paff & ayuko babu*LOS ANGELES – The Pan African Film Festival is happy to announce the creation of the 2012 PAFF Film Institute, presented by Black Enterprise.

The festival’s film institute will offer a four-part lyceum series, featuring one-day intensive workshops on various subjects, pertaining to the entertainment industry, such as acting, producing, directing, writing, distribution and marketing. Industry leaders, actors, actresses, directors, writers and film critics have been tapped to participate in panel discussions and workshops to engage and entertain festival goers, filmmakers and the public about the daily business of making entertainment profitable.

The PAFF Film Institute will run February 10-13, 2012 in the community room at the Baldwin Hills Crenshaw Plaza (next to Sears), located at 3650 W Martin Luther King Jr. in Los Angeles. During the day, the film institute will host various workshops and panel discussions, and end the evening with a “Conversation With” keynote discussion by key figures in the industry.  For more information about the PAFF Film Institute, please contact Sherri James at 323.646.3987 or visit the website at

In creating the PAFF Film Institute, the mission of the festival is to promote and enhance the creativity and business aspects of entertainment for the professional growth of filmmakers. In its inaugural year, the PAFF Film Institute will concentrate on  “the business of show business.” After all, there’s no business like show business!

Kicking off the first  “Conversation With …” keynote series is Alfred Edmond Jr, senior vice president/multimedia editor-at-large of Black Enterprise. He will be interviewing television and film producer Jeff Clanagan, CEO of Codeblack Entertainment, a driving force in motion pictures, television, home entertainment and new media. Clanagan continues to set industry precedents by producing and distributing content that defies conventional wisdom, and is leading market growth into a territory that was once dismissed as barren.  Codeblack’s most recent blockbuster, “Kevin Hart: Laugh at My Pain” was marketed using Clanagan’s signature, targeted techniques and grossed an average of $20,000 per theatre, which was groundbreaking for an independently produced and distributed film.

Here’s a quick lineup on the PAFF Film Institute’s “Conversation With” series, presented by Black Enterprise.

black enterprise logoFriday, February 10, 2012 | 7:30 p.m.

  • “A Conversation With … Jeff Clanagan” President/CEO of Codeblack Entertainment.  Jeff Clanagan has managed to remain in front of the next wave for over two decades.   In 2005, Clanagan founded Codeblack Entertainment to provide clients with a fully-integrated suite of services that span the production and branding life cycles – from idea lab to execution.  With everything under the same, dynamic roof, Clanagan’s clients optimize their creative visions – and the art that is ultimately output – using both new and traditional entertainment media.  Jeff Clanagan, recognized as one of Black Enterprise’s  Top 50 Hollywood Power Brokers and a member of Ebony Magazine’s Power 150, is responsible for the release of nearly 200 DVDs. His projects have generated over $150 million in revenue. Moderated by Alfred Edmond, Jr., senior vice president/multimedia editor-at-large of Black Enterprise.

Saturday, February 11, 2012 | 7:30 p.m.

  • “A Conversation With … Elizabeth Hunter” — a screenwriter. Hunter began her executive career as an intern with the Walt  Disney Company feature creative group and eventually rose to the  position of director of development at Universal Pictures. While there, she shepherded several films through production, including, “Apollo 13,” “Clockers,” “Crooklyn” and “Twelve Monkeys” Hunter left the studio executive ranks and became a writer. Paramount Pictures and MTV films produced her first screenplay, “The Fighting Temptations.”  The script earned her a spot on The Daily Variety’s prestigious “Ten Screenwriters to Watch” list. And the film won the 2004 NAACP Image Award for Outstanding Motion Picture. Hunter conceived, co-wrote and produced “Jumping the Broom” for Sony.  The film received an NAACP Image Award nomination this year for Outstanding Motion Picture. Moderated by a member of the African American Film Critics Association.

Sunday, February 12, 2012 | 7:30 p.m.

