Unapologetic to World Premiere on Opening Night at Blackstar Film Festival

UNAPOLOGETIC, the feature debut of Ashley O’Shay and producer Morgan Elise Johnson is set to premiere on opening night at the BlackStar Film Festival on August 20th at 7:30 ET/6:30 CT. Both Ashley, a 2015 KTQ Internship and 2016 Diverse Voices in Docs (DVID) alum and Morgan, a KTQ Internship alum, have been part of the Kartemquin community for several years. Their project was a receipient of a 2018 grant from Kartemquin.

"Kartemquin was part of the impetus of this project because it started as part of my internship in Fall 2015," said O'Shay. "They championed the film from the beginning, helping me guide my goals for this project into a my first feature. As filmmaker making their first feature, it was great to a have a co-production partner that allowed me to fully be myself while giving me the space to tell the story I felt needed to be told in an ethical and responsible way. Our team is greatful to be an official KTQ Film and we're excited to be bringing a Black queer feminist project to the Kartemquin catalog."

"Premiering at Blackstar feels right for this moment," said Johnson. "As I think about the the ways the film industry can shift to better support Black lives, centering Black-led platforms should be at the forefront of that discussion. It's time to create a new industry standard."

UNAPOLOGETIC was edited by Rubin Daniels Jr. and executive produced by Jolene PinderGordon Quinn, and Yvonne Welbon.

For more information on tickets, passes, and the full lineup, visit here


After two Black Chicagoans are killed, millennial organizers challenge an administration complicit in state violence against its residents. Told through the lens of Janaé and Bella, two fierce abolitionist leaders, Unapologetic is a deep look into the Movement for Black Lives, from the police murder of Rekia Boyd to the election of Mayor Lori Lightfoot.

About BlackStar Film Festival

The BlackStar Film Festival is an annual celebration of the visual and storytelling traditions of the African diaspora and global communities of color—showcasing films by Black, Brown, and Indigenous people from around the world.