When the Pan African Film Festival (PAFF) opens its doors this week, it will offer a slice of gay life through the lenses of several directors, shining a spotlight on the LGBT community. One of the films, the controversial, yet compelling “Children of God,” directed by Kareem Mortimer, has already received a juror nomination in the category of Best First Feature Narrative Director.
“Children of God” tackles such complex issues as homophobia, religion and interracial gay relationships, set against the backdrop of the beautiful, yet homophobic Bermuda. The emotinally-charged film has been making the rounds at film festivals across the country and grabbing prizes along the way for its stunning portrayals of gays on the big screen and its provacative storyline with themes of love, romance, betrayal, tolerance and homophobia.
PAFF, America’s largest and most prestigious international Black film festival, will take place February 16-23, 2011 at the Culver Plaza Theatre, located at 9919 Washington Blvd in Los Angeles. It has selected a total of 121 films, representing 31 countries, 75 feature length films (narrative and documentaries) and 46 short films. For more information, including how to purchase tickets, please visit www.paff.org or call (310) 337-4737.
“We have a seat at the table for every voice at the Pan African Film Festival.” said Ayuko Babu, founder and executive director of the Pan African Film Festival. “We are extremely proud to present stories for the same gender-loving community of color at the festival that will resonate with audiences and engage people with images and stories that are not often reflected in television and film.”
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“Children of God”
Directed by Kareem Mortimer , the film is set against the backdrop of a nation grappling with violent homophobic crime and offering a scathing examination of the underlying hatred for gay people rampant in Caribbean societies. Bahamian Mortimer’s debut narrative feature tells the stories of three very different individuals: Lena, the conservative, deeply religious wife of a secretly gay firebrand pastor; Romeo, a handsome young black man hiding his sexuality from his close-knit and loving family; and Jonny, the conflicted and creatively-blocked white artist in search of himself. All three head for the spectacularly beautiful and tranquil island of Eleuthera, each with a different reason for escaping current circumstances. Soon, their disparate worlds collide in unexpected and affecting ways. This uncommon portrayal of love, loneliness, tolerance, secrets and self-acceptance takes viewers on a poignant, multi-faceted journey that is enlightening, courageous, and disquieting — all at the same time … shocks to the very core with its startling conclusion.
Screening times: Mon, Feb 21@5:45pm; Sun, Feb 20@9:25pm
All screenings take place at the Culver Plaza Theatre, located at 9919 Washington Blvd in Los Angeles.