Reviews and Events

EXECUTIVE ORDER: A Film by Lázaro Ramos

When Government officials will go to any lengths to continue the oppression of its citizens of African descent

Executive Order pic

Director:  Lázaro Ramos
Writers:   Lusa Silvestre, Lázaro Ramos, Aldri Anunciação and Elísio Lopes Jr
Starring:  Alfred Enoch,  Taís Araujo, Seu Jorge,  Adriana Esteves, Renata Sorrah, Mariana Xavier
Santiago: Pablo Sanábio
Runtime: 1 hour 34 minutes
Genre:     Science Fiction, Drama
Country: Brazil
Language: Portuguese (English subtitles)

Renowned Brazilian actor, Lázaro Ramos, makes his directorial debut  with his new compelling film EXECUTIVE ORDER.

Ramos tackles an age-old topic of compensation for the descendants of enslaved Africans. Slaves, whose forced labor built countries’ wealth around the globe, including his home country of  Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.

Lawyer, Antônio, (Alfred Enoch)  takes legal action against the Brazilian government demanding compensation for all the descendants of the countries’ African slaves.  Taking on the government requires Antônio to seek help, so he enlist his cousin, André (Seu Jorge) and wife Capitu (Taís Araújo) to force the change the want to see.

The government’s response is to force a  Back-to-Africa movement like those that took place in the 1700 and 1800s in the United States. The powers that be have never taking reparations seriously as evident by the continued discussion and no action.  The topic also evokes varied responses from both sides of the issue. When talking about going back to Africa, Sierra Leone and Liberia, two African countries formed by former slaves. Here in the United States people are still waiting for their 40 acres and a mule, promised to freed American slaves, that have yet to be delivered.

Lázaro Ramos, “Its political significance is to put so many black actors, in great part, speaking freely bout themes that are important for them. “ We’re living a historical moment in the world where polarizing positions are dominating the narratives, where there’s an attempt of simplifying people as if they were only defined by a single adjective.

Based on that, criminalizing, discriminating, undermining, silencing them has become a central issue. The film is an attempt to show that we have more layers than the current narrative. That said, yes it is a criticism to the extremes and an attempt to foresee our next steps in order to avoid all this radicalism in which we all live in now.

The stars of the film are the following:

Antônio (Alfred Enoch) is an actor of Anglo-Brazilian descent whose mother was born in Rio de Janeiro. He established himself in the movie business as Dean Thomas in the “Harry Potter” movie series and playing Wes Gebbin in the ABC TV series, “How To Get Away With Murder”. Executive Order is his first Portuguese language film; his mother is from Rio de Janeiro, and he is fluent in Portuguese.

Capitu (Taís Araujo)

Got her start on the theater stage and crossed over to become a popular actresses in Brazil and other Portuguese speaking countries. Taís accomplished many first in Brazil starting in 1997, when she was the first black actress to take a leading role in a Brazilian soap opera called Xica da Silva and later becoming the first black TV host and named women's advocate for UN Brazil.

André (Seu Jorge)

An award winning singer and actor, who has won three Latin Grammy awards. He also won best actor for the feature “Marighella” at the Bari International Film Festival, in Italy. He became known to the world in the 2005  film by Wes Anderson “The Aquatic Life of Steve Zissou”. He has recorded more than 15 albums and has appeared in several films, Cidade de Deus, Tropa Elite 2 and Pelé. On TV, he has acted in the American series “Sleepwalkers” and in the Brazilian miniseries “Os Normais”, “Mandrake” and “Brasil, Brasil”.

Ramos’ process for working with actors is “not only in film but also in theater plays I make them have an opinion before everything happens, even before they study the script. I try to promote debates on the subjects it’ll be about so they get passionate for it and defend their points of view. I worked in partnership with two people in particular: one of them is a theater actress called Tatiana Tibúrcio and Flávia Lacerda, theater and TV director, that were beside me throughout the process of rehearsal where we brought provocative exercises for the actors. We’d never closed the process though, so the actors could have the freedom when on set to live the moment.”

