Gravitas Ventures Feature Documentary “Stronger For Life” On All VOD/Digital Platforms; Blu-Ray and DVD July 20, 2021

What does an internationally renowned fitness expert and entrepreneur do when faced with a diagnosis of breast cancer?

When internationally acclaimed fitness expert Ilaria Montagnani received her initial diagnosis of breast cancer in the summer of 2016, she decided to film footage documenting this emotionally and physically challenging journey. Her whole life, she has been driven to acquire strength and knowledge to help herself and others –and this terrifying cancer diagnosis was no exception to her life’s mission.

Ilaria’s main belief that hard work teaches you to never give up - was truly put to the test and she wanted to honestly show how this disease would affect her physically and emotionally.

For anyone, a diagnosis of cancer is a frightening and life-changing experience but for a professional athlete and international fitness instructor, it is a challenge of unprecedented impact. Ilaria sought out a woman who took her workouts, Noriko Sugiura, a Japanese filmmaker friend to help guide her in the process.

More than a 100-hours of footage in on a hand-held camera, Ilaria next sought out a team of editors and cinematographers – Corey Florin (“Dream Factories,” “High Expectations”), Stephanie Gaweda (“Summer Moon,” “Mates”), and Federico Rosenzvit (“Years of Living Dangerously,” “Laredo, Texas,” and “City of Joel”), to guide and shape the documentary chronicling her journey. This is the filmmaking team that eventually shot and edited the movie that became “Stronger For Life.” “Stronger For Life,” is a cinematic sibling to inspirating and relatable documentaries “Dancer,” and “Any One Of Us,” which have chronicled the physical and mental struggles of athletes where life has thrown them unseen medical curveballs and a chance to make it through to the other side of illness.

Multiple media outlets from around the world have covered Ilaria fitness journey in her more than 20 years in the fitness world, including: The Today Show, Good Morning America, The Martha Stewart Show, The Dr. Oz Show, The Tyra Show, and CBS and ABC Evening News, among many others. The Wall Street Journal called her a “leading force” in the fitness world and New York magazine labeled her one of the city’s top fitness gurus. In 2017, Ilaria received the Lifetime Achievement Award from Equinox Fitness for top group fitness instructor in the country.

Where to follow the film and its journey:
Website:  www.strongerforlife.film
Instagram: @strongerforlife.film

“Stronger For Life”
Ilaria Montagnani arrived in the United States from Florence, Italy at nineteen. She loves New York City and its potential to be anything you want to be if you work hard and have vision. During the next 20 years, Ilaria overcomes many obstacles as a pioneering woman entrepreneur developing weight-training and fitness workouts based on martial arts.

She is one of the first women to bring strength training and martial arts to gyms in the U.S.In 2016, Ilaria, then an internationally recognized fitness expert at the peak of her career, was diagnosed with breast cancer. For an athlete of her magnitude, it was devastating.

Shortly after her struggle, Ilaria learns of her father’s diagnosis of terminal cancer. Stronger for Life documents Ilaria’s fight against cancer and how she embodied her own philosophy: Exercise makes you stronger for life, to overcome the heartache and challenges she encounters.

Hollywood’s First Major Premiere ‘Cruella’

Disney's live-action film, 'Cruella’, starring Emma Stone, opens in theaters and on Disney Plus Premier Memorial Day weekend.

Photo: Yevette Renee
Photo: Yevette Renee

The long awaited Hollywood red carpet premieres have officially returned on Wednesday night, when Disney's new film screened at their El Capitan theater.

The film stars Emma Stone as the young Cruella de Vil, the villain from Disney's iconic 101 Dalmatians.

On the red carpet where the film's star, Emma Stone and Kirby Howell-Baptiste, and the man with the vision, director Craig Gillespie.

Because of the safety protocols in place, including social distancing, it was a smaller crowd. And a true indication of the changes caused by
COVID 19, the media was not invited to the screening.

Photo: Yevette Renee
Photo: Yevette Renee

CHANTAL AKERMAN at the 2021 TCM Classic Film Festival

2021 TCMFF Logo

On the Turner Classic Movie Channel

View Linear Schedule 

Monday, May 10th
4:15 am ET

NEWS FROM HOME

News From Home. Photo: TCM Classic Film Festival
News From Home. Photo: TCM Classic Film Festival

Directed by and Starring: Chantal Akerman
Year: 1977
Runtime: 1 hour 30 minutes

A female film director explores New York City while enduring demanding letters from her mother.

6:13 am ET

LA CHAMBRE

 

LA CHAMBRE. Photo: 2021 TCM Classic Film Festival
LA CHAMBRE. Photo: 2021 TCM Classic Film Festival

Director and Starring: Chantal Akerman
Year: 1972
Runtime: 11 minutes
TV-G

TCM Premiere
Short film where a panoramic scan of a room reveals the filmmaker partaking in various tasks in one room.

