PAFF 2015: special events, community forums, new media fest, student fest


SPECIAL EVENTS: Bank of America Screening
Cru-Narrative Feature
Screening Times: Saturday, February 7 @ 3:30pm; Thursday, February 12 @ 8:45pm; Friday, February 13 @ 9:30pm
Nearly twenty years after a tragedy, the reunion of four high school friends opens old wounds, exposes long-hidden secrets and paves the road to forgiveness and redemption. Stars Keith Robinson, Richard T. Jones, Melissa De Sousa, Sammi Rotibi, Antwon Tanner, Alison Eastwood.

FILMMAKER AWARDS Filmmaker Awards. Each year there are films that stand apart from the rest. PAFF-LA recognizes these films and awards them in the categories of Best Feature Narrative, Best Director-First Feature, Best Documentary Feature and Best Short Narrative at fun, intimate awards brunch. In addition, Audience Awards are also being presented. The 2015 award winners have not been selected. Check back after the 2015 festival.

PAFF offers it’s popular free Senior Connections screenings, Saturday Morning Children’s Festival and SpokenWordFest (Saturday, February !4, 9:00 BHCP Bridge 2nd Floor

Senior Connections will screen six features: Feb 6, 1:30PM- Hear ME Move, Feb 9, 1:25PM-Skinned, Feb 10, 1:25PM -Intore (Chosen), Feb 11, 1:15PM-Girlfriends’ Getaway, Feb 12, 1:15- Devil In the Detail and Feb 13. 1:00 PM The Diary Of Imogen Brown.

For Info about The Saturday Morning Children’s Festival and the PAFF Fashion Show, please go to Paff2013-Event-Book (page 7)

Community Forum
Sunday, February 8
Black Lives Matter: Now and Then
Sponsored by REVOLT TV
Despite gains made during the 1960’s Civil Rights and Black Power Movements and having a Black president, the relationship between the Black community and the American power structure remains tenuous. A recent study by the Malcolm X Grassroots Movement indicates that a Black person is killed every 28 hours by law enforcement or vigilantes. Additionally, that Black people make up a disproportionate percentage of those incarcerated and living in poverty. Today, in response to these conditions, a new movement by a new generation seems to be taking hold. Join us for a discussion of Black Life over the past 50 years as we examine the similarities and differences. Suggested films The Black Panther Party: Vanguard of the Revolution, Concerning Violence, Chicago Love, Freeway: Crack in the System.
Panel Moderator: Professor Robin Kelley
Confirmed Panelists: Former Black Panthers Ericka Huggins and Hank Jones, Director Stanley Nelson, Freedom Riders Robert Singleton and Robert Farrell (former L.A. City Councilmember), Black Life Matters organizers Dr. Melina Abdullah, Mark-Anthony Johnson and Patrisse Cullors.
Location: BHCP Bridge, 2nd floor
Forum begins at @ 5:00pm

Monday, February 16
Light Girls
Bill Duke’s new film and accompanying book LIGHT GIRLS is an in depth study of the advantages and disadvantages of being a light skinned woman. Does light skin make for an easier life? Exploring skin color from historical, sociological, psychological and scientific perspectives, LIGHT GIRLS is a global analysis of skin color addressing the following contemporary issues such as bullying, skin bleaching, and the popular #teamlightskin versus #teamdarkskin rivalry on social media. This panel looks at “Anti-Colorism” not just a conversation, but also a movement that requires action, accountability, and responsibility. LIGHT GIRLS emphasizes the importance of healing and taking action. Followed by a book signing of Bill Duke’s new book, Light Girls.
Don’t just join the discussion, join the movement!
Hosted by Bill Duke
Location: TBA
Forum begins @ 10:00am

Up Close and Personal!
Think you can’t purchase a home or that you’ll never be able to retire? Nothing is impossible. Come learn what you need to know about: home buying, selling, probate, estate planning, trusts, taxes, retirement, and life insurance. Meet the experts, ask the questions up close and personal, and get the information you need to get your financial life in order. Join us for our annual Financial Seminar in the community room. Come early for a special treat.
Hosted by Linda Bronson-Abbott
Location: BHCP Bridge, 2nd floor
Forum begins @ 2:00pm

New Media Fest
Really Really Super Awesome PAFF New Media Fest
A daylong celebration and festival within The Festival. Time travel from the present to the future, explore multi-platform viewing options, technological expansion and how we can now engage a global audience.

