February 6-17, 2014 -Rave Cinemas Baldwin Hills 15 at the Baldwin Hills Crenshaw Plaza.
Coming off a phenomenal year of black films, the Pan African Film Festival (PAFF) is raising the bar, offering moviegoers a 12-day marathon of films from around the Diaspora. PAFF will celebrate its 22nd anniversary in grand style with a string of highly anticipated films, which includes a controversial film, initially banned in South Africa; a comedy, starring comic Kevin Hart, of course; and the return of Oscar-winner Mo’Nique to the big screen!
Opening Night Gala features a red carpet screening, a Q&A with the cast & filmmakers afterwards, and a glamorous catered after party.
“Of Good Report”
Runtime 101 minutes Country South Africa
Directed by Jahmil X.T. Qubeka Cinematographer Jonathan Kove
Parker, a shy and mysterious high school teacher, arrives at his new assignment in a rural school. While he is earnest in his passion for teaching, his extra-curricular attentions are drawn to a gorgeous young girl. When he realizes she is a student at his very school – and forbidden fruit – he grows increasingly obsessed. When the girl goes missing, a female detective comes snooping around, fueling Parker’s unstable, even dangerous, behavior. A modern-day classic film noir that will in time prove to be a milestone in Pan African film. Best Feature Film, Africa International Film Festival (AFRIFF) in Nigeria.
Stars Mothusi Magano, Petronella Tshuma, Thobi Mkhwanazi, Nomhlé Nkyonyeni and Tshamano Sebe.
February 6, 2014
Rave Cinemas 15, Baldwin Hills Crenshaw Plaza
Red Carpet @ 6:30pm, Screening @ 8:00pm
The center gala event featuring a red carpet, movie screening and an after party:
“About Last Night”
Runtime 100 minutes Country US
Directed by Steve Pink Cinematographer Michael Barrett
A very hip re-imagining of the classic sophisticated romantic comedy, this contemporary version closely follows new love for two couples as they journey from the bar to the bedroom and are eventually put to the test in the real world.
Stars Kevin Hart, Michael Ealy, Regina Hall, Joy Bryant, Christopher McDonald and Paula Patton.
February 11, 2014
ArcLight Cinerama Dome, 6360 Sunset Blvd, Hollywood, CA 90028
Red Carpet @ 6:00pm, Screening @ 7:30pm, After party to immediately follow screening. Location TBA.
Closing Night: The grand finale Gala event with red carpet screening, Q&A and after party immediately following.
“Blackbird” (World Premiere)
Runtime 102 minutes Country US
Directed by Patrik-Ian Polk Cinematographer Eu nah Lee
Based on the novel by Larry Duplechan, this film is a powerful coming-of-age story about 17-year-old Randy Rousseau. A devout high school choirboy, Randy is struggling to come to terms with his sexuality in a small, religiously conservative Mississippi town he calls home. Randy juggles his role as star of the church choir while facing the everyday trials of life as a high school misfit. Complicating matters, his little sister has gone missing and his parents have subsequently split up, leaving him to care for his heartbroken mother, Claire. When Claire discovers the shocking secret her son has been hiding, she blames him for the disappearance of his sister. Randy’s father, Lance, who has been keeping a watchful eye on his broken family, steps in to give his son a hand as he struggles to make the difficult transition into manhood.
Stars Oscar-winner Mo’Nique (“Precious”) and veteran actor Isaiah Washington, fresh off his critically acclaimed and Gotham Award-nominated performance in “Blue Caprice.” Also stars Julian Walker, Gary L. Gray, Kevin Allesee, Torrey Laamar, Nikki Jane and D. Woods.
Date: February 16, 2014
Location: Rave Cinemas 15, Baldwin Hills Crenshaw Plaza
Time: Red Carpet @ 4:30pm, Screening @ 6:00pm
Gala Specials: Hand picked blockbusters with a red carpet and Q&As with the cast.
Runtime 87 minutes Country US
Directed by Pascal Atuma Cinematographer Chia-Yu Chen
Cast: Lynn Whitfield + Billie Dee Williams
There are consequences to mixing business with pleasure. When love, betrayal and business collide, it produces tension-soaked drama and possible catastrophe. Stanley, a member of a professional gang, falls in love with Lily. Stanley’s gang now demands that Stanley set up Lily’s rich father for a scam. Stanley doesn’t want to do the set-up because he is in love with Lily. Stars Billy Dee Williams, Lynn Whitfield, Pascal Atuma, Tangi Miller, Chico Benymon.