Production Co: Lereby, Lata Filmes
Run time: 1 hour 34 minutes
Starring: : Alfred Enoch,  Taís Araujo, Seu Jorge,  Adriana Esteves, Renata Sorrah, Mariana Xavier
Santiago: Pablo Sanábio
Director: Lázaro Ramos
Writers:  Lusa Silvestre, Lázaro Ramos, Aldri Anunciação and Elísio Lopes Jr
Producers: Daniel Filho and Tania Rocha
Cinematographer: Adrian Teijido
Art Director: Tiago Marques
Editor: Diana Vasconcellos
Sound Editor: Waldir Xavier
Executive Producer: Mariza Figueiredo
Original Soundtrack: Plínio Profeta, Rincon Sapiência and Kiko de Souza
Productions Companies: Lereby Produções and Lata Filmes
Co-Production Companies: Globo Filmes and Melanina Acentuada
Associate Producer: Claudia Bejarano

THE SPINE OF NIGHT A SXSW 2021- MIDNIGHTERS SECTION

World Premiere screening on Thursday, March 18 at 8:00pm CST

THE SPINE OF NIGHT key art

Genre: Fantasy, Animation, Horror
Production Co.: Gorgonaut Pictures
Director and Writer: Philip Gelatt, Morgan Galen King
Starring: Richard E. Grant, Lucy Lawless, Patton Oswalt, Betty Gabriel and Joe Manganiello and Abby Savage, Larry Fessenden and Rob McClure

spine of nightJoe

This epic begins many years ago when an ambitious young man steals forbidden knowledge from a sacred plant and, as he falls to its darker temptations, unleashes ages of suffering onto mankind. As his power grows over the years, there are many who stand against him. Among them are a daring tomb-robber, star-crossed lovers, a maniacal necromancer, winged assassins, and an undying guardian.

 

 Lucy Lawless as Tzod

THE SPINE OF NIGHT is an ultra-violent, hand-rotoscoped epic fantasy inspired by the cult classic works of animators Ralph Bakshi and Frank Franzetta. The film is set in a fantasy land ripe with magic and intrigue where a dark force is unleashed sending mankind into an age of ruin. It falls on heroes from different eras and cultures to fight back , and stars  Richard E. Grant (STAR WARS: THE RISE OF SKYWALKER, BRAM STOKER’S DRACULA), Lucy Lawless (ASH VS. EVIL DEAD, XENA: WARRIOR  PRINCESS ), Patton Oswalt  (THE SECRET LIFE OF PETS 2, PARKS AND RECREATION), Betty Gabriel (GET OUT, UPGRADE), and Joe Manganiello (JUSTICE LEAGUE, SPIDER-MAN), also featuring Abby Savage(ORANGE IS THE NEW BLACK)and Larry Fessenden (THE DEAD DON’T DIE, DEPRAVED) and Rob McClure.

SOCIAL MEDIA:

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VIEW TRAILER BELOW!

 

AFTER THE MURDER OF ALBERT LIMA

Award-winning documentary AFTER THE MURDER OF ALBERT LIMA premieres on Thursday, March 18th exclusively on CRACKLE in the US

After the murder poster

Director: Aengus James (AMERICAN HARMONY, SCANDALOUS)
Executive Producers: Van Toffler, Floris Bauer, Jude Harris, Meredith Vieira
Producers: Amy Rapp, Aengus James, Colin King Miller, Paul Lima
Production Co.: Gunpowder & Sky / This Is  Just A Test/ Meredith Vieira Productions Production
Genre: Documentary Feature
Running time: 1 hour 37 minutes  minutes
Language: English
Country: USA and Honduras

Albert Lima Portrait 1990's
(Photo Credit: THIS IS JUST A TEST MEDIA)
Albert Lima Portrait 1990's (Photo Credit: THIS IS JUST A TEST MEDIA)

An Official Selection of DOC NYC, Woodstock Film Festival and many more.

Award-winning documentary AFTER THE MURDER OF ALBERT LIMA tells the story of a son obsessed with capturing his father’s killer. Paul Lima has spent over a decade seeking justice for his slain father, Albert. Though convicted, Albert’s murderer has remained free in Honduras. After years of the legal system failing him, Paul takes the unorthodox step of hiring two bounty hunters to travel with him to Honduras to track down and capture his father’s killer. This riveting, and, at times, darkly comedic documentary explores both the importance of family and the dangers of taking the law into your own hands.

Filmmaker Aengus James
(Photo Credit: THIS IS JUST A TEST MEDIA)
Filmmaker Aengus James (Photo Credit: THIS IS JUST A TEST MEDIA)

AENGUS JAMES is an award-winning filmmaker and television producer. His recent works include SCANDALOUS (Magnolia, CNN, BBC), Undercover Billionaire  (Discovery), and the GLAAD Media Award-winning I Am Jazz (TLC). Aengus began his career serving as Barry Levinson's cinematographer in POLIWOOD.  AFTER THE MURDER OF ALBERT LIMA follows Aengus' directorial debut and IDA award nominated documentary comedy AMERICAN HARMONY. He has created and directed content for global brands and non-profits, and his work has received numerous honors including special recognition from the White House and the United Nations for raising awareness on issues including veterans' mental health and women's healthcare around the world. Aengus is the co-founder and head of This is Just a Test.