Friday, February 13
Located at the RAVE Cinemas 15 & BHCP
Day Pass: $30.00
Segment Price: $10.00

1:00pm – 2:30pm
New Media Explorers’ Panel
Hosted by Mario Van Peebles. Examine the dimensions of Webisodes and Alternative Digital Media and how you can be part of the New Media Movement both as a producer and consumer.

3:00pm – 5:00pm
New Media Medley
RRSA Featured Web Series
American Koko – Employees at the E.A.R (Everybody’s A little Racist) do their best to tackle every race problem that comes through their door but for lead agent Akosua Miller, the biggest case may be her own. Created by Diarra Kilpatrick and Executive Produced by Viola Davis.

Shooters Stance – Inspired by current headlines, the police shooting of an unarmed Black man leads to community reactions with fed-up citizens prepared to take a stand. Created by Alfred Woodley and Executive Produced by Marceil Wright.

RRSA Medley will include a collection of the best New Media + Sketches and Videos from top LA artists featuring Slink Johnson, Anderson Paak, Doja Cat, Verbs, Open Mike Eagle, MVP, LAFFMOB and More.

6:00pm – 9:00pm
What would New Media be without a Live component?
Join headliner Red Grant for an extravaganza featuring the best young comedians and musicians in Hollywood today. Location: The Bridge- 2nd Floor BHCP
Segment Price: $20.00

10:00pm – 2:00am
Location: Space 42 – 4912 Venice Blvd Los Angeles, CA 90019
Segment Price: $20

Join the Movement with “Really Really Super Awesome” (RRSA)
Visit us on Youtube at Designed to continue PAFF year around, RRSA takes PAFF Classics, showcasing them along with the best music, street art and news on the street to create a unique online experience 23 years in the making. Join us in celebrating the new PAFF network.

RRSA Featured Film 2015
Yo Soy Del Son A La Salsa (Cuba/1997/100min)
Director: Rigoberto Lopez
A music documentary covering more than 100 years in the development of what is now called salsa, from its roots in the Son music of Cuban campesinos (peasants) descended from African slaves to its mid-20th century evolution in New York, fueled by such Cuban and Puerto Rican Band leaders as Tito Puente, Machito and Tito Puente. Also shown are legendary bands that emerged in Cuba after the revolution, a treasure trove of rare footage of Cuban musicians.
Check for more information.

A free showcase of films tailored to students.
For over two decades PAFF has had a Student Festival Program. Each year 6,000 to 7,000 Los Angeles City and County Students and their teachers attend this free program showcasing films dealing with issues important to youth such as teen pregnancy, AIDS, prevention, literacy, cultural and racial respect, teen self-esteem and gang prevention. Before and after the screenings, speakers working in areas related to the subject matter of the films conduct positive and interactive discussions.

Admission is free, but groups must register to attend and are responsible for their own school bus transportation. This event is coordinated by Sherrese Moise. Email her at to make your reservations or if you have any other questions.

Teachers and educators can go to to download the application to register their class.

Animation Series
Directed by Remi Bezancon & Jean-Christophe Lie
Loosely based the true story of the very first giraffe in France, “Zarafaâ€ (giraffe in Arabic) is a beautifully animated epic story of the everlasting friendship between Maki, a 10-year old Sudanese boy, and Zarafa, an orphaned giraffe. Quality entertainment for the entire family. 78 min.

Directed by Tim Johnson. When Earth is taken over by the overly confident Boov, an alien race in search of a new place to call home, all humans are promptly relocated while all Boov get busy reorganizing the planet. But when one resourceful girl, Tip, manages to avoid capture, she finds herself the accidental accomplice of a banished Boov named Oh. The two fugitives realize there’s a lot more at stake than intergalactic relations as they embark on the road trip of a lifetime.

PAFF StudentFest 2015 Student Special Screening
Beyond the lights
Directed by Gina Prince-Bythewood. The pressures of fame have superstar singer Noni on the edge, until she meets Kaz, a young cop who works to help her find the courage to develop her own voice and break free to become the artist she was meant to be. 116 min.

American Community Shorts (95min)
Directed by Nate Parker. An LAPD officer working the night beat in inner city LA responds to a convenience store break-in. When chasing down the perpetrator, he’s in for a terrible surprise. 15 min.

An American Ascent
Directed by George Potter. The first ever All-African-American climbing team brave the dangers and blizzards to conquer Denali – the highest peak in North America. An inspirational story of perseverance and courage. 50 min.

From Watts to Senegal
Directed by Edward Bartel II. The story of 15 students from South Central Los Angeles who embarked on a once in a lifetime trip to Senegal Africa in June 2013. 30 min.

