5 Films We're Excited To See At BlackStar Film Festival 2016
A still from How To Tell You’re A Douchebag via BlackStar Film Festival
A celebration of indie black films from across the world, the BlackStar Film Festival in Philadelphia has become an annual event that champions the work of up and coming black cinema. This year is no exception: featuring everything from documentaries to romantic comedies, BlackStar will be showing a diverse roster of movies for your enjoyment. Need help choosing which ones you should see if you’re attending? Well, look no further — we’ve chosen the five films we’re anticipating most from the festival, below.
Director Matthew A. Cherry is known for making music videos for the likes of Michelle Williams and Bilal, but he also does a number of other projects on the side. Daily vlogs, a comedic web series and, most recently, 9 Rides.
Dubbed the “first feature film about an Uber driver,” 9 Rides puts us in the passenger seat with an Uber driver (Dorian Missick) working on New Year’s Eve. As he travels across the city he meets nine different groups of passengers who help him come to terms with some life changing news. What that news is? Well, you’ll just have to check out the film to find out. 9 Rides particularly stands out at Blackstar (it also premiered at this year’s SXSW) because it was filmed entirely on iPhone 6s in 4k resolution.
CeCe McDonald‘s entire life changed on June 5, 2011. A black bi-trans woman and activist from Minneapolis, Minnesota, McDonald and a group of friends found themselves in a altercation between some people outside of a bar. Ultimately, a man died that night, with McDonald taking the blame for his death and accepting a plea deal that led to her being incarcerated in a men’s prison in Minnesota.
FREE CeCe director Jac Gares captures McDonald’s story upon being released from prison, using her as a means of exploring race, class and gender in America, as well as the country’s controversial prison industrial complex. Laverne Cox serves as the film’s executive producer.