The Pan African Film Festival returns to Atlanta this weekend as part of the National Black Arts Festival. Morris In The Morning welcomed Ayuko Babu this morning to talk about the film fest and the cultural gems in store for film-goers this weekend.
Excellence in film continues as The Pan African Film Festival (PAFF) returns to present the most provocative films created by filmmakers of color throughout Africa and the African Diaspora. Since NBAF began collaborating with PAFF in 2000 they have consistently presented and showcased the broad spectrum of Black creative works, particularly those that reinforce positive images and help to destroy negative stereotypes.
The Pan African Film Festival once again joins NBAF during the National Black Arts Festival for a 3-day film series at the Southwest Arts Center, 915 New Hope Road, Atlanta, GA 30331. Presented in partnership with Fulton County Arts and Culture, PAFF will feature an 18 film series from Thursday, July 18 through Saturday, July 20. Screenings will be held from 12 pm to 12 am. Opening night feature $20 per person; all other films and tickets are $10 per screening. The special PAFF Pass is $45 per person for 6 films (excluding opening night feature) available through July 12.
Established in 1992, The Pan African Film Festival (PAFF) has remained dedicated to the promotion of cultural and racial tolerance and understanding through the exhibition of film, art and creative expression. This year marks the return of the esteemed event, which has been a stable of the summer festival for many years. Presented in Partnership with Fulton County Arts and Culture and Southwest Arts Center, PAFF continues to be America's largest and most prestigious international Black film festival.
Please find a comprehensive list of July dates and locations below:
Thursday, July 18
12:00 pm Pan African Shorts Series
2:30 pm Inside Story (2011/South Africa/Narrative Feature/98min) Director: Rolie Nikiwe Dreaming of a professional soccer career, Kalu, a young Kenyan, gets a contract to play soccer in South Africa and begins a promising career and relationship with the coach's daughter. On the verge of soccer stardom, he learns he is HIV positive. Through stunning computer animation, audiences actually go inside Kalu, witnessing the moment of infection and come face-to-face with HIV. A story of triumph in what could have been dispair. Stars Hakim Kae-Kazim. PAFF 2012 Special Jury Recognition-Feature Narrative; ZIFF 2012 Best African Film
4:30 pm Mugabe: Villain or Hero? (2012/UK/Documentary/116min) Director: Roy Agyemang. Is there more to Robert Mugabe, the President of Zimbabwe, than is being shown on our television screens? What’s the true extent of Mugabe’s support inside Zimbabwe? What has happened to the country that they all called the bread basket of Africa and why? These questions and more led British filmmaker Roy Agyemang on a journey to Zimbabwe to make a documentary about President Robert Mugabe. What started out as a three-month mission turned into three life-changing years, culminating in a rare interview with one of the world’s longest-serving yet most reviled leaders. Mugabe: Villain or Hero? Is an epic personal journey, narrated by Agyemang who, together with his UK-based Zimbabwean fixer, found themselves in Mugabe’s entourage, on Colonel Gaddafi’s private jet and around a host of prominent African leaders. PAFF 2013 Special Jury Recognition-Documentary
7:30 pm Toussaint Louverture *Opening Night Feature (2012/Martinique/France/Narrative Feature/180min + 15min intermission) Director: Philippe Niang. The two-part epic film of the life of Haitian revolutionary, Toussaint Louverture who led the first successful slave revolt in world history by defeating the imperialist armies of Napoleon Bonaparte and setting up the first free Black nation in the Western Hemisphere. Stars Jimmy Jean-Louis, Aïssa Maïga and Sonia Rolland. PAFF 2012 Best Feature; PAFF 2012 CAPRI Capital Partners Award for Best Actor; PAFF 2012 Audience Award–Narrative Feature; AMAA 2012 Best Diaspora Feature; ZIFF 2012 Special Mention – Best Direction
Friday, July 19
12:00 pm How to Steal 2 Million (2011/South Africa/Narrative Feature/88min) Director: Charlie Vundla. Just released from prison, Jack cannot find work until his former partner, Twala, recruits him for a job that should net 2R million. A sexy, modern-day film noir with plot twists that will keep viewers guessing to the end. AMAA 2012 Best Picture, Best Director, Best Supporting Actress and Best Editing
2:00 pm Better Mus' Come (2011/Jamaica/Narrative Feature/104min) Director: Storm Saulter. A coming of age drama set in Jamaica's turbulent 1970s against the backdrop of the cold war, a national water crisis, and political corruption that gave birth to the polarized violence gripping the streets of Kingston both then and now. PAFF 2012 Best Director First Feature
4:15 pm The Education of Auma Obama (2011/Germany/Documentary/79min) Director: Branwen Okpako An absorbing look at the life and times of Auma Obama told from her homestead in Kenya during the run-up to the 2008 US Presidential elections that brought her brother Barack Obama to power. Wonderful archival footage, including footage of a very young Barack Obama visiting with Michele, helps to unfold the story of a family dedicated to political activism and social engagement and allowing viewers a new appreciation of the President’s African roots. PAFF 2012 Festival Founders Award Documentary; AMAA 2012 Best Diaspora Documentary
6:05 pm Stones in the Sun (2012/Haiti/US/Narrative Feature/95min) Director: Patricia Benoit. In the midst of increasing political violence, a young couple, two sisters, and a father and son are driven from Haiti to New York, where they must confront the truths of their interlocked pasts. PAFF 2013 Best Feature Narrative; AMAA 2013 Prize for Best Diaspora Feature
8:15 pm The Good Wifey (2013/US/Narrative Feature/90min) Director: T.A. Williams A happily married man expecting his first child gives in to the temptation of a beautiful former classmate and has what he thinks is a one-night-stand. Stars Tangi Miller, David Ramsey, Persia White, Chico Benymon and Akuyoe Graham
10:05 pm Mama Africa (2011/South Africa/Germany/Finland/Documentary/90min) Director: Mika Kaurasmäki Tracing the life and music of the legendary fabulous Miriam Makeba through more than 50 years of performing. Engaging commentaries from friends and colleagues, some who knew her since she started her musical career. This documentary tells of her remarkable journey as one of the world greatest vocalists and leaders of the Pan African struggle globally, specifically the fight for majority rule in South Africa. With fascinating subject matter and fabulous music, this celebration of a dedicated life is sure to entertain, enlighten and inspire. PAFF 2012 Special Jury Recognition-Documentary; ZIFF 2012 Best Documentary
Saturday, July 20
12:00 pm Elza (2011/Guadeloupe/France/Narrative Feature/80min)
Director: Mariette Monpierre
A young Parisian woman of Caribbean descent returns to her native island of Guadeloupe looking for the father she has never known. Stunning visuals and an incredible soundtrack makes this a beauty, not to be missed! PAFF 2012 Festival Programmers Award Narrative. PAFF 2012 Special Jury Recognition-Feature Narrative; FESPACO 2013 Paul Robeson Prize for Best Film of the Diaspora
1:50 pm Let Clay Be Clay (2013/US/Narrative Feature/88min) Director: Darryl
McCane Twenty-years after her daughter's murder, a still grieving mother has not given up on bringing those she believes to be responsible for her death to justice. A gripping story, inspired by events that are all too true in today’s Black communities.
