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America’s Largest Black Film Festival To Exhibit Over 170 Black Films and 100 Fine Artists From February 7 Through February 18
Festival Reflects on 27-Year Journey of Storytelling With ‘AmPAFFify’ Campaign

Magazine, Entertainment

The Pan African Film & Arts Festival  celebrated its 27th Annual Opening Night with a screening of Aretha Franklin’s cherished Amazing Grace concert documentary at the Directors Guild of America. The festival, which presents an impressive slate of over 170 new Black films from the US and around the world and exhibits more than 100 fine artists and unique craftspeople, will run from Thursday, February 7 through Monday, February 18 at the Cinemark Rave 15 Theatres (3650 Martin Luther King, Jr. Blvd) and the adjacent Baldwin Hills Crenshaw Plaza    in Los Angeles, California. Aretha Franklin’s spine-tingling and uplifting Amazing Grace, produced by Alan Elliott, was originally directed by Sydney Pollack in 1972 at New Temple Missionary Baptist Church in Los Angeles, California. The film, a rare gem in the crown of the late musical genius, has not been seen before now due to technical and rights issues.

“It’s such a blessing to open the festival this year with Amazing Grace,” expressed PAFF Co-Founder and Actor Danny Glover. “Aretha Franklin is a rare treasure. To be graced with this film is an honor and a testament to the perseverance and long-standing prominence of the festival’s impact.”

Over the past 26 years, The Pan African Film & Arts Festival has sought to increase cultural awareness and bridge diverse communities from the African diaspora by providing a creative safe space for the development and expression of the Black narrative through film, poetry, art and music. This year, PAFF will “amPAFFify” amplify and ignite the Pan-African experience through next generation storytelling.

“27 years ago, we made a political, cultural, social and intellectual decision to get involved in film festivals as it became clear that a platform to showcase Black films was needed,” shared Ayuko Babu, Executive Director and Co-Founder of PAFF. “It’s been a privilege to be a platform for many filmmakers and talent to share their unique stories through the lens of their own experiences, visions and creative artistry. The on-going challenge is… who’s story gets told on the small screen and big screen? The Pan African Film Festival is a way of showing distributors the stories that matter to people of color.”


L-R: GM KPFK Anyel Zuberi Fields, Councilman Curren Price, Editor of IM Pamela Asobo Anchang, Grammy Winner Omar Akram, CEO Of IM Charles Anchang
Photo by IM


PAFF’s legacy is evidenced by the success of storytellers and talent who’ve contributed works to the festival such as Will Packer, Kevin Hart, Jamie Foxx, Ryan Coogler, Berry Jenkins, Taraji P. Henson, Ava Duvernay, and countless others. The program’s platform exists proudly as a conduit for the careers of thousands of talented actors, directors, producers and executives; many of which have gone on to win the industry’s top honors including the Golden Globes, Emmy’s and Oscars. As an official Oscar-qualifying festival, many of PAFF’s short and live-action films will be up for consideration for an Academy Award.

To further “amPAFFify” PAFF’s proud history, the organization recently launched an “#IAMPAFF” Meme Generator, designed to allow festival supporters to share their own stories on social media. Festival supporters can join in the fun by creating a meme to tell their story at

This year’s program features a robust schedule including the Filmmakers Brunch, ARTFest, PAFF Institute Panels, StudentFest, LOL Comedy Series, Children’s Fest, SpokenWord Fest, Seniors’ Connection and much more. Individual screening tickets and all festival passes can be purchased at Group sales discounts are also available. For more information, visit the PAFF website at or call 310-337-4737. List of films and panels here below.




The Profitability of Social Media and Branding

Fri, Feb 8@7:00p – 8:30p

Features Tiffany Dean, celebrity fashion stylist and entrepreneur, and Hot Dollar, Def Jam recording artist and entrepreneur.

Location: BHC Community Room

FREE. Limited to space available.


Starbucks Community Event

Sat, Feb. 9@10:00a – 11:30a

A lively conversation about the organization, its partnerships with the community, and career opportunities with the company.

Moderator: Niele Anderson, political and communications strategist

Panelists: Crystal Nelson, Devaughn Egans, Tatiana Stockton and Tunji Browne.

