Leonard Pearlstein Gallery Participates in 5th Annual BlackStar Film Festival & Hosts 1st Youth Program

BlackStar Film Festival

The Leonard Pearlstein Gallery in the URBN Annex (3401 Filbert St.) of Drexel University’s Westphal College of Media Arts & Design is known for its continued commitment to exhibiting regional, experimental art in all contemporary mediums. The gallery will host two days of the 5th Annual Black Star Film Festival, in the URBN Annex Screening Room this August.

The BlackStar Film Festival is a highly visible platform for independent black filmmakers and films about black people from around the word. The genre-defying and beautifully crafted works are presented to a diverse audience, keen for fresh perspectives. Unique to Philadelphia and the only event of its kind within the region – focuses on cinema of the African Diaspora and global indigenous communities.

It will return to Philadelphia on Thursday, Aug. 4 through Sunday, Aug. 7.

The theme of this year’s festival is Migration, examining the pathways of the African diaspora through the lens of both emerging and established filmmakers.

“As we approached our fifth year, the urge to connect our work to larger concerns around migration came to the fore,” says Maori Karmael Holmes, founder and artistic director. “When we found out it was also the 100th Anniversary of the Great Migration to Philadelphia, the timing felt fortuitous. We are looking forward to presenting quite possibly our strongest program to date, featuring work from filmmakers of color from around the world and centering the narratives of some of our most marginalized communities.”

The Leonard Pearlstein Gallery will host the Youth Program on Saturday, Aug. 6, starting at 10 a.m. and show featured films on Sunday, Aug. 7, starting at 12 p.m.

During the Youth Program, following the debut of short films, BlackStar is offering a Youth Brown Bag Lunch with accomplished filmmakers Sabrina Schmidt Gordon and Tahir Jetter, who will share experiences with BlackStar Youth Filmmakers about their training, work and creative process. Best practices for finding resources and additional training will also be shared. Registration is required. Lunch will be provided and participation is limited to filmmakers age 22 and younger.

Saturday, Aug. 6 Youth Program Schedule:

  • 10 a.m. – Shorts: All Ages
  • 12 p.m. – Youth Brown Bag Lunch: Sabrina Schmidt Gordon & Tahir Jetter (Registration required)
  • 2 p.m. – Youth Screening
  • 3:30 p.m. – Youth Reception

Sunday, Aug. 7 Schedule:

  • 12 p.m. – Shorts: Rooted (explores different ways familiar relationships function)
  • 2:15 p.m. – Jason & Shirley
  • 4:20 p.m. – Shorts: Crossroads (places character development front-and-center, showing the ways people endure tribulations)

The full slate of BlackStar films, parties and events will be announced later this month. For more information on the festival and its programs, visit blackstarfest.org or facebook.com/BlackStarFest.

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