Wednesday, March 13, 2013

2013 Pann African Film Festival

(C) 2013 by Rych McCain, All Rights Reserved. No part of this column may be reprinted, re-posted or duplicated without written permission from Rych McCain Media/Syndication. Violation is subject to applicable laws.

2013 Pan African Film Festival

By Rych McCain International/Nationally Syndicated Entertainment Columnist

The 2013 PAFF (Pan African Film Festival)

Was Bigger Then Ever!

Photos per PAFF

PAFF founders L-R: Danny Glover, Ja'Net DuBois, Bro. Babu
     The 2013 version of the PAFF (Pan African Film Festival) was a resounding, smash success – again! The twelve day event saw packed theater screenings followed by Q&A with the film makers and cast. Opening night began with a star-studded, red carpet premier of the movie “Vipaka” starring Oscar winner Forrest Whitaker, Anthony Mackie, Sanaa Lathan, Mike Epps and Nicole Ari Parker at the famed Director’s Guild of America in Hollywood. 

Meagan and DeVon Franklin
    Highlighted features included discussion panels with the major film industry players such as Hollywood power couple DeVon Franklin, VP of Production, Sony Pictures and his wife actress Meagan (Good) Franklin star of the hit NBC drama “Deception” and Reginald Hudlin, producer of the mega box office, Oscar winning smash “Django Unchained” to name only a couple of many. There was also the PAFF Fashion Show, a Children’s Festival, free screenings for Seniors, an Artfest with exhibitors selling authentic African wares, a Spoken Word Fest, Student Fest and a Comedy Show.

Lyn Whitfield
     PAFF collaborated with AAFCA (The African American film Critics Association) to hold a special gala at the beautiful Taglyan Complex in Hollywood honoring Ambassador Filippe Savadogo with the Pan African Cinema Visionary Award. Other honorees included the ever, lovely and sexy actress Lynn Whitfield, The Lifetime Achievement Award; Nicole Beharie, The Beah Richards Award; Christian Lara, The Pioneer Filmmaker Award and Omari Hardwick, The Canada Lee Award. The documentary of the famed LA blues bar titled “Babe’s and Ricky’s Inn” not only saw sold out screenings but had a red carpet opening with a live blues jam after party where many of the local blues legions dropped in.


 Closing night may have been the biggest of them all with a red carpet opening for the documentary “Free Angela & All Political Prisoners. Ms Davis herself graced the red carpet along with Jada-Pickett Smith and the film’s director Shola Lynch. Needless to say this created a camera flash, lighting storm. The crowd of onlookers were pushing, shoving and jockeying for position to get a peek at the social activist icon. 

(R) Jada Pinkett Smith  (L) Dr. Angela Davis
   When asked what she hopes the film’s message would deliver, Davis responded, “I really want young girls when they see this film to feel empowered. I want them to understand that they can do whatever they set out to do especially if they are involved in collectives and communities of struggle”. Was there any particular thing that stood out about the project? Smith reflected, “When Ms. Davis looked over to me at the Toronto Film Festival and I was sitting next to her and we were watching the film and she said to me ‘I never knew how they got me’ and I looked at her and I just couldn’t believe it. It just validated for me even more how important it was to have this story told, because even the woman who we are telling this story about didn’t know her whole story. And I’ll tell you something else. We’ve heard about Angela Davis and we all think we know her but we don’t, we don’t and that’s what makes this piece even more important.”  Pinkett Smith along with Overbrook Entertainment, Shawn “JAY Z” Carter, and BET Networks joined forces on the production of the documentary. "Free Angela and All Political Prisoners," directed by Lynch will hit theatres on April 5, 2013 in selected markets.

© 2013 Rych McCain Media/Syndication tm 
(You DID Hear It From Me!) T
witter@rychmccain and Facebook