PAFF Student Festival Middle School Shorts
Beyond the Passage
Directed by Terrance Jones. Six years after a mysterious event destroyed civilization, a young girl sets out on a lone journey in hopes of saving her ailing grandfather. Little does she know, she’s not alone in this dangerous new world. 9 min.

Directed by Dean Leon Anderson. A troubled father attempts to save his ailing relationship with his daughter Tiana, and her older sister Lisa. Jasper’s altercation with a store employee while stealing sweets for his daughter sparks a catalogue of events, altering the course of the family’s lives forever. 11 min.

Strings Attached
Directed by Nelcie Souffrant. A Black teen girl from Harlem tries to find her identity through playing the violin despite her mother’s opposition. She befriends another teen that is also struggling with his parents’ disapproval and together they combine their gifts in hopes of winning a competition that will ultimately get them to the next phase in their life. They are mentored by a nurturing teacher who puts all her time, energy and money into the students and from there the audience finds out just how much it means to be attached. 19 min.

PAFF Student Festival High School Short Series
Throw the Dog a Bone]
Directed by William Bright. Mercury Rene Adams, a brilliant college freshman from a disadvantaged background, has a chance to live her dream of attending a very prestigious university. But Mercury soon learns the price of acceptance among the elite: she’s expected to compromise who she is, in order to become who she thinks she wants to be. 30min.

Lazy Susan
Directed by Stephen Abbott. Friendly waitress Susan works a double at an everyday Cape Town restaurant, deftly serving gluttons and wasps, hipsters and high-tippers, racists and lechers. With some effort she maintains both wit and service in the face of obnoxious customers—until a lousy tip gets the better of her. Told from the perspective of a single lazy susan (rotating tray), this is dark comedy and social commentary at its best. 10min.

The Bravest, The Boldest
Directed by Moon Molson. On the way back to her apartment from the basement laundry, Sayeeda Porter – an African-American woman living in the Harlem projects – discovers that two Army Notification Officers are going to her floor. Instead of getting off with them, she remains on the elevator, watching to see if they go to her door. They do, and since Sayeeda’s son Corey has been fighting in the war in the Middle East, she knows they can only be bearing the news that her son is either seriously injured or dead. Thus begins her journey of avoidance, doing anything she can, not to hear the terrible news that she knows awaits her. 17min.

Hands to the Sky
Directed by Kim Townes. How much responsibility do we place on adults living on the spectrum? Days after their mother dies, Thomas is separated from his autistic older brother, Eugene, and placed into the care of a pastor and his wife. With no immediate family, other than a delinquent cousin, Eugene uses his passion to overcome the challenges those with autism too often face, proving he can support himself and his younger brother. 16min.

PAFF Student Festival Coming of Age Series
Rapunzel Jackson
Directed by Dabling Harward. Not having a rite of passage like a quinceañera or bat mitzvah to define her as a woman, a young girl anticipates her first perm as her passage into womanhood. But does straightened hair make you a lady? 25 min.

Prom Date Blues
Directed by Marttise Hill. A coming of age comedy about Baxter Morgan, a peculiar black teen, and his attempt to find his mojo before he graduates from high school. His romantic attempt to ask the girl of his dreams, Naomi Jackson, to Prom by crooning on the school video announcements doesn’t go well. Through trial and error he learns that mojo comes from having confidence in who you are. 17min.

Girls Don’t Do That
Directed by La Quetta Shamblee. Nana comes to understand the fallacy of insisting that her granddaughter and namesake adhere to old-fashioned notions of what is “lady-like.” 6min.

Soko Sonko (The Market King)
Directed by Ekwa Msangi. When her mother falls sick, Kibibi’s father, Ed, is tasked with taking her to the market to get her hair braided before school begins. Soko Sonko is a hilarious, fish-out of-water roller coaster of a journey, about a well-intended dad who braves the fires and goes where no man has gone before…because only women have been there! 22min.

Student Festival Independent Film Features
25 to Life
Directed by Mike L Brown. William Brawner kept his HIV status a secret for over twenty-five years. Now, William seeks redemption from his promiscuous past, as he embarks on a new phase of life, with his wife, who is HIV Negative. As he struggles to carve out an open and honest future, the pains and triumphs of William’s life and those around him are explored, illuminating the ability of the human spirit to rise above devastating circumstances and discover why life is always worth fighting for. 81 min.

Hear No Evil
Directed by Russ Parr. A freak accident jolts Shelby Carson from silence and seclusion to chaos, confusion and imminent danger. Relationships are tested and secrets are revealed in this untold story of family, faith and the resolve of a young girl. 128 min.

