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, Jonathan Majors, Amin Johnson, Thomas Q. Jones, Angela Lewis, Tessa Thompson, Boris Kodjoe, Whoopi Goldberg, Omari Hardwick, Chadwick Boseman, Malcolm Jamal Warner, 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, Wale Ojo, Jurnee Smollett-Bell, Kerry Washington, Regina Hall, Sharon Leal, Billy Dee Williams, Terrence Howard, Gugu Mbatha-Raw, Omar Benson Miller, 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.

Jury Prizes:

Narrative Feature
Documentary (Feature, Featurette or Short)
Director - First Feature Narrative
Director - First Feature Documentary
Short Narrative (Live Action & Animation)

Audience Favorites:

Narrative Feature
Documentary Feature
Short/Featurette (Narrative or Documentary)

Programmers' Awards:

Narrative Feature
Documentary Feature
Featurette (Narrative or Documentary)
Short (Narrative or Documentary)

Executive Awards:

Narrative Feature
Documentary Feature
Featurette (Narrative or Documentary)
Short (Narrative or Documentary)

• 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.
• Films should have a copyright date of 2022, 2023 or 2024. Although films with a copyright date prior to 2022 can be accepted at the discretion of the PAFF programmers, they will not be eligible for a PAFF Award.
• Films with copyright dates prior to 2022 will not be eligible for Jury Awards.
• Film may not have streamed or screened in the Los Angeles area in 2024, prior to the beginning of PAFF.
• 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 or online link. For Shorts or Featurettes (49:59 minutes or less) you will be asked to submit an online link.
• If there are any updates for projection formats, you will receive them with your acceptance notification.
• PAFF will not accept watermarked films for public presentation.
• After applicable Late Submission deadline, the submitter must contact submissions@paff.org to obtain permission to submit their film. Permission will depend on space availability.

Overall Rating
  • Suzen Baraka

    I'm super grateful to the Pan-African Film Festival! I think people don't realize how IMPORTANT festivals like PAFF are to, not only OUR community, but THE community. PAFF has given my work numerous platforms on which to stand and share my work and they are true advocates for independent filmmakers.

    July 2023
  • LyAndre Pierre

    Great film festival! The communication with staff and the organization is exceptional.

    June 2023
  • The 2023 PAFF was a great experience. I am very proud that our film was screened and we shared in the festival celebrations.

    April 2023
  • Bianca Isaac

    Thank you PAFF - We are honoured to have been part of your 2023 selection and The Honeymoon movie winning Best Narrative Feature at the Programmers Choice Awards.

    March 2023
  • I wanted to express my deepest gratitude for the official selection of my film "Africa, Cradle of Humankind and Modern Civilizations" and for the premiere screening at your festival.

    I am honored that my film was chosen to be a part of your prestigious event, and I appreciate the opportunity you have given me to present my work to such a diverse audience. Your festival provides an important platform for independent films and emerging filmmakers, and I am proud to have been included in this outstanding selection.

    I also want to thank the entire festival team for their hard work and dedication to promoting African cinema and its diaspora. Your commitment to cultural diversity and inclusion is admirable and has a significant impact on the communities you serve.

    Finally, I would like to express my gratitude to all the viewers who attended the screening of my film. Your presence and support mean a lot to me and encourage me to continue creating works that reflect the history and culture of Africa.

    I am sincerely grateful for this unforgettable experience and hope to have the opportunity to collaborate with you in the future.

    Best regards,
    Benita Jacques

    March 2023