Maori Karmael Holmes, curator for film at Penn Live Arts (PLA) and “mediamaker-in-residence” at Annenberg School for Communication, is also the CEO of BlackStar Film Festival. Since her appointment at Penn Live Arts (PLA), Holmes has curated more than 15 films, ranging from environmental topics to themes of migration and crossing borders with dreams of a better life.
This summer, in conjunction with multiple cultural partners across Philadelphia, such as the Barnes Foundation, the Institute of Contemporary Art, and Penn Live Arts, BlackStar Projects is presenting a programmatic series by Isaac Julien and the Sankofa Film & Video Collective. Julien is a British installation artist and filmmaker who drew attention with his 1989 film, “Looking for Langston,” a sort of reimagining of the life of Langston Hughes and the Harlem Renaissance through a Black gay lens. By exploring race, class, and sexuality, this series of three works focuses on Black experiences and culture during the 1980s.
The screening series closes with a showing of “The Passion of Remembrance,” a 1983 film that explores the Black British experience. The film will screen on Aug. 3 at 2 p.m. in the Harold L. Zellerbach Theater at the Annenberg Center for the Performing Arts.
Here, Holmes discusses cultural representation, the vision of BlackStar Projects (which will hold an upcoming festival from Aug. 3-7), and the work of Isaac Julien.