Black History Month Celebrated
By Harriet Steinberg
Feb 11, 2007 - 6:25:00 PM

LOS ANGELES Pan African Film and Arts Festival (PAFF) is planning their exciting 15th annual film festival for Feb. 9 and 13-16 at the Magic Johnson Theaters, located at Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd. in Los Angeles.

There is an expected attendance of more than 200,000 people, which will be the largest Black History Month event in the United States.

Each year, PAFF screens more than 150 films from the United States, Africa, the Caribbean, South America, the South Pacific, Europe, and Canada, made by or about people of African descent. PAFF also includes a section of international films from the developing world.

In a fun, family-friendly environment, audiences enjoy cinema, art, music, spoken word, panels, workshops, and parties.

From L to R: PAFF founder Ayuko Babu, Los Angeles County Supervisor Mark Ridley-Thomas, PAFF 2010 Celebrity Host actress CCH Pounder (Avatar), and Dr. Ben Chavis, Co-Founder, President and CEO of the Hip-Hop Summit Action Network (HSAN). Photo courtesy of the website.
In addition to the films, PAFF hosts more than 100 fine artists and unique craftspeople whose works highlight the beauty of the African aesthetic.

Showcased art includes visual art, sculpture, photography, unique handmade crafts, home furnishings, designer jewelry, textiles, designer fashions, and accessories.

Each year more than 18,000 Los Angeles city and county students and their teachers attend the free Student Fest which is held on the same dates as the PAAF activities. Planned for this festival will be age-appropriate films dealing with issues important to youth such as teen pregnancy, AIDS prevention, literacy, cultural and racial respect, teen self-esteem, and gang prevention. These will all be screened.

Before the screenings, speakers will offer the opportunity to have a discussion on any of the topics that may be of interest to the audience. It is expected that there will be some interesting, lively interaction among the students, family, teachers, and speakers. It is hoped that this will be a positive education for everybody.

Additionally, the students and their teachers will have the opportunity to walk over to the adjacent Baldwin Hills / Crenshaw Plaza Mall to tour the art show and interact with more than 100 fine artists and craftspeople from around the world. This will be a great opportunity for everyone to learn a little bit about the world around them. This event will be a great addition to class time learning.

PAFF will also be running it’s children's fest which has always been great fun for the entire family. Each Saturday morning during the festival, children and their parents are invited to free screenings followed by storytelling. Interactive activities, refreshments, and family fun.

The Children’s Fest takes place at the Magic Johnson Theaters on February 10 and 17, 2007, from 10 a.m. to noon. The Student and Adult Fest takes place Feb. 9 and 13-16, at the Magic Johnson Theaters, located at 3650 Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd. in Los Angeles. Theater doors open at 9 a.m. and screenings begin at 10 a.m.

All ages, genders, ethnic groups, and lifestyles are welcomed. For more information, log on to the PAAF website ( or call (323) 295-1706.

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