By Naomi K. Bonman
The first week of Pan African Film Festival is a wrap with just a few more days to go. Last week we seen a plethora of great films from a variety of genres ranging from comedy-romance to social justice to action. The screenings all took place at the Cinemark Rate 15 Theatres at the Baldwin Hills Crenshaw Plaza located at 3650 Martin Luther King Blvd in Los Angeles.
On Thursday, February 8, the festival opened by with ‘Love Jacked’ featuring Amber Stevens West, newcomer Shamier Anderson, Mike Epps, Lyriq Bent, Marla Gibbs, Angela Gibbs, Demetrius Grosse and Nicole Lynn. ‘Love Jacked’ is a romantic comedy written by Robert Adetuyi and Linda Eskeland, and directed by Alfons Adetuyi. The film follows the love story, or lack thereof, of Maya (played by Amber Stevens West) who takes a trip to Cape Coast, South Africa where she ends up falling in love with after capturing the attention of a handsome African man. Only to later be disappointed by what was supposed to be the most exciting time of her life. Upon returning back home to Los Angeles tries to make things seem glorier than what they are to impress the likeness of her father Ed (played by Keith David).
“If any dad that has daughters you understand that you just want the best for her,” Keith explained on why he believes this movie is one to see. “And if you have a daughter like mine that you sometimes butt heads with they don’t always agree with you in that moment, so you have to have words about it. But in time they come around.”
On Friday, February 9, premiered a special screening of “Behind the Movement”. We all heard and know the story about Rosa Parks; however, many do not know it on a deeper level. Most assumed because as it has been stated throughout books and news articles was that Rosa was tired. But she was not tired, but fed up with the treatment towards our people.
“I always knew who Rosa Parks was and that she was the one who sparked this movement,” Meta Golding explained when asked how it felt to play such an iconic character in history. “This film was really educational for me about Mrs. Parks and Raymond Parks, her husband who she always described as the first real activist that she ever met because he was an activist in the 30s. When I found out I got the role I was initially terrified because I knew how much Mrs. Parks meant to everyone, not just in this country, but around the World, so it was really daunting. But then it became a tremendous responsibility to attempt to try and tell her story and because the power of film can become what we think of us the power of history.”
She continues, “I felt a tremendous responsibility, but more than anything a tremendous honor to step into the shoes of this giant.”
On Wednesday, February 14, the center piece film was none other than a special screening and premiere of “Black Panther”.
For more information on PAFF and the screenings, please visit www.paff.org.