(L-R) Paul Lima and Albert Lima on skiing trip
(Photo Credit: THIS IS JUST A TEST MEDIA)
(L-R) Paul Lima and Albert Lima on skiing trip (Photo Credit: THIS IS JUST A TEST MEDIA)

CRACKLE PLUS, A CHICKEN SOUP FOR THE SOUL ENTERTAINMENT COMPANY

Crackle Plus owns and operates ad-supported VOD networks Crackle and Popcornflix and garners 50 million streams of its movies and TV shows per month, making it one of the largest AVOD streaming platforms in the U.S. Crackle Plus has over 80,000 hours of content available across all its networks, and premieres at least one original and one exclusive program each month, differentiating it from other AVODs. Chicken Soup for the Soul Entertainment, Inc. (Nasdaq: CSSE) owns Crackle Plus and also acquires and distributes video content through its Screen Media subsidiary and produces original long and short-form content through Landmark Studio Group, its Chicken Soup for the Soul Originals division and  APlus.com. Chicken Soup for the Soul Entertainment is a subsidiary of Chicken Soup for the Soul, LLC, which publishes the famous book series and produces super-premium pet food under the Chicken Soup for the Soul brand name.

WEBSITE/ CONNECT ON SOCIAL MEDIA:

www.crackle.com
#Crackle #freemovies #freemoviesonline #freemoviesstreaming
Twitter: @Crackle_TV
Instagram: Crackle_TV

FINDING SALLY

A FILM BY TAMARA DAWIT

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Director and Writer: Tamara Dawit
Participants: Tsehai (Sally’s mother), Brutawit is Sally’s oldest sister and the Dawit family matriarch, Sally’s sister, Kibre,; and Sally’s sister, Menfie; Tsion, Abrehet (Sally’s mother-in-law)
Genre:  Documentary
Country: Canada
Language: English and Amharic version with English subtitles

A personal investigation into the mysterious life of the director’s aunt Sally, an Ethiopian aristocrat-turned-communist-rebel who disappeared during the Ethiopian Revolution.

Finding Sally tells the incredible story of a 23-year-old woman from an upper-class family who became a communist rebel with the Ethiopian People’s Revolutionary Party. Idealistic and in love, Sally got caught up in her country’s revolutionary fervour and landed on the military government’s most wanted list. She went underground and her family never saw her again. Four decades after Sally’s disappearance, Tamara Dawit pieces together the mysterious life of her aunt Sally. She revisits the Ethiopian Revolution and the terrible massacre that followed, which resulted in nearly every Ethiopian family losing a loved one. Her quest leads her to question notions of belonging, personal convictions and political ideals at a time when Ethiopia is going through important political changes once again.

Tamara Dawit , “As a child, I grew up hearing elaborate stories about their childhoods from my vibrant Ethiopian aunts – tales about their grandmother helping the war effort against the Italians, meetings with fortune tellers, hitching in Europe, lavish cocktail parties, or sneaking out to go to the beach. The stories were pleasurable and exciting, painting a vision of a wonderful past. However, I could never decipher which stories were true and which ones had been spiced up with their typical Ethiopian romanticism. Lost in all their stories was Sally, a family member that no one ever mentioned to me. It wasn’t until my early 30s that I had stumbled upon a photo of Sally, but the family was hesitant to talk about her. Little by little, I managed to convince my grandmother and then my aunts to share Sally’s story.”

1970s, the autocratic regime of Haile Selassie became increasingly contested. A coalition of communist activists, students, workers and peasants started demanding a more democratic state through peaceful strikes and protests.

In 1974, the Emperor was overthrown by the military junta called “the Derg” – the “Coordinating Committee of the Armed Forces, Police, and Territorial Army.” Soon after, the Derg led by chief commander Mengistu Haile Mariam established an authoritarian military government. Anyone contesting his leadership became an “enemy of the state.”

In 1977, the Derg launched the “Red Terror,” a violent and repressive political campaign that led to mass imprisonments and assassinations. Anyone in disagreement with the Derg’s communist policies could face severe punishment. People would disappear without reason. Others would be tortured, or put in jail simply because they were related to a wanted person. Houses were searched. Perhaps most excruciating of all, mourning someone killed by the Derg was illegal, and families were forced to repay for the bullets that had killed their loved ones.

The Derg remained in power until 1991. Amnesty International estimates that 500 000 people died during Derg leadership. In 2008, the Ethiopian Supreme Court found Mengistu guilty of genocide in absentia and sentenced him to death. In spite of his conviction, Mengistu continues to find sanctuary in Zimbabwe because of his friendship with Zimbabwean president Robert Mugabe; the country refuses to extradite him.

