African Filmmakers! The Pan African Film Festival Los Angeles Announces Call for Submissions for 2014!


The Pan African Film Festival Announces
Call for Submissions
Film Festival Set to Celebrate 22 Years of Cinematic Journeys Around the World

LOS ANGELES – The Pan African Film Festival (PAFF) is ready to take movie goers on a cinematic journey with international film screenings from around the globe with the announcement of its call for submissions. The 22nd annual PAFF will be held on February 6-17, 2014 in Los Angeles. The film festival is the nation’s largest and most prestigious Black film festival. Over the years, it has showcased films from all parts of the world, representing such countries as Angola, Austria, England, Bermuda, Canada, Egypt, Ethiopia, Brazil, Kenya, Mexico, South Africa, Nigeria, and of course, the United States. With the pulse on the international film market, PAFF has opened the minds of its audiences, and transported them to lands far away and back home again. “Over the years, the filmmakers from around the world have become more sophisticated in telling their stories,” says Asantewa Olatunji, the director of programming for PAFF.

This week, PAFF kicks off a three-day film series at the National Black Arts Festival (NBAF). The PAFF film series will take place July 18-20, 2013 at the Southwest Arts Center in Atlanta. From its vaults, PAFF will present 18 films as a part of NBAF’s 25th anniversary.

This year, PAFF has been feted with several awards, including a Lifetime Achievement Awards from the African Movie Academy Awards (AMAA) and the first ever Special Achievement Award in the Film Festival Category by African American Film Critics Association (AAFCA) for its contribution to cinematic arts. In February, the festival screened a total of 154 films, representing 34 countries — that is, 23 documentaries, 13 short documentaries, 67 narrative features, and 51 narrative shorts.
Currently, PAFF is accepting submissions of independent features, shorts, narratives and documentary films made by or about people of African descent. Applications are available via the PAFF website at, by emailing or calling (310) 337-4737.

The PAFF is currently accepting applications for films and videos made by and/or about people of African descent. (Please note: the filmmaker(s) need not be of African or African American descent.) Films should preferably depict positive and realistic images and can be of any genre — drama, comedy, horror, adventure, animation, romance, science fiction, experimental, etc. PAFF accepts features and shorts both narrative and documentary. The film festival will accept submissions of works in progress; however, the final version of the film must be completed no later than January 2, 2014.

The PAFF competition categories are: Best Narrative Feature, Best Narrative Short, Best Documentary, Best Director — First Feature, plus, Audience Favorite Awards for Narrative Feature and Favorite Documentary. Films in competition must be copyrighted no earlier than 2013. With the exception of Audience Favorite Awards, all films are judged by industry professionals, selected by PAFF. In addition to competition awards, other programming and festival special prizes will be awarded.

For information about the festival, submission procedures, fees and registration, visit or call 310. 337-4737. Submissions will be accepted from now through October 19, 2013. Late submissions will be accepted until November 16, 2013. Official selection announcements will be made beginning December 16, 2013.

Gearing up for its 22nd anniversary, the Pan African Film and Arts Festival (PAFF), is America’s largest and most prestigious Black film and arts festival. Each year, it screens more than 150 films made by and/or about people of African descent from the United States, Africa, the Caribbean, South America, the South Pacific, Latin America, Europe and Canada. PAFF holds the distinction of being the largest Black History Month event in the country.

PAFF was founded in 1992 by award-winning actor Danny Glover (“The Color Purple,” “Lethal Weapon” movie franchise), Emmy Award-winning actress Ja’Net DuBois (best known for her role as Willona in the tv series, “Good Times”) and executive director, Ayuko Babu, an international legal, cultural and political consultant who specializes in African Affairs. PAFF is a non-profit corporation dedicated to the promotion of ethnic and racial respect and tolerance through the exhibit of films, art and creative expression.

The goal of PAFF is to present and showcase the broad spectrum of Black creative works, particularly those that reinforce positive images, help to destroy negative stereotypes and depict an expanded vision of the Black experience. 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.

For more information, please visit or call (310) 337-4737.


