BlackStar News.

Cover image of Seen shows an illustration of filmmaker Radha Blank, wearing colorful patterns in blue, orange, green and brown. In addition to the magazine name, the cover also displays "Issue 001, Fall 2020" and the large "B" BlackStar logo.

Cover image of Radha Blank. Illustrated by Makeba Rainey based on a photo by Caydie McCumber, courtesy of Sundance Institute. Design by Jelsen Innocent.

Seen is here! Order your copy of BlackStar’s new journal of film and visual culture today. Physical and digital copies will be sent out starting November 20.

And follow the brand new @seen_journal on Instagram for the latest updates!

2020 BlackStar Film Festival Recap

Relive and share highlights from the ninth annual BlackStar Film Festival — our first (mostly) virtual edition! Despite the challenges presented by the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, this year we screened over 90 amazing films from around the world, hosted 12 transformative panels, and launched our very own morning show — BlackStar LIVE! — reaching over 3.5 million people throughout the week. We can't wait to see you all again next August! Watch on YouTube or Vimeo.

Talking Breakfast w/ Rashid Zakat

BlackStar is proud to partner with Philadelphia Contemporary on the first episode of their new web series, Talking Breakfast. The series features musicians, writers, filmmakers, and other creatives who film themselves making breakfast and talking about how they start the day and get in the headspace to create. This episode is all about longtime BlackStar collaborator Rashid Zakat! The full episode will be released this Thursday, November 10 on
Body of Work With Zeinabu Irene Davis

Scribe Video Center presents a three-day “Body of Work” retrospective screening of Zeinabu Irene Davis filmography on December 2, 3, and 4. Davis is a BlackStar alum, with work that expands across documentaries, narrative shorts, and experimental films. Films featured in this retrospective include Zeinabu’s first feature Compensation (1999), a night of shorts — including Trumpetistically Clora Bryant (1989) — and Spirits of Rebellion: Black Independent Cinema From Los Angeles (2017), which won Best Feature Documentary at BSFF16. Register here.
Black Media-Makers and the Fierce Urgency of Now

This symposium on December 4 will bring together Black media-makers across industries — including our own Maori Karmael Holmes — to discuss the urgency of now for Black storytellers, best practices for covering race and racial justice issues, and the future of American media. Register here.
Philadelphia Asian American Film Festival

The 13th annual Philadelphia Asian American Film Festival continues until November 15, entirely online, and BlackStar is a proud community partner! Visit to get your tickets and watch.
Call for Media to Amplify Abolition

Working Films, the Center for Political Education, Critical Resistance, MPD150, and Survived & Punished, are looking for short films to define and amplify what prison industrial complex abolition means, and to inspire people to imagine and take action toward a world without police and prisons. Together they will fund and curate films to support organizing by those directly impacted by the issues raised. Submit your completed documentary or narrative film to be included in a compilation that will tour the US in 2021 or apply for up to $30,000 in funding for short documentary films, works-in-progress, or cut-downs of longer-form documentaries. Apply by December 1.
CAMRA Screening Scholarship Media Festival

CAMRA’s 2021 Screening Scholarship Media Festival (SSMF) is now calling for submissions. The Festival will be held on April 16-18, 2021, hosted by the University of Pennsylvania and taking a hybrid format, with screenings and panels taking place online but allowing for in-person, socially distanced events or programs (dependent on the progression of COVID-19 in Philadelphia). Scholars, activists, artists, filmmakers, and educators of all backgrounds are invited to submit work exploring the theme of “Rupture and Repair.” Due December 4.
NYC Artist Fellowship and Residency

ENGAGING ARTISTS (EA) is More Art’s 2-tiered, Fellowship and Residency program for New York City-based artists seeking to both develop and sustain their public art and socially-engaged practice. The program curriculum encompasses a professional development series, public art commission opportunities, mentorship, and peer networking. Apply by Nov 20
Fellowship for Asian American Filmmakers in the South

In partnership with NOVAC (New Orleans Video Access Center), CAAM presents The Sauce, a new filmmaker fellowship which aims to engage emerging (ages 18-24) Asian American filmmakers in the American South with resources and mentorship to develop documentary short content. Apply by Nov 15.
Reel Change: The Fund for Diversity in Film Scoring

This fund — which is now accepting applications from US-based composers — supports film projects currently in production, where additional funding and mentoring would help composers at a pivotal moment in their careers. Four to six grants averaging $20,000 will be allocated each year of the program. Supportable expenses include composer compensation, musician fees, recording and sound mastering fees, studio expenses, orchestration, production equipment, and more. Apply here.
Artist Relief 

Artist Relief continues to distribute $5,000 grants to artists facing dire financial emergencies due to COVID-19. Applications for Cycle VIII are open until November 18. Apply here.
Help BlackStar shine! Join a community of other film and media advocates, trailblazers, and game changers who are helping us grow and address the structural barriers and inequities faced by Black, Brown, and Indigenous artists globally. Donate now.
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The BlackStar Film Festival is an annual celebration of the visual and storytelling traditions of the African diaspora and of global communities of color, showcasing films by Black, Brown and Indigenous people from around the world. Support our voices--by indie means necessary.

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