PAFF Institute

Above: Right: Ruth Carter (Costume designer, Black Panther) PAFF 2018

As one of the many exciting programs of the Pan African Film and Arts Festival, the PAFF Institute serves as a platform to amplify the voices of industry powerhouses, community influencers, sports figures, cultural icons, thought leaders and disruptors who seek to educate, inspire and empower those who desire personal and professional elevation.
The PAFF Institute makes necessary conversations happen… and when these conversations happen, you definitely want to be in the building!

Upcoming Panels

Animation Noir – The Animator’s Life

Sat, Sep 28, 2019 @ 11am-1pm
3650 W. Martin Luther King, Jr. Blvd Los Angeles, CA 90008
(Community Room)
While the industry catches up to the call for diversity, black animators are finding their own creative ways to bring their work to life.
Panelists: Dorren Spicer, Leo Sullivan, Phillip Stapelton, Anthony Rollins

FREE: Register for event at

2019 Panels

Take a look at the PAFF 2019 panels…

Does Your Script Have Screen Appeal?

Sat, Aug 10, 2019 @ 11am-1pm
3650 W. Martin Luther King, Jr. Blvd Los Angeles, CA 90008
(Community Room)
A PAFF Institute panel discussion featuring veteran screenwriters who will share their professional insights, writing techniques and methods for creating a winning script.
Panelists: Erika Conner, Abdul Williams, Camille Tucker, Mitchell Marchand

FREE: For information contact

The Sound of Music, Film & Television

Sat, Jun 29, 2019 @ 11am-1pm
3650 W. Martin Luther King, Jr. Blvd Los Angeles, CA 90008
(Community Room)
A PAFF Institute panel discussion featuring the hardest working sound experts in television and film
Panelist: TBA

FREE: For information contact

Jobs Behind the Scene in TV and Film

Sat, Apr 20, 2019 @ 11am-1pm
3650 W. Martin Luther King, Jr. Blvd Los Angeles, CA 90008
Come and meet the experts and learn how you can work behind the scenes and make great money! Confirmed panelists: Stephan Johnson – Crafts services in Film and TV, Oneita Parker – Costume and Production Designer, Leander Sales – Post Editor – Fix it in Post, more TBA
These experts have thriving careers and work all the time. This is something you will not want to miss!

The Profitability of Social Media and Branding

Fri, Feb 8, 2019
Features Tiffany Dean, celebrity fashion stylist and entrepreneur, and Hot Dollar, Def Jam recording artist and entrepreneur.

Starbucks Community Event

Sat, Feb. 9, 2019
A lively conversation about the organization, its partnerships with the community, and career opportunities with the company.
Moderator: Niele Anderson, political and communications strategist
Panelists: Crystal Nelson, Devaughn Egans, Tatiana Stockton and Tunji Browne.

Be the Match Registry® Panel

Sat, Feb 9, 2019
Black and African-American patients with sickle cell and other deadly diseases need genetically matched donors to provide life-saving blood stem cells. You could be someone’s cure. Join this informative session to learn more and to hear from doctors and experts about the critical need for donors and the phenomenal stories of how the Registry has saved lives.

Fix It in Post

Sat, Feb 9, 2019
Leander Sales, picture editor, director and educator moderates a discussion with post-production professionals. His resume includes work on nine Spike Lee movies, from “School Daze” to “Get on the Bus.” He is director of “Don’t Let Your Meat Loaf,” which won the first place prize at the Black Hall of Fame Film Festival, and he is editing professor at USC School of Cinematic Arts and New York Film Academy.
Panelists: Kenneth L. Johnson, supervising sound designer; Dominique Ulloa, picture editor; Wellington Harrison, assistant animation editor; Anedra Edwards, visual effects assistant; Kat McAuley, assistant editor

Building a Digital Empire

Sat, Feb 9, 2019
PAFF Millennial Ambassador Milan Zoe leads a discussion with influencers and celebs on how to position yourself for success in the digital age, the positives and negatives of technology and social media, and how to navigate within the entertainment industry.
Panelists: Juhahn Jones, actor/comedian; Torrei Hart, actress/comedian; Dj Damage, on-air host and DJ; Bianca Wilson, brand activation specialist, Moet Hennessy/digital marketing strategist