CHANTAL AKERMAN

One of the most significant independent filmmakers of her era, Chantal Akerman possessed a pronounced visual and narrative style, influenced by structuralism and minimalism, which offers astute insights into women's role in modern culture. Akerman's interest in film was sparked at the age of 15 by a viewing of Jean-Luc Godard's "Pierrot le Fou" (1965), prompting her to enroll in the Belgian film school, INSAS. After about two years' study she quit school, eager to begin making films rather than sitting in a classroom. Akerman saved money from clerical and waitressing jobs to make several short films which received minimal recognition. It was not until she moved to New York in 1971 that Akerman began to develop her distinctive visual style and to deal with those themes which dominated her work.

In America she became acquainted with the films of the avant-garde, specifically those of Michael Snow and Stan Brakhage. Her first two features, "Hotel Monterey" (1972) and "Je Tu Il Elle" (1974), with their studiously static camerawork and minimal dialogue, were early indications of the visual style which came to full flowering in "Jeanne Dielman, 23 quai du Commerce, 1080 Bruxelles" (1975). The reception of this 200-minute, minimally plotted film was mixed. It was criticized by many as a boring and meaningless minimalist exercise; Akerman's defenders, however, were awed by her visual aesthetic and use of real time to emphasize the routine of her protagonist's world.

Thanks to the film's exposure, Akerman was able to secure financial backing from the Gaumont company and from German TV for the striking "Les Rendezvous d'Anna" (1978). Her first semi-commercial effort, it featured popular French actors Aurore Clement and Jean-Pierre Cassel in a story of a female director trekking across Europe to promote her latest film. Again, static camerawork and minimal dialogue created a sense of alienation which mirrored the emptiness and insincerity of the protagonist's encounters. After failing to raise $25 million for an adaptation of Isaac Bashevis Singer's 1969 novel "The Manor," Akerman returned to independent production with "All Night Long" (1982), an insightful drama contrasting romantic illusions with harsh realities. Akerman's "Golden Eighties" (1986) was a satire of musicals set completely within the confines of a Brussels shopping mall. Here too her concern was with idealized notions of romance; unlike her earlier works, however, the central story is complemented by several subplots and the film's pacing is a little more sprightly, although Akerman's signature static camera provides a unique perspective on the structured world of the shopping mall.

In 1988 Akerman returned to New York to film "American Stories/Food, Family and Philosophy," an exploration of her Jewish heritage through a series of stories told by immigrants. In the '90s, Akerman moved into more commercial filmmaking as the independent film boom allowed more idiosyncratic cinematic approaches into the mainstream. The drama "Night and Day" (1991) attracted widespread critical attention, and was followed by "A Couch in New York" (1996), Akerman's most accessible film to date, starring William Hurt, Juliette Binoche, and Richard Jenkins.

For the rest of her career, Akerman split her attention between experimental films, documentaries, and narrative features like "The Captive" (2000) and "Tomorrow We Move" (2004), both of which were co-written by Dutch novelist and theorist Eric de Kuyper. An adaptation of the Joseph Conrad novel "Almayer's Folly" (2010) received widespread critical acclaim. Akerman's final film, "No Home Movie" (2015), was a documentary about her mother, Natalia (who died in 2014), and her inability to speak about her experiences at Auschwitz. Chantal Akerman committed suicide on or about October 5, 2015, in Paris. She was 65 years old.

2021 TCM Classic Film Festival

Thursday, May 6th through Sunday, May 9th at two virtual venues: the TCM network and the Classics Curated by TCM Hub on HBO Max.

View Turner Classic Movies Schedule
View HBO Max Lineup

For more information, please visit http://filmfestival.tcm.com

2021 TCM CLASSIC FILM FESTIVALTRAILER:

About Turner Classic Movies (TCM)

Turner Classic Movies (TCM) is a two-time Peabody Award-winning network that presents great films, uncut and commercial-free, from the largest film libraries in the world highlighting the entire spectrum of film history. TCM features the insights from Primetime host Ben Mankiewicz along with hosts Alicia Malone, Dave Karger, Jacqueline Stewart and Eddie Muller, plus interviews with a wide range of special guests and serves as the ultimate movie lover destination. With more than two decades as a leading authority in classic film, TCM offers critically acclaimed series like The Essentials, along with annual programming events like 31 Days of Oscar® and Summer Under the Stars. TCM also directly connects with movie fans through events such as the annual TCM Classic Film Festival in Hollywood, the TCM Big Screen Classics series in partnership with Fathom Events, as well as through the TCM Classic Film Tour in New York City and Los Angeles. In addition, TCM produces a wide range of media about classic film, including books and DVDs, and hosts a wealth of material online at tcm.com and through the Watch TCM mobile app. Fans can also enjoy a TCM curated classics experience on HBO Max.

Arclight Cinemas and Pacific Theatres To Close Permanently

ArcLight Hollywood-Pacific Cinerama Dome Theater. Photo: Yevette Renee
ArcLight Hollywood-Pacific Cinerama Dome Theater. Photo: Yevette Renee

The COVID-19 vaccines is here, yet it did not come soon enough for many movie theatres. After closing all of their locations in March 2020 due to COVID-19, the Decurion Corporation, the parent company of Arclight Cinemas and Pacific Theatres, has announced the permanently closures of their six Los Angeles-area Pacific Theatre locations and 11 Arclight Theatres located around the country.