_Yidnekachew Shumete (center) while directing  his upcoming feature ³Nishan²

We are excited to see the remarkable progrees our filmmakers are making both on the continent and internationally. Ladybrille salutes the Ethiopian Filmmakers below who have been selected to attend the prestigious Cannes Film Festival in France later this year.

“(ADDIS ABABA / MONACO – April 26th, 2012 – The International Emerging Film Talent Association (IEFTA) and the Ethiopian Film Initiative (EFI) announced today the three filmmakers selected for a week-long visit to Monaco and Cannes for workshops, programs and events happening during the 2012 Cannes film festival. They are: Henok Mebratu, Olisarali Olibui Tongolu and Yidnekachew Shumete Desalegn.

The trip will provide an opportunity for the filmmakers to meet a range of influential distributors, sales agents, producers, directors and international film commissioners at the festival, and also for them to be given one-on-one sessions with film institutions, consultants, established producing & co-producing entities, and international distribution companies.

Ambassador Tadelech Haile-Michael, a founding member of the EFI in Ethiopia, welcomed the news, calling it a chance to raise the international profile of Ethiopian films. “This is a great opportunity for Ethiopian filmmakers to establish themselves in the international marketplace,” she said. “I am also delighted they will be able to present some images of our beautiful Ethiopian landscapes and culture, and show the rest of the world what an attractive location Ethiopia can be for international filmmakers.”

The filmmakers were selected from a significant group of applicants emerging from Ethiopia’s nascent film community. The criteria for participation mandates that the filmmaker be an Ethiopian national living and working in Ethiopia at least 6 months of the year and have produced or directed one fiction or documentary short or feature film. Prior to the filmmakers’ arrival in Cannes, they will stop in Monte Carlo – the home of the IEFTA – for preparation meetings as well as a benefit event where their films will be screened.

“This is the second time the IEFTA has brought filmmakers from Ethiopia to Cannes, and we are extremely excited about the caliber of this year’s finalists,” says Marco Orsini, current President of the IEFTA. “It demonstrates that there is a growing film market and community in Ethiopia that should be taken seriously. We are also very pleased in the partnership we have had with the Ethiopian Film Initiative which provids on the ground training in Addis Ababa and are looking forward to expanding our programs into other parts of the developing world.”

Henok Mebratu is an experienced filmmaker and a well-known figure among the Ethiopian creative community. His talents include directing documentaries and teaching media skills. In Cannes he will present a new movie drama he is working on. It tells the story of Kidist and Dawit, who were both raised abroad and whose lives are completely transformed by returning to Ethiopia to say farewell to their dying father.

Olisarali Olibui Tongolu co-produced an award-winning film, “Shooting with the Mursi”, which gives an intriguing insider’s view of his own tribe. In Cannes he will pitch his next project proposal “My Enemy, My Brother”. Filming has already started on this project, which will focus on issues facing neighboring tribes of the Mursi. The themes to be covered include uncontrolled tourism, climate change and land rights.

Yidnekachew Shumete Desalegn is a widely respected film director in Addis Ababa, as well as a cameraman, editor, teacher and scriptwriter. He has worked extensively in both fiction and documentary films. His first feature film “Siryet” (2007), achieved widespread popularity. In Cannes he will pitch his upcoming film “Nishan” or Medal of Honour. It tells the story of Nishan, a young girl, who receives the rare opportunity of a visa to go abroad and change her life for the better. However, perplexing problems soon beset her.

“We’re very proud of our 2012 Ethiopian Film Initiative finalists,” states Mitch Levine, IEFTA Executive Consultant. “These filmmakers have demonstrated a passion for their art, excellence in filmmaking and a commitment to the advancement of Ethiopia’s – and Africa’s – filmmaking community. We are thrilled to host them for a week of education, workshops and screenings at the Cannes Film Festival and at the IEFTA’s base in Monaco.”

The IEFTA and EFI form an international / Ethiopian partnership committed to raising the professional standards of the Ethiopian film industry. The EFI provides capacity building support for Ethiopian documentary and feature film producers and directors as well as encouraging and training local and international entities to use local filmmakers.

