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The BlackStar film festival will be held between August 3rd and 7th in Philadelphia this year. Photo: BlackStar Projects
The BlackStar film festival will be held between August 3rd and 7th in Philadelphia this year. Photo: BlackStar Projects

With submissions open for the 2022 BlackStar Film Festival, BlackStar expands its staff

The BlackStar film festival will be held between Aug. 3 - 7 this year.

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BlackStar is a Philly arts organization dedicated to creating the spaces and resources needed for Black, Brown, and Indigenous artists to thrive.

The organization is particularly interested in uplifting Black, Brown, and Indigenous filmmakers who work outside the confines of genre.

Embracing visionaries, BlackStar produces programs year-round. BlackStar’s programs include film screenings, a filmmaking seminar, a film production lab, a journal of visual culture, exhibitions, and their annual film festival.

Now, BlackStar is extending their efforts by expanding their team. The organization recently added six new hires to their staff.

The new additions to the staff come as BlackStar celebrates its 10-year anniversary.

Akili Davis will be acting Administrative Coordinator for BlackStar, Ashley Ijoema Omoma has been added as Program Coordinator, Autumn F. Valdez as Business Manager, Mariam Dembele as Marketing Associate, and Patrice Worthy as Director of Programs.

Dessane Lopez Cassell has been hired as the Editor-in-Chief of Seen, BlackStar’s twice-annual journal. Cassell’s role was announced last November through the debut of Seen’s 003 issue. 

Seen’s first issue with Cassell in the Editor in Chief position will run this Spring.

While these new additions are stepping into their roles, some BlackStar staff have been promoted to new positions as well.

Leo Brooks will take on the Design Manager position, Imran Siddiquee the role of Chief Communications Officer, and Sara Zia Ebrahimi will assume the role of Chief Operations Officer.

In a statement, Maori Karmael Holmes, the Artistic Director and CEO of BlackStar, congratulated the new hirees and those who have been promoted:

“We’re thrilled to have these incredibly talented individuals joining our team as we continue to expand the scope of our organization and vision. I am also delighted to have Sara and Imran join me in leading the organization as we move into the second decade of BlackStar, leveraging our collective expertise and imagination for another transformative decade,” said Holmes.

Submissions for the BlackStar film festival opened on Monday, Jan. 10. There are three deadlines: an early deadline (Feb. 1), a preferred deadline (March 2), and a final deadline (April 1).

Entrants will be notified of their submission status by May 5. For further information on rules & regulations, submissions, click here.

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