The permanent closures include the iconic Arclight Hollywood -Cinerama Dome at 6360 Sunset Boulevard in Hollywood. It was a  place where independent filmmakers would go to screen and premiere their films in heart of Hollywood.

Full statement from The Decurion Corporation:

After shutting our doors more than a year ago, today we must share the difficult and sad news the Pacific will not be reopening its ArcLight Cinemas and Pacific Theatres locations.

This was not the outcome anyone wanted, but despite a huge effort that exhausted all potential options, the company des not have a viable way forward.

To all the Pacific and ArcLight employees who have devoted their
professional lives to making out theaters the very best places in the world
to see movies: we are grateful for your service and your dedication
to our customers.

To our guests and members of the film industry who have made going to the
movies such a magical experience over the years: our deepest thanks. It has been an honor and a pleasure to serve you.

Pacific operates Vineland Drive-in, located in La Puente, the only remaining drive-in in Los Angeles County.

Pacific Theaters was founded in 1946 by William R. Forman, who began construction on the Cinerama Dome in 1963. The ground breaking ceremony
included Hollywood stars Buddy Hackett, Edie Adams, Spencer Tracy and others.

It's a Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World, directed by Stanley Kramer, was the first film that premiered at the Cinerama Dome in 1963.

It’s Back! World Famous TCL Chinese Theatre Reopens After One Year of COVID 19

Filmmakers Gareth Edwards, Jordan vogt-Roberts, Michael Dougherty, and Joshua Grode, CEO of Legendary Entertainment

After one-long year of closure due to the Coronavirus, the TCL Chinese Theatre has reopened in true Hollywood
fashion with a ribbon cutting ceremony today.

On hand to participate in the ribbon cutting was Adam Wingard, director of the new film 'GODZILLA vs. KONG, along with him were previous GODZILLA vs. KONG directors, Garth Edwards, Jordan
Vogt-Roberts, Michael Dougherty and Legendary Entertainment CEO, Joshua Grode.

In celebration of its reopening, the theater offered $5.00 tickets for John David Washington's 'TENENT.

godzilla v kong

The iconic theatre will host their first premiere with 'GODZILLA vs. KONG' on Wednesday,
March 31, 2021. In addition to the reopening and premiere, 1000 tickets were donated to the City of Los Angeles for the benefit of low-income families in the City.

The California Red tier guidelines for movie theaters indoor reopening is a 25% capacity with reserved seating only, where each group is seated with at least 6 feet of distance in all directions between any other groups.

Black Lives Matter Centered at Pan African Film Festival with Selection of Nate Parker’s AMERICAN SKIN as Centerpiece

paff logo

AMERICAN SKIN tells the story of a Black teenager shot to death by a white LAPD officer during a traffic stop in an affluent neighborhood

LOS ANGELES - The​ Pan African Film Festival​ today announced that Nate Parker’s American Skin (Vertical Entertainment) has been selected as the Centerpiece for the 29th edition of the Festival. The Centerpiece screening ​will be held virtually this year on Sunday, March 7 at 6 p.m. PT. ​A Q&A with the cast will follow the screening. The Pan African Film Festival is taking place globally online and on-demand through March 14.

Lincoln Jefferson is a Marine veteran who has served two combat tours in Iraq. Now stateside, he works as a custodian in a prestigious California high school- a job he secured only to ensure enrollment in the school to his 14-year old son KJ, following his divorce. One night, Lincoln and his son are stopped by police and an altercation leads to the fatal shooting of Lincoln’s unarmed son. Lincoln, hopeful the system will provide a trial, is dismayed to learn the officer responsible for pulling the trigger will go uncharged and will return to active duty without an indictment. Disillusioned by the fact he was denied a fair trial for the death of his only son, Lincoln desperately takes the matter into his own hands in a series of events he hopes will finally lead to justice for his son.

The film’s stellar ensemble cast includes Nate Parker, Omari Hardwick, Beau Knapp, Theo Rossi, Shane Paul McGhie, Milauna Jackson, AnnaLynne McCord, and Vanessa Bell Calloway.

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the 29th Pan African Film Festival will run through March 14 on-line and on-demand only. The virtual component allows this year’s Festival to reach a global audience. More information can be found at www.paff.org.

Hashtags: #PAFFNow
Twitter: @paffnow
Instagram: @paffnow
Facebook: facebook.com/paffnow

Festival Sponsors and Partners

The 29th Pan African Film Festival’s sponsors include the City of Los Angeles; the Los Angeles Department of Cultural Affairs; the Los Angeles County Department of Arts and Culture; Los Angeles County Supervisor Holly J. Mitchell, Los Angeles City Councilmember Marqueece Harris-Dawson (8th District); Los Angeles City Councilmember Curren Price (9th District); Los Angeles City Councilmember Mark Ridley-Thomas (10th District); California State Assemblyman Mike A. Gipson, 64th District; Commissioner Willard H. Murray, Jr., Water Replenishment District; U.S. Congresswoman Karen Bass, 37th District; U.S. Congresswoman Maxine Waters, 43rd District; Union Bank;  Brotherhood Crusade, Groundwurk; FilmLA; Sony Pictures Entertainment; Showtime, Facebook, Mervyn M. Dymally African American Political and Economic Institute; Academy of Motion Pictures Arts & Sciences; Woodford Reserve, Los Angeles Sentinel; The Wave; KPFK; Black Cultural Events; Immigrant Magazine; KJLH; Our Weekly; okayafrica; L.A. Focus; Envoi, Miss Everything Entertainment, Girl In Charge Public Relations and Empowerment Justice Strategies.

