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 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
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
  • Alice Crowe

    My twin sister and I are first time filmmakers. We flew to LA from New York to attend PAFF because we knew it would be a great chance to showcase our film, meet people, and have a great time. We are so grateful to be able to participate. The Directors brunch was informative and inspiring. Most of all, we met some amazingly talented filmmakers.
    The festival was an incredible experience. We learned so much from the panels, and we were warmly embraced by the audience. The feedback was terrific! PAFF was perfect for our short Black history film, Last Disintegrated School. Job well done, PAFF organizers.

    September 2020
  • Jaded PIctures

    Had a blast! Looking forward to attending and being apart again! Thanks PAFF

    September 2020
    Response from festival:

    Thank you so much for your kind comments. We love our filmmakers and our audience.

  • Gibrey Allen

    I flew to NYC to LA because I had to be a part of this festival! My film ‘Right Near the Beach’ was a 2020 selection but whether you have a project screening or not, please attention this festival. It’s an experience like no other. Such a wonderful community that supports black and minority films and talent. I don’t have many contacts in LA but I was absolutely amazed to see the many people that showed up for screening. PLEASE SUBMIT AND attend this festival! PAFF thank you! 🙏🏾🙏🏾🙏🏾

    July 2020
  • Grace Films

    Thank you so much for being my first film festival. I really had a great time. Met so many talented filmmakers and made new friends. Watching films every day who doesn't love that and events so filmmakers can network and progress. PAFF 2020 All love x

    March 2020
  • Akinyemi Sebastian Akinropo

    What an experience! PAFF 2020 was packed full of amazing events, Films and Filmmakers from all over the world. So many things were in place for indie filmmakers to take their careers to the next level. Well done Babu and the whole team!!!

    March 2020