BlackStar Film Festival Goes Virtual Amid Pandemic (Exclusive)

Courtesy of Sundance Institute
'Selah And The Spades' won the best narrative feature prize at last year's festival.

The Philadelphia showcase for filmmakers of color will take place online from Aug. 20 to 26.

The ninth BlackStar Film Festival in Philadelphia is headed online this year amid the COVID-19 crisis.

The virtual edition, to take place from Aug. 20 to 26, promises over 90 films, live panels and special events. "I am incredibly proud of our team and the work they have done to meet the challenges of this moment and present our festival this year," BlackStar artistic director and CEO Maori Karmael Holmes said in a statement.

"The format might be different, but our nearly decade-long mission of centering and celebrating the voices of Black, Brown, and Indigenous people from around the world is not," she added.

The slate of films for the upcoming BlackStar festival will be unveiled in the coming weeks. BlackStar has tapped the digital distribution channel CineSend to stream the ninth edition's film lineup online.

Ticketed fest-goers will stream films through a virtual portal at watch.blackstarfest.org. Last year’s festival saw the best feature narrative award go to Selah and the Spades, directed by Tayarisha Poe, and the best feature documentary award was picked up by The Infiltrators, directed by Cristina Ibarra and Alex Rivera.