PARTICIPANTS: TSEHAI (Sally’s mother), BRUTAWIT is Sally’s oldest sister and the Dawit family matriarch, Sally’s sister, KIBRE, the free spirit of the family; Sally’s sister, MENBIE, was the one who originally tracked down some of Sally’s old comrades in an effort to learn more about her sister's life. As a member of the Dawit family, TSION is stubborn and always thinks she is correct. ABREHET (Sally’s mother-in-law) is the mother of three children who all died during the Red Terror, Tselote being her oldest.

Distributor:
Production Company: Catbird Films, Inc
Run time: 1 hour 18 minutes
Starring: Tsehai Tesfamichael Abrehet Asefa Tamara Mariam Dawit Kibre Dawit Tsion Dawit Brutawit Dawit Menbere Dawit Ferkete Gebremariam Ashenafi Kersma Brur Gebrai
Director and Writer: Tamara Mariam Dawit
Cinematography: Alex Margineanu
Editor: Mahi Rahgozar
Composer and Original Music: Zaki Ibrahim
Music by:  Abegasu Shiota, Alister Johnson
Producer: Isabelle Couture
Executive Producer: Katarina Soukup-Catbird Films
Production Company: Catbird Productions
Editor: Mahi Rahgozar
Cinematographer: Alex Margineanu

JUDAS AND THE BLACK MESSIAH at PAFF 2021

Judas and the Black Messiah Key Art

Director: Shaka King
Writers: Shaka King and Will Berson
Starring: Daniel Kaluuya, LaKeith Stanfield, Jesse Plemons, Dominique Fishback
Rating: R
Runtime: 2 hours 6 minutes
Genre:  Biography, Drama, History
Language: English

FBI informant William O’Neal (LaKeith Stanfield) infiltrates the Illinois Black Panther Party and is tasked with keeping tabs on their charismatic leader, Chairman Fred Hampton (Daniel Kaluuya). A career thief, O’Neal revels in the danger of manipulating both his comrades and his handler, Special Agent Roy Mitchell (Jesse Plemons). Hampton’s political prowess grows just as he’s falling in love with fellow revolutionary Deborah Johnson (Dominique Fishback). Meanwhile, a battle wages for O’Neal’s soul. Will he align with the forces of good? Or subdue Hampton and The Panthers by any means, as FBI Director J. Edgar Hoover (Martin Sheen) commands? Inspired by true events, “Judas and the Black Messiah”

Rating: R
Runtime: 2 hours 6 minutes
Distributor: Worldwide by Warner Bros. Pictures
Warner Bros. Pictures presents, in association with MACRO/Participant/BRON Creative, a MACRO Media/Proximity Production, a Film by Shaka King
Director: Shaka King marking his studio feature film directorial debut.
Writers: Shaka King and Will Berson
Co-writers: Kenny Lucas & Keith Lucas
Producers: Ryan Coogler, Charles D. King
Co-Executive Producers: Sev Ohanian, Zinzi Coogler, Kim Roth, Poppy Hanks, Ravi Mehta, Jeff Skoll, Anikah McLaren, Aaron L. Gilbert, Jason Cloth, Ted Gidlow, and Niija Kuykendall
Starring: Daniel Kaluuya, LaKeith Stanfield, Jesse Plemons, Dominique Fishback, Ashton Sanders, Martin Sheen,   Algee Smith, Darrell Britt-Gibson, Dominique Thorne, Amari Cheatom, Caleb Eberhard, Lil Rel Howery
Cinematography: Sean Bobbitt
Editor: Kristan Sprague
Composer: Craig Harris and Mark Isham
Production Designer: Sam Lisenco
Costume Designer: Charlese Antoinette Jones

Nate Parker’s AMERICAN SKIN at PAFF 2021

Spike Lee Presents, A Nate Parker Film AMERICAN SKIN

American Skin pic

Director and Writer: Nate Parker
Starring: Omari Hardwick, Beau Knapp, Theo Rossi, Shane Paul McGhie, Milu, Milauna Jackson, Tony Espinosa
Genre: Drama
Language: English

AMERICAN SKIN weaves a layered story in the tradition of Sidney Lumet’s 12 Angry Men and Dog Day Afternoon, that follows a Black Iraqi War Vet, who after being denied of a fair trial following the shooting death of his teenage son (his only child) by a white police officer, desperately seeks justice and accountability for his son’s death.

Linc (Nate Parker), Derwood (Omari Hardwick), Officer Randall (Beau Knapp), Sgt. Reyes (Theo Rossi), Jordin (Shane Paul McGhie), Tayana (Milauna Jackson), Deon (Mo McRae), Kijani (KJ) (Tony Espinosa), Melvin (Michael Warren), Jayden (Allius Barnes).

