Virtual retrospective celebrates 30 years of the Pan African Film Festival with ‘Best of PAFF’ from Feb. 15-28

Actor Idris Elba with Ayuko Babu, PAFF co-founder and executive director, at the 2019 festival. (Courtesy photo)

The Pan African Film & Arts Festival (PAFF), one of the largest Black History Month events in America and the largest Black film festival, will kick off its yearlong 30th celebration in February with the first of several specially curated blocks of the festival’s most fascinating, complex and most liked films over the past three decades.

“Love Jacked,” a romantic comedy, will be screened during the virtual series. (Courtesy photo)

Throughout the festival’s 30-year history, PAFF has celebrated Black filmmakers and actors whose work has pushed the envelope in cinema in the U.S. and abroad in Africa and other parts of the world.

The Best of PAFF Retrospective Series kicks off with a Black History Month exhibition featuring nearly two dozen cinematic groundbreaking foreign and domestic films. The series will take place virtually Feb. 15-28, 2022. Film listings, tickets, and passes are available at

“Coming From Insanity” is a thriller movie based in Nigeria. (Courtesy photo)

To celebrate PAFF’s 30-year milestone, the festival will continue its retrospective series in March highlighting Black female filmmakers and their films.

In addition, the 30th annual Pan African Film and Arts Festival is slated for April 19 through May 1 after being postponed due to the rise of COVID cases in Los Angeles County. The hybrid festival of in-person and virtual screenings will take place in Los Angeles at its flagship venues the Directors Guild of America, Cinemark Baldwin Hills, and XD and Baldwin Hills Crenshaw Plaza.

Filmmakers Ava DuVernay and Ryan Coogler attended the 2019 festival. (Courtesy photo)

The Best of PAFF Retrospective Series is sponsored in part by the City of Los Angeles, the Los Angeles Department of Cultural Affairs, the Los Angeles County Department of Arts and Culture, Los Angeles County Supervisor Holly J. Mitchell, Los Angeles City Councilmember Marqueece Harris-Dawson (8th District), Los Angeles City Councilmember Curren Price (9th District); the 10th Los Angeles City Council District; the Academy of Motion Pictures Arts and Sciences, L.A. Arts COVID-19 Relief Fund with the California Community Foundation, and the L.A. County COVID-19 Arts Relief Fund administered by the LA County Department of Arts and Culture.

Actor/director Denzel Washington and Babu at the 2018 PAFF. (Courtesy photo)

Established in 1992 by Hollywood veterans Danny Glover (The Color Purple, Lethal Weapon), the late Ja’Net DuBois (“Good Times”), and Ayuko Babu (Executive Director), the Pan African Film Festival is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization that has remained dedicated to the promotion of Black stories and images through the exhibition of film, visual art, and other creative expression. PAFF is one of the largest and most prestigious Black film festival in the U.S. and attracts local, national, and international audiences. In addition, it is an Oscar qualifying festival for animation and live-action films, and one of the largest Black History Month events in America.