Published on January 31st, 2013 | by WebStaff0
A Message From Our Celebrity Host, Salli Richardson-Whitfield
Celebrity host Salli Richardson-Whitfield welcomes festival-goers to the 21st annual Pan African Film Festival.
I am so excited that I was asked to be the celebrity host of the 21st Pan African Film Festival. It’s such an honor to be a part of the country’s largest and most prestigious Black film festival, and it’s the largest Black History Month event in the nation. I appreciate the support that PAFF has given me over the years in supporting my film projects, most recently, “I Will Follow,” directed by award-winning director Ava DuVernay.
This year, the festival will screen 154 films representing 34 countries 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. I congratulate PAFF in receiving the first ever Special Achievement Award in the Film Festival Category by the African American Film Critics Association for its contribution to cinematic arts. It’s going to be an exciting two weeks; first, kicking off festivities on Thursday, February 7th with the premiere of the psycho-thriller, “Vipaka,” starring Oscar winner Forrest Whitaker and Anthony Mackie. followed by a Mardi Gras-themed party. After all, the movie is set in Louisiana; so, if you can’t make it to New Orleans, then come party with us! Bring your beads!
We invite you to come out to the Rave Cinemas Baldwin Hills 15 at the Baldwin Hills Crenshaw Plaza for lots of goodies – like the film “War Witch,” which grabbed an Oscar nomination for “Best Foreign Language Film.” Also, catch 9-year-old Quvenzhane’ Wallis, the youngest Oscar nominee for Best Actress in a leading movie (“Beasts of the Southern Wild” ) in the short film, “Bone Shakers.” And you might enjoy the film, “Iceberg Slim: Portrait of a Pimp,” which is a look at the tumultuous life of legendary Chicago pimp Iceberg Slim, and how he reinvented himself from a pimp to author of seven groundbreaking books.
And since this year marks the 150th anniversary of the Emancipation Proclamation, on Sunday, February 10th, the PAFF Film Institute will present a serious panel discussion about slavery in films with scholar Dr. Gerald Horne — the John J. and Rebecca Moores Chair of History and African American Studies at the University of Houston – leading the discussion. Plus, Oscar-nominated producer/filmmaker, Reginald Hudlin, (“Django Unchained”) will close out the film institute, delivering the first ever closing keynote address on Monday, February 11th.
Also, if you’re not attending the Grammys, then don’t miss the Spoken Word Fest on February 10th, featuring such powerhouse spoken-word artists like Medusa, hip hop MC Ise Lyfe and Food4Thot of Blessed Vibrations. In fact, I suggest you record the Grammys, and attend the Spoken Word Fest to be mentally stimulated.
And finally, PAFF brings the best in art from around the world with ArtFest, exhibiting the works of nationally-acclaimed artists like fine artist Charles Bibbs, painter Martino Dorce, sculpture Woodrow Nash and potter Sandra Zebi as well as wearable art from the Motherland. I could go on about the festival offerings. Please visit www.PAFF.orgfor a schedule of the screenings and special events. Take a trip to a place far away with just a purchase of a movie ticket. I encourage you to come out and support this wonderful festival.
I’ll be there!