4th Annual Blackstar Film Festival
Shorts: Black Magic
From Panama to Nigeria and across the African diaspora, communities and individuals alike perform daily practices and elaborate rituals to call on the spirit world for guidance. This program presents shorts that depict a diverse array of such stories, from the memories of elders in Bahia, Brazil as they recount the tales of their enslaved grandparents; to the personal journey of a queer gender non-conforming Nigerian back home to connect with Orisha; and the legend of the Black Christ of Portobelo, whose devotees crawl on bellies and knees seeking healing and miracles at the base of his alter.
Films include: El Naza: The Black Christ of Portobelo; Esu on the Left, Of Slaves and Saints; and Oya: Something Happened On the way to West Africa!.
El Naza: The Black Christ of Portobelo
Short Documentary. Panama, 2015, 19 min.
In a small rural town by the sea, far removed from the hustle and bustle of the big urban city that surrounds it, people gather every year to perform rituals and give offerings to a mesmerizing Black Christ statue. This short documentary follows the journey of one man, Arturo Lindsay, as he reflects on how he came to learn of the festival, his observations, and a miraculous and unexplainable healing that occurred in his life as a result of his full participation in the festival.
Esu On The Left
Music Video. Nigeria, United States, 2015, 4 min.
Adimu Madyun/WolfHawkJaguar’s music stirs the soul with a mixture of spirituality, captured in the heart of Hip Hop, Reggae, and Rhythm and Blues. Esu on the Left invites us to Open Up and Let The Most High Come Through, Come Through Us! Come Through Me! Come Through You!
Of Slaves and Saints
Short Documentary. Brazil, 2014, 27 min.
Within the borders of the outback of Bahia, Brazil every 12th of October, men and women gather to celebrate the Langa of Our Lady Aparecida. To the fervent sounds of prayers and traditional music, they dance and sing throughout the night, expressing their devotion to the Black saint. This visually stunning documentary presents some of the stories underlying this mystical scenario: stories of pain and suffering, of enslaved men and women, told by the people of the region, the way they heard them told by their grandparents and great-grandparents.
Ọya: Something Happened On The Way To West Africa!
directed by: seyi adebanjo
Experimental. Nigeria, 2015, 30 min.
“I am from this place but not of it. I am of this place but not from it.” I am a Queer Gender-Non-Conforming Nigerian who returns home to speak directly with my ancestors, connect with Òrìṣà (African God/dess) tradition, and follow a trail back to the powerful legacy of my great grandmother, Chief Moloran Ìyá Ọlọ́ya. This personal and political documentary skillfully investigates the heritage of command, mythology, gender fluidity, and womyn’s power in indigenous Yorùbá spirituality.