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
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 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 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
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
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.