Gala Screening Fri, Feb 7@8:20p-Tickets: $16
“And Then there Was You” **Los Angeles Premiere**
Runtime 100 minutes Country US
Directed by Leila Djansi Cinematographer Aaron Wong
A beautiful young teacher has to pick up the pieces of her life after her husband leaves her for his “outside” family. She falls in love with another man only to find out he has secrets of his own. Stars Garcelle Beauvais, Brian White, Leon, Lynn Whitfield, Greg Vaughan, Jim Iyke, Kate Nauta, Trilby Glover.
Gala Screening: Sat, Feb 8@8:00p Tickets: $16
(Additional showtime- Fri, Feb 14@6:10p)
“From Above” (formerly “Chasing Shakespheare”)
Runtime 112 minutes Country US
Directed by Norry Niven Cinematographer Norry Niven
Gala Screening: Thursday, February 13 @ 8:30pm
Told in flashback from his wife’s deathbed, protagonist William Ward dives under the gloomy waters of his memory to recall the love story of his life with Venus, a girl belonging to the Lighting Clan, a peculiar Native American family living in Arkansas with a strange communion with electricity. Their love is a difficult scenario to play: in a very Greek-Shakespearean tragedy manner, both of them belong to different cultures and backgrounds.
Theater was the predecessor of cinema, and as it grew, cinema incorporated theater’s parallels and metaphors. In 1918, Swedish silent films began to transform idyllic landscapes into active participants, characters even, in cinematic drama. The stormy seas were now a metaphor of inner turmoil. The film puts to use its tempestuous and spectacular displays of thunder and lightning to indicate the passion felt between two young lovers, despite cultural divisiveness. Stars Danny Glover, Graham Green, Ashley Bell, Clayton Rohner, Tantoo Cardinal, Chelsea Ricketts, Mike Wade, Adriana Mather, Justin Olston.
Runtime 112 minutes Country US
(Thu, Feb 13@8:30p*, also plays Sat, Feb 15@6:45p)
“One Night In Vegas”
Runtime 100 minutes Country US
Directed by John Uche Cinematographer Tim Wilson
James and Genie are a young African couple, married five years, no children. James was involved a few months ago in a high profile court case, received death threats, and had to hire Nick, a bodyguard for his family. The case is over now, and the defendants are all in jail, so Nick is finishing up his last week working for James and Genie. When James gets the call from his boss that he has to go to Las Vegas for a weeklong conference, he invites Genie to go too, as well as Nick, as a going-away present. James is excited, since when he gets to Vegas he will be able to see Tony, an old friend of his who lives there. This brings a complication, because Genie hates Tony due to something he once did. Something so terrible, she won’t even say it aloud. Stars Jimmie Jean-Louis, John Dumelo, Yvonne Nelson, Van Vicker, Koby Maxwell and Saroj Bertin.
Gala Screening Sat, Feb 15@7:00p, Tickets: $20
(Additional showtimes Mon, Feb 17@8:35p)
Fox Soul Cinema Saturday _Classic black films from back in the day!
Presented by Twentieth Century Fox Home Entertainment.
Three Black Classics – A Rare Opportunity to Enjoy Them on the Big Screen! Take a peak of “back in the day”! Tickets are just $3 and available in the Rave box office now!
IN THE HEAT OF THE NIGHT (US/1967) (FOX)
Director: Norman Jewison
Synopsis: Detective Virgil Tibbs is caught up in the racial tension of the US South when he is arrested after the murder of a prominent businessman. Tibbs was simply waiting for his next train at the station in Sparta, Mississippi and the confusion is soon resolved but when local police chief Gillespie learns that Tibbs is the Philadelphia PD’s number one homicide expert, he reluctantly asks for his assistance. The murdered man, Mr. Colbert, had come to Sparta from the North to build a new factory and his wife and business associates immediately point the finger at Endicott, the most powerful man in the county and the one who had the most to lose if a major new employer comes to the area. Tibbs’ life is clearly in danger but he perseveres in a highly charged and racially explosive environment until the killer is found.
