News Brief
(Photo by Earl Gibson III/Getty Images)

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.


News Brief
Photo by Thierry Monasse/Getty Images

South Africa Responsibly Reported A New Variant of COVID-19 - And Now The World Is Making Them Pay For It

In the world's latest attempt at making COVID-19 Africa's disease, South Africa is now being punished for good use of the advanced technology that identified the Omicron variant.

If there's one thing Western media is going to do, it's going to make African countries out to be the bad, irresponsible kids on the team.

Last week, South African scientists informed the globe that they had discovered and identified a new variant of the COVID-19 virus, which the World Health Organization went on to name Omicron. The variant's influence and characteristics are yet to be understood, as leading scientists in South Africa — and across the world — scramble to understand the next layer of the COVID-19 virus. It also means that it is impossible to dictate exactly where the variant originated from.

The news broke, and the world began to panic, with the brash reactions manifesting as a near-global travel ban, to and from South Africa, over fears of the latest variant. The almost immediate ostracization has resulted in hordes of foreign nationals within South Africa being "stranded", and South African citizens abroad not being able to get back home.

The Omicron strain was identified in neighboring country Botswana at the same time, but among a group of foreign diplomatic visitors, with two ministers warning Western onlookers from "geo-politicizing this virus". Malawian President Lazarus Chakwera went on to openly accuse Western countries of "Afrophobia" for shutting their borders with such haste, and in a manner that seems as if they've been waiting for the opportunity to do so. Dr. Matshidiso Moeti, WHO's Regional Director on the African continent said, "With the Omicron variant now detected in several regions of the world, putting in place travel bans that target Africa attacks global solidarity." Israel announced over the weekend that they would enforce travel bans on all African countries... except those which reside in North Africa (Algeria, Egypt, Morocco, etc). U.S Governor Greg Abbott received backlash after ignorantly tweeting on Sunday that, "Immigrants have recently been apprehended crossing our border illegally from South Africa."

According to Reuters, South Africa's National Institute for Communicable Diseases (NICD) and relevant parties have requested an urgent sitting this Friday with WHO's working group on virus evolution, to discuss the new variant and what this could mean for this next phase of the global pandemic. South African president Cyril Ramaphosa has urged the countries that have implemented travel bans on the country to rethink and ultimately lift them, vocalizing his disappointment in the ease with which world leaders are prepared to shut African countries out of an issue we are experiencing as a global unit. Ramaphosa also argued that the bans would not successfully stop the transmission of the newer variant, "The only thing the prohibition on travel will do is to further damage the economies of the affected countries and undermine their ability to respond to, and recover from, the pandemic," he said.

This is not the first time that South Africa has been held liable for a newly discovered variant of the COVID-19 virus. Last December, a Beta variant was detected in the Southern African country and the world reacted in a similar way — inappropriately. Claims that the newly identified variant is the most dangerous are irresponsible are simply not true — scientists have little to no real information on how this variant may affect people, as it has just been discovered.

Informed individuals and social media warriors alike took to their handheld devices to set the records straight, with some congratulating South Africa's team for being responsible in their handling of a global pandemic. Even Piers Morgan got it right.


get okayafrica in your inbox

popular.

M.anifest’s 'Madina to the Universe'  Marks a Creative Shift

The Ghanaian rapper recalibrated his creative process for his fifth full-length project.