Did you know each year a transformation happens in Los Angeles, CA? People from around the globe gather to attend the largest and most prestigious Black film festival in the United States. From 100 million dollar blockbuster premieres to newly emerging Hollywood talent, The Pan African Film Festival (PAFF) showcases a broad array of Black creative works from the world over, highlighting those that reinforce positive images and help to destroy negative stereotypes. Nowhere else can audiences find this unique opportunity to come together through film and art to explore new worlds, meet new people and acquire new information and ideas.

PAFF is designated as an official qualifying film festival for narrative live action and animated short films for the Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences.

Venerated by tens of thousands every year, PAFF screens more than 175 new films across 6 screens in state of the art digital projection to the delight of an audience of sophisticated movie lovers. PAFF’s audience loves PAFF and PAFF loves them. Each year PAFF becomes a pilgrimage for attendees who hail from all over the United States and the World! Known for its industry panels, special events and great parties, we invite filmmakers to take this one-of-a-kind opportunity to connect to their core audience and experience the special magic of PAFF.

Did we mention celebrities? Celeb sightings: Denzel Washington, Sidney Poitier, Danny Glover, Idris Elba, Mo’Nique, Kevin Hart, Jada Pinkett-Smith, Jamie Foxx, Forest Whitaker, Phylicia Rashad, Lou Gossett, Jr., Issa Rae, Taraji P. Henson, Trevor Noah, David Oweloyo, Laurence Fishburne, Angela Bassett, Majid Michel, Alfre Woodard, Blair Underwood, Kerry Washington, Nate Parker, Salli Richardson, Dorian Missick, Jesse Williams, Michael Ealy, Anthony Anderson, Omotola, Boris Kodjoe, Whoopi Goldberg, Omari Hardwick, Chadwick Boseman, Malcolm Jamal Warner, Shia LaBeouf, CCH Pounder, Omar Epps, Regina King, Sanaa Lathan, John Legend, Tika Sumpter, Tim Roth, Van Vicker, Gabrielle Union, Alfre Woodard, Hakeem Kae-Kazim, Wesley Snipes, Meagan Good, Loretta Devine, Bill Duke, Lisa Raye, Kareem Abdul Jabbar, Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje, Hill Harper, Mario Van Peebles, Eriq LaSalle, Jurnee Smollett-Bell, Sharon Leal, Stacey Dash, Billy Dee Williams, Terrence Howard, Gugu Mbatha-Raw, Omar Benson Miller, Isaiah Washington, Joy Bryant, Regina Hall, Jussie Smollett, Robert Townsend, Ja'Net Dubois, Gugu Mbatha-Raw, Djimon Hounsou, Glynn Turman, Vivica Fox, Kimberly Elise, Don Cheadle and the list goes on and on.

Official (Jury) Prizes:

Best Narrative Feature
Best Documentary Feature
Best Short Narrative
Best Short Documentary
Best Director - First Feature Narrative
Best Webseries

Audience Favorites

Programmers' Awards

Festival Director Awards

• PAFF accepts films and videos made by and/or about people of African descent. (Filmmaker needn't be of African descent.) Preferably, films should depict positive or realistic images.
• Films can be of any genre -- drama, comedy, horror, adventure, animation, romance, science fiction, experimental, etc. PAFF accepts features, shorts and web series; narratives and documentaries.
• All submissions must be in English or have English subtitles.
• PAFF will accept the submissions of works in progress. However, your submission must be sufficiently complete to allow our programmers to follow the storyline and be able to make a decision. We will only accept one work-in-progress version of your film, so please make sure to make it your best shot. (If you expect your final version to be 90 minutes, a 45-minute rough cut is probably not acceptable.) Also, whenever possible, you should provide an on-screen description of missing scenes.

• PAFF's host theatre is all-digital. The only accepted projection formats for Feature Films are DCP, online link and Blu-Ray. For Short Films (49 minutes or less) you will be asked to submit an online link. We may also accept DCP and BluRay depending on program needs.
• If there are any updates for projection formats, you will receive them with your acceptance notification.
• We will accept DVDs only when no other format is available and only as a last resort. DVDs are strongly discouraged because they are unreliable for public presentation due to skipping, stopping and other playback defects.
• PAFF will not accept watermarked films for public presentation.

Overall Rating
  • Michea Bryant

    Great, fun festival. Events are great networking opportunities 🔥🔥🔥

    September 2019
    Response from festival:

    Dear Michea,
    Thank you for writing. We are beginning the planning for PAFF 2020. I hope you will be able to join us. The dates are February 13-23, 2020. If you are not already receiving our Newsletter, you can sign up for it on our website, www.paff.org

    Miki Goral
    PAFF Filmmaker Liaison

  • Darryl Wharton-Rigby

    I absolutely love the Pan-African Film Festival. I've screened there three times and the staff and volunteers are the best. Highly recommend.

    July 2019
    Response from festival:

    Thank you for your kind words. We hope to see you again as we plan for PAFF 2020.

  • Aiwan O

    An excellent inaugural festival for my film 'Wax Print'. The venue was very professional, films screened alongside big-budget commercial films. The staff and volunteers were friendly and helpful. The screenings were very well attended and the Q&A's were a pleasure. The events happening alongside the festival were very welcome and appreciated, especially the Black Market where I spent considerable time and ££££'s!! Thank you PAFF, I look forward to sharing future films with you and your fantastic audience. Peace, Aiwan

    May 2019
  • Cutty Quinn

    I truly had an amazing experience at the PAFF. This was my first year attending, and to have my film nominated and screened, was truly an honor. The PAFF afforded me an opportunity to network with a number of other great filmmakers and it was a pleasure to see such high quality work. I definitely will be back next year!

    March 2019
  • Lana Taylor

    This is such an amazing festival. Thank you for including my film... so, so honored. The time of year (I'm a student) and cost of travel kept me from attending but I wish I could have been there... especially opening night. I'd like to make it to this festival... they were organized and easy to work with. Thank you!

    March 2019