BlackStar Film Festival

The 12th edition of BlackStar Film Festival in Philadelphia features a global selection of films and robust accompanying programming. The 2023 film festival features a total of 93 films, many of which engage with climate justice, queer stories and narratives on migration and displacement. A few of the selections from the festival are included below.

Accidental Athlete (2023) is a short film directed by Kevin Jerome Everson and Claudrena N. Harold. The film includes a monologue by Paulette Jones Morant on being one of the first Black woman scholastic athletes at the University of Virginia. The film was most recently shown at BlackStar Film Festival 2023 in Philadelphia.

Kevin Jerome Everson (b.1965, Mansfield, Ohio) Professor of Art at the University of Virginia, Everson is the recipient of the Guggenheim; Berlin Prize; Heinz Award in Art and Humanities; Alpert Award for Film/Video and the Rome Prize. His art practice encompasses printmaking, photography, sculpture and film – 12 features and over 200 shorts to date – including 11 Black Fire collaborations with UVA colleague Claudrena N. Harold. His work has been the subject of mid-career retrospectives and solo exhibitions at Tate Modern/Film, Halle fur Kunst Steiermark,  Harvard Film Archive, Whitney Museum of American Art, Centre Pompidou, Andrew Kreps Gallery, Modern and Contemporary Art Museum, Seoul and featured at the 2008, 2012 and 2017 Whitney Biennial, the 2013 Sharjah Biennial and the 2018 Carnegie International.

Claudrena N. Harold is Professor of African American and African Studies and History at the University of Virginia. She is the author of When Sunday Comes: Gospel Music in the Soul and Hip-Hop Eras (University of Illinois Press, 2020); New Negro Politics in the Jim Crow South (2016); The Rise and Fall of the Garvey Movement in the Urban South, 1918-1942 (2007). Her collaboration with UVA colleague Kevin Jerome Everson on a series of Black Fire films includes 11 shorts that reflect a “deep interest in the interiority of Black life, particularly those formal and informal spaces where African Americans communed, hobnobbed, prayed, loved, quarreled, reconciled, and moved on.”

Foragers (2022) is directed by Jumana Manna. The film moves between documentary and fiction to depict the dramas between the Israeli Nature Protection Authority and Palestinian foragers. With a wry sense of humor, the film captures the inherited love, resilience and knowledge of these traditions, over an eminently political backdrop.

Jumana Manna is a visual artist and filmmaker. Her work explores how power is articulated, focusing on the body, land and materiality in relation to colonial inheritances and histories of place. Jumana was raised in Jerusalem and lives in Berlin.

Still from Above and Below the Ground  •  2023

Still from Above and Below the Ground

directed by Emily Hong
86 minutes
Animator: Pace Ford
Cinematographer: Emily Hong, Ding Ding, Mun, Zauring
Composer: Martin Crane
Editor: Sophie Brunet, Aacharee Ungsriwong, Loulwa Khoury
Music: BLAST
Producer: Maggie Lemere, Ja Nang Tsen, Emily Hong
Sound Design: Ernst Karel

2023  •  Courtesy of the director and BlackStar Projects.

Still from Accidental Athlete  •  2023

Still from Accidental Athlete

directed by Kevin Jerome Everson, Claudrena N. Harold
7 minutes
Cast: Paulette Jones Morant, Hailey Barnett, Myla Barnett
Cinematographer: Kevin Jerome Everson
Editor: Kevin Jerome Everson and Claudrena N. Harold
Producer: Madeleine Molyneaux
Sound Design: Kim Salak

2023  •  Courtesy of the directors and BlackStar Projects.

Still from Between the Colony and the Stars  •  2022

Still from Between the Colony and the Stars

directed by Lorran Dias
50 minutes
Cast: Timbuca Hai, Lorre Motta, Ana Flávia Cavalcanti, Sol Miranda, Arlindo Oliveira, Erotilde Beata, Camila Flávia, Leonardo Lobão, Felipe Zenicola
Cinematographer: Suelen Menezes
Composer: podeserdesligado
Editor: Clarissa Ribeiro
Executive Producer: João Gilberto Lopes
Producer: Lorran Dias
Production Design: Amanda Seraphico
Screenwriter: Lorran Dias
Sound Design: Guilherme Farkas

2022  •  Courtesy of the director and BlackStar Projects.

Still from Foragers (اليد الخضراء)  •  2022

Still from Foragers (اليد الخضراء)

directed by Jumana Manna
64 minutes
Cast: Aziza Manna, Adel Manna
Composer: Rashad Becker
Editor: Katrin Ebersohn, Jumana Manna
Producer: Jumana Manna
Sound Design: Rashad Becker

2022  •  Courtesy of the director and BlackStar Projects.