Pan African Film Festival Statement of Support for Downtown Crenshaw

One of the communities greatest cultural expressions of Black creativity is the annual Pan-African Film Festival at the Crenshaw Mall. Founded by walking legends Ayuko Babu and Danny Glover, and the recently departed Janer DuBois it the world's most acclaimed Black film festivals. We are honored to have the support and to be working with Babu and the PAFF team.

Here is their letter:

Please allow this letter to serve as a commitment of our collective support for the Downtown Crenshaw plan. It has been far too long since the Crenshaw community has envisioned such a grand plan for sustainable growth. Collectively, the Pan African Film & Arts Festival is dedicated to providing any support necessary to ensure the success of Downtown Crenshaw...

Established in 1992, The Pan African Film Festival (PAFF) is a non-profit 501(c)(3) corporation dedicated to the promotion of cultural understanding among peoples of African descent. PAFF is dedicated to racial tolerance through the exhibition of film, art, and creative expression. Since 1994, PAFF has taken place at the Baldwin Hills Crenshaw Plaza and the adjacent Cinemark Rave 15 Theaters (formerly Magic Johnson Theatres) located on the Baldwin Hills Crenshaw Plaza property. 

It is PAFF's goal to present and showcase the broad spectrum of Black creative works, particularly those that reinforce positive images and help destroy negative stereotypes. We believe film and art can lead to better understanding and foster communication between peoples of diverse cultures, races, and lifestyles, while at the same time serve as a vehicle to initiate dialogue on the important issues of our times.

The Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences designated PAFF as an official qualifying film festival for live action and animation short films.

USA Today selected PAFF as #3 in their 2015 list of 10 Best Film Festivals in the U.S. Film Freeway has ranked PAFF as one of the top 100 Best Reviewed Festivals. Out of over 9000 film festivals and creative contests around the world, PAFF received this ranking from reviews by real Film Freeway users.

L.A. Weekly-Best of LA, Best Cinema Smorgasbords. “The Pan African Film Festival has been honing and refining itself for years now, slowly evolving into its if-you-can-only-attend-one-L.A.-film-festival-then-this-is-the-one status. Films from across Africa, Australia, the Americas, and Europe are seamlessly woven into its expansive programming mix. Even the higher end of television fare is carefully fitted into the already packed cinematic queue. What makes the festival especially important–and not just a fun, cool happening-is the staggeringly broad range of black life and cultures to which it gives rein. Industry panels and workshops, art fairs with a special emphasis on children, and poetry and musical performances round out the filmic offerings. At a time when reductive and reactionary Negritude oozes from both the independent and mainstream American film worlds, the Pan African casts its net far and wide to serve up a delectable menu of dynamic, multilayered blackness.” Ernest Hardy (film critic, LA Weekly and New York Village Voice)

We are committed to assisting Downtown Crenshaw’s growth in the following areas:

  • Establish themselves as a one stop all in one professional association.
  • Bring about economic development that leads to business growth.
  • Support and promote the advancement of up-and-coming Black businesses.

Please allow this letter to serve as a testament to our unified support and unwavering encouragement for the long-term success of Downtown Crenshaw.

Thank you.


The Pan African Film & Arts Festival

Ayuko Babu
Executive Director

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