What if there were an event that was 100% dedicated to black movies and black art from around the globe? What if the event was especially focused on reinforcing positive images and helping to destroy negative stereotypes of the black experience? What if this event was sponsored by everyone from government officials and sports teams to some of the biggest industry names like Disney and Sony Pictures? If you think this sounds like just a utopian dream, you’re wrong! L.A.’s Pan African Film Fest is now in its 26th year and it continues to grow into a bigger and better event. In 2015, USA Today called it one of the best film festivals in the US. PAFF 2018 is currently taking place in Los Angeles February 8-15.
Like any film festival, PAFF features film screenings, red carpets, and after parties after opening and closing night. Stars, celebs, and important industry names will be in attendance.
Opening and closing night are always particularly important for any film festival. For Opening Night this year, Love Jacked was screened. This romantic comedy is the story of a small town girl who travels to Africa and returns home with a fiancé who quickly turns into a problem. Hijinks with her family ensue. The film stars Amber Stevens-West, Shamier Anderson, and Keith David.
For Closing Night, The Forgiven will be screened. This drama stars Forest Whitaker and Eric Bana. It takes place during the time of South Africa’s Truth and Reconciliation Commission and tells the story of Archbishop Tutu’s relationship with a convicted murderer.
Serving its mission of promoting “cultural understanding among peoples of African descent,” the film fest is also showcasing a large number of shorts, documentaries, and feature films by black filmmakers from around the world. It stands out among other film fests because it is showcasing 170 films from over 40 countries in 26 languages.
Throughout the week there are also panels, workshops, and other events. There is even a fashion show and special events for youth and seniors. The Pan African Film Fest also hosts the Pan African Art Fest concurrently so the breadth and depth of black art in many different forms on display is remarkable.