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January 2005
Halle Berry's Lackawanna Blues is the Opening Night Film

Halle Berry's Lackawanna Blues is the Opening Night Film

Cast and Filmmakers To Attend 

LOS ANGELES, CA (January14, 2005) -- The highly-anticipated drama LACKAWANNA BLUES, starring S. EpathaMerkerson, Ruben Santiago-Hudson, Jimmy Smits, Terrence Dashon Howard, Carmen Ejogo, Mos Def, Ernie Hudson, Macy Gray,Hill Harper, Rosie Perez, Delroy Lindo and Academy Award®winner Louis Gossett Jr., under thedirection Tony Award®winner George C. Wolfe and scored byGrammy Award®winner Meshell Ndegeocello, has beenselected as the opening night film of The Thirteenth Annual Pan African Film andArts Festival (PAFF).  Thestar-studded event will be held at 7 p.m. on Thursday, February 10 at thePacific Theatres Stadium in Culver City with principal cast and filmmakers inattendance.  Gala after party to follow screening.  For ticket sales and more information, please call (323)295-1706 or visit www.paff.org .

“LACKAWANNA BLUES is theperfect film to open this year’s Pan African Film Festival. It depicts the complexity of the Black community while at the same timeshowing the love and support that characterizes the Black community in days goneby,” explained festival founder Ayuko Babu. “The soundtrack is outstanding and a must have for every music loverscollection.”

Based on the acclaimed autobiographical one-manshow by Ruben Santiago-Hudson (who wrote the adaptation and appears in thefilm), and co-executive produced by the Academy Award®-winning actress Halle Berry, this warm and vibrant drama is aninspiring story of coming of age, of a mother/son love that transcendsbiological ties, and of an extraordinary woman who built a community andcircumvented segregation in her own determined way. Like a good blues song, thefilm strikes notes that are painful but beautiful, ones that remain alive toboth the heartbreaks and joys of life.

PAFF, the largest Blackhistory month event in the U.S., will be held from February 10-21, 2005 in LosAngeles at the Magic Johnson Theaters and Baldwin Hills Crenshaw Plaza. Thefestival was launched in February 1992 by founder Ayuko Babu.  The selection of Black films inclusive of features,shorts, documentaries as well as studio/network releases. The PAFF is dedicated to the promotion of cultural and racial toleranceand understanding through the exhibition of film, art and creative expression. The PAFF will feature panel discussions, industry workshops and seminarsin addition to its film showcases.
ThePAFF also presents one of America's largest fine art shows featuring prominentand emerging Black artists and fine craftspeople. 

ThePAFF is supported by Hollywood’s leading black actors and filmmakersincluding: Jaime Foxx, Mo’nique, Ja’net Dubois, Danny Glover, DenzelWashington, Laurence Fishburne, Lynn Whitfield, Damon Wayans, Sanaa Lathan, StanLathan, Wesley Snipes, Forest Whitaker, Kasi Lemmons, Vondie Curtis-Hall, BlairUnderwood, Alfre Woodard, Eriq LaSalle, Angela Bassett, Diahann Carroll, ErnieHudson, Hill Harper, Michael Beach, CCH Pounder, Neema Barnette, Debbie Allen,Sharif Atkins, Penny Johnson Gerald, Carl Lumbly, Taj Mahal, Euzhan Palcy,Sydney Tamia Poitier, Sinbad, Lorraine Toussaint and Malcolm Jamal Warner.

Past festival features haveincluded box office and award-winning hits: Redemption, Civil Brand, Crazy AsHell, Kingdom Come, The Brothers, Gridlock’d, and more.

The 2005 PAFF is sponsoredin part by: Magic Johnson Theatres, Balwin Hills Crenshaw Plaza, Target, SouthAfrican Airways, Starbucks Coffee, Urban Coffee Opportunities, Blockbuster Inc.,Kodak, Union Bank of California, City of Los Angeles Cultural AffairsDepartment, Eurweb.com and Lahitz.

For moreinformation, visit www.paff.org
JasmyneCannick | Emma Pullen

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