YOUNG PLATO will have a Theatrical release in NEW YORK (Angelika Film Center) and Boston (Dedham Community Theater) on Friday, September 23


Young Plato Poster





At Holy Cross Boys School in Belfast, Northern Ireland schoolyard conflicts are resolved at the Philosophy board where the youngsters learn to reason and think for themselves. School Principal Kevin McArevey, a Stoic who sings along to Elvis Presley, is rocking the status quo by teaching Philosophy to students in a community plagued by urban decay, sectarian violence, poverty and drugs. In an atmosphere of deep caring and support, his students learn new ways to manage their emotions based on Ancient texts. YOUNG PLATO  deftly addresses the social division and intergenerational trauma of a city divided by Peace Walls where "the troubles" are more than a memory in a story filled with the mischievous charm of young boys learning to question the mythologies of war and violence.  "Young Plato" shines a positive light on contemporary Northern Ireland, offering a model for building a culture of peace in these troubling times.

YOUNG PLATO - Awards and Festivals
World Premiere at DOC NYC 2021.  Winner of nine (9) international and Irish awards, including the Irish Film & Television Academy Award for Best Feature Doc 2022, presented by Michael Moore.  Selected for nearly 40 festivals worldwide.

Neasa Ní Chianáín (Director) is one of Ireland's most established documentary talents and has directed four features, four shorts and a TV  series. Neasa was named one of Europe's 10 most promising women directors at the Sydney Film Festival's 'Europe! Voices of Women in Film' program. Immediately prior to “Young Plato” Neasa directed 'In Loco Parentis' (aka 'School Life' ) a Magnolia Pictures release which premiered at IDFA 2016 and Sundance 2017. Awards: Special Jury Prize, Golden Gate Awards, San Francisco Film Festival; Audience Award, Visions du Réel, Nyon.  Directing credits: ‘Frank Ned & Busy Lizzie,’ ‘Fairytale of Kathmandu,’ and 'The Stranger.'  Neasa is currently in post-production on a new feature documentary, 'The Alexander Complex.’

Declan McGrath (Director) is a Belfast based filmmaker and a Director of the feature documentary YOUNG PLATO. Declan is also the Director of the award-winning 'Lomax in Éirinn ' (TG4) which screened at festivals worldwide and 'Mary McAleese & The Man Who Saved Europe  '(RTE, BBC).  He has written two books on the craft of filmmaking (Screencraft: Editing & Post Productions and Screencraft: Scriptwriting), both translated into 5 languages. He is also a regular contributor to the New York film journal Cineaste. Additional directing credits include:  'My Struggle For Life,' Tír Eoghain: The Unbreakable  Bond’ 'Women Of The Oireachtas.

Kevin McArevey (Protagonist) has been Headmaster at Holy Cross Boys School in Ardoyne, North Belfast, Northern Ireland for the last 10 years.

US Theatrical release supported by Screen Ireland and Meath County Council, and by our coproduction partners, Aisling Productions, Clin D’Oeil Films and Zadig Productions. 


Emma Griffiths (EG PR)

Bill Russell’s Impact on me and The Pan African Film Festival


I am Ayuko Babu, Executive Director of the Pan African Film Festival. Brother Bill Russell had a profound impact on my life. When I played center on my high school team in Cheyenne, Wyoming, we won the Wyoming State Championship and I won a full scholarship to the University of Wyoming and Otero Junior College in La Junta, Colorado (where the new Laker head coach Darvin Ham played before he moved on to Texas Tech and pro ball.) I moved on to play at LA City College and joined the civil rights/Black Power Movement. I had patterned my whole basketball game after Brother Bill, especially in defense. At that time, Cheyenne had no television station, so I religiously listened to the broadcasts of all Bill's games when they aired on the radio in Cheyenne. When able, I watched Bill and the other bad brothers on the Boston Celtics on television by antenna from Denver, Colorado.  He had a major impact on me. The way he looked and carried himself was noble. With his goatee and mustache and his 6’10” muscular frame, he looked like an African chief.