The IEFTA – through its Global Film Expression and programs like the Ethiopian Film Initative – is dedicated to the discovery, nurture and promotion of filmmakers throughout the developing world. The IEFTA has been supporting Emerging talent since 2006 and has been specifically supporting Ethiopian film since 2008. . .”

WATCH: The 2012 Africa Movie Academy Awards Hosted by Jimmy Jean-Louis + Winners (Video)

Jimmy Jean Louis Nov 2010

The Africa Movie Academy Awards took place this past weekend at Nigeria’s Eko Hotel & Suites in Victoria Island. The event was hosted by Ladybrille Man of the Month alumni Jimmy Jean-Louis. Watch the event captured by IROKOTV.

AMAA Winners

Best Actor in a Leading Role
Majid Michel – Somewhere In Africa

Best Actress in a Leading Role
Rita Dominic – Shattered

Best Actor in a Supporting Role
Fano Mokoena – Man On Ground

Best Actress in a Supporting Role
Terry Pheto – How To Steal 2 Million

Best Director
Charlie Vundla – How To Steal 2 Million

Best Child Actor
Tshepang Mohlomi – Otelo Burning

Best Young/Promising Actor
Ivie Okujaye – Alero’s Symphony

Best Short Film
Braids On A Bald Head (Nigeria)

Best Documentary
African Election (Nigeria / Germany)

Best Diaspora Feature
Toussaint Louverture (France)

Best Diaspora Documentary
The Education Of Auma Obama (Germany)

Best Diaspora Short Film
White Sugar In A Black Pot (USA)

Best Animation
The Legend Of Ngog Hills (Kenya)

Best Film by an African Living Abroad
Mystery Of Birds (USA / Nigeria)

Achievement in Production Design
Pat Nebo – Phone Swap

Achievement in Costume Design
Iyen Agbonifo – Adesuwa

Achievement in Make-Up
Sarah Wanjiru – Shattered

Achievement in Soundtrack
Chibuzor Oji – Alero’s Symphony

Achievement in Visual Effects
Victor Ehi-Amedu – Adesuwa

Achievement in Sound
Jim Petrack – State Of Violence

Achievement in Cinematography
Lance Gewer – Otelo Burning

Achievement in Editing
Mick Audsley – How To Steal 2 Million

Achievement in Screenplay
Leila Djansi – Ties That Bind

Best Director
Akin Omotosho – Man on Ground

Best Film in an African Language
State Of Violence – Dv8 Films (South Africa)

Best Film
Lancelot Oduwa Imasuen – Adesuwa (Nigeria)

African Cinema: Viva! Riva Film Review

Viva Riva

Drugs may be the contraband of choice in most modern, American crime capers, but this African adventure revolves around a present-day black market in petroleum. The picture’s protagonist is Riva (Patsha Bay), a petty thief who has commandeered a truckload of gasoline across the Angolan border into the Congo with plans to resell it in his hometown of Kinshasa where the populace is in the grips of an oil shortage.

The trouble is that he isn’t quite ready to rise to his calling as a crook, for he soon becomes beguiled by Nora (Manie Malone), the red-headed, gun moll of a local mobster (Diplome Amekindra). And while he allows himself to be led around by the loins, he soon lands on the radar of her jealous boyfriend as well as a policewoman (Marlene Longange) and an angry Angolan crime boss (Hoji Fortuna) determined to recover his pilfered petrol.

Winner of a half-dozen African Movie Academy Awards (and 2011 MTV Movie Awards – Best African Film), Viva Riva! marks the promising scriptwriting, directorial and producing debut of Djo Munga. The movie is most reminiscent of all those cheap-looking blaxploitation flicks made by gangsta rappers searching for some crossover appeal back in the Nineties.

Given the omnipresence of such genre trademarks as graphic nudity and gratuitous violence, Viva Riva! certainly manages to keep your attention riveted to the screen. And since it simultaneously serves up a compelling storyline and does a decent job of character development, it’s worth checking out just based on the rarity of a movie with an empathetic black protagonist even being made about the Congo.Continue Reading …