By Cynthia Gibson
SOUTH LOS ANGELES — The Pan African Film and Art Festival will close with the premiere of TV One’s original movie “Stalker.”
Meta Golding stars as Tanya Moore, a well-known Hollywood actress who hides out in her hometown after being stalked by a mysterious figure. She later becomes involved with two men and tries to determine if one of them is her stalker.
The final days of the 30th annual festival will continue to recognize past Black filmmakers, classic and modern-day films from the African diaspora and provide a platform for the next generation of movie makers.
In recognition of the 30th anniversary of the 1992 riots, the festival will screen “South Central” April 29. “South Central” is a 1992 American crime-drama written and directed by Stephen Milburn Anderson. The film is an adaptation of the 1987 fictional novel, “The Original South Central L.A. Crips” by Donald Bakeer, a former high school teacher in South Los Angeles.
“South Central” tells the story of a man who served a 10-year prison sentence. After his release, he wants to live a peaceful life and leave his former life behind only to find his son has followed his criminal footsteps. Original cast members Bakeer, Glenn Plummer, Byron Minns, Carl Lumbly and Christian Coleman will reunite for the screening.
Also on April 29, the festival will screen a repeat of “Remember Me: The Mahalia Jackson Story,” as well as a series of African-American short films.
The documentary “The Dream Whisperer,” chronicling the journey of basketball player Dick Barnett, will premiere on April 30. Barnett spent three seasons with the Los Angeles Lakers before helping the New York Knicks beat the Lakers twice in the NBA finals (1970 and 1973). Before his career in the NBA, Barnett attended Tennessee A & I (now known as Tennessee State University). His college team closed out the 1950s winning the National Athletic Intercollegiate Association tournament in 1957, 1958 and 1959, the first college team on any level, to win three consecutive national titles.
“This is a story about the first college basketball team to win three consecutive national championships,” said Barnett, who is now 85. “A team that almost was lost to history until I decided to do something about it.
“It’s about a legacy that needs to be protected and passed on.”
The festival also will present a spotlight “Sweet Thing,” a short film from the Nate Parker Foundation on May 1. The Nate Parker Foundation’s mantra is “activism through cinema arts.”
“Our goal is to create a cultural shift by helping young artists bring their stories to life,” Parker said. “We use film to create a launch pad for conversations that we believe will help fuel social change.”
Written and directed by Shemar Jones, “Sweet Thing” is the story of a hard-working single mother who is forced to leave her daughter in a motel alone in order to go work. The screening will be followed by a discussion with the filmmaker.
The film’s concept came from a viral news story that Jones heard about a young mother who left her children in a motel and was arrested and lost custody of her children. As an alumni of the Nate Parker Foundation, Jones was eligible to submit his script to get production funding through the foundation’s Accelerator Program.
When his film was selected, Jones felt validated.
“As creators our job is essentially that if something moves us internally, I think that’s the signal to put it out there or a signal that it’s going to affect someone else positively,” Jones said. “I felt really blessed that it resonated with the staff at [the foundation] and that they felt compelled enough in the story and through what I’ve already shown … that I was worthy of the grant.”
“A La Carte,” the story of the misadventures of the Black millennial dating experience, also will be featured on May 1.
For a more information on festival screenings, institutes, art festival and special events, visit paff.org.