Monday, February 2, 2009

Pan African Film & Arts Festival (PAFF)

Media Advisory - 2009 PAFF Opening Night Gala

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE CONTACT:
Jasmyne Cannick, (323) 295-1706, publicity@paff.org

17th ANNUAL PAN AFRICAN FILM & ARTS FESTIVAL TO OPEN WITH SCREENING OF CRITICALLY ACCLAIMED SOUTH AFRICAN DRAMA ‘JERUSALEMA’

Star-Studded, Red Carpet, Opening Night Gala Thu. Feb. 5

2009 Honorees Include Marla Gibbs, Omar Benson Miller, and CA Assembly Speaker Karen Bass

WHAT:
17th Annual Pan African Film & Arts Festival Opening Night Gala

WHEN:
Thursday, February 5, 2009Red Carpet – 6 p.m.Program – 7 p.m.

WHERE:
Directors Guild of America7920 Sunset Boulevard Los Angeles

More Information:

LOS ANGELES, CA - The 17th Annual Pan African Film and Arts Festival (PAFF), America’s largest and most prestigious flagship black film and arts festival, will take place February 5-16, 2009. With record attendance now topping a quarter of a million attendees over its twelve-day run, the festival has announced a change of venue to accommodate its ever-growing audience for its film festival to the Culver Plaza Theatres (9919 Washington Boulevard).

The PAFF Art Market, a highly anticipated and celebrated major exhibit of black fine art and quality crafts featuring the work of over 100 different artists and artisans, will remain at the Baldwin Hills Crenshaw Plaza (3650 Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd.). Known for showcasing new films first and recognized as America’s premiere black film festival, past festival features have included box office and award-winning hits: Ray , Lackawanna Blues , Redemption , Crazy As Hell , Kingdom Come , The Brothers, Gridlock’d , Days of Glory , and the 2006 Academy Award® winner for Best Foreign Film, Tsotsi . For more information and access to PAFF’s online box office, please visit www.paff.org.

Opening Night Gala

Opening this year’s festival is the acclaimed South African drama “Jerusalema” directed by Ralph Zinman. Part Robin Hood, part. Horatio Alger, after cutting his teeth on local carjackings, young Lucky Kunene dreams of bigger scores than his best friend Zakes. Moving to the rough-and-tumble Hillbrow section of Johannesburg, Kunene, whose heroes are Karl Marx, Al Capone and Dale Carnegie, transforms himself into a real-estate crime boss even as he tries to elude determined white cop Blakkie Swart, vengeful renegade Nazareth Mbolelo and Nigerian drug lord Tony Ngu. “Jerusalema” will be featured during PAFF’s star-studded red carpet opening night gala Thursday, February 5 at the Director’s Guild of America (7 p.m., 7920 Sunset Blvd.).

2009 Honorees

The 17th PAFF will present actress Marla Gibbs with its coveted Lifetime Achievement Award. Actor Omar Benson Miller (“Miracle at St. Anna”) has been selected for the PAFF Canada Lee Award, and California Assembly Speaker Karen Bass will be recognized for her commitment of supporting the exhibition of film, art and creative expression with the PAFF Community Service Award. The awards will be handed out as a part of PAFF’s opening night festivities at the Director’s Guild of America on Thursday, February 5.
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