Saturday, February 9, 2013

Movie stars, filmmakers pack into the Pan African American Film Festival (PAFF) in LA

If you're a movie goer or film enthusiast, the 21stAnnual Pan African Film Festival (PAFF) will make you feel like a kid in the candy store. So many films to choose from, 154, along with dozens of documentaries that tackle such issues as HIV/AIDS, bullies, racism to autism.

The Pan African Film Festival (PAFF)
Writer/Director/Producer Nia Hill says the message to parents of austic children in her doc, “COLORED MY MIND” is, "deal with the genius."

The docu-feature, which also has Blair Underwood to dramatize the story, focuses on five women: an educator, an actress, a lawyer, a music manager, and a homemaker. They guide us into the overlooked world of autism, in particular in the Black and Brown communities. Through these ladies, Hill uncovers the truths about why some Black and Brown children are not receiving the same medical diagnoses or are misdiagnosed.

Anne-Marie Johnson

Also attending the opening night (Feb. 7) at the Directors Guild of America facility was Actress Annie-Marie Johnson,  “This film festival obviously honors filmmakers of color and we don’t get this much exposure in the traditional film festivals,” she said. 
“It’s refreshing and it’s new material that maybe it won’t get global distribution like it should, so this is a great beginning,” Johnson's  next film, “Knock ‘em Dead,”, is comedy-thriller in post production due out later this year or 2014.
Among the many stars and dignitaries on the red carpet was Legendary Mother Love, talk show host.( , PAFF 
Over two decades, along with USA entries, the nation’s largest and most prestigious Black film festival has showcased films from such countries as Angola, Austria, England, Bermuda, Canada, Egypt, Ethiopia, Brazil, Kenya, Mexico, South African and Nigeria.On the red carpet outside DGA building were Founder and board member Oscar Williams
with Beverly Scott, UCLA.

Filmmaker Megan Ebor, husband Joe, who is featuring a short doc, “EVEN ME”, which raises awareness of HIV/AIDS, (2012 24 min., Sat and Sunday) and Reatha Grey, Betty White's Off The Rockers, to name a few. The Pan African Film Festival (PAFFcontinues through Monday, Feb. 18 (Rave Cinemas Baldwin Hills Crenshaw Plaza 15, 4020 Marlton Ave.Los AngelesCA 90008PAFF was 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 African Affairs.  PAFF is a non-profit corporation 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, and lifestyles, while at the same time, serve as a vehicle to initiate dialogue on the important issues of our times.
The Pan African Film & Arts Festival is an official event of Los Angeles Mayor Antonio R. Villaraigosa's Celebration of African American Heritage Month. PAFF is sponsored by Union Bank; Macy's; Wells Fargo Bank; General Motors; Sony Pictures, CareMore; Water Replenishment District of Southern California; South African Airways; the National Film and Video Foundation; One Village; Addco Party Rentals; TestFlick; O.N.E. Coconut Water; Dama Tequila and Mascarade Liqueur; the Department of Cultural Affairs, the City of Los Angeles; the Los Angeles County Arts Commission; as well as Supervisor Mark Ridley-Thomas (Second District) and Los Angeles City Council members Bernard C. Parks (District 8), Jan Perry (District 9), and council president Herb J. Wesson Jr. (District 10).Opening night featured Forest Whitter's new film, Vipaka 
“Vipaka,” starring Forest Whitaker and Anthony Mackie Set to Premiere WHO:  The cast & crew of “Vipaka”              
The cast and crew includes:·         Philippe Caland – director/producer/writer,     “Boxing Helena”·         Nina Yang – producer·         Jeanine Rohn -- producer Plus, other familiar faces from tv and film, including:

·         Actress Salli Richardson-Whitfield – PAFF celebrity host
·         Danny Glover – actor and founder of PAFF, “Lethal
      Weapon” franchise
·         Robert Townsend – actor/director, “Diary of a Single       Mom”·         Kevin Frazier – tv host, “The Insider”·         Terrence J – tv host/actor, “E! News” “Think Like a       Man”·         Laz Alonso – actor, “Deception”·         Kim Coles – actress/comedienne, “Soul Man,” “Living       Single”·         Vanessa Bell Calloway – actress, “Holla II,”      “Hawthorne,” “Coming to America”·         Brian White – actor,  “9ine,” “Men of a Certain Age,”      “The Shield”·         Eriq LaSalle – actor/author, “ER”
·         Kym Whitley – actress/comedienne, “Animal Practice,”
      “Let’s Stay Together”
·         Rochelle Aytes – actress, Tyler Perry’s “Madea’s
·         Anne Marie Johnson – actress, Tyler Perry’s “House of
·         Kelitta Smith – actress,  “The Bernie Mac Show”
·         Terence Bernie Hines – actor, “My Name is Earl,”

      “Raising Hope”
·         Jimmy-Jean Louis – actor, “Toussaint L’Ouverture,”
     “Heroes” “Phat Girlz”
·         Leon – actor/international reggae singer
·         Luenell – comic, “Borat: Cultural Learnings of America
      for Make Benefit Glorious Nation of Kazakhstan
      for Make Benefit Glorious Nation of Kazakhstan
·         Sherese Fletcher – reality star, “Hollywood Exes”
·         Andrea Kelley – reality star, “Hollywood Exes”
·         Judge Joe Brown – tv court personality
Check The Pan African Film Festival (PAFF) website (www.Paff.or) for dates and tim
es of film screenings.