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WYLLISA BENNETT, publicist du jour

The Pan African Film Festival Wraps, Screening a Record-Breaking 225 Films, Representing 52 Countries in 26 Languages!

*Winners Announced*

LOS ANGELES – The Pan African Film and Arts Festival (PAFF) wrapped its 12-day marathon of offerings from around the Diaspora. It celebrated its 28th anniversary in grand style with a string of highly-anticipated films, which included a comedy by the multi-hyphenated host and entertainer Nick Cannon; a feature, executive produced by NBA legend Shaquille O’Neal; plus, a special screening of the action-packed series, “Queen Sono,” out of South Africa, presented by Netflix along with a wedding! The festival was held from February 11 – 23, 2020 at the Cinemark 15 Theatres, located at the Baldwin Hills Crenshaw Plaza in Los Angeles.

 

PAFF is the largest Black film festival in the United States and the largest Black History Month cultural event in the nation. Here are the festival stats: PAFF has selected a record-breaking 225 film, representing 52 countries in 26 languages – that is, 86 feature films; 128 short films and 11 new media selection. Plus, ArtFest will feature more than 100 fine artists from around the world. 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.

 

The festival has cemented its role as a hub for breakthrough and award-winning Black films and filmmakers from around the world. PAFF is dedicated to the cinematic promotion and cultural exploration of peoples of African descent. It is PAFF’s goal to present and showcase the broad spectrum of Black creative works, particularly those that reinforce positive images and help destroy negative stereotypes. 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.

 

The festival handed out a variety of juried prizes, including Best Narrative Feature, Best First Feature Film, Best Documentary Feature, Best Documentary Short, and Best Narrative Short as well as audience favorite awards during an awards ceremony at the close of the festival.

 

In honor of the late actress and co-founder Ja’Net Dubois, who unexpectedly passed away during the festival, prizes were re-named in her honor. Dubois was best known for her role as Willona in the TV series, “Good Times.” For the official statement by co-founders award-winning Danny Glover and executive director Ayuko Babu on the death of Ja’Net Dubois, visit

https://pitchengine.com/wyllisa-bennett-publicist-du-jour/2020/02/20/co-founders-of-the-pan-african-film-festival/002518200791210254854

 

And so, without further ado, here’s a list of winners from the Pan African Film Festival. 

 

AND THE WINNERS ARE …

·      Best Feature Narrative Award

The Mercy of the Jungle (Rwanda) Directed by Joël Karekezi

Honorable mention

Knuckle City (South Africa) Directed by Jahmil X.T. Qubeka


·      Best First Feature Narrative Award

A Taste of Our Land (Uganda) Directed by Yuhi Amuli

Honorable Mention

Mr. Weekend (US) Directed by McKenzie Woodward


·      Best Documentary Award

One Child Left Behind: The Untold Atlanta Cheating Scandal (US) Directed by Jodi Gomes

Honorable Mention

PUSHOUT: The Criminalization of Black Girls in Schools (US) Directed by Jacoba Atlas


·      Best Short Narrative Award

White Gold (South Africa) Directed by Luke Bradford

Honorable mention

My Father Belize (Belize) Directed by Leon Lozano


·      Programmers’ Best Narrative Feature

She Ball (US) Directed by Nick Cannon


·      Programmers’ Best Short Narrative

Sixteen Thousand Dollars (US) Directed by Symone Baptiste


·      Programmers’ Best Documentary Award

parTy boi: black diamonds in ice castles (US) Directed by Micheal Rice


·      Programmers’ Best First Feature Narrative Award (Tie)

Coming From Insanity (Nigeria) Directed by Akinyemi Sebastian Akinropo

Gonarezhou The Movie (Zimbabwe) Directed by Sydney Taivavashe



·      Special Programmers’ Award

The Cuban (Canada/Cuba) Directed by Sergio Navarretta


·      Ja’Net Feature Narrative Award

HERO - Inspired By The Extraordinary Life & Times of Mr. Ulric Cross (Canada/Trinidad and Tobago/Ghana/UK) Directed by Frances-Anne Solomon


·      Ja’Net Short Narrative Award

Code_Switch (US) Directed by Sigin Ojulu


·      Ja’Net Documentary Award

My Friend Fela (Brazil/Nigeria) Directed by Joel Zito Araújo


·      Ja’Net First Feature Narrative Award

Zulu Wedding (South Africa) Directed by Lineo Sekeleoane


·      Special Ja’Net Award

Foster Boy (US) Directed by Youssef Delara

 


AUDIENCE FAVORITE AWARD WINNERS

·      Audience Favorite for Feature Narrative

The Cuban (Canada/Cuba) Directed by Sergio Navarretta

 

·      Audience Favorite for Feature Documentary

PUSHOUT: The Criminalization of Black Girls in Schools (US) Directed by Jacoba Atlas

 

·      Audience Favorite for Narrative Short

My Father Belize (Belize) Directed by Leon Lozano

 

·      Audience Favorite for Documentary Short

Once in a Hundred Years: The Life & Legacy of Marion Anderson (US) Directed by Bill Nicoleti


For a recap of the PAFF’s awards brunch, hosted by executive director Ayuko Babu, visit: https://www.dropbox.com/s/djfz0d1hl5j4gny/Master_brunch_AWARDS_SHOW_003.mp4?dl=0

 

For more about the Audience Favorite Award winners, visit

https://pitchengine.com/wyllisa-bennett-publicist-du-jour/2020/03/13/the-pan-african-film-festival-wraps-screening/002518181834841699504


SPONSORS

PAFF is sponsored by Los Angeles City Council President Emeritus Herb Wesson, Jr.; Los Angeles County Supervisor Mark Ridley-Thomas; Los Angeles City Councilman Marqueece Harris-Dawson (District 8); Baldwin Hills Crenshaw Plaza; Cinemark 15; the Directors Guild of America (DGA); FilmLA; Sony Pictures; Brotherhood Crusade; as well as the City of Los Angeles; the Los Angeles Department of Cultural Affairs; the Los Angeles Department of Arts and Culture, UMC, Independent Lens, Union Bank, FilmLA, the Los Angeles Lakers, Trinidad & Tobago, Sony Pictures Entertainment, Disney, CAA and Imagine Media.

 

Additional support of opening night festivities and the screening of “Hero” made possible by Trinidad and Tobago, Ministry of Community Development, Culture and the Arts; Imagine Media; CaribbeanTales; and California Pictures.

 

ABOUT THE PAN AFRICAN FILM FESTIVAL

Celebrating its 28th 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 150 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.

 

For the official statement by co-founders award-winning Danny Glover and executive director Ayuko Babu on the death of Ja’Net Dubois, visit:

https://pitchengine.com/wyllisa-bennett-publicist-du-jour/2020/02/20/co-founders-of-the-pan-african-film-festival/002518200791210254854

 

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.

 

For more information, please visit www.paff.org, email info@paff.org, or call (310) 337-4737.

 

ON A SOCIAL NOTE:

Find PAFF:                               www.PAFF.org

Follow PAFF:                           @PAFFNow or Instagram and Twitter

Be a Friend on Facebook:       https://www.facebook.com/PAFFnow/

           

 

 

 

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