BlackStar is a gathering of filmmakers, supporters and enthusiasts who will attend screenings and participate in panels, workshops, and conversations to expand the vision and understanding of the global Black experience and closely related communities of color.

BlackStar will expose over 4,000 people to independent films by and about people of African descent and indigenous communities from across the world. The festival amplifies the often-unheard voices of independent artists who through high quality, genre-defying film are facilitating an exchange of ideas and stories.

This year the Festival will take place August 2-5, 2018 in Philadelphia at Lightbox Film Center, Institute of Contemporary Art, Pearlstein Gallery, and World Café Live. Reelblack is proud to be a Community Partner for seven consecutive years.

Over the four days of the festival, we will host approximately 80 films from 4 continents, panel discussions, meetups and workshops with fellow esteemed artists and cultural workers, a youth program, and a closing awards ceremony.

Overall, the festival aims to provide a 360° view about art and its place in our daily lives, and celebrate the varied landscape of Black life and its many manifestations—be they political, social, or ancestral.

THE RODNEES: WE MOD LIKE DAT (2005) at The Bank 7/13

On Friday July 13 at 7:30pm, Reelblack hosts a rare public screening of Bronx arrest/filmmaker LINDLEY FARLEY’S musical satire on cultural appropriation.
Four African-American lads from Brooklyn can’t cut it in hip-hop, discover The Beatles, and become modern-day British Invasion-style singers
Filmmaker Lindley Farley in attendance in conversation with cinematographer Mike D.
Friday July 13 at 7:30pm The Bank 3750 Lancaster Avenue. Doors: 7pm Pay-What-You-Wish (includes refreshments).


The critically acclaimed film, The Gospel According to Andre opens this Friday at The Ritz Bourse 4th and Ranstead. Reelblack is giving away 2 passes to see it during its weekday run of engagement.
Two ways to win:
1) Tune in to this Friday’s live broadcast of Reelblack Radio on 96.1 FM/900AM WURD. Filmmaker Kate Novack will be calling in at 12:05pm ET. In the second half of the show, we will give away a pass for two to see the movie at any Monday-Friday screening at the Ritz.
Listen live online at
2) Send an email with your full name and mailing address to one winner will be chosen at random on Friday.
Good luck!
André Leon Talley has been a fixture in the world of fashion for so long that it’s difficult to imagine a time when he wasn’t defining the boundaries of great style. Kate Novack’s intimate portrait, The Gospel According to André takes viewers on an emotional journey from André’s roots growing up in the segregated Jim Crow South to become one of the most influential tastemakers and fashion curators of our times.
Novack’s film draws fascinating, heretofore unexplored connections, between the elegance of André’s beloved grandmother and the Black Church of his youth and his later iconic, barrier-breaking work at publications like Women’s Wear Daily, W and Vogue. Weaving together a wealth of archival footage from the most glamorous moments in fashion history with André’s poignant reflections on his life and career, The Gospel According to André is a cinematic monument to one of the most unique figures of 20th Century American culture.
Produced by the team who brought viewers The First Monday in May and Page One: Inside The New York Times and featuring commentary from fashion luminaries including Anna Wintour, Marc Jacobs and Tom Ford, The Gospel According to André is an indispensable addition to the growing canon of fashion documentary.
Opens: Friday June 8, Ritz at the Bourse 400 Ranstead Street
Running time: 94 minutes
Rating: PG-13
Official Website: https://www.thegospel

Prince 60 - A Reelblack Birthday Celebration (6/8) at The Bank

Friday June 8, 7:30pm
Pay-What-You-Wish ($7.00 suggested)
The Bank • 3750 Lancaster Avenue in West Philadelphia

Its hard to believe, but Prince Rogers Nelson would have turned 60 years old on June 7. On Friday June 8, Reelblack will host a replay of the 2 hour tribute we put together in honor of his transition in 2016. night of rare documentary and video performances of PRINCE ROGERS NELSON. We will screen a seldom seen British documentary showing highlights of his career, then round out the night with over an hour of his best performances Compiled by Reelblack founder Mike D, the clips will span his entire career, from his earliest TV appearances, rare bootlegs, interviews and classic scenes from his films. Come celebrate and sing along with us.