When I came out to Los Angeles in July 1962, I went to see Bill and the Boston Celtics play the Lakers at the old Sports Arena, which was new at the time. A friend of mine, Gene Wiley, was playing center for the Lakers. Brother Gene was from Amarillo, Texas, where I was born and lived until my family moved to Cheyenne. Gene got me tickets to see that game. Needless to say, it was an incredible game. I learned many invaluable basketball lessons that night watching Bill and Gene battle.  

Even at that time, I knew Bill was very much into Pan Africanism; not only basketball. He had bought a rubber plantation in the Republic of Liberia (West Africa). After the game, I was hoping to talk to Bill for a few minutes. So my brother Jaheed and I waited outside the locker room for him to come out. When he finally came through the door and into the hallway, I spoke to him and he smiled. I asked him about his rubber plantation in Liberia. He was happy to know that I knew about it. He stood there and talked to me and my brother for about an hour about the plantation and its operation. He proudly told us he had 200 workers and when he realized that his workers needed a school to increase their education and level of development, he built a school for them. It was my first experience speaking with someone who actually had a successful project and a program on the Continent. I was spellbound. During our encounter, Bill never spoke about the game we had just seen or basketball in general. His entire enthusiastic conversation was about the plantation and the incredible possibilities that these kinds of projects could open up for Black folks. 

Needless to say, he fueled my determination and drive to be a part of the Pan African experience. He became the role model that led me to facilitate Brother Stevie Wonder’s first trip to Africa to perform at the 2nd World Black and African Festival of Arts and Culture in Lagos, Nigeria in 1977. The Grammy organization flew to Nigeria to broadcast Stevie's performance and to present his Grammys in Lagos. The performance, directed and produced by Stan Lathan, was broadcast to a worldwide TV audience of 90 million people. Stevie performed his famous song Sir Duke with his band and Duke Ellington’s band and the George Faison dancers. It was Bill's influence and that early conversation after the Laker/Celtic game that spurred me on to bring the world-famous dance company Les Ballets Africains from the Republic of Guinea to perform at the 1984 Olympics in Los Angeles. Bill's impact was so inspirational to me that I, along with actress, singer and composer Ja’Net DuBois and actor Danny Glover, was able to create The Pan African Film Festival, which celebrates its 30th anniversary in 2022. This is the kind of impact that Pan Africanist Bill Russell had on my life and will continue to have on my life.

KDMG, Inc. Brings Moving Coming of Age Drama “Icon” to Audiences Everywhere this August

KDMG, Inc. Acquires Filmmaker Tony Ahedo's Touching Feature Film “Icon”  for North American VOD/Digital & Blu-Ray/DVD August 1st Release 

(Los Angeles, CA—July 11, 2022) KDMG, Inc. (Kaczmarek Digital Media Group, Inc.) has acquired the Pretty Sweet Films’ production of filmmaker Tony Ahedo’s touching feature film debut  “Icon.” This moving coming of age drama charts the perilous journey to adulthood for our charismatic leads Sam (Parker Padgett) and Ana (Devon Hales). KDMG, Inc. will release “Icon” across all TVOD/Digital and Blu-Ray/DVD platforms throughout North America on August 1, 2022.

Young love’s the topic of so many films, but rarely is it handled with earnest, authentic grace, as we see in “Icon”. Anchored in the touching performances of Padgett and Hales, audiences will find themselves moved much like fellow beloved indie film “The Spectacular Now.” When a surprise pregnancy forces Sam to face many brutal realities of adulthood and responsibility, things spiral rapidly out of control as he simultaneously tries to fight to find his own truth: why his absent father hasn’t been in his life since he was one and is only a fading memory.

Icon” was inspired by a true story and stars Parker Padgett (“Surviving Lunch”) and Devon Hales (Netflix’s “Teenage Bounty Hunters,” “Stan Against Evil”), along with Julia Denton (“The Fundamentals of Caring,” “Geostorm”), Tony Demil (Succession,” “Zola”), Bryce Anthony Heller (“Education in Love,”  “Cobra’s World”), and the feature film debut of Ronald Sansone.

“I am excited for audiences everywhere to see the film and prompt important conversations. My intent is to show the male perspective to a pregnancy in such a way that illuminates the idealization of patriarchy and toxic masculine views of the past and how we move beyond it,” stated Ahedo.

