The 2014, third annual BlackStar Film Festival ran between July 31 and August 3 in various venues across University City, Philadelphia. Maori Holmes, an MFA Temple Alumna, is the Founder and the Producing Artistic Director of what was called by Ebony magazine “the black Sundance.”
Created to show independent films produced by black directors working outside mainstream Hollywood, this year’s festival focused on the theme “Music is the Weapon.” Forty films were presented, among them shorts, documentaries and feature-length works from four different continents.
The event held screenings, panels, mixers and workshops with renowned artists and directors such as the acclaimed filmmaker Arthur Jafa, who premiered his documentary, Dreams Are Colder Than Death. Also included was actor Michael K. Williams of The Purge: Anarchy, and HBO’s The Wire and Boardwalk Empire. The Black Star Film Festival also had, for the first time, a closing ceremony and announced many awards including the screenplay competition. The winner, Asia Nichols, will have her short film Stranded produced by the festival and directed by award-winning director Terence Nance.