Award-winning Actor/Director To Share Life Story of Hard Time to Primetime in ‘Conversation With …’ Series

charles s. dutton*LOS ANGELES – The Pan African Film Festival will honor prolific, award-winning actor/director Charles S. Dutton with Lifetime Achievement Award at the festival’s annual  Night of Tribute awards ceremony.

For the second year, the Night of Tribute will be part of the pre-show festivities for the awards ceremony of the African-American Film Critics Association (AAFCA) on Friday, January 31, 2014, beginning at 7 p.m. at the Taglyan Complex, located at 1201 Vine Street in Hollywood, Calif.

Dutton is a two-time Tony-nominated and multiple Emmy award-winning actor and director of stage, television and film. He first became a familiar face to television audiences around the world for his iconic role as the Baltimore garbage collector, Roc Emerson, on the popular Fox comedy (produced by HBO), “Roc,” which aired for three seasons from 1991 to 1994. For the role of Roc, Dutton earned his first NAACP Image Award, followed by two more wins in 2002 and 2003 for his roles in the television movies, “10,000 Black Men Named George” and “D.C. Sniper: 23 Days of Fear,” respectively.

Dutton, who is a native of Baltimore, made his Broadway debut in 1984 with August Wilson‘s ”Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom,” winning him a Theatre World Award and a Best Actor Tony Award nomination.  Six years later, he received another Tony Award nod for Best Actor in August Wilson’s “The Piano Lesson” before heading off to Hollywood, landing more television roles and collecting acting accolades along the way.

In 1999, Dutton received both Emmy and NAACP Image award nominations for his guest-starring role as Alvah Case on the HBO hit prison drama, “Oz.” A year later, he directed the critically-acclaimed and gritty HBO miniseries, “The Corner.” “The Corner” won several Emmys, including Outstanding Miniseries and Outstanding Writing for a Miniseries or a Movie. Dutton picked up an Emmy Award for Outstanding Directing for a Miniseries, Movie or a Special. As the Yale-trained actor continued to show the range of his acting abilities, the nominations and awards just kept on coming. He won back-to-back Emmy Awards in 2002 and 2003 for Outstanding Guest Actor for his roles in “The Practice” and “Without a Trace,” respectively.

“Charles Dutton is a tour de force to be reckoned with whether he’s on stage or the screen — big or small,” says Ayuko Babu, executive director of the Pan African Film Festival. “Through his craft, he’s a chameleon and a master storyteller. With an authoritative, booming voice, he brings a larger-than-life presence to all his roles, captivating audiences and delivering riveting performances each and every time.”

Previous recipients of the Lifetime Achievement Award include Oscar-winner Louis Gossett Jr., Tony award-winner Phylicia Rashad, Emmy award-winning actors Loretta Devine and Glynn Turman, the honorable Ambassador Andrew Young as well as award winning actresses Marla Gibbs and Dr. Della Reese — just to name a few.

The 22nd annual PAFF will be held on February 6-17, 2014 at the new Rave Cinemas Baldwin Hills 15 at the Baldwin Hills Crenshaw Plaza in Los Angeles. PAFF is the grant recipient of the City of Los Angeles and the Los Angeles County Arts Commission. The festival thanks the generous support of  the Baldwin Hills Crenshaw Plaza and RAVE Cinemas.  For more information, visit

“CONVERSATION WITH … CHARLES DUTTON” | “From Jail to Yale: Serving Time on Stage”

Saturday, February 8, 2014 | 7:45 p.m.
Rave Cinemas Baldwin Hills 15 at the Baldwin Hills Crenshaw Plaza
Los Angeles

“I used to be a hardcore, hard-hearted guy. Once you make the decision to change, all kinds of things happen.” – Charles Dutton
Interestingly, before Dutton’s success on the Great White Way and Hollywood, he was a juvenile delinquent, in and out of reform school and correctional facilities, since the age of 12. As a youth, he hung around the wrong crowd

and dropped out of school before finishing middle school. By the time he was 26, Dutton had spent roughly 12 years of his life in a penitentiary for back-to-back convictions.

Interestingly, while in prison, Dutton found his passion for acting and directing. Several months into his second prison term, Dutton was sent to solitary confinement. He was allowed one book, and by accident, grabbed an anthology of black playwrights. While in confinement, he enjoyed the plays so much that upon his release, he petitioned the warden to form a drama group. The warden agreed on the condition that Dutton finish his education and get his GED.

While incarcerated, Dutton not only completed his studies, but also earned a two-year college degree in 1976, the same year he was paroled. After serving his time, the ex-con enrolled as a drama major at Towson State University — now known as Towson University – graduated, and went on to earn a master’s degree in acting from the prestigious Yale School of Drama.

In PAFF’s  “Conversation With …” series, Dutton will share his inspirational story with straight talk and humor in a one-man show titled, “From Jail to Yale: Serving Time on Stage.”


The Pan African Film Festival Set To Honor Rising Stars
In a year, celebrating the unprecedented number of black films hitting theatres nationwide, its only fitting that Pan African Film Festival (PAFF) recognizes two rising stars for their outstanding breakout performances in film. In recognizing some fresh faces of Young Hollywood , the festival will honor actors  Emayatzy Corinealdi and Tequan Richmond with the Beah Richards and Canada Lee Rising Star Awards, respectively. PAFF’s “Rising Star” awards are named after actors Canada Lee and Oscar-nominee Beah Richards, who pioneered roles for African Americans in film, television and stage, and sparked civil rights activism in their work. For the social media release, visit:

The Pan African Film Festival Set To Honor Industry Trailblazers
The Pan African Film Festival (PAFF) recently announced it will honor two industry innovators for their impact and influence in the film industry. Studio film publicist Roz Stevenson of Roz Stevenson Public Relations and Jeff Clanagan of CodeBlack Enterprises will be honored at the festival’s annual  Night of Tribute ceremony on Friday, January 31, 2014. For the social media release, visit:

Gearing up for its 22nd anniversary, the Pan African Film and Arts Festival (PAFF), is America’s largest and most prestigious Black film festival. Each year, it screens 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, Latin America, 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 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 .

Wyllisa R. Bennett, publicist du jour
wrb public relations /[email protected]