After witnessing his son murdered by a white police officer who goes uncharged, Marine veteran Lincoln ‘Linc’ Jefferson takes justice into his own hands in a series of events he hopes will finally lead to justice for his son.

DIRECTOR’S STATEMENT

In 2014, following the death of Michael Brown, I traveled to Ferguson, Missouri to gain a better understanding of the tensions between law enforcement and young men and women of color. The most tragic moment of this trip arrived when I stood downtown between two infuriated groups of citizens. From one side came yells of ‘Justice for Mike Brown’ and on the other ‘Support Our Police’. It became clear to me, instantly, the disconnect in our understanding of citizenship, law enforcement, and our responsibility to preserve American life.  As an American citizen, father, brother, son and artist, I felt compelled to use my platform as a filmmaker to respond to this crisis in a way that could not only promote social equity, but initiate a global culture shift that can result in the preservation of lives. If saving one life is the only thing this film achieves, it will have served its core purpose.

WHY THIS MOVIE NOW?

In response to many of these injustices and growing divisions happening in our country, I have developed a piece that I hope will challenge systems of oppression by promoting a much-needed dialogue between law enforcement and community members of color. This dialogue, while spoken of often, has never been realized in the arena of public discourse. This project will create a public forum whereby individuals on both sides can speak truthfully about what they feel regarding circumstances surrounding many of the decisions that are made which affect the lives of both citizens and members of law enforcement.

This project will explore the divides often created by history, politics, and media, which prohibit healthy communication and relationships between our nation’s citizens. We will accomplish this by forcing these groups of people into a controlled environment together. My hope is that this dialogue will not only create healing within these broken relationships, but will serve as preventative maintenance, by conditioning both sides to take a necessary beat, which can in turn save a life.

WHAT CAN WE EXPECT TO BE THE RESULT OF THIS PROJECT?

The answer is simple. Truth, healing, and reconciliation. America, as a nation, may appear to be down, but we are not out. By tackling difficult issues such as race, fear, and cultural division, we can set a course toward genuine racial healing. One that, if successful, can become a model for addressing other systemic issues in America and across the world.

NATE PARKER – WRITER / DIRECTOR / ACTOR

Director, actor, screenwriter, producer and humanitarian Nate Parker has focused much of his life and career on addressing social injustice and creating content that addresses disparities for marginalized communities around the world. He first received critical attention for his starring role in The Great Debaters opposite Director/Actor Denzel Washington and Forest Whitaker.

Nate later played the lead role in George Lucas’ Red Tails, whose supporting cast included Terrence Howard and Cuba Gooding, Jr.  In addition to starring in the Spike Lee–directed Red Hook Summer, Nate generated critical acclaim for his performance in Arbitrage with Richard Gere, Susan Sarandon and Tim Roth.  Nate played the leading role opposite Gugu Mbatha Raw in Beyond the Lights, for which he was nominated for an NAACP Image Award.

Nate’s directorial debut, Birth of a Nation, won the 2016 Sundance Grand Jury Prize and Audience Award while shattering the record for the highest acquisition price ever paid at Sundance.  A Norfolk, Virginia native, Nate grew up less than 30 miles from the site of Nat Turner’s unprecedented slave rebellion upon which the film is based. For his work on Birth of a Nation, he received the Sundance Institute’s Vanguard Award, among others.

Nate has received an honorary Doctorate from Wiley College in Marshall, Texas—the school upon which the true story The Great Debaters was based - where he also founded the Nate Parker Summer Film Institute to guide the next generation of black filmmakers. To date, over one hundred students have graduated from the program.

Production Co: A Tarak Ben Ammar/Mark Burg Production, Spike Lee Presents, A Nate Parker Film, Eagle Pictures, Tiny Giant Entertainment
Starring: Omari Hardwick, Beau Knapp, Theo Rossi, Shane Paul McGhie, Milu, Milauna Jackson, Tony Espinosa, Wolfgang Bodison, Sierra Capri, AnnaLynne McCord, Ryan Mulkay, James Burns, Nicole Randall Johnson, Brighton Sharbino, Jahir Acosta, Evan Dodge, Kristofer Sykes, Karibel Rodriguez, Hunter Bodine, Rick Gifford, Andrew Laugheinhouse, Felix Miranda, Larry Sullivan, Aaron Leddick, Michelle M. Miracle, Kavon Ray, Dominic Bogart, Vanessa Bell Calloway, Petri Hawkins Byrd, DeDe Drake, Roman Mitichyan, Ceyair Wright, Mel Fair, Markina Harris, Courtney Friel, Kristen O’Meara, Serene Peterson, Trinecia Moore-Pernell, Steve Kuzj
Director and Writer: Nate Parker
Producers: Mark Burg, Tarak Ben Ammar, Lukas Behnken
Executive Producers: Zak Tanjeloff, Michael Novogratz, Vaagn Sarkissian, Bagrat Sargsyan
Cinematography: Kay Madsen
Editor: Billy Weber, Matthew Feinman
Composer: Henry Jackman
Production Design By - Geoffrey Kirkland
Edited By - Billy Weber, Matthew Feinmann
Costume Design By - Tiffany White Stanton
Co-Producers - R.D. Delgado, Tamara Houston
Associate Producers - Van Hayden, George A. Loucas, Jane Oster, Dwight Wilson II
Casting by - Tracy “Twinkie” Byrd, CSA, Kelly Knox