The Pan African Film & Arts Festival is supported, in part, by a grant provided by: The Academy of Motion Pictures Arts and Sciences; LA Arts COVID-19 Relief Fund with the California Community Foundation; and the LA County COVID-19 Arts Relief Fund administered by the LA County Department of Arts and Culture.

About the Pan African Film Festival

Gearing up for its 29th anniversary, the Pan African Film and Arts Festival (PAFF) is America's largest and most prestigious Black film festival. Each year, it screens more than 200 films made by and/or about people of African descent from around the world. PAFF holds the distinction of being the largest Black History Month event in the country. The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences (AMPAS) has designated PAFF as an official qualifying film festival for live-action and animation short films.

PAFF is a non-profit corporation, 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 Pan African Affairs.  PAFF is 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, ethnicities, and lifestyles in an entertaining way while at the same time, serving as a vehicle to initiate dialogue on the important issues of our times.

###

PRESSROOM
MEDIA ASSETS

Pan African Film Festival
Festival Public Relations
February 28 - March 14, 2021

press@paff.org
paff.org/pressroom

The 29th Pan African Film Festival Announces Competition Selections

Global Black Film Festival to Feature Over 65 World Premiere Titles

paff logo

For Immediate Release: February 5, 2021

Media Contact: press@paff.org

LOS ANGELES - The Pan African Film Festival (PAFF) announced today film nominations in its prestigious juried competition. The Pan African Film Festival is America's largest and most prestigious Black film festival. Each year, the PAFF screens more than 200 films made by and/or about people of African descent from around the world. PAFF holds the distinction of being the largest Black History Month event in the country. The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences (AMPAS) has designated PAFF as an official qualifying film festival for live-action and animation short films.  The 29th Pan African Film Festival will take place virtually from February 28 – March 14.

This year, the competitions will include over 65 World premiere titles and over 29 US premieres.

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the 29th Pan African Film Festival will run February 28 – March 14 on-line and on-demand only. The virtual component allows this year’s Festival to reach a global audience. More information can be found at www.paff.org.

Best Narrative Feature Competition

Back of the Moon (South Africa)
Director: Angus Gibson

Caged Birds (US)
Director: Fredrick Leach

Poppie Nongena (South Africa)
Director: Christiaan Olwagen

Red Pill (US)
Director: Tonya Pinkins

The Fisherman's Diary (Cameroon)
Director: Enah Johnscott

The Ghost and the House of Truth (Nigeria)
Director: Akin Omotoso

The Milkmaid (Nigeria)
Director: Desmond Ovbiagele

Best Documentary Competition 

City On the Hill (US)
Director: Xavier Underwood

Disruptor Conductor (Canada, US)
Director: Sharon Lewis

Firestarter - The Story of Bangarra (Australia)
Director: Wayne Blair, Nel Minchin

Fresh Guide To Florence with Fab 5 Freddy (Italy, US, UK)
Director: David Shulman

Lake Women (Rwanda, Germany)
Director: Deve Shema

Raymond Lewis: L.A. Legend (US)
Director: Ryan Matthew Polomski, Dean Prator

Through the Night (US)
Director: Loira Limbal

Uprooted - The Journey of Jazz Dance (Canada, France, UK, US)
Director: Khadifa Wong

Best First Feature - Director Competition

Narratives
African America (South Africa, US)
Director: Muzi Mthembu

Caged Birds (US)
Director: Fredrick Leach

Executive Order (Brazil)
Director: Lázaro Ramos

Love Like Winter (US)
Director: Artel Great

Shaina (Zimbabwe, South Africa)
Director: Beautie Masvaure Alt

Documentaries

Finding Sally (Ethiopia, Canada)
Director: Tamara Dawit

Hollywood's Architect: The Paul R. Williams Story (US)
Director: Royal Kennedy Rodgers, Kathy McCampbell Vance

Softie (Kenya, US)
Director: Sam Soko

The Letter (Kenya)
Director: Maia Lekow, Christopher King

The Patterson: Another Bronx Tale (US)
Director: Bahati Adrien Best

Who is Gatsby Randolph (US)
Director: Kobie Randolph

Best Short Narrative (Animation or Live Action)

#WeAreDyingHere (South Africa)
Director: Shane Vermooten

Antivirus (Greece)
Director: Anastasia Sima

Guillermina (Cuba)
Director: Aida Esther Bueno Sarduy

Junebug (US)
Director: Winter Dunn

Junior (US)
Director: Jehnovah Carlisle

London Arabia (UK)
Director: Daniel Jewel

Nazen (US)
Director: Shemar Yanick Jonas

Pure (US)
Director: Natalie Jasmine Harris

Sër Bi (Les Tissus Blancs) (Senegal, France)
Director: Moly Kane

Smell of Summer (US)
Director: Kris Wilson

The Cypher (US)
Director: Letia Solomon

The McHenry Trial – Don’t Judge a Kid by Their Hoodie (US)
Director: Ken Sagoes

The Power Of Hope (US)
Director: Kalia Love Jones

Till Death Do Us Part (Póki śmierć nas nie rozłączy ) (Uganda, Poland)
Director: Dolores Vunda

