Episode 05

Maori Karmael Holmes

In this week’s episode, I caught up with filmmaker, festival organizer, and curator Maori Holmes. Most recently, she is the founder of the Blackstar Film Festival in Philadelphia. Prior to Black Star, she was worked with the Jazzyfatnastees to put on the Black Lily Film and Music Festival in 2007 and 2008. She has directed and produced her feature documentary, Scene Not Heard: Women in Philadelphia Hip Hop, which chronicles the untold story and role that women played in the development of hip hop within Philadelphia. Within the interview, Maori describes her life story as it pertains to how she got to where she is today. One of the best takeaways from this interview is Maori’s continued strive to accomplish her goals-definitely an inspiration for all.

Maori Holmes received her BA in History from American University and her MFA in Film & Media Arts from Temple University. She is a recipient of the Leeway Foundation, as well as a Fellow of the 60th Flaherty Film Seminar. She has received awards from many organizations in the arts, including the Knight Foundation, Pennsylvania Council on the Arts, and VisitPhiladelphia, to name a few. Previously, she has worked at other locations in Philadelphia, including Temple University and the Netter Center at University of Pennsylvania. She is currently the director of public engagement at the Institute of Contemporary Art. These professional roles have inspired her to find a way to infuse curation with the Black Star Film Festival.cd As for the future, Maori gives us a small glance into what she’s got planned. She discussed returning to working on her craft of film directing, possibly pursuing a new screenplay or her own television show. Make sure to follow all her new endeavours.

The Blackstar Film Festival is present and active on all the major social media accounts. Click the following in order to be directed to its instagram, facebook, or twitter accounts.

You can also check out d the Blackstar Film Festival website by clicking here.

Interested in any of the artists or festivals mentioned in the show? Check out these links!


Richard Nichols

The Roots

Mercedes Martinez

Michele Byrd McPhee

Sara Zia Ebrahimi

Tariq ‘Black Thought’ Trotter

Ursula Rucker

Julie Taymore

Ava Duvernay

Haile Gerima

International House

Leeway Foundation

National Black Arts Festival

International African Arts Festival


Malcolm X Festival

Scribe Video Center

LA Rebellion

Sweet Honey in the Rock

Artists She Recommends:

Terence Nance

Roni Nicole Henderson

Amy Sherald

Shawn Peters

Ja’Tovia Gary

Resource She Relies On:

A few close-knit friendships

Words that you Live By/Song that is the Soundtrack of your life

Never Stop-The Brand New Heavies