Gone Too Far!
Directed by Destiny Ekaragha. When London teenager Yemi’s big brother come to live with him from Nigeria, Ikudayisi’s terrible fashion sense, broad Yoruba accent and misplaced confidence with the opposite sex threaten to destroy Yemi’s already small amount of street cred. When the pair are forced to spend the day together on their Peckham estate Yemi is forced to confront local bullies, the unattainable girl of his dreams and his own African heritage, eventually teaching both of them the values of family and self-respect. 87 min.

Hear ME Move
Directed by Scottnes Smith. This energetic dance tour de force tells the story of Muzi, a mild-mannered student and son of a late famous township “pantsula” dancer. Supporting his mother, he is simultaneously trying to honor his father’s legacy and determine the truth about his father’s life and tragic death. At a crossroads, Muzi embarks on the journey of becoming a man only to find himself embroiled in a bitter rivalry. 120 min.

Intore (Chosen)
Directed by Eric Kabera. With rare insight, a powerful look at how Rwanda survived its tragic past by regaining its identity through music, dance, and the resilience of a new generation. A story of triumph, survival and a lesson in how to forgive and live, told through the eyes of those who will never forget the past but look with hope to the future. Features performances from Rwanda’s top traditional and commercial artists in music and dance. 64 min.

White Water
Directed by Rusty Cundieff. Showing one plot summary White Water is the story of a 9 year-old black kid in segregated 1963 Opelika, Alabama who becomes obsessed with the desire to taste the water from the “white’s only” drinking fountain and sets out on a quest to do the unthinkable: drink from it. 90 min.

Troop 491: The Adventures of the Muddy Lions
Directed by Praheme. Tristan copes with life in the projects until he is enrolled in the Boy Scouts by his mother. A local thug makes threats and demands his silence after he witnesses a murder, leaving Tristan to choose between doing what is right and what is easy. 105 min.

Invasion 1897
Directed by Lancelot Imasuen. An epic film based on the 1897 invasion of the Benin Kingdom by the British and their looting of the priceless ancient artifacts of the Benin kingdom. 90 min.

Red, White, Black & Blue III
Directed by James Brown. Three South LA teens journey through the UK & France in search of tough rugby competition. These battle-hardened scholar/athletes defy stereotypes as they learn more about the game they love and the countries they visit and gain a better understanding of themselves. 79 min.

PAFF Student Festival American Music Series
Nas: Time is Illmatic
Directed by One 9. Twenty years after the release of Nas’s groundbreaking debut album ‘Illmatic,’ we are taken on a cinematic expedition into the heart of his creative process. Returning to his childhood home in Queensbridge, Nas shares stories of his upbringing, his influences — from the music of his jazz musician father Olu Dara to the burgeoning hip-hop scene in New York City — and the obstacles he faced before his major label signing at age 20. 74 min.

Wale: Mo Wa Lati (I am From)
Directed by Pace Bowden. Maybach Music superstar Wale is heading home. The Washington DC native recently traveled to Africa in a trek nearly 30 years in the making to discover his Nigerian roots. In one of his most intimate moments to date, REVOLT TV was by Wale’s side for over a week, capturing the witty MC finally landing in the motherland only to discover the uphill battle to meet his family for the first time while accommodating a jam-packed work schedule. 51 min.

David’s Reverie
Directed by Neil Creque Williams. A jazz musician struggles to prevent his epilepsy diagnosis from derailing his emerging jazz career. Stars Brandon Fobbs. 20 min.

Mary Lou Williams: The Lady Who Swings the Band
Directed by Carol Bash. The amazing Mary Lou Williams was a genius–ahead of her time. During an era when Jazz was the nation’s popular music, Williams was one of its greatest innovators. As both a pianist and composer, she was a wellspring of creativity who helped shape the sound of the 20th century. But away from the piano, Williams was a woman in a “man’s world,” a black person in a “whites only” society, an ambitious artist who dared to be different. Narrated by Alfre Woodard. 70 min.


About Author

Robin Menken

Robin Menken Robin Menken lives in Los Angeles. She was the Artistic Director of the Second City Workshops, taught at UC Berkeley, USC, Barcelona\'s Ateneu and the Esalin Institute. She was Roberto Rossellini\'s assistant, and worked with Yevgeny Vevteshenku, Glauber Rocha and Eugene Ionesco. She sold numerous screenplays and wrote the OBIE winning The FTA SHow (touring with Jane Fonda, Donald Sutherland and Ben Vereen.) She was a programming consultant and Special Events co-ordinator for numerous film festivals, including the SF, Rio, Havana and N.Y Film Festivals. Her first news outlet was the historic East Village Other.

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