Tuk-tuk (Egypt)
Director: Mohamed Kheidr

Two Single Beds (UK)
Director: William Stefan Smith

Festival Sponsors and Partners

The 29th Pan African Film Festival’s sponsors include the City of Los Angeles; the Los Angeles Department of Cultural Affairs; the Los Angeles County Department of Arts and Culture; Los Angeles County Supervisor Holly J. Mitchell, Los Angeles City Councilmember Marqueece Harris-Dawson (8th District); Los Angeles City Councilmember Curren Price (9th District); Los Angeles City Councilmember Mark Ridley-Thomas (10th District); California State Assemblyman Mike A. Gipson, 64th District; Commissioner Willard H. Murray, Jr., Water Replenishment District; U.S. Congresswoman Karen Bass, 37th District; U.S. Congresswoman Maxine Waters, 43rd District; Union Bank;  Brotherhood Crusade, Groundwurk; FilmLA; Sony Pictures Entertainment; Mervyn M. Dymally African American Political and Economic Institute; Academy of Motion Pictures Arts & Sciences; Los Angeles Sentinel; The Wave; KPFK; Black Cultural Events; Immigrant Magazine; KJLH; Our Weekly; okayafrica; L.A. Focus; Envoi, Miss Everything Entertainment, Girl In Charge Public Relations and Empowerment Justice Strategies.

The Pan African Film & Arts Festival is supported, in part, by a grant provided by: The Academy of Motion Pictures Arts and Sciences; LA Arts COVID-19 Relief Fund with the California Community Foundation; and the LA County COVID-19 Arts Relief Fund administered by the LA County Department of Arts and Culture.

About the Pan African Film Festival

Gearing up for its 29th anniversary, the Pan African Film and Arts Festival (PAFF) is America's largest and most prestigious Black film festival. Each year, it screens more than 200 films made by and/or about people of African descent from around the world. PAFF holds the distinction of being the largest Black History Month event in the country. The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences (AMPAS) has designated PAFF as an official qualifying film festival for live-action and animation short films.

PAFF is a non-profit corporation, 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 Pan African Affairs.  PAFF is 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, ethnicities, and lifestyles in an entertaining way while at the same time, serving as a vehicle to initiate dialogue on the important issues of our times.

# # #

 

David Oyelowo’s ‘The Water Man’ Selected to Open 29th Pan African Film Festival

The fantasy-adventure film stars David Oyelowo and Rosario Dawson

paff logo

For Immediate Release
February 12, 2021

LOS ANGELES - The​ Pan African Film Festival​ today announced that ​The Water ManDavid Oyelowo’s feature directorial debut, will open the 29th edition of the Festival. The Opening Night celebration ​will be held virtually this year on February 28 at 6:30 p.m. PT. A Q&A with the filmmaker and actors will follow the screening. ​The Pan African Film Festival will take place virtually February 28 – March 14. Tickets are available at www.paff.org.

The Water Man is a fantasy-adventure film about a young boy named Gunner (Lonnie Chavis) who sets out on a quest to save his ill mother (Rosario Dawson) by searching for a mythic figure who knows the secret to immortality. Gunner enlists the help of a mysterious local girl (Amiah Miller) who has her own terrifying tale of meeting this figure, known as the Water Man, face-to-face. Together they journey into the remote Wild Horse forest, but the deeper they venture, the stranger and more dangerous the forest becomes. Back home, Gunner's father, Amos (Oyelowo), who has grown distant from Gunner over the years, will stop at nothing to find his son -- and in the process discovers who his son really is.

 

The film’s stellar ensemble cast also includes David Oyelowo, Rosario Dawson, Lonnie Chavis, Amiah Miller, Alfred Molina, and Maria Bello.

 

“We’re thrilled to be opening with David Oyelowo’s feature directorial debut,” said Ayuko Babu, the Festival’s Director. “Oyelowo is already a celebrated actor and known for his work in The Last King of ScotlandLincoln, and Selma to name a few. In the face of these unprecedented times, we are grateful to be able to continue supporting Black filmmakers like Oyelowo and to continue presenting unique and fascinating films for our audiences—like The Water Man--that reinforce positive images, help to destroy negative stereotypes, and depict an expanded vision of the Black experience.”

 

The Pan African Film Festival is America's largest and most prestigious Black film festival and largest Black History Month event. Each year, it screens more than 200 films made by and/or about people of African descent from around the world. PAFF holds the distinction of being the largest Black History Month event in the country. The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences (AMPAS) has designated PAFF as an official qualifying film festival for live-action and animation short films.

 

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the 29th Pan African Film Festival will run February 28 – March 14 on-line and on-demand only. The virtual component allows this year’s Festival to reach a global audience. More information can be found at www.paff.org.

