scholars Imani Perry, Jeff Chang and Yaba Blay, and poet Sonia Sanchez. Reflecting the emblematic dynamism of BlackStar’s programs and offerings, several past guests have also shown films and cinematic projects at past BlackStar Film Festivals, including hampton, Jafa, and Nance.
The momentum continues this fall with the sixth issue of Seen, BlackStar’s journal of film, art, and visual culture, hitting shelves later in October, featuring cover star Colman Domingo. Seen Issue 006 also features an interview with Many Lumens Season 3 guest Danielle Deadwyler, in addition to other interviews, essays, prose, and artwork, with additional details forthcoming. A launch event will be hosted on November 1, 2023, at the New Museum in New York City.
This winter, community members can also look forward to the inaugural BlackStar Luminary Gala, taking place on December 4, 2023. As well as seeding support for BlackStar’s year-round cultural programming, the Gala will present the 2023 BlackStar Luminary Awards, including honorees Shannon Maldonado, Founder & Creative Director of YOWIE; June Givanni, Curator & Director of the June Givanni Pan African Cinema Archive; and COUSIN, a collective (including season 2 guest Sky Hopinka) supporting Indigenous artists expanding the form of film. Formerly presented during the festival, the Luminary Awards honor individuals and collectives for their contributions as artists and cultural workers. The gala will be hosted by South Side stars Bashir Salahuddin and Chandra Russell, with tickets now available for purchase here.
For information about BlackStar Projects, including its festival and programs, visit blackstarfest.org.
About Many Lumens
BlackStar founder Maori Karmael Holmes chats with the most groundbreaking artists, change makers, and cultural workers—finding meaning in the intersections of art, social change, and popular culture.
About BlackStar Projects
BlackStar Projects is the producer of the 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, including the twice-annual journal Seen, the podcast Many Lumens, the William and Louise Greaves Filmmaker Seminar, and the Philadelphia Filmmaker Lab, among other initiatives.
Vice President, Cultural Counsel
Senior Account Coordinator, Cultural Counsel
Account Coordinator, Cultural Counsel