Photo slideshow: Artist stories from South LA’s Pan African Film Festival

An artist at work at the Pan African Film Festival. | Sinduja Rangrajan

An artist at work at the Pan African Film Festival. | Sinduja Rangrajan

Every year in February, which happens to be Black History Month, the Pan African Film Festival comes to L.A. to celebrate the rich world of Black cinema. Apart from offering hundreds of film screenings, the 12-day event (considered the largest Black film festival in the U.S.) attracts Black visual artists from all over the world. This photo essay explores the color and vibrancy of their art, which will be on display through the end of the festival. View the slideshow on Flickr to see captions and follow the artists’ stories.

The Pan African Film Festival runs through Feb. 17 and is based at the Baldwin Hills Crenshaw Plaza. The ArtFest is open Monday through Friday from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m., Saturday from 10 a.m. to 9 p.m., and Sunday from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m.

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Documentary on South LA rugby team receives a win

The documentary film, “Red, White, Black and Blue,” following students in a rugby program at a K-12 public charter school in South Los Angeles, won “Best Documentary” at the Idyllwild CinemaFest on Thursday.image

The film touches on the lives of 38 male and female high school rugby players, who participate in a rugby program at the Inner City Educational Foundation (ICEF) run by Director Stuart Krohn.

The rugby team traveled to New Zealand where they had the opportunity to learn about different cultures and dispel the negative views of South Los Angeles, while competing in rugby.

The program began ten years ago, and was started by Krohn, a former professional rugby player and English teacher. Over 4,000 students have been introduced to rugby through P.E. classes and after-school programs. Each year, 200 boys and girls compete on the tackly rugby teams, according to a statement by the ICEF Public Schools. Krohn organizes international trips for his players each year. Previous trips have allowed students to visit Hong Kong, England and South Africa.

“Rigby is a chance for our students to step outside the box and try something different. Our kids have the ability to suspend judgement and defy the stereotypes that other people might have of them,” said Krohn, in a statement.

The film will continue to appear in festivals around Southern California over the next several months. It will appear at the Pan African Film Festival at the Rave Baldwin Hills Plaza in Los Angeles on February 12, 2013.

For more information on the film, visit “Red, White, Black and Blue.”

Pan African Film and Arts Festival heads to South LA

Move over Academy Awards, because South LA will host an award show and film festival with just as much glitz, glamor, and prestige.

imageThe official logo of the Pan African Film and Arts Festival

The Pan African Film and Arts Festival (PAFF) is set to kick off its 20th anniversary with star-studded festivities, beginning on Thursday, February 9. RAVE Cinemas at Baldwin Hills Crenshaw Plaza will show 158 films from all over the world, including from South Africa, to Rwanda, to Brazil, to Ghana, to Jamaica, to name a few.

The Los Angeles premiere of the film “Think Like A Man” will be the first event of the Festival. The film is based on the New York Times best-selling book by Steve Harvey and the film’s stars are expected to attend the premiere at the ArcLight Cinerama Dome in Los Angeles.

Check out the movie trailer for “Think Like A Man.”

The PAFF is scheduled to end on February 20.

At the close of the festival, prizes will be award for Best Documentary Feature, Best Documentary Short, Best Narrative Short, Best Narrative Feature, and Best First Feature Film, as well as audience favorite awards. PAFF has selected 170 films representing 30 countries as well as 106 feature length films (narrative and documentaries) and 64 short films to contend for the awards.

Watch this fascinating exclusive interview with Nigerian actor-turned-producer, Hakeem Kae-Kazim (HOTEL RWANDA, “24”).

Besides a star-studded award show and movie premieres, PAFF will also incorporate dozens of programs such as a spoken word event, a student fest, children’s festival, and artist’s fest. There will also be intensive panels and workshops focusing on acting, film producing, writing, and movie marketing, distribution, and finance.

PAFF was established in 1992 by award-winning actors Danny Glover and Ja’Net DuBois and executive director Ayuko Babu. PAFF is America’s largest and most prestigious Black film and arts festival and is dedicated to promoting culture and racial tolerance through film, art, and creative expression.

Parking is free, but ticket prices differ for movie tickets, children’s festival, panels, and all other festival activities. Tickets can be purchased at RAVE Cinemas’s box office or online. Head over to PAFF’s official website to find out the entire film guide for the festival.

Interview video courtesy of Supervisor Mark Ridley-Thomas’s website.