  • “A Conversation With … Chris Spencer” – a writer, producer and comedian. It’s hard to keep a straight face when talking to Spencer. He is one of the hottest comedic writers and producers in Hollywood. Various networks, like VH-1, Comedy Central and HBO have all used his talents to springboard many of their projects. He’s been the head writer for the “BET Awards,” the “BET Hip Hop Awards,” the “BET Honors” and the “Soul Train Awards” shows for the past few years. He’s had two comedy specials on the Showtime network – that is, “The Minority Report” and a one man show, titled “Chris Spencer… the Other Chris.” He’s the author of  “150 Ways To Tell If You’re Ghetto.” Moderated by a member of the African American Film Critics Association.

Monday, February 13, 2012 | 7:30 p.m.

  • “A Conversation With … Scott Aronson + Mike Regen of Melee Entertainment” — Aronson is the current COO of Melee  Entertainment as well as an attorney representing the legal and  business interests of a select group of independent film financiers, producers, writers and directors. As senior vice president of marketing and acquisitions at Melee Entertainment, Mike Regen wears multiple hats that give him a unique perspective on the process of acquiring, producing and marketing films. Melee was launched in 2002 as a joint venture with DreamWorks. It’s one of the leaders in urban-themed content, producing such films as  “Friday,” “You Got Served” and “Next Day Air.” Melee Entertainment just finished producing “The Under Shepherd,” directed by Russ Parr – the festival’s centerpiece presentation. Moderated by a member of the African American Film Critics Association.
About Black Enterprise

black enterprise, your ultimate source for wealth creation, is the premier business, investing, and wealth-building resource for African Americans. Since 1970, be has provided essential business information and advice to professionals, corporate executives, entrepreneurs, and decision makers. Every month, black enterprise provides four million readers with information on entrepreneurship, careers, and financial management. As a multimedia company, black enterprise produces television programming, business and lifestyle events, Web content and digital media. black enterprise is the definitive source of information for and about African American business markets and leaders, and the authority on black business news and trends.

About the Pan African Film Festival

The Pan African Film and Arts Festival (PAFF), America’s largest and most prestigious Black film and arts festival, is gearing up for its 20th year of screening more than 150 films made by and/or about people of African descent from the United States, Africa, the Caribbean, South America, the South Pacific, Europe and Canada. PAFF holds the distinction of being the largest Black History Month event in the country.

PAFF was founded in 1992  by award-winning actor Danny Glover (“The Color Purple,” “Lethal Weapon” movie franchise), Emmy Award-winning actress Ja’Net DuBois (best known for her role as  the busybody neighbor Willona  in the tv series, “Good Times”) and executive director, Ayuko Babu, an  international legal, cultural and political consultant who specializes in African Affairs.  PAFF is a non-profit corporation dedicated to the promotion of ethnic and racial respect and tolerance through the exhibit of films, art and creative expression.

The goal of PAFF is to present and showcase the broad spectrum of Black creative works, particularly those that reinforce positive images, help to destroy negative stereotypes and depict an expanded vision of the Black experience. PAFF believes film and art can lead to better understanding and foster communication between peoples of diverse cultures, races, and lifestyles, while at the same time, serve as a vehicle to initiate dialogue on the important issues of our times.

For more information, please visit or call (310) 337-4737.

The Pan African Film & Arts Festival is an official event of Los Angeles Mayor Antonio R. Villaraigosa’s Celebration of African American Heritage Month. PAFF is sponsored by Macy’s; Wells Fargo Bank; AIDS Healthcare Foundation; City of Los Angeles; Los Angeles County Arts Commission; as well as Los Angeles Council members Bernard C. Parks (District 8), Jan Perry (District 9), and Herb J. Wesson Jr. (District 10); Sony Pictures Entertainment; The Brotherhood Crusade; The Los Angeles Department of Cultural Affairs, The Africa Channel; South African Airways; The Directors Guild of America; and The Water Replenishment District of Southern California.




Wyllisa Bennett, publicist
wrb public relations
[email protected]