The Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences designated PAFF as an official qualifying film festival for live action and animation short films. USA Today selected PAFF as #3 in their 2015 list of 10 Best Film Festivals in the U.S.
It is PAFF’s goal to present and showcase the broad spectrum of Black creative works, particularly those that reinforce positive images and help destroy negative stereotypes. We believe film and art can lead to better understanding and foster communication between peoples of diverse cultures, races, and lifestyles, while at the same time serve as a vehicle to initiate dialogue on the important issues of our times.
Established in 1992, The Pan African Film Festival (PAFF) is a non-profit 501(c)(3) corporation dedicated to the promotion of cultural understanding among peoples of African descent. PAFF is dedicated to racial tolerance through the exhibition of film, art and creative expression.
Since 1992, every year PAFF-LA showcases over one hundred fifty (150) quality new films and over one hundred (100) fine artists and unique craft persons from the United States, Africa, the Caribbean, Latin America, South America, Europe, the South Pacific and Canada, all showcasing the diversity and complexity of people of African descent. For the past 16 years PAFF-ATL has put on a summer festival formerly presented by the National Black Arts Festival, exhibiting the best films from PAFF-LA supplemented by Atlanta submissions catering to the Atlanta audience. Both festivals feature special red carpet screenings and receptions as well as a variety of other special events including panels & workshops headed by industry professionals on various topics surrounding acting, directing and other film industry related topics.
PAFF has premiered a host of top black films including Think Like a Man (US), Vaya (South Africa/Nigeria), Free Angela and All Political Prisoners (US), Love & Basketball (US), 93 Days (Nigeria), Chasing Trane: The John Coltrane Documentary (US), Blackbird (US), Burning Sands (US) and many more. Each Year PAFF-LA presents awards of recognition to key industry players and rising stars who have soared in the film industry. Previous recipients include Forest Whitaker, Omari Hardwick, David Oyelowo, Alfre Woodard, Idris Elba, Taraji P. Henson, Sidney Poitier, Nicole Beharie, Nate Parker, Loretta Devine, Phylicia Rashad, Charles Dutton, Billy Dee Williams and a host of other extraordinary industry professionals both in front of and behind the camera lens.
L A Weekly-Best of LA, Best Cinema Smorgasbords. “The Pan African Film Festival has been honing and refining itself for years now, slowly evolving into its if-you-can-only-attend-one-L.A.-film-festival-then-this-is-the-one status. Films from across Africa, Australia, the Americas and Europe are seamlessly woven into its expansive programming mix. Even the higher end of television fare is carefully fitted into the already packed cinematic queue. What makes the festival especially important–and not just a fun, cool happening-is the staggeringly broad range of black life and cultures to which it gives rein. Industry panels and workshops, arts fairs with a special emphasis on children, and poetry and musical performances round out the filmic offerings. At a time when reductive and reactionary Negritude oozes from both the independent and mainstream American film worlds, the Pan African casts its net far and wide to serve up a delectable menu of dynamic, multilayered blackness.” Ernest Hardy (film critic, LA Weekly and New York Village Voice)
PAFF collaborates with other festivals from around the world, giving us an audience that is truly international. Not only are we the largest and most prestigious black film festival in America but PAFF-LA is the largest Black History Month event in the US during the month of February. PAFF is the quintessential Black festival.
Danny Glover (Actor)
Ja’Net DuBois (Good Times)
General Manager/Director of Programming
Asantewa Olatunji, Esq.
Corporate Development/Director of Operations
Community Manager/New Media
Associate Programmer/Social Media
Research Director/Filmmaker Liaison
Art Fest Director
Linda Bronson-Abbott & Mia Glenn
Panel & Workshop Coordinator
Office Manager/Program Assistant
StudentFest/Children’s Festival Coordinator
Children’s Fest Activity/Senior Connections Coordinator