African Cinema: The Pan African Film Festival Announces Call for Submissions

Pan African Film Festival Call for SubmissionsThe Pan African Film Festival Announces Call for Submissions

America’s Largest, Most Prestigious Black Film Festival Elevates Its Tradition of Enrichment

LOS ANGELES – The call for submissions is open for the 23nd Annual Pan African Film Festival (PAFF), February 12 – 22, 2015, the largest and most prestigious Black film festival in the U.S. PAFF spans 11 days, and attracts 40,000+ industry and public attendees, and schedules screenings of more than 150 films from around the globe such as countries the United States, Austria, England, Bermuda, Canada, Egypt, Ethiopia, Brazil, Kenya, Mexico, South Africa, Nigeria, and Angola. American exposure generates at-home press and even award recognition for international films. The diversity of PAFF is represented by its core value of Pan-Africanism in every feature selected and its community programming including an extensive fine art show ArtFest and surrounding schools Black History Month curriculum.

“Through the years, our guiding principle of ‘Pan-Africanism’ as a movement remains to unify and provide a platform for the meaningful stories of all people of African descent worldwide – African American, Caribbean, European, Latin American, South Pacific, and Aboriginal” said Asantewa Olatunji, the director of programming for PAFF.

PAFF broadens the horizon of the film market and opens the minds of its audiences. In recent years, the reception to “Django Unchained,” “The Help,” and “12 Years a Slave” by both Black and crossover filmgoers were culturally explosive, huge box office wins and proved to Hollywood and the world that films about the Black experience were not only relevant, but also profitable.

”Any film from anywhere with a synopsis from Africa and the Diaspora is eligible,” said Ayuko Babu, executive director and a founder of PAFF. “The perspective must be realistic and reflect the Black experience. Our time is now, our stories are prime, and support of authenticity is vital,” said Babu.

PAFF accepts submissions for films and videos made by and/or about people of African descent. Filmmaker(s) need not be of African or African American descent. Films should preferably depict positive and realistic images and can be of any genre — drama, comedy, horror, adventure, animation, romance, science fiction, experimental, etc. Features and shorts both narrative and documentary may be submitted. The film festival will accept a single submission of a work in progress; however, the final version of the film must be completed no later than December 1, 2014. Submissions must be made online through the PAFF website, Click onto the “Submit to PAFF 2015” button.


Regular Submission:

Aug. 19 – Oct. 19

Features $45 | Shorts $30

Late Submission:

Oct. 20 – Nov. 19

Features $75 | Shorts $55


For complete details on rules, restrictions, fees, deadlines, and online application, visit Official selections begin December 3, 2014 with “roll-out” notification; final announcement will be posted to the website no later than January 5, 2015.



The PAFF competition categories are:

Best Narrative Feature

Best Narrative Short

Best Documentary

Best Director

First Feature

Audience Favorite Awards for Narrative Feature

Audience Favorite Awards for Favorite Documentary

Films in competition must be copyrighted no earlier than 2014. With the exception of Audience Favorite Awards, all films are judged by industry professionals, selected by PAFF. In addition to competition awards, other programming and festival special prizes will be awarded.



The Pan African Film and Arts Festival (PAFF) is America’s largest, and most prestigious Black film and arts festival. Each year, it screens more than 150 films made by and/or about people of African descent from the United States, Africa, the Caribbean, South America, the South Pacific, Latin America, Europe and Canada. PAFF holds the distinction of being the largest Black History Month event in the United States.

PAFF was 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 African Affairs. PAFF is a non-profit corporation 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, and lifestyles, while at the same time, serve as a vehicle to initiate dialogue on the important issues of our times.


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