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 200 new films 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 Oyewolo, 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 or Short)
Best Short Narrative (Live Action & Animation)
Best Director - First Feature Narrative
Best Director - First Feature Documentary
Best Webseries

Audience Favorites

Programmers' Awards

Festival Director Awards

WHO IS ELIGIBLE TO SUBMIT TO PAFF?
• 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.

IF MY FILM IS ACCEPTED, WHAT PROJECTION FORMAT WILL PAFF ACCEPT?
• 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 Blu-Ray or DVDs only when no other format is available and only as a last resort. These 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.
• After November 14, the submitter must contact submissions@paff.org to obtain permission to submit their film. Permission will depend on space availability.

Overall Rating
Quality
Value
Communication
Hospitality
Networking
  • Thank you PAFF! We were so honored to attend 'LEAVING ISIOLO' at its North American theatrical-premiere. And it screened TWICE at your festival. An incredible lineup of films & panelists, fantastic communication & organization. A great festival overall!

    July 2022
  • Asha Chai-Chang

    Absolutely Amazing experience to attend The Pan African Film Festival! Honored to screen "Spoiler Alert" during the 30th Anniversary celebration after attending as a supporter the year prior. The events and networking opportunities! The films! The community and the staff are fantastic! Would LOVE to attend again.

    May 2022
  • So thrilled to have had my debut film "Joy's Garden" selected to show at the 30th edition of PAFF. Unfortunately I wasn't able to travel to the festival, but nonetheless appreciated the interest and visibility that the film got, and being able to participate in the virtual event the festival organised. I hope to have the chance to return in future and be there in person!

    May 2022
  • damon jamal

    Great festival with A1 communication before and throughout the event. So many excellent films and a very solid festival for many decades.

    May 2022
  • Back at PAFF, but this time as a Director for my film Subjects of Desire! The hospitality and excellence is unmatched. Thank you for 30 years of highlighting black stories and filmmakers, PAFF!

    May 2022