Bring The Beat Back / A Salute To Lady B 6/15 at AAMP

Friday, June 15, 6:30 p.m.
$7 Advance | $10 Door | Free to Members
T?he African American Museum in Philadelphia , 701 Arch Street

In celebration of Black Music Month, Reelblack teams with the African American Museum in Philadelphia to premiere two film projects centered on Philly hip-hop, both featuring footage that has largely gone unseen, until now. This screening will be followed by a panel discussion with Philly rap pioneers like Lady B, MC Breeze, and Funk Wizard Snow alongside Bring The Beat Backfilmmakers Mike D. and Tito Irizarry.

A SALUTE TO LADY B. (2011/ 18 minutes/ dir. Mike D.) is a short documentary created for Lady B.’s 30th Anniversary in radio, but was never screened because of rain. In addition to hosting Street Beat, Philly’s longest-running hip hop radio show, she was the very first female MC to make a record. Featuring interviews with Russell Simmons, Jill Scott, “Fly Ty” Williams, E-Vette Money, World B. Free, Will Smith and more.

BRING THE BEAT BACK: A RECONSTRUCTION (2018/ 40 minutes. / dir. Mike D./ camera Tito Irizarry) While working as a video editor at KYW-TV in 2001, filmmaker Mike D. conceived the idea of making a film about the history of Old School Philly Rap. Working with cameraperson/ producer Tito Irizarry, research was done and a trailer was cut. A first chapter, PHILLY BOY: A MOVIE ABOUT MC BREEZE (AKA JOEY B. ELLIS) was completed, however money could not be raised to complete subsequent episodes. In 2018, Mike decided to go back through the original footage and create a reconstruction of the story. While by no means definitive, Bring The Beat Back tells the story of the birth of Hip Hop in the City of Brotherly Love, as told by some of its pioneers. Features exclusive interviews and performances with Lady B, MC Breeze, Schooly D, DJ Jazzy Jeff, Chuck Chillout, EST and Larry Larr, DJ Cash Money, E-Vette Money, Lawrence Goodman, Chuck D, Baby DST, and Funk Wizard Snow.

Reelblack In Conversation With Stephanie Renee 6/21

Photographic Memory
An exhibition of archival imagery by Maurice Sorrell (1914-1998), the first Black member of the White House Photographers Association

Slought and Penn School of Social Policy & Practice are pleased to announce Photographic Memory, an exhibition of archival imagery by Maurice Sorrell (1914-1998), the first Black member of the White House Photographers Association, on display at Slought from June 21, 2018 to July 21, 2018. An opening reception will take place on Thursday, June 21, 2018 from 6-9pm, with a conversation featuring curator Stephanie Renée and Daryl DeBrest and Mike D of Reelblack at 7pm. Reelblack is presenting a compilation of rare and unseen moving images from our vault as part of the exhibit.

In conjunction with the exhibition, curator Stephanie Renée will dialogue with featured guests about the importance of preserving history and archiving as a political and cultural project.
All programs held at Slought at 7pm unless noted otherwise.
Thursday, June 21
Daryl DeBrest and Mike D
of Reelblack
Thursday, July 5
J. Michael Harrison, host of
“The Bridge,” WRTI 90.1
Thursday, July 12, 2pm
Dr. Charles L. Blockson
1330 Polett Walk, Temple University
Thursday, July 19
Dr. Deborah Willis

4017 Walnut Street
Philadelphia, PA 19104-3513
(215) 701-4627
Tuesday to Friday, 12-5pm
Admission is free

Exploring The Color Of Christ - Special Screening and Discussion 4/13

Reelblack celebrates Easter with a retrospective of films by African-American filmmakers that depict images of Jesus Christ as African. We will take a look at screens from The Second Coming (1992, Blair Underwood), The Color of the Cross (2006 Jean Claude LaMarre), Black Jesus (2014 Aaron McGruder) and The Green Mile (1999, Frank Darabont). Film Scholar CHARLES WOODS will join us via Skype for a post film discussion and commentary.

