*The clothing and art vendors have all packed up their goods, the aroma of popcorn overflowing in concessions is beginning to fade, as the annual Pan African Film and Arts Festival in Baldwin Hills has wrapped up, leaving its imprint on the community for the 28th year in a row.
“This is a film I made for the community, about the community, in the community, and that’s what PAFF has always been about,” said actor and Director Nick Cannon, who debuted his independent feature film “She Ball” at the festival this year.
On the surface, the film is a feel-good basketball movie, but the script is rooted in meaningful content, touching on relevant topics like race, criminal justice and gentrification.
“I feel it was the right thing to do to debut it at the Pan African Film Festival,” he said.
Cannon’s “She Ball” joined more than 2,000 feature and short film screenings throughout the 12 day festival, highlighting the importance of telling stories from around the world.
“Now you see the young filmmakers who are really for the culture, and at many different levels—so it’s exciting,” said Cannon.
Shaquille O’Neal also debuted his feature narrative film “Foster Boy,” which tells the story of a lawyer at the center of a trial in which a for-profit agency is accused of putting a known sex offender into the same foster home as his young client Jamal.
Other films dealt with topics like immigration for people coming into America from African countries, black love and relationships, gender inequality, and much more.
Story/Photos by Lauren McCay