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32nd Annual Pan African Film Festival Unveils a Global Showcase of Cinematic Brilliance

Outlaw Posse” stars Mario van Peebles, Whoopi Goldberg, Cedric the Entertainer, John Carrol Lynch, Neil McDonough

In the heart of Los Angeles, the 32nd Annual Pan African Film Festival (PAFF) transformed Baldwin Hills Crenshaw Cinemark BHC into a vibrant hub of African diaspora storytelling from February 7th to 19th, 2024. With its rich legacy, PAFF has become a beacon for filmmakers and cinephiles alike, celebrating the diversity and complexity of Pan African narratives.

This year, PAFF unfurled an impressive tapestry of films, from the evocative to the groundbreaking, showcasing the talents of both seasoned and emerging filmmakers. The festival, co-founded by the legendary Ja’net Dubois, has long been a platform for voices that resonate with authenticity and innovation.

Highlights and Premieres

The festival’s film lineup was nothing short of spectacular, featuring premieres that captivated audiences and critics alike. Theodros ‘Teddy’ Teshome’s “For the Love of the Mother Land” and Mario Van Peebles’ “Outlaw Posse” stood out for their compelling storytelling and cinematic excellence. These films, among others, underscored PAFF’s role in introducing and celebrating films that challenge norms and inspire dialogue.

A unique adaptation of Jane Austen’s “Sense and Sensibility,” reimagined with a Black-led cast and directed by Roger Bobb, was a testament to the festival’s commitment to diversity and innovation in storytelling. Meanwhile, “Bob Marley: One Love,” directed by Reinaldo Marcus Green, offered festival-goers an intimate glimpse into the life of the reggae legend, further highlighting the festival’s eclectic programming.

Beyond Screenings

PAFF’s allure extended beyond film screenings, with a plethora of events designed to engage, educate, and entertain. The festival’s agenda included a children’s festival, spoken word performances, panel discussions, a comedy night, and a fashion showcase, each adding a unique flavor to the festival’s rich cultural tapestry.

Awards and Recognition

The festival concluded with an awards brunch, a celebration of excellence across various categories. The awards not only recognized the artistic and narrative achievements of the films but also celebrated the diverse perspectives and voices that define Pan African cinema. Notable winners included:

Best Feature Narrative: “We Grown Now” by Minhal Baig
Best First Feature Narrative: “Power Alley” by Lillah Halla
Best Feature Documentary: “Max Roach: The Drum Also Waltzes” by Ben Shapiro and Sam Pollard
Audience Favorite Narrative Feature: “Outlaw Posse” by Mario Van Peebles
Ja’net Dubois Festival Award for Best Narrative Feature: “Bob Marley: One Love” by Reinaldo Marcus Green
These accolades underscored the festival’s role in not just showcasing films but also in acknowledging and celebrating the remarkable talents behind them.







The 32nd Annual Pan African Film Festival once again proved to be a pivotal event in the cinematic world, offering a platform for stories that might otherwise remain unheard. With a blend of film screenings, cultural events, and celebratory recognitions, PAFF continues to honor the legacy of African and African diaspora cinema, fostering a global community of storytellers and audiences eager to explore the richness of Pan African narratives. As we look back on this year’s festival, it’s clear that PAFF remains a cornerstone of cultural expression and cinematic excellence, eagerly anticipated by all who value diversity and creativity in storytelling.


Report Mark Winkler




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