Experience The BlackStar Film Festival

Immerse yourself in the captivating world of independent cinema at the BlackStar Film Festival. Get ready to be inspired as you embark on a journey through thought-provoking narratives and powerful visual storytelling. With a diverse lineup of films, workshops, and panels, this annual festival celebrates the work of Black filmmakers from around the globe, bringing their unique voices and perspectives to the forefront of the industry. Be part of a vibrant and inclusive community that celebrates the art of filmmaking and the power of storytelling. Discover a world of cinematic brilliance at the BlackStar Film Festival and let your imagination soar.

Experience The BlackStar Film Festival

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About the BlackStar Film Festival

The BlackStar Film Festival is a dynamic and groundbreaking event that celebrates and showcases the work of Black, Brown, and Indigenous filmmakers from around the world. With a mission to amplify and center the voices of marginalized communities, this festival has become a key platform for underrepresented filmmakers to share their stories, challenge mainstream narratives, and foster a sense of community within the film industry.


The mission of the BlackStar Film Festival is to amplify the cinematic works of Black, Brown, and Indigenous filmmakers while providing a space for critical dialogue and networking opportunities. By showcasing a diverse range of voices, the festival aims to challenge the traditional narratives of film and inspire a new generation of storytellers.


Established in 2012, the BlackStar Film Festival has quickly gained recognition for its commitment to showcasing groundbreaking films by Black, Brown, and Indigenous filmmakers. Founded by filmmaker and curator Maori Holmes, the festival was born out of a desire to create a platform for underrepresented voices in the film industry. Since its inception, the festival has grown exponentially, attracting filmmakers, industry professionals, and film enthusiasts from all over the world.


The BlackStar Film Festival plays a critical role in the film industry by providing a platform for filmmakers who are often overlooked by mainstream festivals. By amplifying underrepresented voices, the festival helps to diversify the narratives and perspectives that are represented on the big screen. This not only creates a more inclusive and equitable industry but also provides audiences with fresh and compelling stories that may have otherwise gone unheard. The festival’s commitment to showcasing alternative narratives challenges and pushes the boundaries of cinema, ultimately reshaping and expanding the overall landscape of filmmaking.

Festival Schedule

Dates and Duration

The BlackStar Film Festival typically takes place over several days in the summer, with exact dates varying each year. The festival offers a dynamic and engaging lineup of screenings, panel discussions, workshops, and parties that cater to both film industry professionals and enthusiastic audience members.


The heart of the BlackStar Film Festival lies in its diverse range of film screenings. Curated with a keen eye for excellence and originality, the festival showcases feature films, short films, documentaries, experimental works, and animation. This carefully selected lineup ensures that there is something for everyone, providing audiences with a chance to explore a wide variety of genres, styles, and perspectives.

Virtual Events

In response to the global pandemic, the BlackStar Film Festival has adapted by offering virtual events, allowing audiences from around the world to participate and engage with the festival remotely. These virtual events include film screenings, Q&A sessions with filmmakers, and panel discussions, providing an inclusive and accessible experience for all.

Panel Discussions

One of the highlights of the festival is the series of panel discussions that bring together industry professionals, filmmakers, and audience members. These discussions delve into critical topics such as representation, accessibility, and creative collaboration, providing a platform for thoughtful dialogue and exchange of ideas.


The BlackStar Film Festival also offers a series of workshops designed to empower and educate emerging filmmakers. Led by industry professionals, these workshops cover a range of topics including screenwriting, directing, producing, and film financing. Attendees have the opportunity to gain valuable insights and practical knowledge that can help them navigate the film industry with confidence.


In addition to the thought-provoking screenings and engaging panel discussions, the BlackStar Film Festival also knows how to have a good time. The festival organizes lively parties where attendees can connect, celebrate, and build relationships with fellow film enthusiasts and industry professionals. These festive gatherings provide a casual and fun atmosphere for networking and socializing, creating lasting memories that extend beyond the festival itself.

Experience The BlackStar Film Festival

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Film Categories

Feature Films

The feature film category of the BlackStar Film Festival showcases full-length films that highlight the diverse experiences and perspectives of Black, Brown, and Indigenous communities. These films range from narratives to documentaries, and each tells a unique story that challenges conventional norms and pushes the boundaries of storytelling.

Short Films

The short film category provides a platform for innovative and thought-provoking films with a runtime of 30 minutes or less. These compact stories deliver powerful messages in a condensed format, making use of visual storytelling techniques to capture the attention and imagination of the audience.


Documentaries play a crucial role in the BlackStar Film Festival, giving audiences an opportunity to explore real-world issues, experiences, and histories through the lens of talented filmmakers. These films often shed light on untold stories, amplify marginalized voices, and challenge viewers to think critically about social and cultural issues.

Experimental Films

The experimental film category pushes the boundaries of traditional filmmaking, embracing unconventional storytelling techniques and visual aesthetics. These films often explore abstract concepts, challenge narrative structures, and invite audiences to question their own perceptions of reality.


Animation is a vibrant and exciting category within the BlackStar Film Festival, showcasing the creativity and skill of filmmakers who bring their stories to life through the art of animation. From traditional hand-drawn animation to cutting-edge digital techniques, these films captivate audiences with their unique visual styles and imaginative storytelling.

Filmmaker Spotlights

Emerging Filmmakers

The BlackStar Film Festival takes pride in highlighting the work of emerging filmmakers who are just beginning to make their mark in the industry. These talented artists bring fresh and innovative perspectives, showcasing their talent and potential through their creative storytelling and technical prowess.