Friday April 13, 2018 at The Bank 3750 Lancaster Avenue. Philadelphia, PA 19104 7:30pm-9:30pm

Admission is pay-what-you-wish ($7.00 suggested donation).

Reelblack Presents Graffiti Bridge - 1/12 at The Bank

Reelblack will honor the groundbreaking spirit of PRINCE with a very special screening of GRAFFITI BRIDGE (1990).

Screening will take place this Friday January 12 at 7:15pm. At The Bank (formerly United Bank Building) 3750 Lancaster Avenue, Philadelphia, PA 19104. Admission is pay-what-you-wish (suggested donation $7.00).

As an added bonus, we will screen interviews with those who worked with Prince from the Reelblack Vault.


Reelblack, Philly’s #1 promoter of Black Film, is giving away a copy of the recently released documentary, CHASING TRANE, courtesy of our friend ay uMe and

Enter to win by sending an email with your FULL NAME AND MAILING ADDRESS IN THE MESSAGE AND THE PHRASE “Coltrane” IN THE SUBJECT LINE to

Winner will be announced on or about January 1, 2018.


On November 17, respected filmmaker John Scheinfeld’s acclaimed feature documentary film, Chasing Trane: The John Coltrane Documentary, will be released by UMe on DVD and Blu-ray with exclusive bonus features. On the same date, Verve/UMe will release the film’s vital audio companion — Chasing Trane: The John Coltrane Documentary Original Soundtrack — on CD, 180-gram 2-LP vinyl, and digital audio. Set against the social, political and cultural landscape of the time, Chasing Trane brings saxophone great John Coltrane to life, as a man and an artist. The film is the definitive look at the boundary-shattering musician and composer whose influence continues to resonate around the world.

Preorder Chasing Trane: The John Coltrane Documentary:

Preorder Chasing Trane: The John Coltrane Documentary Original Soundtrack:

Written and directed by John Scheinfeld [The U.S. vs. John Lennon; Who Is Harry Nilsson (And Why Is Everybody Talkin’ About Him?)], Chasing Trane: The John Coltrane Documentary is a rich and compelling portrait of a remarkable artist that reveals the critical events, passions, experiences and challenges that shaped the life of John Coltrane and his revolutionary sounds. The captivating film is produced by Spencer Proffer, John Beug, Scott Pascucci, and Dave Harding, with the support of the Coltrane family and the record labels that collectively manage the Coltrane catalog. Chasing Trane’s DVD and Blu-ray packages include a booklet with an essay by Scheinfeld and rare photos seen in the film. The soundtrack’s booklet also includes rare photos from the film and an essay by journalist and film participant Ashley Kahn.

Chasing Trane: The John Coltrane Documentary features never-before-seen Coltrane family home movies, footage of Coltrane and his band in the studio (discovered in a California garage during production of the film), along with hundreds of never-before-seen photographs and rare television appearances from around the world. The smart, passionate, thought-provoking and uplifting film reveals the critical events, passions, experience, and challenges that shaped Coltrane’s life and his revolutionary sounds. It is a story of demons and darkness, of persistence and redemption. Above all, it is the incredible spiritual journey of a man who found himself and, in the process, created an extraordinary, iconic body of work that transcends all barriers of geography, race, religion and age.


I’ve been getting a bunch of calls lately. People seem to think I’m under some sort of crisis because they can’t find my account on Facebook.
All is well and good.
I was reported for not using my government name on the platform.  There were limited options to get me re-instated.  All involved me sending them a scan of my identification.
I’m not sure if they need it. They already have access to everything in my phone.
so I’m taking a break.
If you want to feel connected, follow me @Reelblack on Instagram and Twitter.
Or come out to any of our events and we can actually share an experience in real time in 3D.

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