Rave Cinemas Baldwin Hills, part of the Baldwin Hills Crenshaw Plaza in Los Angeles, hosted the 2012 Pan African Film Festival (PAFF) this year from February 9-20. This year, the annual festival celebrates its 20th Anniversary with a dynamic line-up of screenings, special guests, and surprises. For nearly two weeks audiences explored the lives of people of African descent through the eyes of Black filmmakers from the United States, Africa, the Caribbean, South America, the South Pacific, Europe and Canada. In total, more than 130 films made by or about people of African descent were screened. The festival kicked off Thursday night with the much anticipated movie “Think Like a Man” based on the book and New York Times Bestseller Think Like a Man, Act Like a Lady by radio host, comedian, and actor Steve Harvey. A slew of movie screenings from around the world continued at Baldwin Hills Rave Cinemas for the next 11 days. Among the offerings were the films: Slavery By Another Name; a documentary based on the Pulitzer Prize-winning book by Wall Street Journalist Donald Blackmon; Woman Thou Art Loosed: On the 7th Day, the sequel to Pastor T. D. Jakes’ award-winning film: Woman Thou Art Loosed, and two movies from Nigerian actor-turned-producer Hakeem Kae-Kazim — Man on Ground and Inside Story. Man on Ground tells the story of two expatriate Nigerian brothers and their journey to heal their relationship amidst violence and political turmoil. Inside Story is a drama about one man from Kenya and his struggle with HIV while persuing his dreams of a professional soccer career. Kae-Kazim stars in both films.
Kae-Kazim, became acquainted with Los Angeles a decade ago, when his first film, God is African, premiered at the Pan African Film Festival. Since then he has entered the Hollywood mainstream and has starred in Hotel Rwanda, the television crime-drama “24”, Pirates of the Caribbean: At World’s End and X-Men Origins: Wolverine.
“I’m from Africa, so what’s important for me is that our voice, the African voice, has an opportunity to be seen in America. That African voice is an honest voice,” said Hakeem Kae-Kazim.
History of the Pan African Film Festival
The Pan African Film Festival is a non-profit corporation founded in 1992, by award winning actor Danny Glover, Emmy Award winning actress Ja’Net DuBois, and International legal, cultural and political consultant Ayuko Babu. Widely regarded as the most prestigious Black film festival in the nation, the Pan African Film Festival is dedicated to the promotion of tolerance, ethnic and racial respect through film, art and creative expression. The goal of the Pan African Film Festival is to present and showcase the broad spectrum of creative work and reinforce positive images of the Black experience.
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