The fantasy-adventure film stars David Oyelowo and Rosario Dawson
LOS ANGELES – The Pan African Film Festival has announced that The Water Man, David Oyelowo’s feature directorial debut, will open the 29th edition of the Festival. The Opening Night celebration will be held virtually this year on February 28 at 6:30 p.m. PT. A Q&A with the filmmaker and actors will follow the screening. The Pan African Film Festival will take place virtually February 28 – March 14. Tickets are available at www.paff.org.
The Water Man is a fantasy-adventure film about a young boy named Gunner (Lonnie Chavis) who sets out on a quest to save his ill mother (Rosario Dawson) by searching for a mythic figure who knows the secret to immortality. Gunner enlists the help of a mysterious local girl (Amiah Miller) who has her own terrifying tale of meeting this figure, known as the Water Man, face-to-face. Together they journey into the remote Wild Horse forest, but the deeper they venture, the stranger and more dangerous the forest becomes. Back home, Gunner’s father, Amos (Oyelowo), who has grown distant from Gunner over the years, will stop at nothing to find his son — and in the process discovers who his son really is.
The film’s stellar ensemble cast also includes David Oyelowo, Rosario Dawson, Lonnie Chavis, Amiah Miller, Alfred Molina, and Maria Bello.
“We’re thrilled to be opening with David Oyelowo’s feature directorial debut,” said Ayuko Babu, the Festival’s Director. “Oyelowo is already a celebrated actor and known for his work in The Last King of Scotland, Lincoln, and Selma to name a few. In the face of these unprecedented times, we are grateful to be able to continue supporting Black filmmakers like Oyelowo and to continue presenting unique and fascinating films for our audiences—like The Water Man–that reinforce positive images, help to destroy negative stereotypes and depict an expanded vision of the Black experience.”
The Pan African Film Festival is America’s largest and most prestigious Black film festival and largest Black History Month event. Each year, it screens more than 200 films made by and/or about people of African descent from around the world. PAFF holds the distinction of being the largest Black History Month event in the country. The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences (AMPAS) has designated PAFF as an official qualifying film festival for live-action and animation short films.
Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the 29th Pan African Film Festival will run February 28 – March 14 on-line and on-demand only. The virtual component allows this year’s Festival to reach a global audience. More information can be found at www.paff.org.
Opening Night Ticket Information
Tickets are $30 and can be purchased at www.paff.org
Festival Sponsors and Partners
The 29th Pan African Film Festival’s sponsors include the City of Los Angeles; the Los Angeles Department of Cultural Affairs; the Los Angeles County Department of Arts and Culture; Los Angeles County Supervisor Holly J. Mitchell, Los Angeles City Councilmember Marqueece Harris-Dawson (8th District); Los Angeles City Councilmember Curren Price (9th District); Los Angeles City Councilmember Mark Ridley-Thomas (10th District); California State Assemblyman Mike A. Gipson, 64th District; Commissioner Willard H. Murray, Jr., Water Replenishment District; U.S. Congresswoman Karen Bass, 37th District; U.S. Congresswoman Maxine Waters, 43rd District; Union Bank; Brotherhood Crusade, Groundwurk; FilmLA; Sony Pictures Entertainment; Mervyn M. Dymally African American Political and Economic Institute; Academy of Motion Pictures Arts & Sciences; Los Angeles Sentinel; The Wave; KPFK; Black Cultural Events; The Immigrant Magazine; KJLH; Our Weekly; okayafrica; L.A. Focus; Envoi, Miss Everything Entertainment, Girl In Charge Public Relations and Empowerment Justice Strategies.
The Pan African Film & Arts Festival is supported, in part, by a grant provided by: The Academy of Motion Pictures Arts and Sciences; LA Arts COVID-19 Relief Fund with the California Community Foundation; and the LA County COVID-19 Arts Relief Fund administered by the LA County Department of Arts and Culture.
About the Pan African Film Festival
Gearing up for its 29th anniversary, the Pan African Film and Arts Festival (PAFF) is America’s largest and most prestigious Black film festival. Each year, it screens more than 200 films made by and/or about people of African descent from around the world. PAFF holds the distinction of being the largest Black History Month event in the country. The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences (AMPAS) has designated PAFF as an official qualifying film festival for live-action and animation short films.
PAFF is a non-profit corporation, founded in 1992 by award-winning actor Danny Glover (“The Color Purple,” “Lethal Weapon” movie franchise), Emmy Award-winning actress Ja’Net DuBois (best known for her role as Willona in the TV series, “Good Times”) and executive director, Ayuko Babu, an international legal, cultural and political consultant who specializes in Pan African Affairs. PAFF is dedicated to the promotion of ethnic and racial respect and tolerance through the exhibit of films, art, and creative expression.
The goal of PAFF is to present and showcase the broad spectrum of Black creative works, particularly those that reinforce positive images, help to destroy negative stereotypes and depict an expanded vision of the Black experience. PAFF believes film and art can lead to better understanding and foster communication between peoples of diverse cultures, races, ethnicities, and lifestyles in an entertaining way while at the same time, serving as a vehicle to initiate dialogue on the important issues of our times.