Stars Sidney Poitier, Rod Steiger, Warren Oates, Lee Grant, Larry Gates, James Patterson, William Shallert and Beah Richards.
(Sat, Feb 15 @ 11:30a)
POSSE (US/1993) (FOX)
Director: Mario Van Peebles
Synopsis: During the Spanish-American War, a squadron of black soldiers led by Jesse Lee is assigned a dangerous mission behind enemy lines in Cuba by evil Colonel Graham. Joined by a white gambler, Little J, the troupe is to recover a chest of gold. Realizing that Graham will slaughter them once they’ve relinquished the booty, Lee and his men retrieve the chest, wound Graham, and head for home. Ambushed by Graham in New Orleans, the “posse” heads for Lee’s hometown of Freemanville, a frontier settlement of ex-slaves. Years ago, Lee’s minister father was murdered there by Klansmen, and the gunslinger wants revenge. There’s new trouble brewing in Freemanville, however. Sheriff Bates, top lawman in neighboring Cutterville, plans to wipe out Freemanville’s citizens and sell their lucrative property to a railroad. Stars Mario Van Peebles, Stephen Baldwin, Charles Lane, Tommy Tiny Lister, Big Daddy Kane, Billy Zane, Blair Underwood, Melvin Van Peebles, Salli Richardson-Whitfield, Tone Loc and Pam Grier. (Sat, Feb 15 @ 1:00p)
WAITING TO EXHALE (US/1995) (FOX)
Director: Forest Whitaker
Synopsis: A surprise Hollywood hit, this film is based on the novel of the same name by Terry McMillan and centers on four well-to-do African-American women and their relationships with men and one another. All of them are “holding their breath” until the day they can feel comfortable in a committed relationship with a man. Robin is the long-time mistress of Russell, who keeps reneging on his promise to leave his wife for her. She dumps him to find a man she can have to herself, but her dates with a reliable but unattractive business partner and a drug addict send her back to Russell. Savannah is a successful television producer who also believes that her married lover Kenneth will leave his wife. Bernadine is a wealthy woman who abandoned her own career to raise a family. Her husband is now leaving her to marry a white woman. Gloria is a beauty salon owner and single mother raising a teenage son. After years alone, she falls in love with a new neighbor, Marvin. The women share their stories over lunches and conversations at Gloria’s salon.
Stars Whitney Houston, Angela Bassett, Loretta Devine, Lela Rochon, Gregory Hines, Dennis Haysbert, Mykelti Williamson, Michael Beach, Leon and Wendell Pierce. (Sat, Feb 15 @ 3:40p)
The Children’s Fest is a free Saturday morning program for children up to the age of 12 and their parent or guardians. Screenings start at 11 am and arts & crafts, face painting and various other fun activities take place following in The Bridge (Baldwin Hills Crenshaw Plaza). No RSVP is required for this first come, first serve event.
Children’s Fest will take place February 8 & 15th
“Zarafa” (Feature Animation)
Runtime 78 minutes Country France
Directed by Rémi Bezançon & Jean-Christophe Lie Cinematographer
Under a baobab tree, an old man tells a story to the children around him: The story of the everlasting friendship between 10-year-old Maki and Zarafa, an orphaned giraffe, a gift from the Pasha of Egypt to the King of France. Charles X. Hassan, Prince of the Desert, is instructed by the Pasha to deliver Zarafa to France. But Maki has made up his mind to do everything in his power to stop Hassan from fulfilling his mission and to bring the giraffe back to its native land – even if it means risking his own life – because he must fulfill his promise to Zarafa’s late mother. During an epic journey that takes them from Sudan to Paris, passing on the way through Alexandria, Marseille and the snow-capped Alps, they have many adventures, crossing paths with the aviator Malaterre, a pair of unusual twin cows called Mounh and Sounh, and the pirate queen Bouboulina. Loosely based on the tale of the very first giraffe to set foot in France, “Zarafa” (giraffe in Arabic) is a beautifully crafted hand-drawn animation that takes the spirit of classic Disney and adds a splash of contemporary humor and social comment making it appealing for the entire family.
