The Pan African Film Festival: Six Reasons to Attend

A haven for filmmakers and film buffs, PAFF is America’s largest and most prestigious international Black film festival.

It’s a place, according to the festival’s co-founder Ayuko Babu (pictured above), where black filmmakers go to get recognition for their projects.

The Cannes Film Festival dominates the European festival circuit. The Sundance Film Festival has Robert Redford at its helm, but the Pan African Film Festival is the go-to place for film festivals.

With a total of 154 films, representing 34 countries from the United Kingdom to Canada, Guadeloupe to Jamaica, there are 23 documentaries, 13 short documentaries, 67 narrative features, and 51 narrative shorts screening at the 2013 PAFF.

With so many films to choose from, get an early glimpse at some of the ones that have garnered the most attention.

Akwantu: The Journey
The Jamaican Maroons were slave descendants who established free communities in Jamaica during the long era of slavery on the island. This fascinating documentary explores an important part of Jamaican culture with New Jersey-based director Roy T. Anderson, who weaves his own personal, ancestral sojourn with this historical journey that tells the tale of his heroic ancestors. Because of its significance, the Jamaican Government officially selected this film to participate in the historic 50th Anniversary of Independence Celebrations in 2012.
Screening Times: Sat, Feb 16 @ 12:20pm

A Funny Thing Happened On The Way To The White House
Directed by comedian Michael Colyar, this comedy celebrates President Obama’s seemingly insurmountable feat with some of America’s greatest comics.
“This is a series of interviews, words of Inspiration, cleverly crafted music, comedy routines and jokes all geared to show a positive light on Mr. Barack Obama, arguably the most amazing President in my little 55 years of existence,” shares Colyar.
Screening Times: Mon, Feb 11 @ 1:05pm

Home Again
Returning to a “home” they hardly know after being deported from their adopted countries for minor criminal offenses, three people from very different backgrounds try to make a new life for themselves, in Jamaica in this gutsy drama from writer-director Sudz Sutherland.
“It’s a set of three stories about these characters who are deported back to Jamaica which is something that has been going on for quite a while since the ’90s,” shares actress Tatyana Ali, who plays a young mother deported because she transported a suitcase full of contraband.
Screening Times: Sat, Feb 16 @ 7:35pm; Sun, Feb 17 @ 7:00pm

Iceberg Slim: Portrait of a Pimp
An examination of the tumultuous life of legendary Chicago pimp Iceberg Slim and how he reinvented himself from pimp to author of several groundbreaking books, this insightful piece features interviews with Iceberg Slim, Chris Rock, Ice-T, Snoop Dogg, Bill Duke and Quincy Jones.
Screening Times:  Sun, Feb 17 @ 9:15pm; Mon, Feb 18@ 4:45pm

Mugabe: Villain or Hero?
Zimbabwe’s President Robert Mugabe is one of Africa’s longest serving leaders, and has ruled the former British colony in southern Africa since 1980.  He’s been vilified for his land seizure program which was instigated to reclaim white-owned land and redistribute it to the poor blacks in Zimbabwe. Roy Agyemang’s documentary on Mugabe explores the true extent of his support and features a rare interview with one of the world’s most reviled leaders.
Screening Times: Thu, Feb 14 @ 6:00pm; Sat, Feb 16 @ 12:10pm; Mon, Feb 18 @ 9:15pm

Garifuna In Peril
Written, produced and directed by Alí Allié and Ruben Reyes, its follows a Garifuna language teacher, Ricardo, who struggles to preserve his endangered Afro-Amerindian culture by building a language school back in his home village in Honduras and features a talented cast of Honduran and Belizean actors.
Screening Times: Sat, Feb 16 @ 2:40pm

All screenings take place at the Rave Movie Theater in Los Angeles, California.

For more information, including how to purchase tickets, please visit

One Response to “The Pan African Film Festival: Six Reasons to Attend”

  1. […] (February 3rd 2013) 27 ,  28 * Los Angeles Pan African Film Festival (February 16th 2013)  29 * Arizona International Film Festival (April 13th 2013 and April 28th 2013)  30 * Athens […]

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