3:40 pm Things Never Said (2012/US/Narrative Feature/111min) Director: Charles
Murray Kalindra Stepney is an emerging spoken-word poetess, someone who willingly speaks her thoughts, but she's an artist who has yet to find her voice. A native of California, Kal has dreams of taking her poems to New York and the infamous Nuyorican Café stage. Haunted by a miscarriage and saddled with Ronnie, a husband who's angry and without direction - he uses his fists as a form of speech - Kal tries desperately to find an outlet for her struggling voice. Stars Elimu Nelson, Omari Hardwick, Tamala Jones and Michael Beach. PAFF 2013 Special Jury Recognition-Feature Narrative
6:05 pm War Witch (2012/Canada/Narrative Feature/90min) Director: Kim Nguyen A poignant and harrowing portrait of Komona, a 14-year-old girl who has been kidnapped from her African village by rebels to become a child soldier. Berlin Film Festival 2012 Silver Bear for Best Actress Rachel Mwanza; Tribeca Film Festival 2012 Best Narrative Feature; Academy Award Nominee Best Foreign Language Film
8:05pm Otelo Burning (2011/South Africa/Narrative Feature/72min) Director: Sara
Blecher Set in 1989, when the fight against apartheid is at its peak, three black South African boys escape their township lives through surfing, discovering something in the waves for which everyone is fighting: freedom. A rich, emotional powerful narrative that resonates teenage male rivalry, love, politics, hard choices and some incredible surfing. Includes music from South African Hip Hop artist Reason. AMAA 2012 Achievement In Cinematography; AMAA 2012 Achievement In Editing
9:50 pm Charles Lloyd: Arrows into Infinity (2012/US/Documentary/118min) Director: Dorothy Darr & Jeffery Morse Catapulted to worldwide fame in his 20s, Charles Lloyd was one of the most influential jazz musicians of the 1960s. By his early 30s he abandoned a public life
of performance and recording and went into seclusion in Big Sur. Follow the artist’s spiritual quest. PAFF 2013 Audience Award Documentary
Please continue to visit www.nbaf.org for additional updates and more information. Media inquiries and coverage requests should be directed to Nikki Barjon at firstname.lastname@example.org or 404.514.9992.
NBAF, presenter of the National Black Arts Festival, is a cultural leader renowned worldwide for showcasing the very best of black art and culture for two and a half decades. NBAF is a non- profit organization founded in Atlanta in 1987, and its mission is to engage, cultivate and educate diverse audiences about the arts and culture of the African Diaspora and provide opportunities for artistic and creative expression.
NBAF presents the art and culture of people of African descent in all disciplines and presentation formats including music, dance, theater, film, literary arts and visual arts, while exploring their impact on world cultures. In addition, NBAF offers comprehensive education and humanities programs with the intent of providing a unique opportunity to promote understanding between diverse communities through art and culture. NBAF is certified by the Georgia Department of Education and provides continuing education courses to teachers and educators. Its education program models have been employed internationally in London, Ghana and Senegal.
The United States Congress honored NBAF for its importance to the “cultural fabric of greater Atlanta and all of America”, and recognized NBAF’s highly acclaimed National Black Arts Festival as “the premier festival of its kind in the United States” (H. Res. 1286, July 23, 2008). NBAF partnered with The Consulate General of Brazil to present Brazil Fest at the National Black Arts Festival in 2010 and 2011.
Over the years, NBAF has presented thousands of internationally acclaimed artists across all disciplines such as Maya Angelou, Harry Belafonte, Cicely Tyson, Alfre Woodard, Avery Brooks, Hugh Masekela, Wynton Marsalis, Pearl Cleage, Alice Walker, Sonia Sanchez, Varnette Honeywood, Radcliffe Bailey, Spike Lee, Melvin and Mario Van Peebles, Alvin Ailey, Katherine Dunham, Bill T. Jones, Phylicia Rashad, August Wilson, Nancy Wilson, Gladys Knight, The O'Jays, Ron K. Brown/Evidence, jessica Care moore, Chuck D, Joi, Russell Gunn, Omar Sosa, Tito Puente, Ousamane Sembene, National Ballet de Guinea, and many others.