Also plays Sun, Feb 16@2:25p
“Khumba” (Feature Animation) February 8
Runtime 85 minutes Country South Africa
Directed by Anthony Silverston Cinematographer
A wondrous story about animals embracing their differences. The titular young hero is a South African zebra who is born with only half of his stripes. The superstitious zebras conclude that Khumba is the cause of the drought that follows his birth. For them, no stripes means no rain. After a wise mantis gives him a map to a magic watering hole, Khumba heads out to find it. He is joined by a pair of wandering outcasts: the lonely and loving wildebeest Mama V and the flamboyant ostrich Bradley. A key musical number has Bradley singing a campfire version of “I Will Survive” with new lyrics: “I am ostracized.” Along the way, these misfits encounter various other isolated cults, from a family of meerkats living in a human-made animal sanctuary to a group of rock-dwelling rodents, known as dassies, on a mountain convinced that doomsday is nigh. A cruel and half-blind leopard also crosses their path. The voice acting from talented American, British and South African performers, including Jake T. Austin, Loretta Devine, Laurence Fishburne, Richard E. Grant, Liam Neeson, Steve Buscemi and Sindiwe Magona, is zany and emotionally charged.
Senior Connections is a selection of films programmed to interest of our seniors on various days throughout the festival. These screenings are FREE and first come first serve. This years selections are listed below.
February 7 @1:25pm “The Volunteer” (Narrative Feature)
Runtime 95 minutes Country US
Directed by Vicky Wight Cinematographer Chris Teague
After dramatically leaving her successful but soul-crushing career, forty-something Leigh finds herself wondering if there’s more to life, to love, to everything. Overwhelmed by apathy and a vague sense of guilt, she decides to volunteer at a local soup kitchen where, for the first time, she sees how the other half-lives. While working at the kitchen, she begins an unexpected and electric affair with a homeless man, Ethan. Almost ten years his senior, Leigh attempts to hide him from her long-time boyfriend, her family, and her new co-workers. After a series of troubling encounters however, she begins to realize Ethan’s charm may be masking a troubled past. Stars Aunjanue Ellis, Hill Harper and Ebon Moss-Bachrach.(Fri, Feb 7@1:25p, also plays Tue, Feb 11@8:05p)
“B for Boy” (Narrative Feature)
Runtime 118 minutes Country Nigeria
Directed by Chika Anad
In contemporary Nigeria, a 40-year-old pregnant woman raises a 7-year-old daughter, runs her own successful business and maintains a happy marriage. However, in a patriarchal society, her failure to produce a son for her husband makes her a target of derision among family, friends and neighbors who are pressuring her to allow her husband to take a second wife. When her pregnancy ends unexpectedly in a miscarriage, she takes extreme measures to keep the hope of a male heir alive, weaving a web of deception, which causes her to sink into a tangled nightmare. Stars Uche Nwadili, Ngozi Nwaneto and Nonso Odogwu.
(Mon, Feb 10@1:10p; Sun, Feb 16@9:20p; Mon, Feb 17@1:20p)
February 11 @1:05pm “The Village of Peace” (Documentary)
Runtime 68 minutes Country Israel, US
Directed by Ben Schuder & Niko Philipides
In 1967, a group of 300 African Americans, now known as the African Hebrew Israelites, left the United States in an “Exodus,” returning to their homeland in Israel and establishing the long awaited “Kingdom of Yah,” otherwise known as “The Village of Peace” in a town called Dimona deep in the Negev Desert.
During the 1960s, Chicago was an epicenter for the Civil Rights movement and a source of dynamic social transformation for the country. Chicago was rife with persistent racism, discrimination, and inferior schools – which in turn created overcrowded slums leading to violence and drug abuse.
In 1966, like many others in his community, a bus driver named Ben Ammi struggled with the conditions that plagued his people in Chicago. Ben Ammi channeled these hardships into a “spiritual petition to God,” for an answer that would help his people. Ben Ammi received a message from a higher power, instructing him to lead his community back to the promised land of Israel. A leader of the rapidly growing Black Hebrew community in Chicago Ben Ammi was able to rally his closest followers for the “Exodus” back to the Promised Land.
Settling in Liberia for two years, the group became the African Hebrew Israelites. During those two years, known as the “cleansing period”, the community shed all bad habits and cultural moldings from the Western World, and then migrated on to Israel. This was a momentous milestone.
