BlackStar Film Festival Celebrates BIPOC Filmmakers

From three drive-in screenings (Be Water, The Forty-Year-Old Version and Miss Juneteenth) at Philadelphia’s Mann Center to the online presentation of more than 90 films and live panels, the BlackStar Film Festival returns for its ninth installment from 20 to 26 August. Founded by Maori Karmael Holmes as a platform for independent work by Black filmmakers, the festival does more than screen groundbreaking work from BIPOC …

Interview: Recording Artist Naeem

Formerly known as Spank Rock, Naeem Juwan sees his newest record as an opportunity to reflect and grow

Baltimore-born Naeem Juwan (who began as part of the duo Spank Rock, then retained the name Spank Rock as a solo artist, and now records as Naeem) never intended to shed his initial moniker. Spank Rock albums released in 2006 and 2011 and EPs in 2007, 2012, and 2014 established a specific style: raucous, club-influenced party rap. But, Naeem grew, and his interests shifted. Public perception, however, …

Interview: Brass Arrow Designer Noel Bennetto

Spiritual and cultural preservation through garments adorned with Indigenous-American art

Designer Noel Bennetto operates the online shop Brass Arrow from Philadelphia, first home to the Lenape people. On the site, Bennetto offers a sampling of her Indigenous-American art emblazoned on shirts, shorts, pants, tapestries, and more. It’s all part of an effort she describes as creating work that “resonates with my beliefs in the healing powers of positivity, sustainability and the handmade.” Emphasizing nature and spirit, with a …