Adapted from an award-winning short that won the presidents’ award at Ringling College of Art & Design, “Icon” was filmed in Ahedo’s hometown of Saint Petersburg, Florida, just prior to the pandemic. The story pulls elements from his childhood growing up in the mid 90’s through the early 2000s in Florida.

“It's not often we see a good coming-of-age film that breaks down the fundamentals of teen adolescence in a relatable way,” stated KDMG, Inc.’s CEO, Kyle Kaczmarek . “I felt this story had an audience and needed to be seen. On behalf of myself and the KDMG team, I am thrilled to be part of Icon's journey.”

Cinematographer Harrison Stagner (“Rosary, Fiona Humphrey: A Family Album,” “Stubbz”), utilized different cameras to best embody the film’s timelines. A Canon C200 was used for the 2010 timeline and BMCC4K with a vintage 60’s lens for the 90’s timeline. “Icon” also features a moving original score by Chris Carlone (“The Red Cocoon,” “Highway to Havasu”).

Terese Linden Kohn, Founder of Talk Global Media, negotiated on behalf of the film with Kyle Kaczmarek, CEO of KDMG.

About KDMG, Inc.:
Kaczmarek Digital Media Group, Inc. 
(KDMG, Inc.) was founded in 2012 to provide a non-traditional, outside the box, hands-on digital approach to entertainment content providers. Deeply passionate about our work, KDMG counsels individuals and companies in all areas of the entertainment industry, including producers, directors, distributors, technology companies, digital retail platforms, sales agents, and cable, telecommunications and satellite companies toward achieving their highest potential.

About Pretty Sweet Films:
Pretty Sweet Films is a full-service narrative production company founded by award-winning filmmaker Tony Ahedo based in Los Angeles. Since its inception in 2019, the company has created and collaborated on a wide variety of projects across the country. From romantic coming of age films to raunchy dark comedies to chilling horror thrillers, PSF is prepared to make any story a compelling piece for the eyes and mind. With more than a decade of production experience, PSF is here to make films pretty sweet.

About TALK Global Media
TALK is veteran sales executive Terese Ann Linden Kohn's global sales agency whose years of indie sales and distribution experience has provided the global marketplaces with quality film, television and new media content.  Representing all genres and numerous libraries for all rights and windows, TALK takes pride in the transparency and service it provides to filmmakers, distributors and programmers around the world.


Matt Waldeck’s Directorial Feature Film Debut “Lovely Jackson” has World Premiere at American Black Film Festival on June 17th.

Lovely Jackson Poster_Clean 24x36

Zodiac Features’ bold new biographical true crime DocuThriller, “Lovely Jackson”, the feature film directorial debut from filmmaker Matt Waldeck, p.g.a. (“I See You”) ahead of its world premiere at the iconic American Black Film Festival on June 17th. 

A True Crime –  In 1975 YOUNG RICKEY and his two friends are convicted of the robbery and murder of Harold Franks without any physical evidence and based largely on the coerced false eye-witness testimony of then 12-year-old neighborhood paperboy, YOUNG EDWARD VERNON.  At just eighteen-years-old, Rickey is sentenced to die in the electric chair.  He spends two and a half years on death row and sees a number of his fellow death row inmates complete the “Death Walk”, the name given by the condemned to the “last thirty steps of your life” before getting strapped in to ride the lighting and die.  Rickey is just 82 days away from death by electrocution when miraculously, executions in Ohio are temporarily outlawed and all death sentences are commuted to life in prison.  Rickey stays alive for now, but before him lay a different challenge—surviving general population in Ohio’s most dangerous prison.

Film Synopsis:

LOVELY JACKSON is exonerated prisoner Rickey Jackson’s daring first-hand account of the psychology of survival and spiritual fortitude required to withstand 39 years of wrongful incarceration for a murder he didn’t commit.  At the time of his release in 2014, Rickey was the longest wrongfully incarcerated person in U.S. history—spending 39 years on death row and in Ohio’s most dangerous prisons after being convicted solely on the coerced eye-witness testimony of a 12-year-old neighborhood paper boy.

Lovely Jackson sees Rickey return to the prison where he was sent in 1976 on his way to the electric chair where he narrates and stars in reenactments alongside professional actors (one playing his younger self), and the (then) 12-year-old paper boy, now in his late 50’s.

