• Tuesday, Aug. 10, 2021
"Writing With Fire," "Eyimofe" Among Award Winners At BlackStar Film Fest
Arie Esiri, co-director of "Eyimofe" (photo by Daniel Jackson)
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The BlackStar Film Festival, which celebrates Black, Brown and Indigenous film and video artists, has bestowed awards on several films, including Writing With Fire as Best Feature Documentary, and Eyimofe (This Is My Desire) as Best Feature Narrative. 

Directed by Rintu Thomas and Sushmit Ghosh, Writing With Fire profiles India’s only newspaper run by Dalit women, and the group of journalists who break traditions on the frontlines of India’s biggest issues. 

Directed by Arie and Chuko Esiri, Eyimofe follows the stories of two Lagosians--Mofe, a factory technician, and Rosa, a hairdresser--on their quest for what they believe will be a better life on foreign shores. 

The short film Dear Philadelphia, directed by Renee Osubo, won the Vimeo Staff Pick Award at BlackStar. The award comes with a $2,500 cash prize, a Vimeo Pro account and a Vimeo Staff Pick.

Lionsgate and STARZ partnered with BlackStar to present the Lionsgate/STARZ Speculative Fiction Award this year to the film Inheritance directed by Annalise Lockhart. The honor includes a $5,000 prize and the opportunity for work to be showcased on STARZ in Black.

The winners of the third annual BlackStar Pitch, offering filmmakers of color the chance to propose their short nonfiction projects to an illustrious panel of funders, distributors, and producers, were Claudia Owusu and Ife Oluwamuyide. They will receive an artist grant and mentorship from WarnerMedia OneFifty as well as a free Vimeo Pro Account. Additionally, the Pitch Honorable Mention (a $2,500 cash prize from POV and IF/Then, mentorship from IF/Then staff, and two hours of impact campaign planning support from Working Films) went to Beeta Baghoolizadeh and Shane Nassiri.

This year BlackStar attendees online were invited to vote for their favorite films in each category. The winners of the Audience Awards are Writing With Fire (Best Feature Documentary), Beans (Best Feature Narrative), Abundance (Best Short Narrative), Process (Best Experimental Film) and BABYBANGZ (Best Short Documentary).

Additionally, BlackStar members voted Testimony: 52nd St. and the Invisible Violence of UPenn, directed by Amelia Carter, as the winner of the Shine Award, given each year to films directed by Philadelphia-based filmmakers. This year seven films were eligible for the prize.

This year’s Richard Nichols Luminary Award was awarded to the late Menelik Shabazz, and presented to his daughter, Nadia Denton. 

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