A new year of film festivals has officially launched with the grand-daddy of them all (here in the USA anyway) the Sundance Film Festival, just around the corner.
In February, however, all eyes will be on the Pan African Film Festival that takes place in Los Angeles, CA, which runs from February 6-17, 2014, celebrating its 22nd anniversary.
Continuing on with highlights from this year's event... from the narrative section, is Cameroonian filmmaker Victor Viyuoh's drama titled Ninah’s Dowry - his feature film debut.
The film tells the story of Ninah, a wife who flees her abusive husband, but when he discovers that she is pregnant, he goes after her, determined either to recover his dowry payment or to bring her home.
The director says that the film is inspired by the true story of his cousin, who was an excellent student forced to abandon her studies to marry a physically abusive man. After bearing three children, his cousin found the abuse unbearable and ran away. Her husband pursued her, demanding that she return his dowry money. When she was unable to pay him the money, her husband and his two friends beat her and dragged her through the streets. No one helped her. Taken back to her abusive life, which could've ended in death, she came up with a way to escape.
Viyuoh says that his film focuses on the day Nina's husband finds her, after she leaves him, adding that the film highlights an important human rights issue, but is not a propaganda film. It's a true story and an important one, that took him about 5 years to make.
PAFF is celebrating its 22nd anniversary this year, screening a total of 172 films - 37 documentaries, 23 short documentaries, 55 narrative features, and 57 narrative shorts, as well as 11 webseries in the new category of new media - all representing 46 countries.
For more information about the official selections, visit the festival’s website at: http://www.paff.org/paff-2014-
Watch a preview of Ninah’s Dowry below: