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From A Whisper awarded best film at PAN AFRICAN FILM & FESTIVAL Awards

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The Jury, Audience, Festival, and other special award-winners of the 2010 PAN
AFRICAN FILM & FESTIVAL
(PAFF) were announced tonight at the
Festival's Awards Ceremony hosted by actress CCH Pounder
(Avatar) at the Culver Plaza Theatres (9919 Washington Blvd. Los
Angeles).  The Kenyan narrative FROM A WHISPER won for Best Narrative
Feature.  A three-way tie was announced for the Audience Favorite Narrative
Award for films SOUL DIASPORA, A STING IN A TALE, and
SPEED-DATING.  The documentary on the L.A. Black Panthers 41ST &
CENTRAL: THE UNTOLD STORY OF THE L.A. BLACK PANTHERS
won the Audience
Favorite Documentary Award.

 

With the theme "Get Involved," this year's PAFF featured 135 films
representing 36 countries, including 40 in competition, 64 feature length films,
and 12 world premieres.

 

The films receiving Jury Awards were selected from six categories: Best
Feature Documentary, Best Documentary Short, Best Narrative Short, Best Feature
Narrative, and First Time Narrative Feature Directing.  All films in competition
were also eligible for the PAFF's Audience Awards as selected by Festival
audiences.  The PAFF Board of Directors and Programmer Festival Awards were
awarded to their pick for Best Documentary and Best Narrative film.  A special
award from the BritishAcademy of Film and Television Arts/Los Angeles Festival
Choice Award was awarded to the film FROM A WHISPER.

 

The Pan African Film and Arts Festival, is America's largest and most
prestigious Black film and arts festival that takes place annually in Los
Angeles during the month of February.   

 

2010 PAFF FILMMAKER AWARD WINNERS

BEST NARRATIVE FEATURE

From A Whisper (Director: Wanuri Kahiu; Screenwriter: Wanuri
Kahiu) - One of the most important films made in the world in this historical
period. This stunning narrative revolves on one hand around a Kenyan family that
was caught up in the bombing of the American Embassy by Islamist terrorists a
few years ago. On one hand it revolves around a daughter's experience to the
bombing, on the other it revolves around Abu, a Muslim intelligence officer who
is investigating the bombing. Abu has a complex and deep friendship with one of
the terrorists. This film gives riveting and enriching insight into the complex
narrative that is our life. Winner of the best picture in Africa last year at
the Africa Movie Awards (AMAA).  Los Angeles Premiere.

 

BEST DOCUMENTARY FEATURE

Stolen (Directors: Violeta Ayala & Daniel Fallshaw) - Set against
the backdrop of the Sahara, in the Polisario-governed refugee camps, two
unsuspecting filmmakers find themselves in the middle of a high-stakes political
thriller when the Black Saharawis start talking about a forbidden subject: their
freedom. Against the threat of severe consequences, the Black Saharawis reveal
to the documentary filmmakers that they are enslaved. This story is all the more
frightening because it is true and the issue of modern day slavery is proven to
be a widespread reality.  US Premiere.

 

BEST NARRATIVE SHORT

Cred (Director: Sherman Payne; Screenwriter: Sherman Payne) - What do
you do when your upstairs neighbor refuses to stop the 24-hour party? You get
your homies and prove that you have some cred. Stars Al Thompson.

 

BEST DOCUMENTARY SHORT

 

For the Best and For the Onion! (Pour Le Meilleur et Pour
l'Oignon!)
(Director: Elhadj Magori Sani) - The Galmi purple, an onion from
Niger, pervades West African markets with 400,000 tons a year. In Galmi,
Salamatou has been waiting for her wedding for two years.  Her father Yaro, on
advice from both her future in-laws and the village gossip, makes a decision:
The wedding will take place during the harvest! Yaro is aware that to follow
through on his commitment this time, he has to produce more and sell at a higher
price...Los Angeles Premiere.

 

BEST FIRST TIME NARRATIVE FEATURE AWARD FOR DIRECTING

The Harimaya Bridge (Director: Aaron Woolfolk) - Daniel Holder's
father was killed fighting the Japanese during the Second World War...something
he thought he had made peace with long ago, until a recent discovery revealed to
him the cruel and brutal way in which his father died. So when Daniel's beloved
artist son Mickey takes a job in Japan teaching English, it creates a rift
between them. Mickey dies in a traffic accident, and Daniel's profound regret at
their estrangement is matched only by his increased resentment towards Japan...a
country he thinks took not only his father, but now his only child as well.
Despite these feelings, Daniel goes to Japan to retrieve Mickey's final
paintings. But despite the kindness he is shown and the evidence of the happy
life his son led, he cannot let go of his hatred. But some unexpected
discoveries about Mickey's life and legacy change everything for Daniel, forcing
him to reassess his feelings and the life he will henceforth lead. Starring Ben
Guillory, Saki Takaoka, Misa Shimizu, Danny Glover, Victor Grant.

