Established in 1992, the Pan African Film and Arts Festival has grown into a multi-day event that celebrates the work of people of African descent across the world.
Now, in its 26th year, the film festival is about to kickoff in Los Angeles, with short and long fiction and non-fiction films centered around culture, music, and many other topics displayed throughout the course of 11 days.
In an ideal world, we’d be able to attend each and every movie being shown but that’s unfortunately not the case. But we have selected the 15 films we’re anticipating most from the Pan African Film and Arts Festival. And trust us, you’re going to want to check them out when you get the chance.
Word Is Bond
Born on the streets of the South Bronx and now taken root globally, young New York poets helped to spawn regional dialogues everywhere. Through dynamic archival footage, in-depth interviews and verite excursions with artists like Nas, Tech9, J Cole, Rapsody, Anderson .Paak and many more, we examine the transformative power of lyrics in the world of hip-hop music.
Directed by: Sacha Jenkins
Malcolm X: An Overwhelming Influence on the Black Power Movement
An enlightening look at Malcolm’s early life and the legacy of his powerful work in the historic struggles for freedom, justice and equality for Black people through the eyes of family, comrades and major civil rights figures.
Directed by: Thomas Muhammad
The Rape Of Recy Taylor
Recy Taylor was gang raped by six white men in 1944 Alabama. Unbroken, she spoke up and fought for justice with help from Rosa Parks and legions of women.
Directed by: Nancy Buirski
The Killing Of The 5th Element
Is music just entertainment or a movement that can spark change? The Golden Age of hip-hop with its “consciousness” is regarded as the best era in hip-hop/rap. Diverse artists and academics try to answer the question: How did the knowledge element of Hip Hop get lost?
Directed by: Moe N. Reed
King of Stage: The Woodie King Jr. Story
The story of legendary theatre producer Woodie King, Jr. of The New Federal Theatre in NYC, where actors such as Denzel Washington, Phylicia Rashad, Morgan Freeman, Samuel L. Jackson, Viola Davis, Debbie Allen, Glynn Turman, and Laurence Fishburne to name a few, began their careers.
Directed by: Juney Smith
The Counter: 1960
Frustrated by police killings of unarmed black youth and wanting to contribute to positive change, three WOKE students experience time travel, nding them- selves seated at a lunch counter in 1960.
Directed by: Tracy Twinkie Byrd
Sammy Davis Jr.: I’ve Gotta Be Me
Already performing at the age of three, legendary singer, dancer, comic, musician, mime, actor, entertainer extraordinaire and arguably one of the greatest entertainers who ever lived, Sammy Davis, Jr. blazed trails as one of the rst black performers to break into the white entertainment world.
Directed by: Sam Pollard
He was Obama before Obama. Maynard Holbrook Jackson became first black Mayor of Atlanta, Georgia in 1973. An illuminating exploration into a man who had dreams and ambitions to be a public servant for his people. Commentators include Bill Clinton, Andrew Young, and Al Sharpton.
Directed by: Sam Pollard
Back To Natural: A Doc Film
An exploration of the the emotional truths at the intersection of hair, politics, and racial identity in Black communities and beyond.
Directed by: Gillian Scott-Ward
Triumph: The Untold Story of Perry Wallace
In 1966, Perry Wallace became the first Black player in SEC Basketball. He faced venomous Southern white crowds waving confederate flags and spewing racial epithets. Relating this triumphant story are Ambassador Andrew Young, Eric Holder, Dr. Harry Edwards, Oscar Robertson, and Rev. James Lawson.
Directed by: Rich Gentile
Hands Up, Don’t Shoot
A young man living in South Central Los Angeles doesn’t only have trouble nding a job to support his girlfriend but also has trouble with gang-members, store clerks and the boys in blue.
Directed by: JayTee Thompson
Chasing The Blues
Two rival record collectors attempt to con an old lady out of a rare but cursed 1930s blues record.
Directed by: Scott Smith
An examination of multiple viewpoints regarding recent cases involving police brutality with the intention of getting people to consider all the angles of the controversial issue.
When a Caucasian family move into Bedford-Stuyvesant, an elder in the family says something inappropriate, causing the local community to take extreme measures to get an apology.
Directed by: Donna Augustin & Talibah L. Newman
In 1963, 250,000 students boycotted the Chicago Public Schools to protest segregation, one of the largest northern civil rights demonstrations to contemporary issues around race, education, and youth activism.
Directed by: Gordon Quinn
For more information about the Pan African Film and Arts Festival, click here.