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LOS ANGELES, CA - FEBRUARY 09: A general view during the Q&A from the Pan African Film Festival-"Behind The Movement" Screening at Baldwin Hills Crenshaw Plaza on February 9, 2018 in Los Angeles, California.

The 30th Pan African Film Festival Is Calling For Entries

Africa-centred films and African filmmakers are invited to submit their entries for the 2022 Pan African Film Festival (PAFF), which takes place annually in Los Angeles.

The Pan African Film Festival (PAFF) has opened submissions for its 30th anniversary. Returning from an explosive season after headlining with Black Panther founder Gregory Everett's documentary, PAFF invites filmmakers whose work focuses on the narratives of Africans in Africa, and the diaspora, to submit their film entries. The annual PAFF is Los Angeles' most prestigious Black film festival and features a wide catalogue of films from around the world. The 30th edition of PAFF is set to take place from February 8 to 21, 2022 in Los Angeles, and virtually for the rest of the world.


Read: Pan African Film Festival Set to Screen Black Panther Documentary

PAFF will be accepting submissions for films and videos made on, or about, people of African descent — though the filmmakers need not necessarily be of African descent. The festival has a preference for progressive films that depict positive and realistic images of Africans from any genre — drama, comedy, horror, action/adventure, animation, romance, science fiction, experimental and historical. Black narratives captured through short films and documentaries are welcome too.

Prolific South African screenwriter and playwright Amy Jephta's BARAKAT, a dramedy about an Afrikaans Muslim household featured in this year's 29th PAFF line-up. The film starred famous South African actresses Bonnie Mbuli and Quanita Adams. BARAKAT was one of 200 films screening at the virtual festival hosted in Los Angeles in February 2020.

PAFF was founded by award-winning actor Danny Glover, Emmy Award-winning actress and executive director Ja'net DuBois as well as Ayuko Babu, an international legal, cultural and political consultant who specialises in African affairs. A highly anticipated event in Los Angeles circles, PAFF has previously hosted live festivals that attracted a crowd of more than 40,000 people. Marvel's Black Panther blockbuster screened during the 26th PAFF in 2018 where South African films Catching Feelings and political drama Kalushi, both starring Pearl Thusi, were showing.

The festival's competition categories include: Best Narrative Feature, Best Narrative Short, Best Documentary (Short or Feature), Best Director — First Feature, Best Web Series, plus a variety of Audience Favorite Awards.

For more on PAFF 2022 submission — instructions, information, fees, and registration — visit www.paff.org or email submissions@paff.org. Submissions opened on June 1 and will remain so, with special extensions, until December 1, 2021.


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What Does Afro-Latinidad Mean in the Film World?

Four Afro-Latinas in the film industry discuss Black identity in Latin America and how it’s portrayed through their work.

Each year, the Philadelphia Latino Film Festival’s LOLA awards recognize filmmakers whose work centers around a specific theme. This year, that theme was Afro-Latinidad, or Black identity in Latin America. The 11th edition of the festival included five female filmmakers, four of whom participated in a roundtable discussion of their films and the overlapping themes present in each of them, in particular an affirmation of Black diasporic identity.

Monica Moore-Suriyage is an L.A.-based Afro-Latina filmmaker of Dominican and Sri Lankan heritage. She describes her film La Ciguapa Siempre as “a horror short about a young girl finding out she is one of the mythical Dominican creatures.” Montreal-based Christine Rodriguez is a mixed race, Afro-Trinidadian playwright whose first short film Fuego is a story about an Afro-Cuban man struggling to cope with his new life in Montreal. Interdisciplinary artist Shenny De Los Angeles is a biracial Dominican-American. Her experimental short and 2022 LOLA award winner The Ritual to Beauty was inspired by a one-woman play and discusses De Los Angeles, her mother, and her grandmother’s shared relationship to relaxing their hair, with spoken word and poetry as well. Finally, Black Colombian actress Loren Escandon directs Los Patines, which recounts her “mother’s childhood as a domestic slave in Colombia.”

Below are some of their thoughts on Afro-Latinidad and their films.

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