Lovely Jackson is a boldly cinematic, epic journey that begins in tragedy, hopelessness, injustice, and death, but ends in hope, beauty, and new life.

Lovely Jackson”  is presented by H.E.L.P. in association with Zodiac Holdings and is a Zodiac Features production, directed by Matt Waldeck, written by Rickey Jackson and Matt Waldeck, producers are Rickey Jackson, Matt Waldeck,  Ben Hecht (“I See You”), Travis Killian, and Jillian Wolstein, with music by Jacques Brautbar (“It Ain’t Over”),mcinematography by John Turk (“Madtown”), and editing by Mark Andrew Hamer (“The Hunting”) and Lori Lovoy-Goran (“Kid 90”).

Industryworks Studios Brings the Non-Stop Action Film “BULLET PROOF” to Cannes Marche Du Film   Grindstone to Distribute in U. S. and Canada This Summer

Photo from ‘Bullet Proof’ Courtesy of IndustryWorks Studios 
Photo from ‘Bullet Proof’ Courtesy of IndustryWorks Studios 

Genre: Action
Distributor: IndustryWorks Studios Inc.
Cast: Vinnie Jones, Lina Lecompte, James C. Clayton and Janvier Katabarwa as ‘The Frenchman’
Executive Producer: Evan Tylor, Annie Storey, Caterina Scrivano, Stan Wertlieb, Barry Brooker, Matthew Robert Kelly
Producer: Marc Petey, Jonnie Broi, James C. Clayton, Ryan Ennis, Paul Engstrom, Pieter Stathis, Ryan Petey, Zach Steele
Story by: Cooper Bibaud, Danny Mac, & James C. Clayton
Screenplay by: Cooper Bibaud & Danny Mac
Director: James C. Clayton
For screeners and more information during Cannes Film Festival; contact:  Caterina Scrivano IndustryWorks Studios

Social Media Handles
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Facebook:   Instagram: @industryworkspictures
For more information, interviews and photographs please contact: Annie Jeeves/Cinematic Red PR E:

Photo from ‘Bullet Proof’ Courtesy of IndustryWorks Studios 

In Bullet Proof, a thief who only looks out for number one pulls off the robbery of a lifetime when he robs the psychotic drug lord Temple. The plan goes off without a hitch until the thief discovers a stowaway in his getaway car: Temple’s wife, Mia. With Temple and his top hitman, the deadly and mysterious hitman The Frenchman, in hot pursuit, and torn between making a quick getaway or taking a risky detour to help Mia escape her husband’s abusive grasp, the thief finds the only way to get out alive is to drive.

Directed by James C. Clayton in his directorial debut, with a screenplay by Cooper Bibaud & Danny Mac and a story by Cooper Bibaud & Danny Mac & James C. Clayton, the film stars Vinnie Jones, Lina Lecompte, James C. Clayton, Janvier Katabarwa, Danny Mac, and Philip Granger.

Bullet Proof has all the elements of a classic action movie and is sure to keep audiences at the edge of their seats,” said Evan Tylor, CEO of IndustryWorks Studios.

When Caterina and Evan screened Bullet Proof for me, I was absolutely knocked out,” said Stan Wertlieb, Partner of Grindstone Entertainment Group. “With high octane, kickass action, Vinnie Jones delivers a classic evil performance. And James C. Clayton shows he has the chops as both an action star and director – he’ s a fantastic new presence on the scene.”.”

James C. Clayton, who directs and stars in the movie, said, “With Bullet Proof, I wanted to deliver a relentless, thrilling joy ride. And I could not have been more excited than to work with the great Vinnie Jones, who makes Temple even more terrifying than I’d imagined on the page. It’s so great to know that Grindstone will be bringing this movie to action audiences across the country this summer.” 


IndustryWorks Studios (“IWS”) is a feature film and tv production and distribution company under the direction of CEO Evan Tylor. He has successfully developed, produced, financed and distributed feature films, MOW’s and Original Series most notably Van Helsing for Netflix. As President & CEO Evan and the IndustryWorks label have been delivering high quality production and introducing emerging new talent consistently to audiences worldwide since the company’s inception in 2005. The Company develops, finances, produces and distributes Feature Films, MOW’s, Mini-Series and TV series.

