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The 28th Annual Pan African Film Festival in Baldwin Hills thru Feb 23

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BALDWIN HILLS — Celebrate black history month by voting with your dollars for black filmmakers. The 28th annual Pan African Film Festival in Baldwin Hills is absolutely packed with events and films worthy of our attention.

click here to see a PDF of the event schedule

On Wednesday Feb 12th The Last Black Man in San Francisco, a film by Joe Talbot, was screened at Cinemark BHC (on the property of the Baldwin Hills Crenshaw Plaza), followed by a reception.

The film is described as “A wistful odyssey populated by skaters, squatters, street preachers, playwrights, and ordinary people.” Starring Jimmie Fails and Jonathan Majors, with a cameo appearance by Danny Glover, the film won Best Independent Film from the African-American Film Critics Association, and the New Generation Award from the Los Angeles Film Critics Association.

The Festival highlights also include the John Singleton Short Film Competition: Inspired by the legacy of the Los Angeles-born and legendary filmmaker, this short film competition is the result of a partnership between the City of Los Angeles, the Pan African Film Festival and embRACE L.A. under the initiative of LA City Council President, Herb J. Wesson Jr.

According to the official website for the event “The program’s goal is to engage a citywide conversation about race and racism while challenging and changing inequities. In honor of the cinematic achievements of John Singleton and his commitment to the South Los Angeles community, we celebrate his unapologetic approach to film making that centralized Black characters in humanizing stories about the often-routine circumstances of individuals in society that were mostly ignored or exploited beyond the point of recognition.”

Three filmmakers will be awarded $20,000 each for the production and completion of a live-action narrative short film of their winning screenplays.

Short films are screened either grouped together or with a feature. All foreign language films are presented with English subtitles. Films are not rated. Parental discretion advised. Scheduled films may be substituted with another similar film for technical reasons.

The Pan African Film Festival is a non-profit corporation dedicated to the advancement of cultural diversity and education through the exhibition of positive and realistic media images.

Locations: 

ArtFest, SpokenWord Fest and Fashion Show: Baldwin Hills Crenshaw Plaza, 3650 Martin Luther King, Jr. Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90008 (At the corner of Crenshaw and King)

All PAFF Screenings: CINEMARK 15 BHC: 4020 Marlton Ave, Los Angeles, CA 90008 (On the grounds of Baldwin Hills Crenshaw Plaza)

PAFF is sponsored by Los Angeles City Council President Herb J. Wesson Jr.; Los Angeles County Supervisor Mark Ridley-Thomas; Los Angeles City Councilman Marqueece Harris-Dawson (District 8); Baldwin Hills Crenshaw Plaza; Cinemark 15; the Directors Guild of America (DGA); FilmLA; Sony Pictures; Brotherhood Crusade; as well as the City of Los Angeles; the Los Angeles Department of Cultural Affairs and the Los Angeles County Arts Commission.

Questions? Email: info@paff.org or CONTACT PAFF

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Film Events

WeHo HRSS Presents ‘Tsirk (Circus)’ Film Screening & Panel – Feb 28

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WEST HOLLYWOOD — The City of West Hollywood’s Human Rights Speakers Series will host a free panel discussion and screening of the feature film Tsirk (Circus) on February 28 at West Hollywood’s Council Chambers.

This Soviet musical comedy, directed by Grigori Aleksandrov and Isidor Simko, tells the story of Marion, an American circus artist, played by Lyubov Orlova, who flees to Russia after being persecuted because of her mixed-race child who is played by James Lloydovich Patterson.

Although billed as a lighthearted circus romance, this complex film explores themes of miscegenation, racism in America, and the rise of global white supremacy in the 1930s.

Opening remarks will take place at 7 p.m. followed by the film screening, and panel discussion.

The panel discussion will feature: Sasha Razor, Ph.D. candidate in the Department of Slavic, East European, and Eurasian Languages & Cultures at UCLA, Sarah Valentine, Scholar/Author, When I Was White, Rob Adler Peckerar, Executive Director, Yiddishkayt, and will be moderated by Boris Dralyuk, Executive Editor of the Los Angeles Review of Books.

The event is free, but seating is limited, but RSVP is requested. Validated parking will be available at the adjacent five-story West Hollywood Park parking structure, limited to availability.

The City of West Hollywood’s Human Rights Speakers Series brings together diverse communities to learn about and discuss global, national, and local human rights issues in a supportive environment. The series reflects the City’s commitment to human rights and core value of Respect and Support for People.

Friday, February 28, 2020 at the City of West Hollywood’s Council Chambers/Public Meeting Room, located at 625 N. San Vicente Boulevard.


For additional information about the Human Rights Speakers Series, please visit www.weho.org/hrss. For more information, please contact City of West Hollywood Arts Technician Joy Tribble at (323) 848-6360 or at jtribble@weho.org. For people who are Deaf or hard of hearing, please call TTY (323) 848-6496.