Location: Starbucks Tent (Second level)

FREE. Limited to space available.


Women in Film

Sat, Feb 9@11:00a –12:30p

Join seasoned and rising entertainment industry creatives to discuss representation and inclusion, who’s getting the jobs and how, and what advocates can do to help.

Moderator: Maikiko James, director of programs, Women in Film

Panelists: Davia Carter, writer, “Queen of the South;” Jean Lee, filmmaker, Pecado Original; Darrien Michele Gipson, executive director, SAGindie; Melissa Murray, filmmaker, We Real Cool

Location: Cinemark BHC Theatre

FREE. Limited to space available.


Be the Match Registry® Panel

Sat, Feb 9@11:00a – 12:30p

Black and African-American patients with sickle cell and other deadly diseases need genetically matched donors to provide life-saving blood stem cells. You could be someone’s cure. Join this informative session to learn more and to hear from doctors and experts about the critical need for donors and the phenomenal stories of how the Registry has saved lives.

Location: BHC Community Room

FREE. Limited to space available.


Fix It in Post

Sat, Feb 9@1:30p – 3:00p

Leander Sales, picture editor, director and educator moderates a discussion with post-production professionals. His resume includes work on nine Spike Lee movies, from “School Daze” to “Get on the Bus.” He is director of “Don’t Let Your Meat Loaf,” which won the first place prize at the Black Hall of Fame Film Festival, and he is editing professor at USC School of Cinematic Arts and New York Film Academy.

Panelists: Kenneth L. Johnson, supervising sound designer; Dominique Ulloa, picture editor; Wellington Harrison, assistant animation editor; Anedra Edwards, visual effects assistant; Kat McAuley, assistant editor

Location: BHC Community Room

FREE. Limited to space available.


Building a Digital Empire

Sat. Feb 9@4:00p – 5:30p

PAFF Millennial Ambassador Milan Zoe leads a discussion with influencers and celebs on how to position yourself for success in the digital age, the positives and negatives of technology and social media, and how to navigate within the entertainment industry.

Panelists: Juhahn Jones, actor/comedian; Torrei Hart, actress/comedian; Dj Damage, on-air host and DJ; Bianca Wilson, brand activation specialist, Moet Hennessy/digital marketing strategist

Location: BHC Community Room

FREE. Limited to space available.


Knowing When, Why, and How to Run for Office

Sat, Feb 9@6:00p – 7:30p

A discussion about running for political office featuring Darryn Harris, District Director, U.S. Representative Karen Bass (CD 37), and political strategists Jasmyne Cannick, Steve Belhumeur and Niele Anderson.

Presented by: PAFF, Los Angeles Sentinel, Taste of Soul, and Sea Change PAC

Location: Cinemark BHC Theatre

FREE. Limited to space available.


“Hello Cupid 3.0” – How to Curate, Cast and Produce a Successful Digital Series

Sun, Feb. 10@1:30p – 3:00p

Hear directly from the producers, writers and actors of the upcoming Black & Sexy TV digital series as they discuss their new show and how to make compelling digital content.

Moderator: J. Christopher Hamilton, entertainment attorney/executive producer

Panelists: Dennis Dortch, director/executive producer; Shama Davis, producer; Kira Talise, writer; Quentin Plair, co-lead actor; Melissa L. Williams, co-lead actor

Location: BHC Community Room

FREE. Limited to space available.


“Conversations with…Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje”

Sun, Feb. 10@1:30p – 3:00p

A sophisticated one-on-one interview with the star of “Oz,” “Game of Thrones,” “Lost,” “Hunted,” “Suicide Squad,” “The Bourne Identity,” and many others. He will discuss his career as an actor and now director and show a clip of his film “Farming.”

Location: BHC Theatre

FREE. Limited to space available.


PAFF Next-Up Comedy Competition

Sun, Feb 10@4:00p – 5:30p

Up and coming stand-up comedians Chinedu Unaka, Kente Scott, George K. Burns, Tyrhee Spivey and Stephano Santana duke it out for the top spot – pitch meetings at a high profile talent agency and at a streaming service studio.