 

AUDIENCE FAVORITE-NARRATIVE FEATURE

Soul Diaspora (Director: Odera Ozoka) - Saidu, a Nigerian immigrant
living in Los Angeles, must overcome sleepless nights due to his family's
tormented lineage in Africa. He is alone in the world, often hearing voices in
his head. The film interweaves through color and black & white to illustrate
Saidu's erratic behavior and mental state. The souls of the characters are
stripped to the core by one searing event which gives them all a fresh
perspective, exploring the varying shades of grey in life.  Los Angeles
Premiere
.

Speed-Dating (Director: Joseph A. Elmore Jr.)This high-energy romantic
comedy follows three bachelors, speeding through life and scheming on women.
When it comes to the opposite sex, it's about the "chase" and "finish line." Dog
and Beaver spend their last dime on a nightclub, while Too Cool devises the
ultimate scheme to get women and money - SPEED-DATING! Stars Wesley Johnathan,
Chris Elliot, and Holly Robinson Peete. World Premiere.

A Sting in A Tale (Director: Shirley Frimpong-Manso; Screenwriter:
Shirley Frimpong-Manso) - Two young couples are striving to survive the harsh
realities of life after university; unemployment, uncertainty, desperation and
in the middle of it all, love. Kuuku is frustrated with unemployment and is
faced with the possibility of losing his true love Frema because Frema's mother
sees no good future in their relationship. With these pressures, Kuuku moves
heaven and earth trying to find a good job and a means to provide the future he
so desperately seeks for himself, his future wife and kids. He takes the most
drastic measure by resorting to rituals and soon after that, Frema passes away.
After her death, Kuuku gets a well paying job and becomes a millionaire almost
overnight. With the new fortunes comes a new set of problems as his best friend,
Nii Aryee starts to envy Kuuku's wealth and starts asking questions. The ghost
of Frema will not rest until the mystery surrounding her death is cleared. What
unfolds is a series of unpredictable and hilarious events that would take
viewers on a roller-coaster of emotions from laughter to tears and even pity. 
US Premiere.

 

AUDIENCE FAVORITE-DOCUMENTARY FEATURE

41st & Central: The Untold Story of the L.A. Black Panthers
(Director: Gregory Everett) - 41ST & CENTRAL: THE UNTOLD STORY OF THE
L.A. BLACK PANTHERS is the first part in a documentary series that follows the
Southern California Chapter of the Black Panther Party from its glorious Black
Power beginnings through to its tragic demise. Despite the Party's formation of
free medical clinics and a successful breakfast program for children, the L.A.
chapter was also known as the most violent Black political group in the United
States. 41ST & CENTRAL: THE UNTOLD STORY OF THE L.A. BLACK PANTHERS explores
the Black Panther ethos, its conflict with the L.A.P.D. and the US Organization,
as well as the events that shaped the complicated and often contradictory legacy
of the L.A. chapter. 41ST & CENTRAL: THE UNTOLD STORY OF THE L.A. BLACK
PANTHERS contains interviews with former Black Panther Party members along with
archival footage detailing the history of racism in Los Angeles, including the
Watt's uprising from the perspective of the participants who "engaged with the
L.A.P.D." 41ST & CENTRAL: THE UNTOLD STORY OF THE L.A. BLACK PANTHERS is the
most in-depth study ever of the L.A. Chapter founder Alpretice "Bunchy Carter"
and features first hand accounts of the Party's formation as told by the
original surviving members. This film gives the viewer an eyewitness account of
Bunchy and John Huggins murders at U.C.L.A. in 1968 and includes exclusive
interviews with Black Panther Party leaders Geronimo Ji Jagga and Elaine Brown.
Also featured are former Black Panther members Ericka Huggins, Roland &
Ronald Freeman, Wayne Pharr, Jeffrey Everett, Long John Washington, Muhammad
Mubarak, former L.A.P.D. Chief Bernard Parks, US Organization member Wesley
Kabaila, U.C.L.A. Professor Scot Brown, and many others.

