Pan African Film & Arts Festival goes online
The 29th edition of the Pan African Film & Arts Festival (PAFF) will take place online this year instead of as a live event in its usual location in LA in the US.
Held from February 28 to March 14, the event’s organisers describe it as the largest black film festival in the US.
The PAFF is aimed at showcasing work that highlights the diverse stories of black America, Africa and the global black diaspora, and especially that which reinforces positive images.
Themed Evolution, this year’s virtual event came about in response to Covid-19, which has compelled the film and entertainment industry to use technology in creative ways. According to the organisers, this response to the global pandemic and consumer trends has led to PAFF’s new digital incarnation.
Out of over 900 submissions from 83 countries, the event will feature over 200 films, including 168 narrative films, 39 documentaries and 159 short and mini films from 45 countries and in 43 languages.
The official selections include Nigerian filmmaker Akinola Davies’ short tiled Lizard, a story about an eight-year-old girl with an ability to sense danger; Kapana, directed by Philippe Talavera, about gay relationships in Namibia; Jammal Ibrahim’s Pause, a short film inspired by the coronavirus; and animated short The Power of Hope, directed by Kalia Love Jones and inspired by a Michelle Obama speech.
Also selected are The Milkmaid by Desmond Ovbiagele, a story of two sisters who are abducted from their village in northeast Nigeria; and The Moon & Me, a short film by Igbo-Australian writer and director Kalu Oji that is described as a magical realist drama set in suburban Australian.
There will be juried prizes for Best Narrative Feature, Best First Feature Film, Best Documentary Feature, Best Documentary Short and Best Narrative Short, among other awards.
Established in 1992, PAFF is dedicated to the promotion of cultural understanding among people of African descent. It is also the largest Black History Month event in the US in the month of February.
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