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Press Release  
Release Date: Thursday, October 3, 2013 1:47 PM
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Media Contact:
Sholnn Freeman
Communications Specialist
BlackStar Film Festival Honors Howard Film Program

WASHINGTON (Aug. 1, 2013) – The 2nd Annual BlackStar Film Festival, which opens this week in Philadelphia, will bestow a special honor on the Howard University Film Program as well as present an all-star panel on Howard’s contribution to filmmaking, “Howard University and Visualizing Blackness.”

The Aug. 4 panel will include renowned filmmaker and director of the Howard University Master of Fine Arts (MFA) in Film program, Haile Gerima; cinematographer Bradford Young (MFA ‘04), actress Loren Lillian (B.A. ‘00); and filmmaker Najma Nuriddin (MFA ‘11). Howard professor Montré Aza Missouri, Ph.D., will serve as moderator. Panelists will discuss the legacy of the Howard film program, the philosophy of their work and the future of Black film. For more information, visit here.

Over the past several years, Howard film alumni have been steadily winning awards and gaining recognition for cinematography, directing and producing. The MFA graduate program — the only one of its kind at an Historically Black College or University (HBCU) — is now celebrating its 30th year. BlackStar Festival organizers said the MFA program is becoming widely known for “a specific, politically-charged aesthetic in which students are encouraged to push beyond the boundaries of conventional cinema to represent Black bodies masterfully and beautifully.”

BlackStar Film Festival will screen 75 feature films, short films, and music videos representing four continents, and hold a special awards ceremony, panels, concerts, receptions, and a screenplay competition. The festival will primarily take place at International House of Philadelphia with additional screenings at Drexel University and The Barnes Foundation.

For more information, contact: Lauren Holland,; 267.603.2755
Ryan Dennis,;  215.625.7988.


Founded in 1867, Howard University is a private, research university that is comprised of 13 schools and colleges. Students pursue studies in more than 120 areas leading to undergraduate, graduate and professional degrees. Since 1998, the University has produced two Rhodes Scholars, two Truman Scholars, a Marshall Scholar, 30 Fulbright Scholars and 11 Pickering Fellows. Howard also produces more on campus African-American Ph.D. recipients than any other university in the United States. For more information on Howard University, call 202-238-2330, or visit the University's Web site at

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