IndustryWorks Studios continues to add to its vast growing catalog of films and series and remains one of the most active production and worldwide distribution companies in Canada.

Original content titles include feature film ‘Ripper’ (licensed to Lionsgate Films), ‘The Operative’, ‘Confessions of a Sociopathic Social Climber’ starring Jennifer Love Hewitt, produced for Bravo’s Oxygen Network, ‘Walk All Over Me’ starring Leelee Sobieski and Tricia Helfer and sold to The Weinstein Company, the critically acclaimed and controversial horror film ‘American Mary’ produced and sold to Universal Pictures, ‘Back to the Sea’, ‘Wrecker’, ‘Selfie From Hell’ (based on the YouTube viral sensation of the same name) and ‘AMI’ tech-horror film licensed to Netflix.

Pan African Film & Arts Festival Announces 2022 Jury and Programmers’ Awards

PAFF Awards picl

The Pan African Film & Arts Festival’s (PAFF) 30th edition concluded on Sunday, May 1st.  Held both in person at the Cinemark Baldwin Hills 15 and XD and online, PAFF announced its 2022 juried film award winners during their annual Awards Brunch in Los Angeles on Monday, May 2nd.  Three groups determined the winners: 1) an external panel of judges, 2) the PAFF Programmers, and 3) the audience.  PAFF took place in Los Angeles from April 30-May 1, 2022. 

This year’s film roster reflects the times we are in,” said PAFF General Manager Asantewe Olatunji. “Many focus on social justice issues such as gender equality, police and community relations, and the changing lifestyle norms. Of course, several of the PAFF 2022 films focus on our well-known and sometimes obscure sheroes and heroes whose stories told by their own people give a new perspective of history and view of our world.”

Olatunji continued, “I predict this is just the beginning of the melting of the system’s iceberg that once limited access and the types of stories that are being told. Not only are these films Black films from the world over, but they are also films being made by Black women and LGBTQ+ filmmakers that authentically reflect their world. These are films by people who never had a seat at the table let alone a voice in the conversation. 


"As programmers, myself and the other PAFF programmers are happy to be a part of this process of helping to shift the paradigm of what stories are told and by whom. To present these stories and provide access for both filmmakers and their audiences is a great privilege.”

The 2022 PAFF featured over 200 films from 55 countries, in 18 languages, including 58 World and 32 North American premieres.  Of the films selected for the Festival, 46% were helmed by female, queer or non-binary filmmakers, and 80% were directed by filmmakers of African descent. 

For additional information about PAFF visit


Jury Awards


Best Feature Narrative  - Lingui, the Sacred Bonds (Chad) – Directed by Mahamat-Saleh Haroun 


Best First Feature Narrative  - Queen of Glory (US) – Directed by Nana Mensah 


Best Feature Documentary - Buddy Guy: the Blues Chase the Blues Away (US) -- Directed by Charles Todd & Devin Amar 


Best First Feature Documentary - Africa and I (South Africa) -- Directed by Othmane Zolati & Chris Green


Best Short Narrative - Slow Pulse (US) – Directed by Marshall Tyler 


Best Short Documentary - Cuba in Africa (Cuba/US) -- Directed by Negash Abdurahman 


Programmers’ Awards


Programmers’ Award: Narrative Feature - Ayinla (Nigeria) – Directed by Tunde Kelani

Programmers’ Award: Documentary  - Race Today (UK) -- Directed by Wayne G Saunders

Programmers’ Award: Short Narrative - 2 Eye Drops from Normal (US) -- Directed by Mora Carew 

Programmers’ Award: Short Documentary  - For Love & Legacy (US)--Directed by A.K. Sandhu 


Audience Awards


Audience Favorite: Feature Narrative - Remember Me: The Mahalia Jackson Story (US) -- Directed by Denise Dowse

Audience Favorite: Feature Documentary (tie) - The Dream Whisperer (US) – Directed by Eric Drath and Ferguson Rises (US) – Directed by Mobolaji Olambiwonnu 


Audience Favorite: Short Narrative - Contraban (US) – Directed by Chelsea Hicks


Audience Favorite: Short Documentary - Crawford - The Man the South Forgot (US) – Directed by Carol Devoe


Ja’net Dubois Awards


Narrative - A Brother’s Whisper (US) -- Directed by Jacinto Taras Riddick


Documentary- Grandpa was an Emperor (US/Canada/Ethiopia/France/Germany/Jamaica/UK) -- Directed by Constance Marks 


Festival Sponsors and Partners


PAFF is sponsored in part by the City of Los Angeles, the Los Angeles Department of Cultural Affairs, Los Angeles County Supervisor Holly J. Mitchell through the Department of Arts and Culture, LA Councilmember Marqueece Harris-Dawson, LA Councilmember Curren Price, LA Councilmember Herb Wesson, 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.


