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January 11, 2021

BlackStar Projects expanding on film festival to celebrate 10 years

New programming includes podcast, filmmaking seminar and talk show with special guest Questlove

Arts & Culture Film
BlackStar film fest programming Photo by Felix Mooneeram/

The 2021 BlackStar Film Festival will take place virtually due to COVID-19. Ahead of the summertime event, organizers have planned special programming that includes a podcast and streaming talk show.

BlackStar Projects, the organization behind Philadelphia's annual BlackStar Film Festival, is expanding its programming.

The news comes as the film festival celebrating Black, Brown and Indigenous people prepares for its 10th edition, taking place virtually in August.

RELATED: African American Museum in Philadelphia plans virtual Martin Luther King Jr. weekend | 'Miss Juneteenth' crowned BlackStar Film Festival winner

In the coming months, the organization has plans for a streaming talk show, podcast and filmmaking seminar.

2021 will see the return of BlackStar Live!, which premiered during the virtual 2020 film festival as a daily morning show featuring filmmaker interviews, live performances, astrological updates and roundtable discussions of the day's programming.

BlackStar Live! will return as a weekly evening variety show, streaming every Friday in February. Two of the guests that organizers plan to have on the show are Philly-based chef Omar Tate of Honeysuckle, who was recently named Chef of the Year by Esquire, and The Roots' musician Ahmir "Questlove" Thompson.

The new podcast, Many Lumens, features BlackStar artistic director and CEO Maori Karmael Holmes in discussion with guests "who illuminate the world through film and media art, creating at the intersections of art, social change and popular culture," according to BlackStar.

The first episode, featuring "Surviving R. Kelly" executive producer dream hampton, premiered on Jan. 4, and is available to stream online.  New episodes will premiere every Monday through Feb. 1. The latest episode features filmmaker Janicza Bravo.

As for the filmmaking seminar, it's an expansion of the annual day-long event during the festival. BlackStar will host a three-day seminar for artists of color working in film this year. The online event will take place in March with registration opening later this month.

In addition, BlackStar will release a limited edition print each month through 2021. The first print will go on sale Friday, Jan. 15.

More information on the programming can be found on the organization's website. It's also the place to check for details on Philly's Satellite Screens for the 2021 Sundance Film Festival. BlackStar is hosting customized local programming from Thursday, Jan. 28 through Wednesday, Feb. 3.

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