Location: Cinemark BHC Theatre

Tickets: $10.00


Nate Parker Foundation

Sun, Feb 10@6:30p – 8:30p

Through the cinematic arts, the Nate Parker Foundation empowers young voices of African descent to advance social justice and revolutionize culture. Two films will be screened followed by a discussion led by Nate Parker.

Location: Cinemark BHC Theatre

FREE. Limited to space available.


Homebuyers Financial Educational Workshop Presented by Union Bank

Mon, Feb 11@4:00p – 6:00p

This will be a powerful home buyer, real estate financial literacy workshop that will include panelists from a range of organizations.

Moderator: Sean Brown, mortgage consultant, Union Bank

Panelists: Caprice L. Collins, attorney, Collins Group/estate planner; Lamar Rucker, financial planner, Mass Mutual/Rucker Insurance Agency; Monica Viveros, housing counselor, West Angeles CDC; Terrica Banks, branch manager, New Era Escrow/escrow agent; Melitta Johnson, real estate agent, Berkshire Hathaway; Lonnie Wall, appraiser, Network Appraisal Solutions

Location: BHC Community Room

FREE. Limited to space available.


Kids in Entertainment

Sat, Feb. 16 @1:15p – 2:00p

Learn how to get your kids in entertainment from an industry expert.

Location: BHC Bridge



Youth Entrepreneurial Challenge 2019 Presented by Union Bank

Sat, Feb 16@12:00p – 2:00p

Location: BHC Community Room

FREE. Limited to space available.


PAFF Screenplay Competition

Sat, Feb 16@3:55p–5:30p

Every movie you have ever seen; every TV show you ever watched; and every play you ever saw, began with a script. Top finalists’ screenplays will be read before a live audience. The winning screenplay prize will be pitch meetings at a high profile major agency and a streaming service studio.

Host/Moderator: Twinkie Byrd

Screenplays include “At the Mercy of Faith,” by Samuel Taylor; “Diversity,” by Desmond Duncker; “The Twenty-Third of Loneliness,” by Shonnie Jackson; “Walking in Memphis,” by Theophilus Lacey; and “Reunion,” by Cadell Cook.

Location: Cinemark BHC Theatre

Tickets: $10.00


The Open Door: Black Creatives in the Fashion Industry with Love Collins

Sun, Feb. 17@Noon – 2:00p

Designer Love Collins will moderate a fashion-focused discussion on the presence of emerging and professional Black creatives in fashion with panelists including stylists, retailers and other industry players.

Location: BC CHCP BHC Community Room

FREE. Limited to space available.


Conquering Credit + the Budget Zone Presented by US Bank

Sun, Feb 17@3:00p – 4:30p

Learn what a FICO score is, how to establish a solid credit history, what to do when good credit turns bad and how to avoid identity theft. Plus, learn budgeting and savings account basics and personal financial goal-setting.

Location: BHC Community Room

FREE. Limited to space available.


Up Close and Personal

Mon, Feb 18@3:00p – 5:00p

Think you can’t purchase a home or that you’ll never be able to retire? Everything is possible. Get the information you need to get your financial life in order: Home Buying & Selling/Probate/Estate Planning/Trusts/Taxes/Retirement/Life Insurance. Meet the experts.

Hosted by: Linda Bronson-Abbott

Location: BHC Community Room

FREE. Limited to space available.


Financial Panel Presented by NAMIC

Mon, Feb 18@ 6:00p – 7:30p

Topics include how to build your brand to attract film financing, including reinventing yourself, building habits around money and personal finance, and building wealth.

Location: BHC Community Room

FREE. Limited to space available.


Conversation with…..Liesl Tommy

Mon, Feb 18@7:10p–8:30p

The Tony Award-nominated director of Broadway’s “Eclipsed,” starring Danai Gurira and Lupita Nyong’o, will share her journey from directing for the stage to filmmaking, including her work on hit TV shows such as “Insecure,” starring Issa Rae, “Queen Sugar,” created by Ava Duvernay, and “The Walking Dead” to prepping big studio biopics such as “Born of Crime,” a Trevor Noah story starring Lupita Nyong’o, and “Respect,” an Aretha Franklin story starring Jennifer Hudson.

Location: Cinemark BHC Theatre

Tickets: $10.00

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