Celebrated Filmmakers

The festival also pays tribute to celebrated filmmakers who have made significant contributions to the world of cinema. These established and acclaimed artists have paved the way for future generations of filmmakers, leaving a lasting impact on both the industry and the audiences who have been inspired by their work.

Industry Professionals

In addition to shining a spotlight on filmmakers, the BlackStar Film Festival provides a platform for industry professionals to share their expertise and insights. These professionals may include producers, directors, writers, and actors who have valuable knowledge and experience to impart to aspiring filmmakers.

Experience The BlackStar Film Festival

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Physical Locations

The BlackStar Film Festival takes place in various physical locations, chosen strategically to create a vibrant and immersive experience for attendees. These venues may include traditional movie theaters, cultural centers, and unconventional spaces that add a unique ambiance to the festival.

Virtual Platforms

In recent years, the BlackStar Film Festival has expanded its reach by incorporating virtual platforms into its programming. This allows audiences from around the world to participate in the festival and engage with the films and events, regardless of their geographical location. By embracing virtual platforms, the festival has been able to foster a global community of filmmakers and film enthusiasts who can come together to celebrate and support underrepresented voices in cinema.

Tickets and Passes


The BlackStar Film Festival offers a range of ticket pricing options to accommodate various budgets. The festival aims to make the experience accessible to as many people as possible, ensuring that cost is not a barrier to attending.

Package Options

For those who want to experience more than just a single screening, the festival offers package options that provide access to multiple films, events, and workshops at a discounted rate. These packages allow attendees to fully immerse themselves in the festival experience and make the most of their time at the BlackStar Film Festival.

Experience The BlackStar Film Festival

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Community Outreach

Youth Programs

The BlackStar Film Festival is committed to nurturing the next generation of filmmakers by offering youth programs that provide hands-on filmmaking experiences and mentorship opportunities. Through these programs, young aspiring filmmakers have the chance to learn from industry professionals, develop their skills, and create their own unique films.

Film Education

In addition to its youth programs, the BlackStar Film Festival also offers film education initiatives for individuals of all ages who are interested in deepening their understanding and appreciation of cinema. These initiatives may include film screenings accompanied by discussions, film history courses, and workshops on various aspects of filmmaking.

Community Partnerships

The BlackStar Film Festival actively engages with community partners to expand its reach and impact. By working closely with local organizations, businesses, and community leaders, the festival is able to create meaningful collaborations that benefit both the festival and the communities it serves. These partnerships may include joint programming, community events, and shared resources that amplify and extend the festival’s mission.

Awards and Recognition


To ensure fairness and objectivity, the BlackStar Film Festival appoints juries comprised of industry professionals and experts in the film field. These juries carefully evaluate the submitted films based on a set of criteria and select the winners in each category.


The BlackStar Film Festival presents awards in various categories, acknowledging excellence in different aspects of filmmaking. These categories may include Best Narrative Feature, Best Documentary, Best Short Film, Best Director, and Best Emerging Filmmaker, among others. Each category represents a unique achievement within the industry and serves to honor the outstanding work of filmmakers.

Previous Winners

Over the years, the BlackStar Film Festival has recognized numerous talented filmmakers and their exceptional contributions to cinema. From emerging filmmakers to established industry professionals, the festival has celebrated the achievements of a diverse range of artists, creating a legacy of excellence that continues to inspire and shape the world of film.

Experience The BlackStar Film Festival

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How to Get Involved


The BlackStar Film Festival offers volunteering opportunities for individuals who are passionate about film and want to contribute to the success of the festival. Volunteers play a vital role in various aspects of the festival, including set-up and tear-down, ticketing, ushering, and assisting with panel discussions and workshops.

Sponsorship Opportunities

For businesses and organizations looking to support the BlackStar Film Festival, sponsorship opportunities are available. By becoming a sponsor, companies can align their brand with the festival’s mission and values while gaining exposure to a diverse and engaged audience.

Submitting Films

Filmmakers who wish to have their work considered for the BlackStar Film Festival can submit their films through the festival’s official submission process. This provides an opportunity for filmmakers to showcase their talent and have their films seen by a wide audience, both within the industry and among passionate film enthusiasts.


Audience Feedback

Audiences have consistently praised the BlackStar Film Festival for its thought-provoking programming, engaging discussions, and inclusive atmosphere. Many have expressed gratitude for the opportunity to discover new voices and stories that are often overlooked by mainstream cinema. The festival’s commitment to amplifying underrepresented voices has resonated with audiences, creating a powerful and lasting impact.

Filmmaker Experience

Filmmakers who have participated in the BlackStar Film Festival have spoken highly of the supportive and nurturing environment that the festival provides. Many have expressed gratitude for the opportunity to connect with like-minded filmmakers, industry professionals, and audiences who appreciate their work. The festival’s emphasis on fostering a sense of community and providing mentorship opportunities has been particularly valued by emerging filmmakers.

Community Impact

The BlackStar Film Festival has made a significant impact on the communities it serves, both locally and globally. Through its inclusive programming and community outreach initiatives, the festival has not only provided a platform for underrepresented voices but also fostered a sense of social and cultural connection. The festival has inspired and empowered individuals from diverse backgrounds to pursue careers in the film industry and has challenged mainstream narratives by amplifying alternative voices and stories.