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

African American Film Critics Association Award 2021 Winners

AAFCA Logo

“JUDAS AND THE BLACK MESSIAH” SELECTED AS BEST FILM BY THE AFRICAN AMERICAN FILM CRITICS ASSOCIATION (AAFCA)

Regina King, Chadwick Boseman, Andra Day and Daniel Kaluuya Also Win Top Honors

The 12th AAFCA Awards will take place virtually on April 7, 2021

“Judas and the Black Messiah” was named the year’s Best Film today by the African American Film Critics Association (AAFCA), the world’s largest group of Black film critics. In addition to Best Picture, the film also earned two additional awards for Best Actor for Daniel Kaluuya and Best Supporting Actress for Dominique Fishback.

The see the complete list of the 12th AAFCA winners are:

Best Picture: Judas and the Black Messiah (Warner Bros.)
Best Director: Regina King, One Night In Miami (Amazon Studios)
Best Actor: Chadwick Boseman, Ma Rainey's Black Bottom (Netflix)
Best Actress: Andra Day, The United States vs. Billie Holiday (Hulu)
Best Supporting Actor: Daniel Kaluuya, Judas and the Black Messiah (Warner Bros.)
Best Supporting Actress: Dominique Fishback, Judas and the Black Messiah (Warner Bros.)
Best Screenplay: Kemp Powers, One Night in Miami (Amazon Studios)
Best Ensemble: One Night In Miami (Amazon Studios)
Best Foreign Film: Night of the Kings (Neon)Best Documentary: All In: The Fight For Democracy (Amazon Studios)
Best Animation: Soul (Pixar/Disney)
Best Short Film: Two Distant Strangers
Breakout Performance: Radha Blank (Netflix)
Breakout Director: Shaka King (Warner Bros.)

“Serving alongside an all-Black producing team, “Judas and the Black Messiah" director Shaka King created a project that permanently enshrines pivotal Black Panther leader Fred Hampton as an American hero. Released against the backdrop of the present-day Black Lives Matter movement, the film's message of commitment and sacrifice to social justice is empowering,” says AAFCA President/Co-Founder Gil Robertson. "Daniel Kaluuya as Hampton is literally on fire and is supported well by Dominique Fishback who increasingly has become an actress to watch. Our members are thrilled to award the film with our highest honor.”

“Our Best Actress winner Andra Day was phenomenal as Billie Holiday,” continues Robertson. "Director Lee Daniels has a terrific knack for bringing out the very best from his actors and Day is no exception as she delivered a performance that serves as an impressive launch to an acting career we feel has great promise. The members of AAFCA are excited to see even more of her range in the future.”

“In Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom, Chadwick Boseman again showcased a great understanding and execution of the acting craft. In what is the final performance of his career, he confirmed why he will forever be considered one of the best actors of his generation. AAFCA is tremendously pleased to honor him for this extraordinary performance.”

The organization, whose membership spans the U.S., the Caribbean, Europe and Africa and is the largest of its kind, also announced its Top 10 films of the year:

1. Judas And The Black Messiah
2. One Night In Miami
3. Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom
4. Nomadland
5. Night Of The Kings
6. American Skin
7. Da 5 Bloods
8. Minari
9. Miss Juneteenth
10. The United States Vs. Billie Holiday“

The common theme with all of our Top 10 Films this year is the grace of humanity. All of these films spotlighted different circumstances that put the human spirit to a test. During a year when COVID-19 forced everyone on this planet to unite against a common threat to our health and well-being, these films spoke to the resilience and courage we all possess to overcome challenging odds. The AAFCA members were deeply heartened and inspired by these amazing stories as we also look forward to a return to “going to the movies” with our family
and friends,” said Robertson. Sponsored by Nissan and Morgan Stanley, the 12th AAFCA Awards will take place virtually on Wednesday, April 7, 2021.

