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At the BlackStar Film Festival, Food Matters

The annual Philly film festival celebrates art and storytelling by BIPOC filmmakers. Here are 6 shorts to watch that give food for thought.

A man peers through a pastry case at a row of Jamaican beef patties.
Still from Patty vs. Patty, directed by Chris Strikes.
BlackStar Projects

The 11th annual BlackStar Film Festival — a cultural festival that celebrates the work of BIPOC storytellers and filmmakers — started in Philly on Wednesday, August 3, with screenings of short and feature films, as well as panels, workshops, and parties to attend all around the city. The festival, which runs through Sunday, August 7, is always one of the highlights of the Philly cultural calendar. Tis year’s festival is no different.

As in all art, food has a seat at the table at the festival, with several of BlackStar’s 77 shorts and features centering on themes of family celebrations, culinary traditions, sustenance, and more. Overwhelmed by huge selection of films to choose form? Start with these six short films, all of which either center on or are grounded in the ways food influences people’s lives.

Buy individual tickets to watch any of the feature films and series of shorts, or buy an all-access or virtual only pass online.

Patty vs. Patty

Directed by Chris Strikes

Directed by Chris Strikes, Patty vs. Patty is a documentary short that tells the story of Jamaican Canadian bakers going head to head with the government over the name of Jamaican beef patties.

You can watch Patty vs. Patty in person or stream virtually starting on Saturday, August 6. Individual tickets can be purchased here.

You Can Always Come Home

Directed by Juan Luis Matos

A man reaches for the ceiling while looking up.
Still from You Can Always Come Home by Juan Luis Matos.
BlackStar Projects

This 6-minute short looks at the ways tradition, ritual, love, and celebration manifest in a Black diasporic household.

You can stream You Can Always Come Home virtually. Individual tickets can be purchased online.

The Syed Xmas Eve Game Night

Directed by Fawzia Mirza

A couple stands facing each other in a hallway with Christmas decorations around them.
Still from The Syed Xmas Eve Game Night, directed by Fawzia Mirza.
BlackStar Projects

A holiday celebration is the best place to introduce your spouse to your family, right? In The Syed Xmas Eve Game Night, one queer couple attempts to find out.

You can watch The Syed Xmas Eve Game Night in person or stream virtually starting on Friday, August 5. Individual tickets can be purchased online.

Woman of the Earth

Directed by Evelyn Mercedes Muñoz Marroquín

A row of women sit and knit together while wearing colorful decorative shawls.
Still from Woman of the Earth, directed by Evelyn Mercedes Muñoz Marroquín.
BlackStar Projects

A generation of women in the Nahua community of Hueyapan, Puebla, show what resistance, rebellion, and self-love look like.

You can stream Woman of the Earth virtually. Individual tickets can be purchased online.


Directed by Kevin Jerome Everson

A man stands behind a butcher counter in a black and white photo.
Still from Weidle’s, directed by Kevin Jerome Everson.
BlackStar Projects

In a black-and-white silent film, director Kevin Jerome Everson captures a neighborhood butcher’s routine in his hometown of Mansfield, Ohio.

You can stream Weidle’s virtually. Individual tickets can be purchased online.

Tonight We Eat Flowers

Directed by Bettina Escauriza

A couple talks to each other in a living room.
Still from Tonight We Eat Flowers, directed by Bettina Escauriza.
BlackStar Projects

Edible flowers feature in the short Tonight We Eat Flowers, in which a gourmet chef and a “hold music” salesman fall in love. Bonus: Director Bettina Escauriza is a Philly local.

You can watch Tonight We Eat Flowers in person or stream virtually starting on Sunday, August 7. Individual tickets can be purchased online.

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