February 13, 2014
By Maleena Lawrence
LAWT Contributing Writer
The natural libations of the falling rain made way for an intimate Opening Night at the 22nd Annual Pan African Film Festival (PAFF). The Red Carpet was sheltered outside Rave Cinemas as honored guests happily made their way inside for the screening of the opening night film, “Of Good Report”, a South African film directed by Jahmil X.T. Qubeka about a shy and mysterious high school teacher named Parker who arrives at his new assignment in a rural school. He falls obsessively for a gorgeous young girl who he did not know was a student at his school. This tail of forbidden fruit has anxiously made its way to the Pan African Film Festival after being banned in its native country. Following the premier, the promise of debate sparked the theater by viewers who agreed the film was either to explicit to watch or it tapped on a deep rooted taboo that tends to be kept secret cross communities worldwide. Either way, the director remained open in addressing feedback and held his own in defending his film, “Of Good Report”.
In addition to the controversial screening, PAFF’s official night included award-winning actor/ director Charles Dutton who received this year’s Lifetime Achievement Award at the festival’s annual Night of Tribute awards ceremony. Mr. Dutton stated, “This is a fantastic night and I am honored to be here at opening night since every year that I am invited I am unable to attend because of work. So, this year is very special to me and I appreciate receiving my Lifetime Achievement Award from PAFF.” Dutton received congratulations from fellow actress Loretta Devine, actor Rocky Carroll who shared the screen with Dutton in the early 1990’s television series, Roc and Isaiah Washington, who co-stars in the critically acclaimed psychological thriller BLUE CAPRICE with Tequan Richmond which is must see feature at this year’s festival.
This year the Pan African Film Festival is debuting 172 films made in the U.S. and throughout the Diaspora. To support Black independent filmmakers and the arts movement make your way over to RAVE Cinemas Baldwin Hills 15 at the Baldwin Hills Crenshaw Plaza by February 16, 2014 to catch a Pan African Film and share your feedback with us on Twitter, @thelasentinel.
To check festival listings go to http://www.paff.org/filmfest/.