ABOUT AAFCA
Established in 2003, AAFCA is the premiere body of Black film critics in the world, actively reviewing film and television, with a particular emphasis on entertainment that includes the Black experience and storytellers from the African Diaspora. The organization’s primary mission is to cultivate understanding, appreciation and advancement of the contributions of African descended talent to cinematic and television culture – from the artistic and technical legends of the past to the still unimagined breakthroughs of future generations. AAFCA
members are a geographically diverse cross-section of journalists, covering all genres of the cinematic arts, while representing multiple mediums – including print, TV, radio broadcast and online. Collectively, they reach a worldwide audience in excess of 100 million. As a non-profit organization, AAFCA is committed to numerous educational and philanthropic efforts, particularly those that foster and celebrate diversity and inclusion. For more information on AAFCA and its programs visit http://AAFCA.com.

Angela Davis, Lee Daniels, Genius: Aretha, Queen Latifah, Nika King, and More Featured During Second Week of the Pan African Film Festival

Special screenings, conversations, panels, and events

paff logo

LOS ANGELES - America’s largest Black film festival, the​ Pan African Film Festival​,  continues this week.  Below are highlights of this week’s programming.

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 and tickets can be found at www.paff.org.

phtoto PAFF press release 3.9.21

SPECIAL SCREENINGS

CBS has partnered with PAFF to premiere episodes from The Equalizer (Mar. 9, 6 p.m. PT), The Neighborhood (Mar. 12, 6 p.m. PT), and Bob❤️Abishola (Mar. 12, 6 p.m. PT) along with exclusive Q&As with the cast of each show.

National Geographic’s Genius: Aretha starring Cynthia Erivo (HarrietThe Color Purple) will premiere during the PAFF on Mar. 11 at 6 p.m. PT.

Closing Night (Mar. 14, 6p.m. PT) will spotlight Lázaro Ramos’ directorial debut Executive Order.  The film is set in a dystopian near future in Brazil where an authoritarian government orders all citizens of African descent to move to Africa – creating chaos, protests, and an underground resistance movement that inspires the nation. Director Lázaro Ramos’ and members of the cast will participate in a Q&A following the screening. Mar. 14, 6 p.m. PT.

Trade tells the story of two men, one a streetwise hustler, the other a strait-laced lawyer, who meet and form a relationship that brings to light who they really are. As their relationship deepens and their lives intertwine, the complexity and dangers of  living their truths reveal themselves in ultimately tragic ways. Hosted by Better Brothers Los Angeles and In the Meantime Men’s Group, following the screening, there will be a discussion about the lives of transgender people and how to support and advocate for the LGBTQ+ community. Mar. 12, 6 p.m. PT.

PAFF press release

CLIPS AND CONVERSATIONS

A special conversation with director Lee Daniels and the cast of The United States Vs. Billie HolidayMar.10, 6 p.m. PT.

phtoto PAFF press release 3.9.21 2

PANELS

Unless otherwise stated, panels are on-demand at paff.org.

Where Do We Go From Here: Chaos or Community? - A powerful group of change-makers across multiple generations come together to discuss today’s Black Lives Matter Movement in the context of the struggle for Black Liberation.  Panelists include activist and professor Angela Y. Davis, historian and scholar Dr. Gerald Horne, Black Lives Matter activist Dr. Melina Abdullah, and political strategist and journalist Jasmyne A. Cannick. The conversation is moderated by Pan African Film Festival co-founder Ayuko Babu.

Facebook Presents ‘We the Culture’ - PAFF and Facebook will host a roundtable discussion with filmmakers and digital creators from Facebook's We The Culture Program--a creative community fueled and curated by Black creators, dedicated to celebrating and championing Black culture and broader conversations important to the Black community. Panelists include: Dr. Mehret MandefroLacey Schwartz DelgadoWesley Armstrong, and James BlandMar. 12, 4 p.m. PT on Facebook.com/paffnow.

Showtime Presents ‘Inside THE CHI Writers' Room’ - Get an inside look into The Chi's Writers Room. Features panelists Justin Hillian, Showrunner, Writer, and Executive Producer, Jewel Coronel, Writer and Co-Executive Producer, Resheida Brady, Writer and Supervising Producer, and James Rogers III, Writer and Executive Story Editor.

The Intersectionality of Women of Color in Film & TV - Women of Color Unite (WOCU) hosts a discussion on the highs and lows of the intersection of Women of Color in film, the Women of Color run media and entertainment organizations that support them and the infrastructure that tries to erase them. Panelists include: Cheryl L. BedfordNikki BaileyTatiana LeeFanshen CoxDiana Elizabeth JordanTwinkie Byrd, and Tonya Pinkins.

