PAFF Calls For Entries

by Olamilekan Okeowo

The Pan African Film Festival, PAFF, Los Angeles USA has called on filmmakers of African and non-African descent to submit entries in drama, comedy, horror, action/adventure, animation, romance, science fiction, experimental, historical/epic for the 29th edition of the festival’s competition.

The competition is open to films copyrighted no earlier than 2019 in Best Narrative Feature, Best Narrative Short, Best Documentary (Short or Feature), Best Director — First Feature, Best Web-Series, plus a variety of Audience Favorite Awards categories.

The call for submission commenced on June 1, 2020 and will run till September 20, 2020. Late submissions will run from September 21- October 30, 2020, while extended late submissions will be between October 31-December 10, depending on available space.

The festival will be held in February 2021 either with a physical festival in Los Angeles, a world-wide virtual festival, or a combination of both according to the organizers in a mail sent to TCN.

Now in its 29th year, PAFF is America’s largest and most prestigious Black film festival. Each year, it screens more than 185 films made by and/or about people of African descent from the United States, Africa, the Caribbean, South America, the South Pacific, Latin America, Europe, and Canada. In conjunction with its simultaneous Art Showcase, PAFF holds the distinction of being the largest Black History Month event in the US.

PAFF was founded in 1992 by award-winning actor Danny Glover (“The Color Purple,” “Lethal Weapon”), the late Emmy Award-winning actress Ja’Net DuBois (best known for her role as Willona in the TV series, “Good Times”) and executive director, Ayuko Babu, an international legal, cultural and political consultant who specializes in African Affairs.

“Over the years, filmmakers the world over have become more sophisticated in telling their stories. In our ever-shrinking world, it is so important to understand the experiences and points of view of the world’s diverse peoples and cultures” says Asantewa Olatunji, the director of programming for PAFF.

According to the organizers, “the goal of PAFF is to present and showcase the broad range of Black creative works, particularly those that reinforce positive images, help to destroy negative stereotypes and depict an expanded vision of the Black experience. PAFF believes film and art can lead to better understanding and foster communication between peoples of diverse cultures, races, and lifestyles, while at the same time, serves as a vehicle to initiate dialogue on the important issues of our time”.

Over the years, PAFF has showcased films from all parts of the world, representing such countries as the United States, Angola, Nigeria, Jamaica, New Zealand, Rwanda, Canada, Mozambique, Venezuela, Egypt, the Dominican Republic, Ethiopia, Ghana, Brazil, Kenya, Fiji, Mexico, the U.K., South Africa, England, Japan, Trinidad & Tobago, France, and Canada. With the pulse on the international film market, PAFF has opened the minds of its audiences, and transported them to far-away places and back home again.

Last year, more than 40,000 people attended the film festival, which has long been a highly anticipated event in Los Angeles attended by local, national, and international guests.

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