BlackStar Film Festival Coverage August 4-7, 2016

Tuesday, August 16, 2016

Movie Blogger Le Anne Lindsay's
BlackStar Film Festival 2016 Highlights


Opening Night Film:  


directed by Akin Omotoso Moratiwa, (North American Premiere)

An aspiring novelist with writer’s block, meets South Africa’s No. 1 celebrity model, Nat Masilo, after her best friend drags her to a nightclub in the city. Against insurmountable odds, Nat begins to court Moratiwa. Two different worlds collide in this charming, funny, romantic and very sweet film showing a side of Johannesburg that is rarely seen: the City of Gold as a City of Love.

Moratiwa (Nomzamo Mbatha ) plays a woman who peaked too early, having won several prestigious writing awards as a youth. Her plan was to continue writing as a career delivering the quintessential love story, but an extremely hurtful relationship and too much creative pressure leads her to owning a book store by day and reading beneath the covers at night. Until a 45ft Man shows up across the street from her store.

Nomzamo is very lovely, bright, with a hint of mischievousness. I'd love to see her in something again. In fact, she's got the personality to carry a TV series. 

Bottom Line: I would have liked a better "Meet Cute" for the couple other than just eyeing each other from across the Club, but on the whole the film brings together all the elements fans of the rom/com genre are looking to see, including a funny male sidekick, interested in the sassy best friend. What I loved about this film and several others that played during the festival, is simply showing people who are not white falling in love and having romantic entanglements and issues that have nothing to do with their color, race or country.

Below are excerpt of the Post Screening Q&A with filmmaker Akin Omotoso

(video will not be visible to those receiving T&T via RSS feed click HERE to view) 

Tell Me Sweet Something Q&A 6:40


directed by Shola Amoo
A film about gentrification in Brixton, A Moving Image incorporates fiction, documentary and performance art. We follow Nina, a young stifled artist, as she returns to her community after a long absence and is painted as a symbol of gentrification. As she struggles with her own complicity, we follow her mission to create a piece of art that can bring her community together. On her journey, we speak to real people affected by gentrification in Brixton, blurring the line between fiction and reality. 

Bottom Line: It's incredible the way Amoo is able to seamlessly blend an indie narrative about a young woman struggling with her identity and depression and a documentary capturing real life happenings around a movement to stop gentrification of a district in South London.  And once again, romance and flirtation is present in a way that is fun and healthy. Nina has two suitors in the film both artists, one white, one black, however, their color is never a focus or a factor in her decision to be with one or the other or neither.

Below are excerpt of the Post Screening Q&A with filmmaker Shola Amoo

(video will not be visible to those receiving T&T via RSS feed click HERE to view) 

Q&A 7:27

Much of the festival's screenings and events were added to Tinsel & Tine's #PhillyCalendar and promoted via Social Media Blasts

By Indie Means Necessary: directors Matthew Cherry (9 Rides) and Anisia Uzeyman (Dreamstates) discuss the pros and cons of shooting their narrative features with an iPhone or two. Veteran filmmaker Kevin Jerome Everson (Eason) joins in to discuss filmmaking as an art.

(video will not be visible to those receiving T&T via RSS feed click HERE to view) 

9 Rides closed the festival, starring Dorian Missick as an Uber driver out on New Year's Eve interacting and conversing with a broad range of fares, while worried about his girlfriend having too much fun on NYE without him. Cherry does a fine job of creating a picture of who this character is by his reactions and responses to situations with his passengers and phone calls to his girlfriend; almost the entire movie is shot within the confines of the car.

Click HERE to view Video Q&A with cast and director, Raafi Rivero from 72 Hours: A Brooklyn Love Story
Caesar Winslow, 18, is the charismatic leader of his crew. Unlike his friends, he has a chance to leave Brooklyn and attend a prestigious university. But he’s got big problems. His girlfriend’s dumped him and guys in the neighborhood are already lining up to take his crown. Torn by his desire to experience a new world and fear of leaving the only world he’s ever known, Caesar has 72 hours to steel himself. 

Again we get to experience black love. Yes, they do live in the projects, and the story deals with getting out and doing better. But mainly we're seeing life through the eyes of typical teens going through that time in life where every slight and jealousy seems overly dire and important, when in actuality it's just growing pains.  

