In a highly politicized time, Black Star Film Festival 2017 focuses on resistance
Entering into its sixth year, Philadelphia’s Black Star Film Festival has grown as a platform highlighting the vanguard of African American and African diasporic independent cinema. The programming for this year’s festival is remarkably eclectic and robust, offering impactful shorts and ambitious feature-length films. Stylistically, this year’s batch of featured films range from a traditional to experimental and outright avant-garde.
Louis A. More and John Michael Neal’s Tales From Shaolin: Part One – Shakey Dog is a crime drama influenced by Wu-Tang and Tarantino, while Ephraim Asili’s Kindah, is part documentary, part experimental short that is the latest in a series where the filmmaker explores the connections between communities throughout the African diaspora.
The theme of this year’s festival is resistance. Over the course of four days, beginning on Thursday, August 3 and running through Sunday, August 6th, BSFF 2017 offers up a rich program of films centered around social and political resistance. Shirikiana Aina’s ambitious feature-length Documentary Footprints of Pan-Africanism tells the story of a group of African Americans in the 1950s who repatriated to West Africa to live and work in the the independent nation of Ghana as it wrestled itself free of British colonial rule. Resistance: The Battle of Philadelphia: Prologue is M. Asli Dunkan’s haunting, speculative Afro-Futurist short which finds a hacker using DIY technology to take out police drones in a dystopian version of West Philly in the future.
Keeping with its mission to showcase “films from Black people around the world” BSFF 2017 continues to highlight the most powerful and creative voice working in independent cinema while reminding us of the way in which film can agitate and inspire.