An African Series For The Pan African Film Festival

Pascal Atuma (left),Deborah Magnot, Asentewa Olatunji and Ayuko Babu during the signing ceremony

Pascal Atuma (left),Deborah Magnot, Asentewa Olatunji and Ayuko Babu during the signing ceremony

There is some cheery news for Nollywood and African Cinema from the United States of America. The Los Angeles based Pan African Film Festival (PAFF), reputed as the world’s biggest Black Film Festival has finally agreed to host its festival in different African countries every year on rotational basis after its annual Los Angeles festival.

This wonderful initiative will be known as PAFF-African Series and the harbinger of the cheery news United States Nigerian born filmmaker Pascal Atuma disclosed that ‘the maiden edition will take place in Nigeria’ on a date that will be announced soon.

Atuma also disclosed that the PAFF-African series would provide a platform for young African filmmakers and new talents to interact with the best of Black filmmakers around the world, and also open room for co-productions between black people all over the world. Atuma expressed optimism that the PAFF-African series will be a vehicle to showcase the works of the best of African filmmakers, actors, and writers.

Speaking on the initiative shortly after the signing ceremony that was witnessed by the Atuma and the African Representative Miss Deborah Mangut, the President and Founder of Pan African Film Festival, Mr. Ayuko Babu said “It is a new day for African Cinema and we are delighted to take our brand to Africa. African Cinema is refreshing to world cinema because of the stories and talents that abound in Africa, with the Nigerian Film Industry and the South African Film industry leading the pack.

On his part, Atuma who is one of the African Cinema representatives and coordinator of PAFF-African Series- USA emphasized “we need PAFF in Africa so the people can see, feel and touch the growth of the industry and also have a first class platform to showcase their talents and work to an International audience’’.

Although a worthy initiative, observers wonder why the coordinators were in a hurry to have PAFF berth in Africa when they could have supported the expansion of existing festivals in the continent. But Atuma in response to the concerns raised said that there was no need ‘starting from the scratch’ since the PAFF already built a credible structure that is trusted and respected around the world. ‘‘We believe it was best to key into what they already built and customize it to where it will favor our own growth and needs.

This is going to focus on Nigerians filmmakers based locally and internationally as well as all black film makers around the world. It will be a platform for co-productions between Nigerians and other black filmmakers around the world’’ he said.

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