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The cover of Seen Issue 001, Fall 2020, by BlackStar. The cover features an illustration by Makeba Rainey of director Radha Blank.
Seen Issue 001, Fall 2020, by BlackStar. Illustration by Makeba Rainey of filmmaker Radha Blank.
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BlackStar Launches Film and Visual Culture Journal Seen

BlackStar Projects, producer of the BlackStar Film Festival, is proud to announce the launch of Seen, a twice-annual journal of film and visual culture made for and about Black, Brown, Indigenous and other artists of color.

Edited by BlackStar Artistic Director and CEO Maori Karmael Holmes, Seen’s first issue includes essays, reviews, interviews, original art and photography, and more.

“As artists of color, we have always had to contend with our work being overlooked and ignored. We are practiced in finding each other, making demands of institutions, and building worlds anew,” writes Holmes in her introduction to the issue. “With Seen we are attempting to highlight why our perspectives on our art have always been and continue to be vital.”

Highlights from the issue include Heitor Augusto on queer Black Brazilian cinema, Niela Orr in conversation with The Forty-Year-Old Version writer/director Radha Blank, Darol Olu Kae on Sky Hopinka’s maɬni – towards the ocean, towards the shore, Heidi Saman in conversation with Lulu Wang, a look inside renowned painter Amy Sherald’s Jersey City studio, an unproduced short script by Terence Nance, and storyboards from Blitz Bazawule’s The Burial of Kojo.

Seen will officially release both online and in print on November 20, and is now available for preorder here.

The release of Seen follows on the heels of this year’s BlackStar Film Festival, which included approximately 90 films, including 24 world premieres and representing more than 20 countries. In addition to presenting an array of live programs and panels, this year also marked the debut of BlackStar Live!, a special daily morning show featuring filmmaker interviews, astrological updates and roundtable discussions of the day’s film programming, streamed exclusively on Facebook Live. Blackstar’s film program drew more than 30,000 views, and its daily slate of free live programming totaled more than 3.5 million.

The full list of Seen contributors includes Amy Sherald, Bing Liu, Blitz Bazawule, Darol Kae, Derica Cole Washington, Dessane Lopez Cassell, Donte Neal, Elizabeth Méndez Berry, Emir Lewis, Eric Branco, Erin Christovale, Heidi Saman, Heitor Augusto, Imran Siddiquee, Jason Pollard, Jemma Desai, Jheanelle Brown, Jon-Sesrie Goff, Juliana Reyes, Loira Limbal, Lulu Wang, Makeba Rainey, Maori Karmael Holmes, Michelle Ortiz, Nam Lee, Nehad Khader, Niela Orr, Racquel Gates, Radha Blank, Roni Nicole Henderson, Sham-e-Ali Nayeem, Sonya Childress, Susy Zepeda, Suzanne Kite, Tatyana Fazlalizadeh, Terence Nance, and Zeshawn Ali.

The issue’s cover features an illustration by Makeba Rainey. In addition to Holmes, the editorial staff includes Nehad Khader, Managing Editor & Essays Section Editor; Imran Siddiquee, Reviews Section Editor; Kavita Rajanna, Interviews Section Editor; Shauna Swartz, Copyeditor; and Jelsen Lee Innocent, Designer.

Seen’s Editorial Advisory Board consists of Jeff Chang, Akiba Solomon, John L. Jackson, Jr., Louis Massiah, Adam Piron, Roya Rastegar, Sally Singer, Elizabeth Méndez Berry, Tarana Burke, Greg Tate, Gina Duncan, and Zaheer Ali.

For more information on Seen, the BlackStar Film Festival, and other BlackStar programs, visit

About BlackStar Film Festival

The BlackStar Film Festival is 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.

Press Contacts

Ed Winstead
Director, 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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