Click HERE to view: Video Q&A featuring Julie Dash The Great Migration
The Great Migration: A City Transformed (1916-1930) explores the historic tide of African Americans moving north that changed Philadelphia, the United States, and the world. The center of this project created by Scribe Video Center is a series of commissioned media arts works that reveal the ties between the agricultural world the migrants left behind and the new industrial world they would in turn help create. A nationally-renowned team of artists (Julie Dash, Kevin Jerome Everson, Lonnie Graham, Tina Morton, and Mendi + Keith Obadike), explore five institutions that were created or reformed during the period of the first Great Migration.

Posting soon: Video Q&A featuring director Marquette Jones of Forgiving Chris Brown (short) a dark comedy short that follows the follies of “Rihanna,”“Halle” and “Tina.” Set in the picturesque landscapes of California—Joshua Tree and Malibu—the film follows these stylish girlfriends as they hope to heal their battered hearts the old-fashioned way, through revenge and How to Tell You’re a Douchebag directed by Tahir Jetter A dark comedy about a misogynist who falls in love.  
Unfortunately, I only saw the tail end of Forgiving Chris Brown, but How to Tell You're a Douchebag is as much fun as the title suggests. Only I feel the douchbaggery went both ways. Ray (Charles Brice) was a dog with many hookups, sure. And he may not have had the best approach when meeting Rochelle (DeWanda Wise) but she made some really douchey moves against him for basically just being interested in her. Plus, her shady arrangement with the constant snacker guy, didn't exactly put her in the best light. Rochelle is gorgeous with light brown eyes, but that shouldn't automatically give her the right to be telling somebody about themselves. All that shutting men down stuff gives black women a bad rep for having attitudes.


BlackStar was featured on T&T's Radio Segment: That's Show Biz with Chuck Darrow
My segment's starting point is 44:20



 By Indie Means Necessary. August 4-7, 2016

This year BlackStar Film Festival will present over 65 curated films, panel discussions, experimental projects and music videos. 

Main screening venues: the International House and Drexel's Pearlstein Gallery. 

This year’s theme is migration, which will be portrayed throughout the featured films. A few of the festival highlights include Spirits of Rebellion: Black Cinema from UCLA featuring Zeinabu irene Davis, and How to Tell You're a Douchebag by Tahir Jetter A dark comedy about a misogynist who falls in love..

Of course BlackStar and it's Artistic Director, Maori Karmael Holmes welcome film-goers of all nationalities; their intention is to be inclusive in its celebration of Black culture and film.

A free opening party will take place at Johnny Brenda's in Fishtown [Free admittance with reservation] on Thursday (8/4) after the opening film which is actually a romantic comedy called Tell Me Something Sweet directed by Akin Omotoso about a female aspiring novelist with writers block who meets a famous male model in Johannesburg.

[Festival passes are $150 per person, while individual movie tickets are $12 per person (seniors, students, International House members and BlackStar members can all receive discounts]

So come to West Philly to enjoy a carefully curated selection of some of the best independent films from across the globe made by and about people of African descent or who otherwise identify as Black.

 visit - BLACKSTAR FESTIVAL SCHEDULE  / Purchase All-Access Pass

Read  #BSFF16 Guidebook with interviews and reviews 
Click HERE for past Tinsel & Tine Film Festival Coverage

Philly Events Calendar

ADD YOUR EVENT for FREE! - which includes SOCIAL MEDIA BLASTS!  Click AGENDA VIEW to see complete list of happenings.

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I participated in WalkMS Philly on 4/30/16
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Videographer Oliver Gallini 5 min short featuring organic-chemist-turned-chef, Townsend Wentz, who got his start at The Four Seasons Philadelphia.


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About This Blog

is about discovering what I find pleasing in screening & eating - in case you missed it, the name is a play on Tinseltown using the Tines of a Fork.

Feel free to send me info on a film or new restaurant you'd like me to highlight.

Will there ever be a cap on movie prices?

Will we one day pay $20 a pop?

Why don't we pay on a scale?

A crap movie like everything Adam Sandler has ever done should cost about $4.50.
Big action movies like"Lord of the Rings", "Iron Man," "Transformers" are worth $10.
Woody Allen movie or something like "Silver Linings Playbook" $6-$7.
A chick flick or light comedy $5.75 and most Indie Films $5.25.

You could even do it by seasons - all summer block busters from May to August - $10
Sept - November 15th $3.50 - $4
Back to $10 for Thanksgiving and Christmas etc...

Or you can do it by A Actors ($9 - $10), B Actors ($6 - $7) TV actors on the big screen ($3.50 - $4)

Surely I'm not the first person to realize this makes sense. Has it been voted on in the Motion Picture Industry and then vetoed? If so, why?

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