Maori Karmael Holmes

Maori Karmael Holmes is a curator, filmmaker and cultural worker. She is founder of the BlackStar Film Festival (2012-present) and has organized programs in film and performance at Anthology Film Archives, Asian Arts Initiative, Barnes Foundation, ICA, Leonard Pearlstein Gallery, Lightbox Film Center/International House, Painted Bride Art Center, Scribe Video Center, and Swarthmore College. Other projects include KinoWatt (2011-2012, co-curated with Sara Zia Ebrahimi) and Black Lily Film & Music Festival for Women (2006-2010). As a filmmaker, Maori has had work screened internationally and broadcast throughout the US, including most notably, her feature documentary Scene Not Heard: Women in Philadelphia Hip-Hop (2006). She has received awards from John S. and James L. Knight Foundation, Pennsylvania Council on the Arts, Leeway Foundation, Independence Media, Women’s Way, and Philadelphia Commission on Human Rights.

Maori was named a Creative Ambassador by Visit Philadelphia in 2009 and was a fellow at the 60th Flaherty Film Seminar in 2014. She was a 2016 Ford Foundation Rockwood JustFilms Fellow. She has been an adjunct lecturer at Drexel University, University of the Arts, Temple University, and Villanova University. She received her MFA in Film & Media Arts from Temple University, her BA in History from American University, and earned graduate credits in Design at CalArts. Previous professional positions include Leeway Foundation, Painted Bride Art Center, Department of Media Studies & Production at Temple University, Netter Center at University of Pennsylvania, Washington City Paper, and Sony Music. Her writing has appeared in Film Quarterly, Philadelphia City Paper, Philadelphia Weekly, Philadelphia Style, Brand Jordan, SaVoy Magazine, Washington City Paper, BlackAmericaWeb.com, Blu Magazine, and Alternet.org.

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