Pan African Film Festival Weekend Highlights

Author: Pat Prescott

Last night was opening night for the 25th Annual Pan African Film Festival featuring the presentation of the Lifetime Achievement Award to Alfre Woodard, with festival founders Danny Glover, Ja’net DuBois and Ayuko Babu on hand and the screening of “King of The Dance Hall”, written, directed and starring Nick Cannon who participated in a Q&A after the film. There are so many interesting offerings in this year’s festival that we decided to help you navigate the schedule with a daily look at our festival picks. Here’s what’s happening this weekend.

Tell Them We Are Rising:

The Story of Black Colleges and University

(2017/US/Doc/95m) West Coast Premiere

Dir: Stanley Nelson

A vibrant mosaic of events, stories and characters traces the essential role the historically black colleges and universities (HBCUs) played in shaping Black life, creating a Black middle class and dismantling segregation during most dire eras of racial intolerance in the U.S.

Fri, Feb10@8:05p; Sun, Feb19@9:00p

Mary Lou Williams: The Lady Who Swings the Band (2014/US/Doc/70m)

Dir: Carol Bash

The amazing Mary Lou Williams was a genius–ahead of her time. During an era when Jazz was the nation’s popular music, Williams was one of its greatest innovators. But away from the piano, Williams was a woman in a “man’s world,” a black person in a “whites only” society, an ambitious artist who dared to be different. Narrated by Alfre Woodard.

Sat, Feb11@4:35p

August Wilson: The Ground on Which I Stand (2014/US/Doc/90m)

Dir: Sam Pollard

This first documentary on Wilson’s life begins in Pittsburgh’s Hill District where Wilson was a brainy, bi-racial child raised in poverty, who dropped out of high school because of bullying and prejudice. Commentary by Viola Davis, Charles Dutton, Laurence Fishburne, James Earl Jones and Phylicia Rashad.

Sat, Feb11@11:45a; Mon, Feb13@1:20p

Diva Diaries

(2016/US/Narr/84m) World Premiere

Dir: Tangi Miller

Five beautiful ladies are on a mission to take the world by storm and look good doing it. StarsTangi Miller, Vanessa Williams, Mari Morrow, Chrystee Pharris, Laila Odom and Aloma Wright.

Sat, Feb11@6:50p

Rain the Color Blue with a Little Red in It

(Akounak Tedalat Taha Tazoughai)


Dir: Christopher Kirkley

Punctuated with stunning musical performances, this African hommage to Prince’s “Purple Rain” beautifully unfolds the story of a musician trying to make it “against all odds.” With the backdrop of the raucous subculture of Tuareg guitar, the protagonist, real-life musician Mdou Moctar, must overcome jealous musicians, family conflicts, the trials of love, and his biggest rival – himself.

Sun, Feb12@1:10p; Fri, Feb17@6:20p



Saturday screening & workshops for children 4-12 years and

their parents

Saturday, February 11, 2017 @ 10:00am

Film: A Disney Favorite- TBA

Saturday, February 18, 2017 @ 10:30am

Conversation With… Alfre Woodard

Film, stage, and television actress, producer, and political activist, Alfre Woodard has been named one of the most versatile and accomplished actors of her generation. As the recipient of the 2017 PAFF Lifetime Achievement Award, she will sit with director and friend Neema Barnett and share her thoughts on her illustrious career, the many memorable roles she has brought to life, and what she believes to be the future for Pan African Cinema.

Sunday, Feb 12@3:00pm

Location: Cinemark BHC 15

Ticket Price: $30.00


PAFF Screenings, Conversations and Panels

Cinemark’s BHC 15 (on the grounds of the BHC)

ArtFest and Fashion Show

Baldwin Hills Crenshaw Plaza, 3650 Martin Luther King, Jr. Blvd., Los Angeles CA 90008

(At the corner of Crenshaw and King)

Parking: Ample free parking; Valet Parking Available.


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