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Celebrity News

Lily Tomlin to Receive Hand & Footprint Ceremony at TCL Chinese Theatre in April

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HOLLYWOOD — Iconic actress and comedian Lily Tomlin will be honored with a hand and footprint ceremony on Friday, April 17 at the world-famous TCL Chinese Theatre in Hollywood during the eleventh annual TCM Classic Film Festival.

Tomlin, a Tony, Grammy, eight time Emmy and two time Peabody Award winner, has had a remarkable career starting in the 1960s starring in cinematic classics, television staples and on stage.

“Lily Tomlin’s talent has endured for fifty years because she knows who she is. She’s managed to play broadly drawn roles alongside more nuanced characters without a hint of falseness,” said Ben Mankiewicz, TCM primetime anchor and official host of the TCM Classic Film Festival.

“Not long ago, Tomlin told The New York Times, ‘I wanted people to see the characters as human beings. And see themselves in them, too.’  The humanity she finds in the women she plays has enabled her to transition, seemingly with ease, from groundbreaking work on Rowan & Martin’s Laugh-In to four Emmy nominations for Grace and Frankie, where she co-stars alongside another seminal artist, Jane Fonda.

There’s a consistent richness to her work, in comedy and drama, as well as on stage in her innovative one-woman show, The Search for Signs of Intelligent Life in the Universe, and on the big screen.

Whether your favorite Lily Tomlin performance is The Late Show, or 9 to 5, or Nashville…wait, I’m not done. Or All of Me, Flirting with Disaster, I Heart Huckabees, or A Prairie Home Companion, you know all of those pictures were made more memorable because Lily Tomlin was among the cast. It’s hard to imagine a more deserving artist to have her hand and footprints cemented outside Hollywood’s signature classic movie house.”

This marks the tenth consecutive year TCM has featured a hand and footprint ceremony at the legendary TCL Chinese Theatre IMAX. In 2011, Peter O’Toole was the honoree, followed by Kim Novak in 2012, Jane Fonda in 2013, Jerry Lewis in 2014, Christopher Plummer in 2015, Francis Ford Coppola in 2016, Carl and Rob Reiner in 2017, Cicely Tyson in 2018, and Billy Crystal in 2019.

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Film Events

WeHo Celebrates Black History Month With Films Through February

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WEST HOLLYWOOD — The City of West Hollywood celebrates Black History Month with several events held throughout the month. Black History Month recognizes, celebrates, and honors the rich and diverse history and important contributions and achievements of African Americans, and is observed annually during the month of February.

On Saturday, February 8, attendees learned about the underground railroad and quilt codes in an event about Quilt Cards, which are believed to be secret codes and symbols that were sewn into quilts and used as visual maps to assist fugitive slaves in their escape to freedom.

On Saturday, February 22 at 3:30 p.m., you can experience an afternoon performance of an original play written and directed by Sharon L. Graine: Dorothy and Otto: The Dorothy Dandridge Affair.

Nominated for five awards by the Beverly Hills/Hollywood NAACP Theatre Awards Committee, Dorothy and Otto tells the story of the 1950s love affair between the most powerful director of his time, Otto Preminger, and the up-and-coming African American actress, Dorothy Dandridge. 

The performance will take place at the West Hollywood Library Community Meeting Room, located at 625 N. San Vicente Boulevard.

Please RSVP in advance to the West Hollywood Library https://tiny.cc/dorothyandotto. Please RSVP at tiny.cc/dorothyandotto or by contacting the Information Desk at the library.

On February 25 at 7:30 p.m., a new work, At the Wake of the Drag Queen, is celebrated. Courtney Berringers would like to welcome you to her wake, but — make no mistake — this isn’t your grandma’s funeral. 

At the Wake of a Dead Drag Queen by Terry Guest is a one-act play about blackness, queerness, and the fine art of drag. From African goddesses to Trina, the play thoughtfully uses storytelling, drama, and drag to explore identity, illness, and the narratives we construct for ourselves.

Celebration Theatre presents new LGBTQ plays with the support of the City of West Hollywood. Admission is free; donations are gratefully accepted. The event will take place at the City of West Hollywood’s Council Chambers/Public Meeting Room, located at 625 N. San Vicente Boulevard.

On Wednesday, February 26 from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m., enjoy Strong Women: A 2020 Film Retrospective featuring Foxy Brown. This ongoing film series features strong women in a variety of challenges and predicaments.

This month’s feature has Pam Grier in her groundbreaking role as Foxy Brown, a woman whose undercover agent boyfriend is murdered by the Mafia, prompting her to pose as a prostitute and reclaim power in order to exact revenge and make the streets safer.

This film retrospective will take place at the West Hollywood Library, located at 625 N. San Vicente Boulevard. Light refreshments will be provided. Attendance is free and open to the public. This event is sponsored by the Friends of West Hollywood Library.

For additional information about West Hollywood Library programming, visit (310) 652-5340 or visit west-hollywood-library.

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