The BFI Blackstar season (#BFIBlackStar for you hashtaggers) is the UK’s biggest ever season of film and television dedicated to celebrating the range, versatility and power of black actors. And it’s calling into Devon, at the Exeter Phoenix, the Plymouth Vue and the Exeter Picturehouse.
Here’s the blurb: ‘BlackStar is a celebration of the range, versatility and power of black actors on film and TV, taking place in cinemas nationwide, on DVD and on BFI Player between October and December 2016.
‘In partnership with the BFI Film Audience Network, Into Film and the Independent Cinema Office, BlackStar explores a galaxy of black acting talent, spotlighting the creativity and charisma of trailblazing performers, and celebrating the transatlantic wave of black British talent currently breaking across our screens.’
The Vue Plymouth is showing John Singleton’s South Central gang drama Boyz n the Hood on Friday, October 28 and Sunday, October 30.
The Exeter Picturehouse is screening Stormy Weather (starring Lena Horne Bill Robinson, Cab Calloway and Fats Waller, to name but three, and there’s even Dooley Wilson, he of one of the most famous songs in cinema history) on Sunday, October 23.
Whoopie Goldberg’s habit-forming hijinks Sister Act is at the Exeter Picturhouse on Sunday, November 6.
And the Exeter Phoenix’s independent cinema Studio 74 hosts one of the national highlights of the BlackStar celebration, with a special screening of the 1967 Oscar-winning racial police thriller In The Heat of The Night alongside a Q&A and post-screening DJ set from the legendary Norman Jay MBE. It takes place on Thursday, November 17.
Then on Saturday, December 3, Studio 74 is showing experimental horror flick from 1973 Ganja & Hess in its After Dark double bill (alongside George A Romero’s zombie classic Night Of The Living Dead). Just a quick look at some of the Ganja & Hess clips online shows what a remarkable experience is in store.
For times and tickets pop over to the relevant site’s web presence, or get them all in one place at BFI’s BlackStar page.
And here’s David Oyelowo’s moving speech at the BlackStar Symposium BFI London Film Festival.