In early February, FilmL.A. partnered with the Pan African Film & Arts Festival (PAFF-LA). The 2016 festival marked FilmL.A.’s third year as a co-sponsor. PAFF-LA is America’s largest and most prestigious black film festival, which in 2015 came in third in a list of ‘10 Best Film Festivals in the U.S.’ by USA Today. Annually, PAFF-LA showcases more than 150 quality new films and 100 fine artists and craftspersons.
“FilmL.A.’s partnership with the Pan African Film Festival (PAFF) is an important part of our outreach to some of the most talented filmmakers in the industry. Set during Black History Month, PAFF brings some of the finest achievements in film to LA and gives FilmL.A. a chance to work with the next generation of emerging filmmakers,” said Art Yoon, FilmL.A.’s Executive Vice President.
The 2016 opening night feature, “America Is Still The Place,” was directed by L.A. native Patrick Gilles. The film investigates a giant oil spill on the beaches of northern California. The film has been sweeping the film festival circuit by winning Best Feature, San Francisco Black Film Festival in July 2015; 1st Place Feature, Capital City Black Film Festival 2015; Best African American Feature Accolade Global Film Festival 2015 and Best Film Harlem International Film Festival 2015.
“LINES” is 4 minute short film that also had its world premiere at PAFF-LA. The film was directed and produced by Sasha Gransjean, an award winning filmmaker currently based in Los Angeles who has worked various forms of visual media for the past 15 years.
The Pan African Film & Arts Festival also featured the documentary, “Bridging The Divide: Tom Bradley and the Politics of Race”. “Bridging the Divide” was directed, produced and written by Lyn Goldfarb and Alison Sotomayor. The film focused on the racial barriers in American politics by highlighting the 1973 mayorial campaign and subsequent election of Mayor Tom Bradley–Los Angeles’ first African American mayor.
“Bridging the Divide” celebrated its world premiere at the Los Angeles Film Festival on June 14, 2015 and was the Official Selection, of the 2016 Pan African and San Diego Black Film Festivals.
Special events included a “Conversation With…” series featuring moderated conversations with popular directors who were screening films during the fest. The conversations began with Pan African Film Festival co-founder Danny Glover. Glover is well known for prominent roles in “The Color Purple,” “Silverado,” “Predator 2” and the “Lethal Weapon” collection of films.
The series also included Ryan Coogler, director of “Fruitvale Station” and “Creed.” Rounding out the series was Nate Parker discussing his directorial debut feature film ‘The Birth of a Nation.”
FilmL.A. congratulates the Pan African Film & Arts Festival staff, as well as the filmmakers and audience members who made the event such a success. It was a pleasure being there to support you, and we hope you’ll consider filming future projects right here in the Golden State.