The 30th Pan African Film & Arts Festival’s sponsors include Major Festival Sponsors: Stocker Street Creative, FX Networks, and Glassdoor.


Additional sponsors include:  ALLBLK, University of Southern California (USC), Procter & Gamble (P&G), Showtime, Paramount+, Sierra Club, Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC), California State University, Los Angeles (Cal State LA), Black Alliance for Just Immigration (BAJI), Union Bank, Sony Pictures Entertainment, STARZ, Unilever (Dove), Kaiser Permanente, Bank of America, Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority (Metro), Los Angeles Lakers, Directors Guild of America, Motion Pictures Association, West Basin Municipal Water District, SAGindie, Water Replenishment District, University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) School of Theater, Film & Television, 100 Black Men of Los Angeles, IKEA, Cinemark, Baldwin Hills Crenshaw Plaza, Warner Media, TV One.


About the Pan African Film Festival


Established in 1992 by Hollywood veterans Danny Glover (The Color Purple, Lethal Weapon), the late Ja’Net DuBois (“Good Times”), and Ayuko Babu (Executive Director), the Pan African Film Festival is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization that has remained dedicated to the promotion of Black stories and images through the exhibition of film, visual art, and other creative expression. PAFF is one of the largest and most prestigious Black film festival in the U.S. and attracts local, national, and international audiences. In addition, it is an Oscar qualifying festival for animation and live-action films, and one of the largest Black History Month events in America.

The 30th Pan African Film & Arts Festival Closing Night Screening TV One’s “STALKER”


Tanya Moore (Meta Golding) is a well-known Hollywood actress, who is tormented by a stalker, who calls her one night, telling her to search her soul and fix her past.

Tanya goes home to the house she grew up in, where her estranged younger sister Shelly (Tationna Bosier) is living; visiting his parents’ empty house next door is Tanya’s high school boyfriend Damon (Christian Keyes). 

Tanya, Shelly and Damon are on a mission to figure out who is tormenting Tanya from a slew of suspects including a menacing cop, to Tanya’s ex or a married teacher that Tanya was involved with in high school.

Stalker” is produced for TV One by Swirl Films, with Eric Tomosunas and Robert A. Boyd II, serving as Executive Producers. James Seppelfrick, Ron Robinson and Keith Neal serve as Producers for Swirl Films. Bobby Yan serves as Director for TV One, Jason Ryan and Robyn Greene Arrington are Executive Producers in Charge of Production, Donyell Kennedy-McCullough is Senior Director of Talent & Casting and Susan Henry is Senior Director of Original Programming and Production.

Join the cast and producer of “Stalker” for an exclusive screening, followed by a Q&A, on the closing night of the 30th Annual Pan African Film & Arts Festival

Christian Keyes (Damon), Tationna Bosier (Shelly) and Keith Neal (producer).

Sunday, May 1, 2022

Red Carpet: 6:00 pm PST
Program: 7:00 pm PST
Panel to follow directly after screening.

Pan African Film Festival
Baldwin Hills Crenshaw Plaza 15 and XD
4020 Marlton Avenue
Los Angeles, CA 90008

Basketball Legend Dick Barnett’s Long, Challenging, And Historic Journey to Get His College Team Inducted into The Hall Of Fame is the Subject of Inspiring New Documentary


Dick Barnett spent three seasons with the Lakers before helping the Knicks beat L.A. twice in the NBA finals.

