For the fourth summer, the city's only festival focusing on films and cinematic work by and for people of African descent, Blackstar Film Festival, returns with four days of films, panels and parties. Ditch the blockbusters and hit West Philly to see one of over 60 selected films between Thursday, July 30 and Sunday, Aug. 2.

The festival kicks off with a panel at International House Philadelphia (3701 Chestnut St.) at noon on Thursday, July 30 paying homage to the power players behind the scenes. Black female directors and producers will discuss their paths to film and how their identity impacts their work.

Then kick up your heels at an opening reception from 7 p.m. to 11 p.m. also on Thursday, July 30, when filmmakers and the community will get down and party like nobody's watching. The fun happens at Pipeline Philly (30 S. 15th St.).

Two South African documentaries, one a feature length about a dance troupe looking to find their voice, the other a short on groundbreaking South African female artists, screen at the Institute of Contemporary Art (118 S. 36th St.) beginning at 3:10 p.m. on Friday, July 31.

End Friday, July 31 at Franky Bradley's (1320 Chancellor St.) for an after-party with Illvibe Collective and special guest Rich Medina at 9 p.m. Drink up with $5 Franky's punch and $3 Narragansett shandies and pints until midnight.

Four filmmakers will discuss the power of the media in powering social change in terms of race, LGBTQ rights and the prison system. The panel will take place at 11 a.m. on Saturday, Aug. 1 at International House Philadelphia (3701 Chestnut St.).

The winds of change force five characters to adapt to new situations in this block of short films on Saturday, Aug. 1. A mother who receives unexpected news, a young girl develops new feelings, a kid trying to bring her parents back together, a boy who has to tell a long-kept secret and a mother's defending of her daughter are all topics covered at this screening, beginning at 12:50 p.m. at International House Philadelphia (3701 Chestnut St.).

What happens when your first love is hired to be your wedding photographer? Find out, among other family dynamics, when you see Christmas Wedding Baby, a feature film screening on Saturday, Aug. 1. Paired with a short film featuring Kindred the Family Soul, showtime is at 8:20 p.m. at International House Philadelphia (3701 Chestnut St.).

Producer and director Sam Pollard, who's documentary August Wilson: The Ground on Which I Stand is a festival pick, will speak alongside fellow documentary director Sabrina Schmidt Gordon on their process in creating these films at a 90-minute talk on Sunday, Aug. 2 at International House Philadelphia (3701 Chestnut St.). The talk begins at 11 a.m. and the Pollard's doc on the Tony and Pulitzer-winning playwright screens at 2:55 p.m.

What would any film festival be without a closing awards ceremony? See which films reign supreme and see some musical performances in the process at the 7 p.m. show at World Café Live (3025 Walnut St.) on Sunday, Aug. 2.

The entire festival lineup, including blocks of short films to panels and parties is available here.

For more Things to Do, check out our calendar for the most up-to-date happenings.