3rd Annual BlackStar Film Festival
The Next Movement: Experimental Shorts
(in alphabetical order)
USA, 2013, 14 min.
Dir. Frances Bodomo
Inspired by true events, Afronauts tells an alternative history of the 1960s Space Race. It’s the night of July 16th 1969 and, as America prepares to send Apollo 11 to the moon, a group of exiles in the Zambian desert are rushing to launch their rocket first. They train by rolling their astronaut, 17-year-old Matha Mwamba, down hills in barrels to simulate weightlessness. As the clock counts down to blast off, as the Bantu-7 Rocket looks more and more lopsided, Matha must decide if she’s willing to die to keep her family’s myths alive. Afronauts follows the scientific zeitgeist from the perspective of those who do not have access to it.
The Dance Begets the Dance
USA, 2014, 10 min.
Dir. Roni Nicole
The Dance Begets the Dance is a performance film in three parts. The triptych explores birth, from conception to the time of crowning -- a moment of gorgeous promise and fiery pain.
USA, 2013, 7 min.
Dir. Terence Nance
Extra-celestial beings escape the vagabondary bound to their psyche on foot. Short film by Terence Nance, with music by Sanford Biggers’ concept band Moon Medicine who have been described as “a remedy for saddity, an anecdote for the overly analytic. A balm for the phases, a lunar liniment.”
Negus: Lee “Scratch” Perry
Italy, 2013, 11 min.
Dir. Invernomuto (Simone Bertuzzi, Simone Trabucchi)
North America Premiere
The legendary Jamaican-born dub and regga master Rasta Lee "Scratch" Perry, the spiritual MC of the film, invokes Haile Selassie in a fiery re-enactment of an historical event from the Italian Fascist period when an effigy of the last Negus of Ethiopia, Haile Selassie I, was burned in the main square of the filmmaker’s hometown, Vernasca, a village located between Milano and Bologna. At the same time, Hailé Selassié I was becoming the Black Messiah for Rastafarianism, a movement born in Jamaica during the 30s and spread all over the planet, including Ethiopia, considered the Mother Land by Rasta followers.
Nigeria, 2014, 2 min.
Dir. Akwaeke Emezi
Shot in Lagos, Nigeria, Ududeagu is an experimental short film about impermanence and a spider. Narrated in Igbo with English subtitles, it is a brief and haunting piece of visual mythology.
UK, Kenya, 2012, 7 min.
Dir. Ng'endo Mukii
In this award-winning short documentary, Kenyan filmmaker Ng'endo Mukii, inspired by her interest in the concept of skin and race and what they imply; and in “the ideas and theories sown into our flesh that change with the arc of time”, explores African women's self-image. Through the use of memories, interviews; and mixed media, she describes their “almost schizophrenic pursuit of globalized beauty”.
Q&A w/Frances Bodomo, Terence Nance & Roni Nicole
The 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.