 

Opening Night Ticket Information

 

Tickets are $30 and can be purchased at www.paff.org.

The Water Man Assets
Hi-Res Photos
Poster

Festival Sponsors and Partners

The 29th Pan African Film Festival’s sponsors include the City of Los Angeles; the Los Angeles Department of Cultural Affairs; the Los Angeles County Department of Arts and Culture; Los Angeles County Supervisor Holly J. Mitchell, Los Angeles City Councilmember Marqueece Harris-Dawson (8th District); Los Angeles City Councilmember Curren Price (9th District); Los Angeles City Councilmember Mark Ridley-Thomas (10th District); California State Assemblyman Mike A. Gipson, 64th District; Commissioner Willard H. Murray, Jr., Water Replenishment District; U.S. Congresswoman Karen Bass, 37th District; U.S. Congresswoman Maxine Waters, 43rd District; Union Bank;  Brotherhood Crusade, Groundwurk; FilmLA; Sony Pictures Entertainment; Mervyn M. Dymally African American Political and Economic Institute; Academy of Motion Pictures Arts & Sciences; Los Angeles Sentinel; The Wave; KPFK; Black Cultural Events; Immigrant Magazine; KJLH; Our Weekly; okayafrica; L.A. Focus; Envoi, Miss Everything Entertainment, Girl In Charge Public Relations and Empowerment Justice Strategies.

The Pan African Film & Arts Festival is supported, in part, by a grant provided by: The Academy of Motion Pictures Arts and Sciences; LA Arts COVID-19 Relief Fund with the California Community Foundation; and the LA County COVID-19 Arts Relief Fund administered by the LA County Department of Arts and Culture.

About the Pan African Film Festival

Gearing up for its 29th anniversary, the Pan African Film and Arts Festival (PAFF) is America's largest and most prestigious Black film festival. Each year, it screens more than 200 films made by and/or about people of African descent from around the world. PAFF holds the distinction of being the largest Black History Month event in the country. The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences (AMPAS) has designated PAFF as an official qualifying film festival for live-action and animation short films.

PAFF is a non-profit corporation, 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 Pan African Affairs.  PAFF is 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, ethnicities, and lifestyles in an entertaining way while at the same time, serving as a vehicle to initiate dialogue on the important issues of our times.

###

59 Film Festivals in 2020

PAFF Logo
59 Film Festivals 2020Pan African Film and Arts Festival
Los Angeles, CA
Established 28 years ago
Academy Award ® Qualifying
February 11-23, 2020
www.paff.org

Heartland International Film Festival
Indianapolis, IN
Establishes 29 Years ago
Academy Award ® Qualifying
Next Deadline: February 9, 2020
www.heartlandfilm.org
Hot Springs Documentary Film Festival
Hot Springs National Park, AR
Established 29 Years ago
Academy Award ® Qualifying
Next Deadline: February 12, 2020
www.hsdfi.org
Portland Film Festival
Portland, OR
Established 8 Years ago
Next Deadline: February 12, 2020
www.portlandfilmfestival.comBendFilm Festival
Bend, Oregon
Established 17 Years ago
Next Deadline: February 12, 2020
www.bendfilm.org
October 8-11, 2020

Napa Valley Film Festival
Napa, CA
Established 10 Years ago
Next Deadline: February 14, 2020
www.napavalleyfilmfest.org
Tacoma Film Festival
Tacoma, Washington
Established 15 Years ago
Next Deadline: February 15, 2020
www.tacomafilmfestival.com
October 8-15, 2020Mammoth Lakes Film Festival
Mammoth Lakes, CA
Established 6 Years ago
Next Deadline: February 15, 2020
www.mammothlakesfilmfestival.com
May 20-24, 2020

Brooklyn Film Festival
Brooklyn, NY
Established 23 Years ago
Canadian Screen Award Qualifying
Next Deadline: February 17, 2020
www.brooklynfilmfestival.org
June 2020 (10-days)
deadCenter Film Festival
Oklahoma City, OK
Established 20 Years ago
Next Deadline: February 21, 2020
www.deadcenterfilm.org
June 2020 (3 days)
Crossroads Film Festival
Jackson, Mississippi
Established 20 Years ago
Next Deadline: February 21, 2020
crossroadsfilmfestival.com
November 2020
Palm Springs International ShortFest
Palm Springs, CA
Established 26 Years ago
Academy Award ® Qualifying
Next Deadline: February 24, 2020
www.psfilmfest.org
June 16-22, 2020
Chagrin Documentary Film Festival
Chagrin Falls, Ohio, United States
Established 11 Years ago
Next Deadline: February 24, 2020
www.chagrinfilmfest.org
October 6-11, 2020
Big Apple Film Festival and Screenplay Competition
New York, New York, United States
Established 17 Years ago
Next Deadline: February 25, 2020
www.bigapplefilmfestival.com
May 19-21, 2020
Julien Dubuque International Film Festival
Dubuque, IA,
Established 9 Years ago
Next Deadline: February 26, 2020
www.julienfilmfest.com
April 22-26, 2020Seattle International Film Festival
Seattle, WA
Established 46 Years ago
Academy Award ® Qualifying
Next Deadline: February 28, 2020
www.siff.net
May 14-June 7, 2020

