By Tambay A. Obenson | Shadow and Act July 11, 2012 at 12:40PM
I attended the festival for the very first time this year, and was overwhelmed by the number of films screened; truly one of the largest (if not the largest black film festivals in terms of volume alone). It was also where films like Think Like A Man, Toussaint L'Ouverture, and several other notable titles made their USA (and in some cases world) premieres.
I'll be back next year; and maybe your film will be in the lineup.
LOS ANGELES – The Pan African Film Festival (PAFF) is ready to take movie goers on a cinematic journey with international film screenings from around the globe with the announcement of its call for submissions. The 21st annual PAFF will be held on February 7-18, 2013 in Los Angeles. The film festival is the nation’s largest and most prestigious Black film festival. Over the years, it has showcased films from all parts of the world, representing such countries as Angola, Austria, England, Bermuda, Canada, Egypt, Ethiopia, Brazil, Kenya, Mexico, South Africa, Nigeria, and of course, the United States. With the pulse on the international film market, PAFF has opened the minds of its audiences, and transported them to lands far away and back home again. “Over the years, the filmmakers from around the world have become more sophisticated in telling their stories,” says Asantewa Olatunji, the director of programming for PAFF.
Last year, more than 40,000 folks attended the festival, and were the first to see a string of highly-anticipated films, including Screen Gems’ “Think Like a Man,” based on the New York Times best-selling book by radio host/comic Steve Harvey. Directed by Tim Story and written by Keith Merryman and David A. Newman, the romantic comedy has grossed nearly 100 million dollars in its theatrical run, making it one of the highest grossing films with a predominantly African American cast. “This is certainly proof that Black audiences will respond to good stories and positive depictions of ourselves on the big screen,” added Olatunji. Currently, PAFF is accepting submissions of independent features, shorts, narratives and documentary films made by or about people of African descent. Applications are available via the PAFF website at www.paff.org, by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org or calling (310) 337-4737.
ELIGIBILITY: The PAFF is currently accepting applications for films and videos made by and/or about people of African descent. (Please note: the filmmaker(s) need not be of African or African American descent.) Films should preferably depict positive and realistic images and can be of any genre -- drama, comedy, horror, adventure, animation, romance, science fiction, experimental, etc. PAFF accepts features and shorts both narrative and documentary. The film festival will accept submissions of works in progress; however, the final version of the film must be completed no later than January 5, 2013.
COMPETITION: The PAFF competition categories are: Best Narrative Feature, Best Narrative Short, Best Documentary, Best Director -- First Feature, plus, Audience Favorite Awards for Narrative Feature and Favorite Documentary. Films in competition must be copyrighted no earlier than 2012. With the exception of Audience Favorite Awards, all films are judged by industry professionals, selected by PAFF. In addition to competition awards, other programming and festival special prizes will be awarded.
SUBMISSION: For information about the festival, submission procedures, fees and registration, visit www.paff.org or call 310. 337-4737. Submissions will be accepted from July 2, 2012 through October 15, 2012. Late submissions will be accepted until November 21, 2012. Official selection announcements will be made beginning December 15, 2012.