Knowing, When, Why, and How to Run for Office

Sat, Feb 9, 2019
A discussion about running for political office featuring Darryn Harris, District Director, U.S. Representative Karen Bass (CD 37), and political strategists Jasmyne Cannick, Steve Belhumeur and Niele Anderson.
Presented by: Los Angeles Sentinel, Sea Change PAC and Taste of Soul

“Hello Cupid 3.0” – How to Curate, Cast and Produce a Successful Digital Series

Sun, Feb. 10, 2019
Hear directly from the producers, writers and actors of the upcoming Black & Sexy TV digital series as they discuss their new show and how to make compelling digital content.
Moderator: J. Christopher Hamilton, entertainment attorney/executive producer
Panelists: Dennis Dortch, director/executive producer; Shama Davis, producer; Kira Talise, writer; Quentin Plair, co-lead actor; Melissa L. Williams, co-lead actor

PAFF Next-Up Comedy Competition

Sun. Feb 10, 2019
Up and coming stand-up comedians Chinedu Unaka, Kente Scott, George K. Burns, Tyrhee Spivey and Stephano Santana duke it out for the top spot – pitch meetings at a high profile talent agency and at a streaming service studio. Preceded by the first, never-before-seen episode of A Love Tale, produced by Sidra Smith. Starring Vanessa Williams and LEON.

Nate Parker Foundation

Sun, Feb 10, 2019
Through the cinematic arts, the Nate Parker Foundation empowers young voices of African descent to advance social justice and revolutionize culture. Two films will be screened, followed by a discussion led by Nate Parker.

Homebuyers Financial Educational Workshop Presented by Union Bank

Mon, Feb 11, 2019
This will be a powerful home buyer real estate financial literacy workshop that will include panelists from a range of organizations.
Moderator: Sean Brown, mortgage consultant, Union Bank
Panelists: Caprice L. Collins, attorney, Collins Group/estate planner; Lamar Rucker, financial planner, Mass Mutual/Rucker Insurance Agency; Monica Viveros, housing counselor, West Angeles CDC; Terrica Banks, branch manager, New Era Escrow/escrow agent; Melitta Johnson, real estate agent, Berkshire Hathaway; Lonnie Wall, appraiser, Network Appraisal Solutions

Kids in Entertainment

Sat, Feb. 16, 2019
Learn how to get your kids in entertainment from an industry expert.

The Open Door: Black Creatives in the Fashion Industry

Sun, Feb 17, 2019
Designer Love Collins will moderate a fashionfocused discussion on the presence of emerging and Black creative in fashion with panelists including stylists, retailers and other industry players.

Up Close and Personal

Mon, Feb 18, 2019
Think you can’t purchase a home or that you’ll never be able to retire? Everything is possible. Get the information you need to get your financial life in order: Home Buying & Selling/ Probate/Estate Planning/Trusts/Taxes/Retirement/
Life Insurance. Meet the experts.
Hosted by: Linda Bronson-Abbott

Women in Film

Sat, Feb 9, 2019
Join seasoned and rising entertainment industry creatives to discuss representation and inclusion, who’s getting the jobs and how, and what advocates can do to help.
Moderator: Maikiko James, director of programs, Women in Film
Panelists: Davia Carter, writer, “Queen of the South;” Jean Lee, filmmaker, Pecado Original; Darrien Michele Gipson, executive director, SAGindie; Melissa Murray, filmmaker, We Real Cool

Youth Entrepreneurial Challenge 2019 Presented by Union Bank

Sat, Feb 16, 2019

PAFF Screenplay Competition

Sat, Feb 16, 2019
Every movie you have ever seen; every TV show you ever watched; and every play you ever saw, began with a script. Top finalists’ screenplays will be read before a live audience. The winning screenplay prize will be pitch meetings at a high profile major agency and a streaming service studio.
Host/Moderator: Twinkie Byrd
Screenplays include “At the Mercy of Faith,” by Samuel Taylor; “Diversity,” by Desmond Duncker; “The Twenty-Third of Loneliness,” by Shonnie Jackson; “Walking in Memphis,” by Theophilus Lacey; and “Reunion,” by Cadell Cook. Preceded by the first, never-before-seen episode of A Love Tale, produced by Sidra Smith. Starring Vanessa Williams and LEON.

Conquering Credit + the Budget Zone Presented by U.S. Bank

Sun, Feb 17, 2019
Learn what a FICO score is, how to establish a solid credit history, what to do when good credit turns bad and how to avoid identity theft. Plus, learn budgeting and savings account basics and personal financial goal-setting.