BlackStar Projects produces the annual BlackStar Film Festival, a Philadelphia film festival centered on films by and for Black, brown, and indigenous people, often referred to as “the Black Sundance.” Since its inception in 2012, the festival has showcased over 400 films from nearly 20 countries and five continents. The organization also hosts screenings, exhibitions, seminars, and other programming throughout the year and produces a journal of film and visual culture.
Multidisciplinary artist Joiri Minaya collaborates with writer and curator Dessane Lopez Cassell on an outdoor performance series, short film, and publication that center Black and Indigenous narratives. Through ethnobotanical designs and movement, the collaborators, both members of the Dominican diaspora, examine Philadelphia’s colonialist horticultural practices and the cultural significance of plants for Native and Black people of the Americas, especially the Caribbean. An accompanying special issue of Seen, BlackStar’s journal of film and visual culture, focuses on Caribbean art, performance, and film, allowing readers to further engage with the ideas that inform the project.
The total grant amount represents project funding plus an additional 20% in unrestricted general operating support.