PAFF 2013 Wrap-Up: Winners and Highlights

Festivals
by Jai Tiggett
February 19, 2013 6:29 PM
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This year's Pan African Film Festival wrapped up Monday in Los Angeles, handing out Jury, Audience and Special Prizes during an awards brunch at the pop-up PAFF Filmmakers Lounge in Baldwin Hills. 

The brunch concluded 12 days of films, panels, and events that began with the PAFF and African American Film Critics Association Awards on Feb 8 (find award highlights HERE). The awards set the tone for what would be an overall sense of pride throughout the festival in recognizing films and filmmakers that don't always receive the attention they deserve.

As this year's PAFF Institute sponsor/presenter, Shadow & Act co-presented a robust slate of events for the festival including panels and conversations with filmmaker Reginald Hudlin, actress Salli Richardson-Whitfield, producer Debra Martin Chase, Columbia executive DeVon Franklin and actress Meagan Good, Our Stories Films executive Glendon Palmer, Codeblack Films heads Jeff Clanagan and Quincy Newell and a host of other entertainers and content creators who gave insight into the filmmaking and distribution process, all under the banner of The Business of Entertainment.

The Institute gave attendees a chance to learn about creating and shopping a reality series, structuring a deal, and polishing their writing, and also offered frank talk about recent film releases and navigating the business. At a heated panel discussing Quentin Tarrantino's Django Unchained, educators Dr. Gerald Horne, Ed Rampell, Prof. Aminah Bakeer, and Dr. Melina Abdullah deconstructed the film from a historical perspective and discussed its impact on entertainment and the black community at large. "The problem isn't that the film isn't historical, it's that students believe it is historical," Dr. Bakeer explained.

Saturday and Sunday featured discussions with Powerful Black Women in Entertainment, moderated by filmmaker Bill Duke, and Powerful Black Men in Entertainment, moderated by yours truly, where panelists delved a bit into how the politics of race and sex play into entertainment. A hot topic on both panels was the desire for younger content creators to be more professional and polished in their approach. Things Never Said director Charles Murray stressed the need for screenwriters to perfect their craft and know the business inside and out, while Misadventures of Awkward Black Girl creator Issa Rae urged younger generations to study the greats in order to develop their artistic voices.

The film selection included a diverse group of 154 shorts and features representing 34 countries. Though there wasn't a single film that swept the award categories, there are several familiar titles among the group as we've discussed many of them at length on this site.

Find the list of winners, along with links to S&A's reviews of their films, below:

BEST FEATURE NARRATIVE

“Stones in the Sun” (Haiti/US), directed by Patricia Benoit (S&A Review HERE)

Special Jury Recognition | Feature Narrative

“Things Never Said” (US), directed by Charles Murray (S&A Review HERE)

BEST DIRECTOR | FIRST FEATURE

David 'Tosh' Gitonga, director of Nairobi Half Life” (Germany/Kenya) (S&A Review HERE)

Special Jury Recognition | Director, First Feature

Ya'Ke, director of “Wolf” (US) (S&A Review HERE)

BEST DOCUMENTARY

“Free Angela & All Political Prisoners” (US/France), directed by Shola Lynch (S&A Review HERE)

Special Jury Recognition | Documentary

“Mugabe: Villain or Hero?” (UK), directed by Roy Agyemang

BEST NARRATIVE SHORT

“Our Rhineland” (US), directed by Faren Humes

Special Jury Recognition | Short Narrative:

“The Collegians” (US), directed by Bryan B.A. Lewis

BEST DOCUMENTARY SHORT

“Foot Soldiers: Class of 1964” (US), directed by Alvelyn Sanders

Special Jury Recognition | Short Documentary:

“Africa: The Beat” (Tanzania/Spain), directed by the Samaki Wanne Collective

FESTIVAL PROGRAMMERS’ AWARD

“Babe’s and Ricky’s Inn” (US), directed by Ramin Niami

FESTIVAL FOUNDERS’ AWARD

“Iceberg Slim: Portrait of a Pimp” (US), directed by Jorge Hinojosa

CAPRI CAPITAL PARTNERS AWARD

“Songs of Redemption (Jamaica), directed by Amanda Sans and Miquel Galofré

AUDIENCE AWARD | DOCUMENTARY

“Charles Lloyd: Arrows into Infinity” (US), directed by Dorothy Darr and Jeffery Morse

AUDIENCE AWARD | SHORT DOCUMENTARY

“Foot Soldiers: Class of 1964” (US), directed by Alvelyn Sanders

AUDIENCE AWARD | NARRATIVE FEATURE

“Against the Grain” (US), directed by Elias Mael

AUDIENCE AWARD | SHORT NARRATIVE

“Island Song” (US/Virgin Islands), directed by David Massey

PAN AFRICAN FILM FESTIVAL-BRITISH ACADEMY OF FILM AND TELEVISION ARTS/LA (BAFTA/LA) FESTIVAL CHOICE AWARD

“Home Again” (Canada), directed by Sudz Sutherland (S&A Review HERE)

Festivals
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