The African Hebrew Israelites are an incredible group of people that follow the strict laws of the Torah as a blueprint to life. They interpret this Holy Scripture in a unique way, unlike any other group or religion. All aspects of their lives are surrounded by these instructions from God. Their garments, diet, culture, education, beliefs, celebrations, and polygamist lifestyles are examples of their commitment to the word of God. They believe Israel to be part of North East Africa. The African Hebrew Israelites trace their lineage back to one of the Lost Tribes of Judea and claim to be direct descendants of the seed of Abraham.
The Village of Peace has grown from 300 to over 5,000 people in the past 40 years, largely in part due to the polygamist family structure and healthy lifestyle. Now at a crossroads, the Village of Peace community will need to overcome new challenges to their way of life. The founders of the community are growing old, and the youth are being exposed to outside influences and ideas, different experiences, ideologies, temptations, and lifestyles. (Tue, Feb 11@1:05p: also plays Sun, Feb 16@7:10p)
February 12 @1:20pm “The Dream: Martin Luther King in Palestine” (“Al Helm”) (Documentary) Runtime 93 minutes Country US
Directed by Connie Field Cinematographer Issa Aslan & Ramzi Maqdisi
The glorious strains of gospel music wash over the West Bank in Connie Field’s (Have You Heard From Johannesburg MVFF 2006; Freedom on My Mind MVFF 1994) potent new film. As the Palestinian National Theater and an African-American choir mount a touring play about Martin Luther King Jr., written by Stanford Professor and MLK, Jr. scholar Clay Carson, an impassioned cultural exchange ensues, new friendships are forged and attitudes are altered. A rousing portrait of the changes unfolding in the Middle East, this dynamic and complex work is born of a brilliantly simple and potent idea: what would happen if African-American Christians–the same group who served as exemplars of the Civil Rights Movement–could witness first hand the plight of Palestinians today? Field has done something truly impressive; she has folded multiple perspectives and forces together to truly moving effect.
(Mon, Feb 10@9:30p; Wed, Feb 12@1:20p; Sun, Feb 16@9:10p)
February 13 @1:10pm “Scrapper” (Narrative Feature)
Directed by Brady Hall Cinematographer Connor Hair
Did you know that scrap metal is America’s 4th largest export? Hollis Wallace does, and he makes his living driving the streets of Seattle looking for it. A metal scrapper, he spends his days trudging through Seattle, amidst alleyways, dumpsters, junk heaps, and dockyards, hoping to come across the riches that come from found copper, aluminum, and other such treasures. Able to support his ailing mother with his monetary return, Hollis is set in his ways, content with his lot in life. When he meets an 18-year-old runaway with her own troubles, he finds his routine challenged, and soon he finds that there is more to life than the cast-off scraps of others. They end up forming a friendship but the forces in their lives threaten to destroy their new bond. Stars Michael Beach (Soul Food, Sons of Anarchy), newcomer Anna Giles and Aidan Gillen (“Game Of Thrones”, “The Wire”). (Wed, Feb 12@8:05p; Thu, Feb 13@1:10p)
February 14 @1:10pm “My Zaphira” (Narrative Feature)
Runtime 105 minutes Country Burkina Faso
Directed by Apolline Traoré Cinematographer Issa Karantao
Zaphira is a young woman who lives with her 7-year-old daughter. She hates her village, a place where people are stuck in the past and where antiquated traditions inform everyone’s expectations and behavior. She wants a better life for her daugther. One day, she comes across a fashion magazine, which includes the photos of many young beautiful fashion models. She becomes obsessed with the dream that her daughter will be a model. In a village where such a profession is unknown, a headstrong Zaphira vows to do whatever it takes to make her dream for her daughter a reality. Despite the misgivings of her daughter and the outrage of the whole village, Zaphira goes so far as to send the young girl off to Europe. Stars Mariama Ouédraogo, Salimata Traoré, Sita Traoré and Aziz Ouédraogo.
(Tue, Feb 11@4:00p; Fri, Feb 14@1:10p; Sun, Feb 16@4:40p)
AFF 2014 will also screen three outstanding American films, released in 2013, which deserve a wider audience:
“Let the Fire Burn” (Documentary)
Jason Osder’s “Let the Fire Burn” is a masterfully crafted throw back into a time when mutual fear, suspicion and misunderstanding combusted in a grievous, fatal explosion. On May 13, 1985, three city blocks in West Philadelphia were engulfed in flames after police bombed the residence of MOVE, a radical organization that for years had antagonized city officials and neighbors. Eleven MOVE members were killed, with two inhabitants of MOVE’s home escaping. MOVE’s history in Philadelphia, its escalating confrontations with law enforcement, the city’s increasingly militarized police force and its shockingly ineffective political leadership are all examined producing a powerful story with emotional wallop.