 

PAFF PROGRAMMER AWARD-NARRATIVE

Everyday Black Man (Director: Carmen Madden) - Since closing the door
on a violent past, quiet and thoughtful Moses Stanton's everyday existence is
running a small neighborhood fruit and vegetable store. When a young man, Malik,
comes in with a business proposition, Moses takes him on as a partner but soon
realizes that Malik is selling more than just baked goods. Produced by Dwayne
Wiggins, formally of Tony, Toni, Tone.  Los Angeles Premiere.

 

PAFF PROGRAMMER AWARD-DOCUMENTARY

Sweet Crude (Director: Sandy Cioffi) - A scathing look at the
politics, the people and the spin surrounding the policies in the Nigerian
Delta. Although it is one of the most oil rich regions on Earth and the source
of much of oil the products used in the U.S., the people living in the area do
not share in the enormous wealth generated by the precious natural resource.

 

PAFF BOARD OF DIRECTORS AWARD-NARRATIVE

Nothing But the Truth (Director: John Kani) - Film written by
John Kani one of South Africa's top actors. This film is an in depth look at a
major issue in South Africa today and indeed in all societies that have been
created from a revolutionary struggle. The story revolves around a middle age
man who did not participate in the liberation struggle. He opted to sit out the
liberation struggle and remain at his post as a junior librarian in apartheid
South Africa. On the other hand, his brother joined the liberation struggle and
became a hero. The film deals with sibling rivalry cut across with the social
political and psychological contradictions that have always played out in any
liberation struggle. Los Angeles Premiere.

 

PAFF BOARD OF DIRECTORS AWARD-DOCUMENTARY

Motherland (Director: Owen 'Alik Shahadah) - From the director of the
internationally acclaimed "500 Years Later" comes this gem of a film. Tracing
the past and with an eye to the future, the film examines the current African
landscape. Featuring an all-star cast of African Presidents and thinkers
including Dr. Maulana Karenga, the father of Kwanzaa, and Dr. Molefi Asante. 
World Premiere.

 

About the Pan African Film & Arts Festival

Taking place February 10-17 in Los Angeles at the Culver Plaza
Theatre
(9919 Washington Blvd.), the 2010 PAFF presented and showcased a
broad spectrum of Black creative works, particularly those that reinforce
positive images and help to destroy negative stereotypes of Africans and
African-Americans.  In addition to the film festival, the PAFF presented its
world renowned Art Show February 12-15 at the Westfield Culver
Plaza
(6000 Sepulveda Blvd. Culver City), featuring over 100 fine artists
and craftspeople from around the world showcasing the best in Black fine art,
sculpture, photography, unique handmade crafts, home furnishings, designer
jewelry, designer fashions and accessories that highlight the artistry and
beauty of the African aesthetic. For more information, please visit http://r20.rs6.net/tn.jsp?et=1103060356506&s=12711&e=001b-yUFt-_5yZaBSconVsXd0vt8MsMKRWBmzckje1Y1dZIGNlzXeJQ_6DxYHd0ucCuxpwWZdMeL-N8z2nMVASLYwC3iqTNnoFpz6whbfCXFPg=
or call (310) 337-4737.

It is PAFF's goal to present and showcase the broad spectrum of Black
creative works, particularly those that reinforce positive images and help to
destroy negative stereotypes.  The PAFF believes 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.

The 18th Annual Pan African Film and Arts Festival is an official event of
Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa's Black History Month Celebration and is
supported in part by: the City of Los Angeles, the Department of Cultural
Affairs,  and Los Angeles County Arts Commission with support from Los Angeles
8th District Council Member Bernard Parks Sr., Los Angeles 9th District Council
Member Jan Perry, Los Angeles 10th District Council Member Herb Wesson Jr., Los
Angeles County Supervisor Mark Ridley-Thomas, California State Senator Curren D.
Price Jr., Assemblymember Karen Bass, and Assemblymember Steve Bradford.  The
2010 PAFF is an official recipient of the American Recovery & Reinvestment
Act of 2009.

 

2010 sponsors include: Macy's, Wells Fargo Bank, Mc Donald's USA, Water
Replenishment District of Southern California, US Bank, TV5 Monde, the French
Consulate, Goethe Institute Los Angeles, PXP, AIDS Healthcare Foundation, United
States Census 2010 Road Tour, AARP, South African Airways, Ethiopian Airways,
Coca-Cola, Red Tea Rooibos, Ceres, Izze Sparking Juice, Time Warner Cable, The
Africa Channel, KPFK, Our Weekly Newspaper, The Immigrant Magazine, LaHitz
Media, African Trumpet, Directors Guild of America, Sony Pictures, and
21st Century Fox.

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