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 The Black Panthers: Vanguard of the RevolutionThe Black Panthers: Vanguard of the Revolution

Director Stanley Nelson’s The Black Panthers: Vanguard of the Revolution is the Opening Night film of the 23rd Pan African Film & Arts Festival (PAFF)  

Triangle-Going to America will be highlighted as the Centerpiece selection and closing the Festival is The Man in 3B. All films will screen at RAVE Cinemas 15, located within the Baldwin Hills Crenshaw Plaza, 4200 Marlton Avenue, Los Angeles, CA 90008. The 23rd Annual Pan African Film Festival will take place in Los Angeles February 5-16, 2015.

Veteran documentarian Stanley Nelson brings his newest film to PAFF straight from Sundance Film Festival for its West Coast premiere. The Black Panthers: Vanguard of the Revolution takes a look at the rise and fall of the Black Panther Party, but also how it influenced how African-Americans look at themselves today. Whether they were right or wrong, whether they were good or bad, more than 40 years after the Black Panther Party was founded in Oakland, California, the group and its leadership remain powerful and enduring figures in our popular imagination. The Black Panthers is the first feature-length documentary to showcase the Black Panther Party, its significance to the broader American culture, its cultural and political awakening for Black people, and the painful lessons wrought when a movement derails. The film includes riveting eyewitness accounts from the first members who joined the organization when its founder, Huey P. Newton, was still alive as a young, brash upstart who confronted local police and American tradition with a loaded gun and a law book. This film weaves voices from varied perspectives who lived this story” police, FBI informants, journalists, white supporters, and detractors, those who remained loyal to the party and those who left it. Because the participants from all sides were so young in the 60s and 70s, they are still around to share firsthand accounts.

“PAFF is excited about hosting award-winning director Stanley Nelson’s The Black Panthers: Vanguard of the Revolution. This film is right on time. The issues that the Black Panther Party and other Black Power organizations dealt with in the 1960s continue to be the major issues confronting the black community today. The film offers a striking and compelling look at the personalities, the drama, the wit that come hurtling down to us in the present day. The film is an entertaining must-see for all who are looking to better understand where we are at this historical moment and where we might go in the future,” says PAFF Founder and Executive Director, Ayuko Babu.

Immigration has been the topic of many recent news reports and headlines, including President Obama taking bold new steps to fix America’s broken immigration system. Triangle-Going to America addresses this very issue. Each year, hundreds of Africans from Ethiopia, Eritrea and and throughout the African continent leave their countries to make the journey across the world with hope and dreams of coming to America. The film’s characters Kaleab and Jemal are willing to endure any danger to reach America and the promise of a better life. Along the way Kaleab meets Winta, an Eritrean beauty who is also making the journey. Together, they travel an arduous and illegal path wrought with danger, exploitation and death from East and North Africa through Italy, Mexico and finally to the United States. Triangle stars Solomon Bogale and Mahder Assefa, two of the most famous actors in Ethiopia.

“At PAFF, we always want to stay current with today’s domestic and international issues and be entertaining at the same time. Triangle fits into this vision. Immigration is not just an issue in the Latino community, but also affects the Black communities in the U.S. and Europe,” adds Babu.

The Man in 3B includes a star-studded cast, including Lamman Rucker, Billie D. Williams, Jackee Harry, Marla Gibbs, Brely Evans and more. Daryl Graham (Lamman Rucker) has just moved into a Jamaica, Queens, apartment building and his neighbors, male and female alike, can’t stop talking about him. From his extreme attractiveness to his undeniable swag, Daryl is the man every woman wants and every man wants to be.

PAFF Executive Director Ayuko Babu says, “PAFF loves to showcase films like The Man in 3B. There is an interesting twist in the storyline which is not usually found in romantic comedies. This film is entertaining and gives us insight into ourselves and encourages attitudes that are important to our development, which makes this the perfect closing night film at PAFF.”

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