Since its inception six years ago, the entirety of the work it takes to organize and produce BlackStar Film Festival has been on the back of founder Maori Karmael Holmes, who has a full-time job, and a whole mess of volunteer power.
It’s a burden. A worthy one, but a burden nonetheless.
No longer. BlackStar, which screens films that celebrate cultures of the African diaspora and of global indigenous communities, just brought on a year-round staff: Li Sumpter as managing director, Swabreen Bakr as marketing manager and Catzie Vilayphonh as administrative coordinator.
“We are proud to welcome Li, Swabreen, and Catzie to the BlackStar family as we continue to grow and increase our capacity,” said Holmes in a statement. “I’m excited to work closely with them toward our overall goal of shining a light on the work of independent film and media makers of color from around the world.”
That means BlackStar attendees can expect a more robust festival this year. Speaking of, the festival begins Aug. 3 this year, and the team has issued a call for submissions. Filmmakers should submit their work through FilmFreeway by March 31, although late entries will be accepted until April 23.-30-
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