Asami and Sherice (Courtesy photo)

The production of the motion picture industry suffered during the global pandemic. However, creativity was hard to suppress, and films were being made around the world. The proof is evident at the 31st Annual Pan African Film Festival (PAFF), which opens on Thursday, February 9. The star-studded red carpet opening night ceremony will be held at the Directors Guild of America with the premiere of “Chevalier,” a true story of composer Joseph Bologne, Chevalier de Saint-Georges.

The accomplished composer, musician and polymath was the son of an enslaved African woman and a French plantation owner, Bologne (Kelvin Harrison Jr. in a tour de force performance) rises to improbable heights in French society as a celebrated violinist-composer and fencer, complete with an ill-fated love affair and a falling out with Marie Antoinette (Lucy Boynton) and her court.

“We are inspired by the films submitted from all parts of the globe,” said PAFF Executive Director Ayuko Babu who also co-founded PAFF in 1992. “I am proud to continue a legacy founded with my friends the late beloved Ja’Net DuBois and celebrated award-winning Danny Glover to showcase our stories and preserve the cinematic creativity of African Diaspora and Pan African Culture.”
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As one of the largest and most prestigious Black film festivals in the U.S., PAFF held in the heart of Los Angeles, an entertainment mecca, attracts an international audience. PAFF, 501 (c) 3 organization, runs through February 20, at the Cinemark Baldwin Hills and XD located at 4020 Marlton Ave, Los Angeles, CA 90008.

“Every year PAFF continues to showcase new high-quality Black films from the U.S., Africa, the Caribbean, South America, Europe, the South Pacific, Canada, and increasingly, Asia,” said Babu. “PAFF is an Oscar-qualifying festival for animation and live-action films.”

Dr. Sebi set up a treatment center where clients, including Michael Jackson, Lisa “Left Eye” Lopez and John Travolta, received treatment. (Courtesy photo)

Among the more than 150 films from 40 countries accepted is “A Holistic Journey,” that premieres on Friday, February 10, at 8:35 p.m. and on Sunday, February 12, at 4 p.m. The 60-minute film carries on the legacy of Alfredo Darrington Bowman known as Dr. Sebi, a Honduran self-proclaimed herbalist healer, practiced in the United States in the late 20th and early 21st centuries.

Dr. Sebi set up a treatment center in Honduras and clients including Michael Jackson, Lisa ‘Left Eye’ Lopes, and John Travolta. Dr. Sebi died at 83 in 2016 but his supplements, products and treatments are still popular and widely used.
“We are excited to be accepted in the world-class Pan African Film Festival especially as a first-time entry,” said Bobby Broome, director and producer of “A Holistic Journey.”

“The documentary led by Dr. Sebi’s son, Alfredo “Asami” Bowman, Jr., and his wife, Sherice, take you on an adventure and teachable moments of a wide range of healing practices and remedies and the holistic lifestyles of people around the world who live long healthy lives.
“Carrying on the legacy of Dr. Sebi means we have the possibility of improving the quality of life for those people who practice natural living by choice or necessity by sharing the knowledge that he acquired and shared during his lifetime,” added Broome.

“So many people around the world don’t have access to expensive medical care either because of poverty or geographic location. On the other hand, people with the ability and access to expensive medical care now have the option live and heal naturally.”

The film, driven by Asami’s and Sherice’s curiosity about other alchemist, herbalist, and people who benefit from the study, knowledge and availability of what planet earth naturally provides for her inhabits to survive and flourish. Asami and Sherice try many of the holistic, practices, foods, plants and herbal compounds that may be different and unusual, but are effective.”

Tickets to attend PAFF are available at