Published on January 24th, 2013 | by WebStaff0
LYNN WHITFIELD TO RECEIVE PAFF’S LIFETIME ACHIEVEMENT AWARD
After 30 years in the biz, the award-winning Lynn Whitfield will receive PAFF’s highest honor, the Lifetime Achievement Award.
LOS ANGELES – The Pan African Film Festival will honor award-winning actress Lynn Whitfield with its highest honor, a Lifetime Achievement Award for her work in television and film. The award will be presented at the annual Night of Tribute, which will be part of the preshow festivities for the awards ceremony of the African-American Film Critics Association (AAFCA). The event will be held on Friday, February 8, 2013, beginning at 7:30 p.m. at the Taglyan Complex, located at 1201 Vine Street in Hollywood, Calif. The Night of Tribute honors world-renowned actors, filmmakers, community leaders and fine artists for their contributions on stage, television, film, the arts and the community.
With more than 30 years in the entertainment industry, Whitfield vaulted to international fame in the HBO biopic, “The Josephine Baker Story,” portraying the legendary international icon. Her performance – after all, who can forget the Banana Dance — nabbed her a Golden Globe nomination and an Emmy Award for “Outstanding Lead Actress in a Special or Miniseries,” giving Whitfield “the greatest sense of accomplishment and realization of my vision,” she says.
A native of Baton Rouge, Louisiana, Whitfield has won five NAACP Image Awards and received four nominations for her work in television and film, including “Redemption: The Stan Tookie Williams Story,” co-starring Jamie Foxx and “The Josephine Baker Story.” Other tv credits include roles in the Oprah Winfrey-produced miniseries, “The Women of Brewster Place” and “The Wedding,” respectively. She’s also attracted a new generation of fans in two of the Disney Channel’s highest-rated movies, “The Cheetah Girls” and its sequel, “The Cheetah Girls 2.”
On the big screen, Whitfield portrayed the unforgettable character, Brandi, in Martin Lawrence’s popular urban revenge saga, “A Thin Line Between Love and Hate.” She went on to score critical success as the beleaguered wife of Samuel L. Jackson in “Eve’s Bayou,” which is a story of a prominent black Louisiana family. Other film credits include the Chris Rock vehicle, “Head of State,” Tyler Perry’s “Madea’s Family Reunion,” and “Mama I Want To Sing,” a remake of the popular off-Broadway musical, as well as “Things Fall Apart,” produced by and co-starring rapper 50 Cent.
“Lynn Whitfield is a force to be reckoned with on the screen, whether big or small,” says Ayuko Babu, executive producer of the Pan African Film Festival. “Through her craft, she’s a wonderful storyteller. She brings a larger-than-life presence to all her roles, almost like she holding court, captivating audiences and delivering riveting performances each and every time.”
Previous recipients of the Lifetime Achievement Award include Oscar-winner Louis Gossett Jr., Tony award-winner Phylicia Rashad, Emmy award-winning actors Loretta Devine and Glynn Turman, the honorable Ambassador Andrew Young as well as award winning actresses Marla Gibbs and Dr. Della Reese — just to name a few.
Other honorees include:
Filippe Savadogo – Visionary Award – is the new Permanent Observer of La Francophonie (OIF) to the United Nations. Prior to his appointment, Savadogo was the Minister for Culture, Tourism and Communications of Burkina Faso from June 2007 to April 2011, a period in which he also served as the government spokesman responsible for La Francophonie. Between September 1996 and August 2007, he was Ambassador to France, accredited also to Spain, Portugal, Vatican City and Tunisia, while serving simultaneously as Permanent Delegate to the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO). During the same period, he served as Personal Representative of the President to the Permanent Council of La Francophonie within the International Organization of La Francophonie. He also served as the former director of the Pan African Film Festival of Ouagadougou (FESPACO), which is the largest African film festival, held biennially in Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso. The festival is the biggest regular cultural event on the African continent and it mostly focuses on the African film and African filmmakers.
Christina Lara – Pioneering Filmmaker Award – is considered the “Father of West Indian Cinema,” shooting more than 20 feature films in the Caribbean, France, Canada and Africa. With a special eye for Antillean cinema, he’s raised the visibility and imagery of the Creole people on the big screen. Through Lara’s camera lens, he’s honored his Guadeloupean heritage; yet made daring political statements with such films like “Coco La Fleur,” “Mamito,” and “1802.” His body of work speaks to the social consciousness of the people and informs audiences about the political plight and historical relevance of a nation. *Programming note: PAFF will screen a plethora of Lara’s films, including “1802,””Bitter Sugar,” “The Legend,” and “Summer of Provence.” Visit www.paff.org for screening times.
Nicole Beharie – Beah Richards Rising Star Actress Award — a promising ingenue on the rise. In 2008, she made her critically-acclaimed acting debut in the indie, “American Violet,” opposite Alfre Woodard, Tim Blake and Will Patton. Next year, she will appear in the upcoming biographical film, “42,” about the life of baseball player Jackie Robinson, directed by Brian Helgeland. She will also join Olivia Wilde and Hailee Steifield in the Civil War drama, “The Keeping Room,” directed by Daniel Barber and written by Julia Hart. In 2011, she dazzled critics in director Steve McQueen’s compelling British sex drama “Shame,” as the woman who goes out on an actual date with sex addict, Brandon, portrayed by Michael Fassbender.
Omari Hardwick — Canada Lee Rising Star Actor Award – an actor by day and poet by night, Hardwick has appeared in various independent films, screened at PAFF, including fan favorite “Everyday Black Man” and the critically-acclaimed “I Will Follow.” Currently, Hardwick is enjoying success in Ava DuVernay’s film, “Middle of Nowhere,” the winner of the Best Director Award at the 2012 Sundance Film Festival. Other film credits include “Sparkle,” Tyler Perry’s “For Colored Girls,” “Miracle on St. Anna,” “The A-Team” and “Beauty Shop.” Aside from his film projects, interestingly, the Georgia native is a poet since the age of 14, and he hosts TV One’s “Verses and Flow,” a new show, showcasing talent in the world of spoken word and poetry.
IN OTHER NEWS | PAFF SNAGS AAFCA SPECIAL ACHIEVEMENT AWARD
The Pan African Film Festival (PAFF) will receive the first ever Special Achievement Award in the Film Festival Category by African American Film Critics Association (AAFCA). The festival will be recognized for its contribution to cinematic arts.
ABOUT THE AFRICAN-AMERICAN FILM CRITICS ASSOCIATION (AAFCA)
The African American Film Critics Association (AAFCA) is the premiere organization of African American film media professionals. Founded in 2003, AAFCA’s members represent a geographically diverse cross-section of media covering the cinematic arts. The organization honors excellence in cinema by creating awareness for films with universal appeal to black communities, while emphasizing film about the black experience and those produced written, directed and starring performers of African descent. The association actively reviews the quality and standard of black talent, content and media coverage. AAFCA also supports the development of future black film critics and filmmakers. AAFCA is based in Los Angeles. For more information, visit www.AAFCA.com