Calgary International Film Festival
Calgary, AB, Canada
Established 21 Years ago
Academy Award ® Qualifying
Next Deadline: February 28, 2020
www.calgaryfilm.com
September 23-October 4, 2020

DC Shorts International Film Festival
Washington, DC
Established 17 Years ago
Next Deadline: February 28, 2020
www.dcshorts.com
September 2020San Jose International Short Film Festival
San Jose, CA
Established 12 Years ago
Next Deadline: February 29, 2020
www.sjsff.com
October 2020

Washington West International Film Festival
Reston, VA
Established 9 Years ago
Next Deadline: February 29, 2020
www.wwfilmfest.com
October 22-26, 2020
San Diego Underground Film Festival
San Diego, CA
Established 6 Years ago
Next Deadline: February 29, 2020
www.sdundergroundarts.org
August 20-23, 2020
34th Edmonton International Film Festival
EDMONTON, Alberta, Canada
Established 34 Years ago
Academy Award ® Qualifying
Next Deadline: March 1, 2020
www.edmontonfilmfest.com
September 24-October 3, 2020
Woods Hole Film Festival
Woods Hole, MA
Established 29 Years ago
Next Deadline: March 1, 2020
www.woodsholefilmfestival.com
July 25-August 1, 2020
Shriekfest Horror/Sci-Fi Film Festival & Screenplay competition
Los Angeles, CA
Established 20 Years ago
Next Deadline: March 1, 2020
www.shriekfest.com
October 1-4, 2020
Twister Alley Film Festival
Woodward, OK,
Established 5 Years ago
Next Deadline: March 1, 2020
www.twisteralleyfilmfestival.com
April 30-May 2, 2020
Denver Film Festival
Denver, Colorado
Established 43 Years ago
Next Deadline: March 2, 2020
www.denverfilmfestival.org
October/November 2020
Fantasia Film Festival
Montreal, Quebec, Canada
Established 24 Years ago
Canadian Screen Award Qualifying
Next Deadline: March 2, 2020
www.fantasiafestival.com
July 16-August 5, 2020
FilmQuest
Provo, Utah
Established 7 years ago
Next Deadline: March 2, 2020
www.filmquestfest.com
September 4-12, 2020
Harlem International Film Festival
Harlem, NY
Established 15 Years ago
Next Deadline: January 17, 2020
www.harlemfilmfestival.org
May 14-17, 2020
Austin Revolution Film Festival
Austin, TX
Established 9 Years ago
Next Deadline: March 2, 2020
www.austinrevolution.com
Septeber 9-12, 2020Toronto International Film Festival
Toronto, Ontario, Candada
Established 44 Years ago
Next deadline: April 19, 2020
www.tiff.net
September 10-19, 2020

