The Greater Philadelphia Film Office (GPFO) is a “film commission” representing southeastern Pennsylvania that officially serves the counties of Bucks, Chester, Delaware, Montgomery, and Philadelphia


An Interview with Maori Holmes, Founder and Artistic Director of BlackStar Film Festival

"The 2013 BlackStar Film Festival is less than three months away and we’ve been hard at work putting together an event that will shine a light on the dynamism of the global black experience."

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 (Maori Holmes)

1. Highlight some outcomes from Blackstar and how you have reflected/regrouped to make it bigger and better?

BlackStar was really well attended and received well by our audience. More than 80% of our films received 5-star ratings from attendees. We are not making it “bigger” in the traditional sense, other than pushing to sell out more of our screenings. We sold about 82% of ticketed seats the first year, so we’re aiming for 100% of course, although we feel really good about our first year attendance. We are going even more global and adding in a more critical/academic component.

2. Is there a theme for this year’s festival?

This year’s theme is “BlackStar 2.0: Black to the Future” looking at Afro-futurism, technology, speculative fiction, and contemporary art.


(BlackStar 2.0 [1])


(BlackStar 2.0 [2])

3. Will you be in the same venue or will you expand to other parts of the city? How did you come to present the first BlackStar?

International House will remain our “home base” but we are also screening at The Barnes, Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts and hoping to have a venue for our critical symposium and special guest performance with King Britt.

The first BlackStar came about based on a relationship I had with International House as an independent curator.


(BlackStar 2.0 [3])

4. How can people get involved early to help out?

Anyone interested in volunteering can email us at

5. Why is this festival important for Black filmmakers and those who love great stories about Black culture?  

This festival focuses on global black culture and expands our notions of black life beyond mainstream film and television. The diversity of stories and images will be like nothing else in the city.


(BlackStar 2.0 [4])


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