by Joy Simone
For the third year, the annual BlackStar Film Festival has emerged on the campus of Univ. of Penn and the surrounding Philadelphia area. I had the pleasure of participating last year, and I’m excited to be involved again. This year’s theme, “Music is the Weapon,” brings together filmmakers and musicians to highlight the ways these mediums converge to create and powerfully impact lives. Two industry panels will take place, “The Crossover: Film and Music Industries” and “Composing for Film.” They will both explore the “intersections of the two creative industries with participation from composers, producers, directors, and executives.
Two film shorts, Til Infinity: Souls of Mischief and Time is Illmatic will premiere during at the festival.
Time Is Illmatic is a feature-length documentary that delves deep into the making of Nas’ 1994 debut album, Illmatic, and the social conditions that influenced its creation. Twenty years after its release,Illmatic has become a hip-hop benchmark that encapsulates the socio-political outlook, enduring spirit, and collective angst of a generation of young black men searching for their voice in America.
The BlackStar Film Festival was created to provide a platform for independent black filmmakers. Founder and Producing Artistic Director Maori Karmael Holmes says, “We are super excited about the third installment of the festival. We now know that the festival is an intimate
space where filmmakers get to interact with one another, dream, connect, and foster
new ideas and new projects, and we expect that family reunion vibe again this year.”
I will have more on the festival and topics covered tomorrow. In the meantime, you can check the schedule and get more info here: http://blackstarfest.org/schedule/
BlackStar opens Thursday, July 31 and runs through Sunday, August 3. The festival will primarily take place at International House (3701 Chestnut Street). Other venues include: Scribe Video Center (4212 Chestnut Street), Institute of Contemporary Art Philadelphia (118 South 26th Street), the Annenberg School for Communication (3620 Walnut Street), and World Café
Live (3025 Walnut Street).