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BlackStar Projects Announces Dates and Opens Submissions for 2023 BlackStar Film Festival

Registration for the organization’s William + Louise Greaves Filmmaker Seminar in March is also now open

Philadelphia, PA (January 10, 2023) –– BlackStar Projects––the premier organization celebrating visionary Black, Brown, and Indigenous film and media artists––is pleased to announce that the 12th edition of the BlackStar Film Festival will take place from August 2nd to August 6th, 2023. Once again hybrid, this year’s festival will offer opportunities for in-person attendance in Philadelphia and virtual participation online. 

Submissions to the festival opened this week, and to be eligible for consideration, films must be directed by a person who identifies as Black, Brown, or Indigenous, and tell a story of Black, Brown, or Indigenous experiences. Last year’s festival featured a lineup spanning narrative features and shorts, documentary features and shorts, and experimental films. The 2022 BlackStar Film Festival presented 16 world, 8 North America, 12 East Coast, and 8 US premieres. 25 films were Philadelphia premieres. Instructions to submit to the 12th iteration of the festival can be found on this submissions page.

To kick off 2023, BlackStar has also opened registration for its 2023 William + Louise Greaves Filmmaker Seminar, which will be held in-person in Philadelphia for the first time. Taking place March 16th to 18th at Drexel University, the gathering caters to Black, Brown, and Indigenous artists working in cinematic realms. Participants will have the opportunity to explore the technical and creative aspects of media-making while having honest conversations about the successes and pitfalls of their work. The environment aims to consider the intersection of cinema and visual arts, and it is exclusively designed for people of color to focus and not manage the added burden of representation. Speakers will include interdisciplinary artists Cauleen Smith, who will give the Keynote Address, and Terence Nance, who will offer the Director’s Commentary. 

The Seminar is named after visionary filmmakers William and Louise Greaves, who together co-produced landmark documentaries such as Symbiopsychotaxiplasm and Ralph Bunche: An American Odyssey. The first and second seminars were held virtually in 2021 and 2022. Registration details are available here.

In 2022, BlackStar presented the 11th annual BlackStar Film Festival, announced its second cohort of Philadelphia Filmmaker Lab Fellows, shared the second season of the Many Lumens podcast, and published the fourth issue of Seen, BlackStar’s signature journal of film and visual culture. In 2023, this expansion will continue with new hires, additional events, and the presentation of Terence Nance: Swarm at the Institute of Contemporary Art at the University of Pennsylvania (ICA). Issue 005 of Seen will be released at the end of January. More information on this year’s festival, and other BlackStar programs, will be announced soon. 

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.

Press Contacts

Sam Riehl

Senior Account Executive, Cultural Counsel

[email protected]

Devon Ma

Account Coordinator, Cultural Counsel

[email protected]

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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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