CRITICS NOTE: The most surprising thing about the film is how first time director Osder, managed to make such a gripping documentary from found footage including news footage, court and police videos and MOVE videos. He spent twelve years combing archives, after his present day interviews with crucial figures and survivors proved useless. Happily Osder’s employer George Washington University teamed up with Temple University, giving him access to the complete materials of the Mayor Goode’s investigatory commission, including police stake out tapes, which were archived at Temple.
Editor Nels Bangerter makes an impressive driving story of his found elements, including historic and recent interviews and extended clips from the televised hearings. Most painful is the deposition of 13-year-old Michael Ward, the sole surviving child from the MOVE commune. Officer Berghaier, who entered the fire to save the two surviving kids, was morally aghast, “I thought a lot about those kids. I thought about my kids.”. Praised by the commission, he was hazed at the station and quit.
Ironies abound in Osder and Bangerter’s brilliant edit: DA Ed Rendell, future Democratic Governor (from 2003 to 2011) comments on the “commendable restraint” of the Police cut to images of cops kicking a man in the head. (Sun, Feb 9-8:15p; Wed, Feb 12-7:35p; Mon, Feb 17-6:20p)
“Go for Sisters” (Narrative)
Iconic American Indie director John Sayles’ “Go for Sisters” is a forceful ‘old-girls network’ story. Two old friends recovering addict Fontayne (Yolonda Ross) and her new parole officer Bernice (LisaGay Hamilton) reunite to find Bernice’s son Rodney, missing on the Mexican border. Edward James Olmos gives one of his strongest performances as
Freddy Suarez, a retired, near-bind police detective whose connections to the criminal world and ability to speak Spanish prove invaluable in tracking Rodney to Mexico. The parole officer, the recovering junkie, and the near-blind ex-cop take a character driven road trip south of the border. (Sun, Feb 9-7:05p)
“Blue Caprice” (Narrative)
IFC release, Alexandre Moors’s minimalist psychological thriller “Blue Caprice”, based on the horrific beltway Sniper case, features an ominous, twisted father-son relationship. Starring Isaiah Washington, Tequan Richmond and Tim Blake Nelson. (Sun, Feb 9 -7:30p; Wed, Feb 12-3:45p)
As part of it’s cultural mission PAFF presents an Artfest and fashion show as well as a Spoken Word Festival.
Over 100 established and emerging fine artists and quality craftspeople from the US and the world over, whose artistic aesthetic is rooted in Africa and its Diaspora, present their creative works using oil on canvas, watercolor and pastels, acrylic paper, glass, ceramics, metal, cloth, plastic, wax, wire, leather, stone and more. The art show brings out over 70,000+ visitors from Los Angeles, across the country and around the world. Artists will present fine art and photography, one-of-a-kind craft art, designer and traditional fashions, jewelry, home decor, fashion accessories.
PAFF Fashion Show – Each year the The Wearable Art Artists of our ArtistFest hold an exciting Fashion Show on the last Sunday of the festival! The Fashion Show showcases clothing and attire from across the continent in a tasteful and cultural-rich format that both inspires and captivates. Contact Karimu McNeal Fashion Show Producer for further info at Karimu87@yahoo.com.
PAFF Spoken Word Fest – The hottest Poets & Spoken Word Artists from all around! PAFF brings you dynamic speakers and awe-inspiring spoken word that is suitable for all audiences.
This year PAFF inaugurates The PAFF New Media Fest, highlighting web series and yet to be seen TV pilots. Expanding its platform to other mediums of independent black expression. New Media Fest celebrates exceptional web series and connects them with their audiences, as well as creating a platform for pilots to be viewed by their target audience and receive feedback on their new ideas!
The New Media fest screenings will take place on Friday, February 14, 2014 starting at 1pm in The Rave Cinemas. A follow up panel discussing new media and announcing the winner of the Audience Favorite Award will take place Saturday, February 15, 2014 at 3:30p. For a complete schedule of the one day event go to http://www.paff.org/new-media-fest/