PAFF-Celebrating Our Rich African Heritage Globally in Cinema
Los Angeles-February is my favorite month of the year. I enjoy it because the marketing people promote love on Valentine’s Day so that you can show your spouse and/or significant other how much you love him or her with flowers, candy, jewelry, dinner’s etc.etc. What happens during the other 364 days of the year?
I also enjoy February due to the fact that it is Black History Month, when we celebrate the achievements of African Americans during the shortest month of the year. Our history is relevant 365 days of the year.
Another reason that I enjoy the month of February is the Pan African Film and Arts Festival. This will be the 17th edition of the largest Black History Month event as well as the largest Black Film Festival in the United States. The festival will take place from February 5 thru 16, at the Culver Plaza Theatres, 9919 Washington Blvd., in Culver City. (Please note the new venue for the film festival) Culver City Bus #1 has a bus stop directly across the street from the theatres. Santa Monica Big Blue Bus #12 stops near the theatres. Metro Bus #33 stops one block north of the theatres at Hughes Ave., as well as Metro Bus #333 which stops at Bagley Blvd. The PAFF Art Market, which exhibits black fine arts and crafts will be on display at the Baldwin Hills Crenshaw Plaza 3650 W. Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd in Los Angeles. Pan African Film Festival is held over twelve days, which will screen over 175 films from the United States, Africa, the Caribbean, Latin America, Europe, the South Pacific and Canada, all showcasing the diversity and complexity of people of African descent.
My busy schedule allowed me the opportunity to attend a movie on Saturday, February 7. I always gravitate towards movies about musicians and or music in the storyline. I saw the entertaining movie “Panman, Rhythm of the Palms.” The story is about the rise and fall of the Caribbean steel drum pan player Harry Daniels, who is desperate to pass the pan culture to a younger generation. This movie says a lot about maintaining one’s culture, knowing your roots, and not forgetting your identity.
Day 4 of the festival, I went over to the Baldwin Hills Crenshaw Plaza for a panel discussion. Macy’s teamed up with the Pan African Film Festival to host a forum on “Strategies For Success.” Giving back to our communities in honor of Black History Month, Macy’s applauds the achievements of African American entrepreneurs. The panel featured Hill Harper, actor-CSI:NY; Producer, This Is Not a Test; Patrick Martin, CEO and Cofounder, Youngblood Timepieces; Yvette Lee Bowser, writer, Executive Producer on Living Single, For Your Love and Half and Half; Tatyana Ali, actress, Young and The Restless, Fresh Prince of Bel Air; and Naturi Naughton, actress, Notorious and 3LW. Comedian Chris Spencer served as Moderator. The forum addressed the various attitudes, habits, and behaviors traits that are common among successful people. This was an exciting, engaging forum that was also inspiring, informative, educational and entertaining. Several lucky members of the audience won passes to the Pan African Film Festival, t-shirts and men and women watches courtesy of Youngblood Timepieces, Inc. at the conclusion of the forum.
There is exactly one week left for you to catch some really good movies at the Culver Plaza Theatres in Culver City, or view and perhaps purchase merchandise at the Art market at the Baldwin Hills Crenshaw Plaza. Obasogie Aimiuwu is this year’s featured artist. His work is on display at the Art Market.
Please visit http://www.paff.org click on the Film Festival link to learn more about the Student fest, ChildrensFest, Senior Connections, SpokenWordFest and upcoming Panels and Workshops or call (323)295-1706.