The Pan African Film & Arts Festival’s (PAFF) 30th edition concluded on Sunday, May 1st. Held both in person at the Cinemark Baldwin Hills 15 and XD and online, PAFF announced its 2022 juried film award winners during their annual Awards Brunch in Los Angeles on Monday, May 2nd. Three groups determined the winners: 1) an external panel of judges, 2) the PAFF Programmers, and 3) the audience. PAFF took place in Los Angeles from April 30-May 1, 2022.
“This year’s film roster reflects the times we are in,” said PAFF General Manager Asantewe Olatunji. “Many focus on social justice issues such as gender equality, police and community relations, and the changing lifestyle norms. Of course, several of the PAFF 2022 films focus on our well-known and sometimes obscure sheroes and heroes whose stories told by their own people give a new perspective of history and view of our world.”
Olatunji continued, “I predict this is just the beginning of the melting of the system’s iceberg that once limited access and the types of stories that are being told. Not only are these films Black films from the world over, but they are also films being made by Black women and LGBTQ+ filmmakers that authentically reflect their world. These are films by people who never had a seat at the table let alone a voice in the conversation.
“As programmers, myself and the other PAFF programmers are happy to be a part of this process of helping to shift the paradigm of what stories are told and by whom. To present these stories and provide access for both filmmakers and their audiences is a great privilege.”
The 2022 PAFF featured over 200 films from 55 countries, in 18 languages, including 58 World and 32 North American premieres. Of the films selected for the Festival, 46% were helmed by female, queer or non-binary filmmakers, and 80% were directed by filmmakers of African descent.
For additional information about PAFF visit paff.org.
Best Feature Narrative – Lingui, the Sacred Bonds (Chad) – Directed by Mahamat-Saleh Haroun
Best First Feature Narrative – Queen of Glory (US) – Directed by Nana Mensah
Best Feature Documentary – Buddy Guy: the Blues Chase the Blues Away (US) — Directed by Charles Todd & Devin Amar
Best First Feature Documentary – Africa and I (South Africa) — Directed by Othmane Zolati & Chris Green
Best Short Narrative – Slow Pulse (US) – Directed by Marshall Tyler
Best Short Documentary – Cuba in Africa (Cuba/US) — Directed by Negash Abdurahman
Programmers’ Award: Narrative Feature – Ayinla (Nigeria) – Directed by Tunde Kelani
Programmers’ Award: Documentary – Race Today (UK) — Directed by Wayne G Saunders
Programmers’ Award: Short Narrative – 2 Eye Drops from Normal (US) — Directed by Mora Carew
Programmers’ Award: Short Documentary – For Love & Legacy (US)–Directed by A.K. Sandhu
Audience Favorite: Feature Narrative – Remember Me: The Mahalia Jackson Story (US) — Directed by Denise Dowse
Audience Favorite: Feature Documentary (tie) – The Dream Whisperer (US) – Directed by Eric Drath and Ferguson Rises (US) – Directed by Mobolaji Olambiwonnu
Audience Favorite: Short Narrative – Contraban (US) – Directed by Chelsea Hicks
Audience Favorite: Short Documentary – Crawford – The Man the South Forgot (US) – Directed by Carol Devoe
Ja’net Dubois Awards
Narrative – A Brother’s Whisper (US) — Directed by Jacinto Taras Riddick
Documentary– Grandpa was an Emperor (US/Canada/Ethiopia/France/Germany/Jamaica/UK) — Directed by Constance Marks
Festival Sponsors and Partners
PAFF is sponsored in part by the City of Los Angeles, the Los Angeles Department of Cultural Affairs, Los Angeles County Supervisor Holly J. Mitchell through the Department of Arts and Culture, LA Councilmember Marqueece Harris-Dawson, LA Councilmember Curren Price, LA Councilmember Herb Wesson, the Academy of Motion Pictures Arts and Sciences, LA Arts COVID-19 Relief Fund with the California Community Foundation, and the LA County COVID-19 Arts Relief Fund administered by the LA County Department of Arts and Culture.
The 30th Pan African Film & Arts Festival’s sponsors include Major Festival Sponsors: Stocker Street Creative, FX Networks, and Glassdoor.
Additional sponsors include: ALLBLK, University of Southern California (USC), Procter & Gamble (P&G), Showtime, Paramount+, Sierra Club, Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC), California State University, Los Angeles (Cal State LA), Black Alliance for Just Immigration (BAJI), Union Bank, Sony Pictures Entertainment, STARZ, Unilever (Dove), Kaiser Permanente, Bank of America, Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority (Metro), Los Angeles Lakers, Directors Guild of America, Motion Pictures Association, West Basin Municipal Water District, SAGindie, Water Replenishment District, University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) School of Theater, Film & Television, 100 Black Men of Los Angeles, IKEA, Cinemark, Baldwin Hills Crenshaw Plaza, Warner Media, TV One.
About the Pan African Film Festival
Established in 1992 by Hollywood veterans Danny Glover (The Color Purple, Lethal Weapon), the late Ja’Net DuBois (“Good Times”), and Ayuko Babu (Executive Director), the Pan African Film Festival is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization that has remained dedicated to the promotion of Black stories and images through the exhibition of film, visual art, and other creative expression. PAFF is one of the largest and most prestigious Black film festival in the U.S. and attracts local, national, and international audiences. In addition, it is an Oscar-qualifying festival for animation and live-action films, and one of the largest Black History Month events in America.