• film

BlackStar Film Festival

Shorts Program 8

Baobab Flowers
Brazil/United States, 2017, 35 min.
World Premiere
Dir. Gabriela Watson Aurazo
Baobab Flowers is a documentary featuring two teachers who challenge the public educational system while trying to promote Black ancestry in the classroom. Merging poetic and observational style, filmmaker Gabriela Watson Aurazo bridges the lives of teachers from two different countries—Nyanza Bandele in Philadelphia, United States, and Priscila Dias in São Paulo, Brazil. The film shows the similarities between black women as mothers and educators, the impact of poorly performing schools in the black community, and the struggle to achieve equality in education.

Fresh Frozen
United States, 2017, 10 min.
Philadelphia Premiere
Dir. Tony Nguyen
Fresh Frozen provides an intimate look at a small Black-owned sandwich shop in a fast-changing neighborhood in Oakland, Calif. The short documentary follows Teena Johnson, a 63-year-old woman who makes “the best fish sandwich in the town.” As many American cities struggle to address issues of affordability and displacement, everything around Teena’s little shop is rapidly changing to cater to young, affluent professionals, and the future of her business is uncertain due to skyrocketing rents. The film offers an uplifting portrait of an individual’s grit and determination to fulfill dreams in the face of a shifting urban landscape.

Miasia: The Nature of Experience
United States, 2017, 30 min.
World Premiere
Dir. Yvonne Michelle Shirley
Brooklyn teen Miasia Clark is just a few weeks shy of presenting at the first-ever Black Girl Movement National Conference. As the event approaches, we watch her prepare with her activist group, Girls for Gender Equity. She guides us through her everyday worlds as she wrestles with the personal, the political, and the fight for self-determination. 

Water Warriors
United States/Canada, 2017, 22 min.
Philadelphia Premiere
Dir. Michael Premo
Water Warriors is the story of a community’s successful resistance against the oil and natural gas industry. When an energy company begins searching for natural gas in New Brunswick, Canada, indigenous and white families unite to drive out the company in a campaign to protect their water and way of life.