In 1957, nine years before Texas Western's NCAA title victory over Kentucky, there was the Tennessee A&I (now known as Tennessee State University) Tigers.  And while Texas Western became the first team to win the NCAA title with an all Black starting lineup, Tennessee A&I was the first Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCU) to win a national championship tournament.  Led by Hall of Fame coach John McLendon, and future NBA players Dick Barnett and John Barnhill, Tennessee A&I closed out the 1950s winning the NAIA Tournament in 1957, 1958, and 1959, the first college team, on any level, to win three consecutive national titles.

 Fittingly, in the 65th anniversary year of the Tigers' first national championship of that historic run, comes the 2022 release of The Dream Whisperer (The Dream Whisperer Trailer - YouTube).  Eleven years in the making, the documentary chronicles New York Knicks legend Dick Barnett's long and often frustrating journey to have his team recognized for its achievement at the highest level -- induction into the Naismith Basketball Hall of Fame.  The Dream Whisperer, which will first be playing the festival circuit, is a not only a homage to a historic team from a small HBCU school which won three consecutive national championships in the midst of segregation in the Jim Crow South, but a testament to Barnett's persistence and perseverance to make sure the Tigers' legacy would be honored and remembered.

 "This is a story about the first college basketball team to win three consecutive national championships.  A team that almost was lost to history until I decided to do something about it," said Barnett, who is now 85.  "It's about a legacy that needs to be protected and passed on."   

Narrated by Dr. Barnett, The Dream Whisperer features interviews with: John Thompson, Hall of Fame coach; Julius Erving, Hall of Fame NBA player; Walt Frazier, two-time NBA Champion; Bill Bradley, two-time NBA Champion; Phil Jackson, Hall of Fame coach;  David Stern, Hall of Fame NBA Commissioner; Joanna McLendon, Coach McLendon's widow; Jim Satterwhite, Tennessee A&I championship team member; Harry Carlton, Tennessee A&I championship team member; Howard Gentry, former Tennessee State University Athletic Director; Dr. Harry Edwards, Civil Rights activist; John Doleva, President, Naismith Basketball Hall of Fame; and George Willis, sports journalist.  

 Barnett, known as the Skull during his college days, was selected by the Syracuse Nationals in the first round (No. 5 overall) of the 1959 NBA Draft.  The Nationals made the playoffs in Barnett's first two years before he jumped to the American Basketball League in 1961, where he led the Cleveland Pipers, owned by George Steinbrenner, to the ABL title.  Barnett and his Fall Back Baby jump shot returned to the NBA in 1962, playing for the Los Angeles Lakers, a team that made it to the NBA Championship Finals in two of the three years he played for them.

He was traded to the New York Knicks in 1965 and was a member of the 1970 and 1973 NBA Championship teams.  The Knicks retired his No.12 jersey, which hangs in honor with those of his teammates inside Madison Square Garden.  Barnett, who holds a master's degree in public administration from New York University and a PhD in education administration and supervision from Fordham University, continues to champion the battles for equity and social justice by telling his story, and the story of the courageous and talented Tennessee A&I team, on which he played, to students, of all ages, around the country.

The Dream Whisperer is executive produced by Ed Peskowitz, Penelope Peskowitz, Eric Drath, George Willis, and Grammy Award-winning hip hop producer 9th Wonder, produced by Danielle Naassana, Aaron Cohen, and directed by two-time Emmy winner Eric Drath.   

The Dream Whisperer will have its world premiere at the 30th Annual Pan African Film & Arts Festival on Sat., Apr. 30th at 7 p.m. with Dick Barnett in attendance.

Tickets are available here.

Who:  Pan African Film & Arts Festival and Dick Barnett

What:  The 30th Pan African Film & Arts Festival

When: Saturday, April 30, 2022, Red Carpet at 6 p.m., Screening at 7 p.m., Q&A to follow screening

Where: Cinemark Baldwin Hills Crenshaw Plaza 15 and XD, 4020 Marlton Ave, Los Angeles, CA 90008 

PAFF30 is taking place in-person through May 1, 2022, at the Cinemark Baldwin Hills and the Baldwin Hills Crenshaw Plaza. The Festival will showcase nearly 200 films, as well as a slew of accompanying filmmaker Q&As and audience engagement opportunities. In addition, PAFF’s renowned Black art show will take place at the Baldwin Hills Crenshaw Plaza.