Other panels include: How to Get Your Kids Into Show BizFix it in PostCan't Stop, Won't Stop: Black Women Transforming the Industry, and By Any Means Necessary: Making Movies on Micro to No Budget.

 

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SPECIAL EVENTS

Spoken Word - Hosted by poets Paul Mabon and LaLa Deville, PAFF will once again present its popular poetry slam featuring the best wordsmiths in Los Angeles. Premieres Wed. Mar. 10, 6 p.m. PT and then available on-demand.

LOL! Comedy Jam - PAFF’s annual comedy show featuring comics from around the world.  Hosted by Nika King (Euphoria), this year’s featured comics include Jazmyn W (Tik Tok content creator), Marcus Smith (You Know Maacus), Zainab Johnson (100 Humans), Jonnae Johnson (Tru TV), and David Lucas (Freshest Fat Boy). Premieres Wed. Mar. 10, 6 p.m. PT and then available on-demand.

Children’s Fest - Free age-appropriate screenings for children 4 to 12.  Feature films include  Nigeria’s Lady Buckit and the Motley Mopsters and various Disney animation features. Sponsored by Union Bank. Mar. 13-14, 11 a.m. PT.

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

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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.

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PRESSROOM
MEDIA ASSETS

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

press@paff.org
paff.org/pressroom

The Pan African Film Festival Kicks Off 14-Day Virtual Festival with David Oyelowo’s “The Water Man”

Festival set to host World Premiere of “Coming 2 America” with Amazon Studios Mar. 3

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March 1, 2021 (LOS ANGELES, Calif.) -

Sunday, Feb. 28, actor, activist and festival co-founder Danny Glover officially opened the 2021 Pan African Film Festival (PAFF) kicking off the 14-day festival with the U.S. Premiere of David Oyelowo’s (The Last King of ScotlandLincoln) directorial debut The Water Man.  The invitation-only virtual screening attracted 600 viewers and was followed by a Q&A discussion with Oyelowo and the film’s two stars Lonnie Chavis and Amiah Miller.

Over the next 14-days, the Pan African Film Festival’s line-up will feature stories that 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.

On Wednesday, Mar. 3, PAFF will join Amazon Studios in hosting the World Premiere of the highly anticipated sequel Coming 2 America.

Set in the lush and royal country of Zamunda, newly-crowned King Akeem (Eddie Murphy) and his trusted confidante Semmi (Arsenio Hall) embark on an all-new hilarious adventure that has them traversing the globe from their great African nation to the borough of Queens, New York – where it all began. Original cast favorites from Coming to America return including King Jaffe Joffer (James Earl Jones), Queen Lisa (Shari Headley), Cleo McDowell (John Amos), Maurice (Louie Anderson) and the motley barbershop crew. Joining this star-studded ensemble are Wesley Snipes, Leslie Jones, Tracy Morgan, Jermaine Fowler, Bella Murphy, Rotimi, KiKi Layne, Nomzamo Mbatha and Teyana Taylor, making Coming 2 America the most anticipated comedy film of the year.

The Festival is accepting RSVPs for this invite-only event at www.paff.org.

Other highlights of this year’s festival include Nate Parker’s American Skin (Centerpiece) and a special conversation with director Lee Daniels and the cast of The United States Vs. Billie Holiday.

This year’s PAFF will feature four Academy Award Best Foreign Film submissions including the U.S. premiere of The Milkmaid (Nigeria), The Fisherman’s Diary (Cameroon), The Letter (Kenya), and This Is Not A Burial, It’s a Resurrection (Lesotho).

CBS has partnered with PAFF to premiere episodes from The NeighborhoodBob❤️AbisholaClariceThe Equalizer along with exclusive Q&As with the cast of each show.

Closing Night will spotlight Lázaro Ramos’ directorial debut Executive Order.  Executive Order is set in a dystopian near future in Brazil, where an authoritarian government orders all citizens of African descent to move to Africa – creating chaos, protests, and an underground resistance movement that inspires the nation. Executive Order will screen globally on Sunday, March 14 at 6:00 pm. Director Lázaro Ramos’ and members of the cast will participate in a Q&A following the screening.

Festival favorites will take place online including PAFF’s Children’s Fest, Student Fest, Senior Connection, Spokenword poetry slam and comedy show.

This year, the festival features more than 200 films made by and about Black people from 83 countries, including 168 narrative films, 39 documentaries, 159 short and mini short films from 45 countries and in 43 languages.

The Pan African Film Festival will take place virtually.  People can attend by purchasing a festival pass or screening ticket.

See the complete 2021 PAFF Program here, purchase festival passes and access to individual film screenings at paff.org.

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For photos and press materials visit paff.org/pressroom.

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.

Interviews/Media Contact: press@paff.org