2019 • 2 years • Journalism & Media
The BlackStar Film Festival (BlackStar) is a nonprofit organization dedicated to celebrating the visual and storytelling tradition of artists and communities of color. It presents an annual festival that features independent fiction, nonfiction and experimental films, engages filmmakers with new audiences, and provides a platform for collaboration among artists. BlackStar is expanding its activities to include more robust year-round programming, a quarterly journal of film and visual art writing/criticism, an annual week-long artists' retreat and educational and streaming distribution platforms for the work featured at its festival. This award supports the general operations of BlackStar and provides the organization with flexibility as it builds out these areas of work over the next two years. With this grant, more filmmakers of color will have access to holistic support in developing, exhibiting, and reflecting on their work, and by extension, the broader U.S. public will have more access to and understanding of multimedia storytelling that explores critical social issues.
2018 • 1 month
The BlackStar Film Festival (BlackStar) is a nonprofit organization dedicated to celebrating the visual and storytelling traditions of the African diaspora and of global indigenous communities. The festival presents independent fiction, nonfiction and experimental films, engages filmmakers with new audiences, and provides a platform for collaboration among artists. Founded in 2012, BlackStar has become a globally recognized event that brings together artists and communities from diverse backgrounds to experience the transformational potential of storytelling. Beginning in 2017, BlackStar has convened filmmakers for a private symposium before the public festival begins; this has become a crucial space for makers to discuss issues of career sustainability and share tactics and strategies for making the field more accessible and welcoming to people of color. This award supports travel for filmmakers whose work is being featured in the 2018 BlackStar Film Festival to attend the festival and the symposium. This support will enable BlackStar to ensure the highest possible filmmaker presence, allowing these filmmakers to promote and frame their work for a live audience, while also offering attendees the chance to have conversations with artists about their work in formal Q&As, as well as in the community space of the festival.