Oak Cliff Film Festival
Dallas, TX
Established 9 Years ago
Next Deadline: March 2, 2020
www.oakclifffilmfestival.com
June 2020
Santa Fe Independent Film Festival
Santa Fe, NM
Established 12 Years ago
Next Deadline: March 4, 2020
Abuja International Film Festival
Lagos, Nigeria
Established 19 Years ago
Next dealine: February 29, 2020
www.abujafilmfestival.org
October 2020
Outfest Los Angeles LGBTQ Film Festival
Los Angeles, CA
Established 38 Years ago
Academy Award ® Qualifying
Next Deadline: March 6, 2020
www.outfest.org
July 16-26, 2020
Hawaii International Film Festival
Honolulu, Hawaii
Established 40 Years ago
Next Deadline: March 6, 2020
www.hiff.org
April 17-23, 2020
Coney Island Film Festival
Brooklyn, NY
Established 20 Years ago
Next Deadline: March 6, 2020
www.coneyislandfilmfestival.com
September 11-13, 2020
Nevada City Film Festival
Nevada City, CA
Established 20 Years ago
Next Deadline: March 6, 2020
www.nevadacitychamber.com
August 28-September 4, 2020
International Black Movie Festival
Nashville, TN
Established   Years ago
Next Deadline: March 31, 2020
www.ibffevents.com
September 30-October 4, 2020
Evolution! Mallorca International Film Festival
Palma de Mallorca, Spain
Established 9 Years ago
Next Deadline: March 8, 2020
www.evolutionfilmfestival.org
March 2020
Camden International Film Festival
Camden, ME
Established 16 Years ago
Academy Award ® Qualifying
Next Deadline: March 9, 2020
www.pointsnorthinstitute.org
October 1-4, 2020
Lone Star Film Festival
Fort Worth, Texas
Established 14 Years ago
Next Deadline: March 9, 2020
www.lonestarfilmfestival.com
November 4-8, 2020
New Orleans Film Festival
New Orleans, LA
Established 31 Years ago
Academy Award ® Qualifying
Next Deadline: March 13, 2020
www.neworleansfilmsociety.org
February 27-March 4, 2020
Golden Door International Film Festival
Jersey City, New Jersey-New York
Established 10 Years ago
Next Deadline: March 13, 2020
www.goldendoorfilmfestival.org
September 17-22, 2020
San Francisco Black Film Festival
San Francisco, CA
Established
www.sfbff.org
June 2020
Sidewalk Film Festival
Birmingham, Alabama
Established 22 Years ago
Next Deadline: March 16, 2020
www.sidewalkfest.com
February 7-13, 2020
HollyShorts Screenplay Contest
Sherman Oaks, CA
Established 7 Years ago
Next Deadline: March 20, 2020
www.hollyshorts.com
August 11-20, 2020
Nashville Film Festival
Nashville, Tennessee
Established 51 Years ago
Academy Award ® Qualifying
Next Deadline: March 27, 2020
www.nashvillefilmfestival.org
October 1-7, 2020
Austin Film Festival
Austin, Texax
Established 27 Years ago
Academy Award ® Qualifying
Next Deadline: March 27, 2020
www.austinfilmfestival.com
October 22-29, 2020
Iris Prize LGBT+ Film Festival
CARDIFF, United Kingdom
Established 14 Years ago
BAFTA Qualifying
Next Deadline: March 30, 2020
www.irisprize.org
October 6-11, 2020
Filmfestival Kitzbuehel
Vienna, Austria
Established 8 Years ago
Next Deadline: March 30, 2020
www.ffkb.at
August 24-30, 2020
SCAD Savannah Film Festival
Savannah, Georgia
Established 23 Years ago
Next Deadline: March 31, 2020
www.filmfest.scad.edu/festival
October-November, 2020
Cannes Film Festival
Cannes, France
Established 73 Years ago
Next Deadline: February  15, 2020
https://m.festival-cannes.com
May 12-23, 2020
American Black Film Festival
Miami Beach, FL
Established 24 Years ago
Next Deadline: February 15, 2020
www.abff.com
June 17-21, 2020
Stony Brook Film Festival
Stony Brook, New York
Established 25 Years ago
Next Deadline: March 31, 2020
www.stonybrookfilmfestival.com
July 16-25, 2020
Oaxaca FilmFest
Oaxaca, Mexico
Established 11 Years ago
Next Deadline: March 31,
www.oaxacafilmfest.com
October 9-15, 2020
San Diego Black Film Festival
San Diego, CA
Established 17 Years ago
Next Deadline:
www.sdbff.com
January 27-31, 2021

18 TO PARTY Opens November 6th

(L-R) Alivia Clark and Tanner Flood in Jeff Roda’s 18 TO PARTY 
(Photo Credit: Asterion Pictures)

Giants Pictures, An Asterion Pictures Production in Association with Cahill Bros Film To Party opens in Virtual Theaters on November 6th in New York and major cities – Alamo on Demand and Los Angeles – Laemmle with a VOD Release to follow and all major platforms.

It’s 1984 and outside a small-town nightclub, a group of 8th graders gather, grappling with a spate of recent suicides, UFO sightings, their absentee parents, and each other. 18 TO PARTY spans a single evening in the lives of these kids, but manages to transport us fully to a time when waiting for something to happen felt just as significant as the thing itself.

Gorgeously atmospheric, with a pulsating sense of anticipation that steadily builds, the film pulls us into the fears, wounds, and desires of each character, ultimately revealing that hope may arrive from the last place we expect.

The meticulously authentic production design, killer soundtrack, and universally excellent performances recall the spirit of classic 80s teen movies like Stand By Me and The Breakfast Club. 18 TO PARTY is a spot-on love letter to Gen X, awkward teenagers, and the transcendent power of friendship.

(L-R) Oliver Gifford, Tanner Flood, Taylor Richardson and Nolan Lyons in Jeff Roda’s 18 TO PARTY 
(Photo Credit: Asterion Pictures)

About  Jeff Roda

Jeff Roda has written screenplays for DreamWorks, Universal, Paramount Pictures, New Regency, TriStar, and television pilots for HBO, CBS, and Warner Bros. Additionally, he was a producer on the Sony Pictures Classics feature, Love Liza, starring Academy Award winning actors Philip Seymour Hoffman and Kathy Bates. 18 TO PARTY marks his directorial debut. Roda is a local resident of Woodstock area and the film is set in Upstate New York.

An official selection at Woodstock Film Festival, Florida Film Festival (Winner! Special Jury Award/ Ensemble Cast), Big Apple Film Festival, Liverpool Film Festival and more.

Runtime: 1 hour 20 minutes
Country: US
Genre: Comedy
Initial Release: 2019
Director and Writer: Jeff Roda
Star cast: Alivia Clark, Tanner Flood, James Freedson-Jackson, Oliver Gifford, Nolan Lyons, Sam McCarthy, Ivy Miller, Taylor Richardson and Erich Schuett
Producers: Nikola Duravcevic, Emily Ziff Griffin, Andrew Cahill, Stephanie Marin
Music By: The Alarm, Big Audio Dynamite, Mick Jones, The Velvet Underground and many more
Cinematographer: Gris Jordana
Costume Designer: Eva Lopez
Production Designer: Sam Bader
Editor: Kate Williams