For additional information about PAFF visit



South Central is a critically-acclaimed 1992 American crime-drama film, written and directed by Stephen Milburn Anderson. This film is an adaptation of the 1987 fictional novel, The Original South Central L.A. Crips by Donald Bakeer, a former high school teacher in South Central Los Angeles. The film stars Glenn Plummer, Byron Minns, Carl Lumbly, and Christian Coleman. South Central was produced by Oliver Stone and released by Warner Bros.

South Central tells the story of a man who is put into prison for 10 years. Coming out of prison he wants to live a normal life in South Central Los Angeles and stop with crime but his son has yet followed the criminal path of his father.

Who: Pan African Film & Arts Festival and Donald Bakeer, Glenn Plummer, Byron  Minns, Carl Lumbly, and Christian Coleman.

What: The 30th Pan African Film & Arts Festival

When: Friday, April 29, 2022, Red Carpet at 8 p.m., Screening at 9:10 p.m., Q&A to follow screening.

Where: Baldwin Hills Crenshaw Plaza 15 and XD, 4020 Marlton Ave, Los Angeles, CA 90008 

PAFF30 is taking place in-person through May 1, 2022, at the Cinemark Baldwin Hills and the Baldwin Hills Crenshaw Plaza. The Festival will showcase nearly 200 films, as well as a slew of accompanying filmmaker Q&As and audience engagement opportunities. In addition, PAFF’s renowned Black art show will take place at the Baldwin Hills Crenshaw Plaza.

For additional information about PAFF visit

Pan African Film and Arts Festival Announces Kickoff of Yearlong 30th Celebration With Black History Month Retrospective Series

PAFF 30th Logo

Virtual retrospective series to celebrate 30 years of PAFF Feb. 15-28 with ‘Best of PAFF’ Hybrid in-person and virtual festival still set for April in Los Angeles

Jimmy Jean-Louis in Rattlesnakes, which was shown at the 2019 Pan African Film Festival, is among the films to be screened during PAFF's Black History Month Retrospective Series
Jimmy Jean-Louis in Rattlesnakes, which was shown at the 2019 Pan African Film Festival, is among the films to be screened during PAFF's Black History Month Retrospective Series

LOS ANGELES — The Pan African Film & Arts Festival (PAFF), one of the largest Black History Month events in America and the largest Black film festival, will kick off its yearlong 30th celebration in February with the first of several specially curated blocks of the festival’s most fascinating, complex and most liked films over the past three decades. Throughout the festival’s 30-year history, PAFF has celebrated Black filmmakers and actors whose work has pushed the envelope in cinema in the US and abroad in Africa and other parts of the world. The Best of PAFF Retrospective Series kicks off with a Black History Month exhibition featuring nearly two dozen cinematic groundbreaking foreign and domestic films. The inaugural Best of PAFF Retrospective Series will take place virtually Feb. 15-28, 2022. Film listings, tickets, and passes are available at

To celebrate PAFF’s 30-year milestone, the festival will continue its retrospective series in March highlighting Black female filmmakers and their films.

In addition, the 30th annual Pan African Film and Arts Festival is slated to place April 19-May 1 after being postponed due to the rise of COVID cases in Los Angeles County. The hybrid festival of in-person and virtual screenings will take place in Los Angeles at its flagship venues the Directors Guild of America, Cinemark Baldwin Hills, and XD and Baldwin Hills Crenshaw Plaza.

The Best of PAFF Retrospective Series is sponsored in part by 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); the 10th Los Angeles City Council District; 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

Established in 1992 by Hollywood veterans Danny Glover (The Color Purple, Lethal Weapon), the late Ja’Net DuBois (“Good Times”), and Ayuko Babu (Executive Director), the Pan African Film Festival is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization that has remained dedicated to the promotion of Black stories and images through the exhibition of film, visual art, and other creative expression.

PAFF is the largest and most prestigious Black film festival in the U.S. and attracts local, national, and international audiences. It is also one of America’s largest Black History Month events.

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The PAFF is generously supported by the City of Los Angeles, the Department of Cultural Affairs, Los Angeles County Arts and Culture, Los Angeles County Supervisor Holly J. Mitchell, Los Angeles Councilmember Marqueece Harris-Dawson and Los Angeles Council District 10.

For more information, please contact