3rd Annual BlackStar Film Festival
Forever Young: Coming of Age Shorts
(in alphabetical order)
USA, 2014, 13 min.
Dir. Nijla Mu'min
After witnessing the mass drowning of her friends and struggling with the decision not to jump in to try to save them, 15-year old Tiana must decide if she will join the order of black mermaids who protect the waters where her friends rest. This film, partly inspired by the 2010 mass drowning of six black teens in a Shreveport, Louisiana sinkhole, blends a coming of age drama with fantasy to explore traumatic memory in a post-BP oil spill New Orleans.
USA, 2013, 17 min.
Dir. Brittany A. Shyne
A nine-year-old girl experiences the first arrivals of womanhood.
USA, 2013, 16 min.
Dir. Derrick Sanders
Desmond, an intellectual loner in a volatile high school, has devised a plan to reveal his affections to Aasha, the class beauty. He secretly writes her love sonnets, depositing them in her locker between classes. Then, in the midst of the day's chaos, he discovers he has his own secret admirer. All other concerns fade as he makes his way from clue to clue, hoping to find who is leaving him these cryptic notes. As the last school bell rings, Desmond questions if he will ever find love, or, as the tension at school escalates, even a safe way home.
USA, 2014, 11 min.
Dir. Stefani Saintonge
Everyone seems to be growing up, except Patrice. But when a raunchy rumor threatens her best friend's reputation, she's forced to join the party and embrace adolescence.
The Summer of Gods
Brazil, 2014, 21 min.
Dir. Eliciana Nascimento
North American Premiere
A troubled young girl named Lilly reunites with her Afro-Brazilian religious ancestry during her family’s summer visit to their ancestral village in rural Northeast Brazil. Soon after her arrival, she encounters Orishas, African gods, who join with her grandmother to help her find peace with a gift that has previously vexed her.
Presented by PECO
TThe 2014 BlackStar Film Festival is made possible in part due to generous support from the Knight Foundation, Lomax Family Foundation, PECO, Visit Philadelphia/Philly 360°, Wyncote Foundation, The Philadelphia Foundation, School of Social Policy & Practice at Penn, Community Council Health Systems, Leeway Foundation, Miller-Worley Foundation, Multicultural Affairs Congress, Skai Blue Media, Red Bull, Aqua Energy, Marcellus Shale Coalition, Mazzoni Center, La Colombe, Spodee, Uber, and individual donors; and in partnership with Institute of Contemporary Art Philadelphia, International House, Scribe Video Center, World Cafe Live, Center for Africana Studies at UPenn, Okayplayer, Black&Sexy TV, Little Giant Media, i-g Creative, and Reelblack.