Red Carpet Star Studded Gala to Take Place February 10 at Directors Guild of America

The Pan African Film and Arts Festival (PAFF), America’s largest and most prestigious Black film and arts festival, has announced the world premiere of “Blood Done Sign My Name” as their Opening Night feature presentation.  “Blood Done Sign My Name,” which opens nationally on February 19th from Paladin, stars Nate Parker as notable Civil Rights activist Dr. Ben Chavis, along with an ensemble cast that includes Lela Rochon, Omar Benson Miller, Afemo Omilami, Golden Globe- winner Ricky Schroder, Nick Searcy, Michael Rooker, Darrin Dewitt Henson, and Gattlin Griffith.  The film is an adaptation of the best-selling book by Timothy Tyson and is written and directed by Jeb StuartCast members and Dr. Chavis will be present at the screening. The event will be hosted by award winning actress CCH Pounder (Avatar, Brothers).  Taking place, Wednesday, February 10 (7 p.m.) at the Directors Guild of America, PAFF’s Opening Night Gala is one of the most glamorous red carpet Hollywood film events that attract Hollywood A-list celebrities and kicks off one of America’s largest Black History Month events.  For more information, including how to purchase tickets, please visit www.paff.org or call (310) 337-4737.  The 2010 PAFF is taking place February 10-17 in Los Angeles, CA.

About Blood Done Sign My Name

Jeb Stuart’s Blood Done Sign My Name, is an epic civil rights drama based on the acclaimed book of the same name by prize-winning author and scholar Timothy Tyson. Part autobiography and part history of the civil rights movement in the south, the book, which has sold over 150,000 copies and has been hailed as “one of the most powerful meditation on race in America” by the Cleveland Plain Dealer, recounts the small town murder of Henry Marrow, a 23 year-old black Vietnam veteran, who was shot and beaten to death by a prominent white businessman and his grown sons. In response to the crime, and the sham trial that followed, many young African American men took to the streets, engaging in riots and vandalism. However, Ben Chavis, Marrow’s cousin, decided that the best way to protest the injustice would be to organize a peaceful march on the state capitol. What began as a small group of outraged friends and relatives grew to a crowd of thousands over the three-day, fifty-mile trek to Raleigh. Ten years old at the time, Tim Tyson watched as his father, pastor of the all-white Methodist church, tried to get his congregation to accept the inevitability of integration.

Nate Parker, (who played a leading role in The Great Debators and stars in George Lucas’ forthcoming Tuskegee Airmen saga, Red Tails,) stars as Dr. Ben Chavis, (who went on to become head of the NAACP). Golden Globe-winner Rick Schroder, (Lonsesome Dove, NYPD Blue) stars as Tyson’s father, Reverend Vernon Tyson. Stuart, (screenwriter on such classic action thrillers as Die Hard and The Fugitive), is a North Carolina native and, more importantly, the son of a white Southern minister who lived through the very events portrayed in the film. The large ensemble cast includes, Afemo Omilami (Forest Gump), Lela Rochon (Waiting to Exhale), Omar Benson Miller (Miracle at St. Anna), Nick Searcy (Cast Away), Michael Rooker (Henry: Portrait of a Serial Killer), Darrin Dewitt Henson (Stomp the Yard) and Gattlin Griffith (The Changeling) as the young Tim Tyson.

Narrative Feature Segment
2010 | 128 min | U.S. | English
Directed by: Jeb Stuart
Written by: Jeb Stuart
Produced by: Mel Efros, Jeb Stuart & Mari Stuart, Robert K. Steel

Cast: Nate Parker, Rick Schroder, Afemo Omilami, Lela Rochon, Omar Benson Miller, Nick Searcy, Michael Rooker, Darrin Dewitt Henson, and Gattlin Griffith.

About the Pan African Film & Arts Festival

Taking place February 10-17 in Los Angeles at the Culver Plaza Theatre (9919 Washington Blvd.), PAFF presents and showcases a broad spectrum of Black creative works, particularly those that reinforce positive images and help to destroy negative stereotypes of Africans and African-Americans.  In addition to the film festival, the PAFF will present its world renowned Art Show February 12-15 at the Westfield Culver Plaza (6000 Sepulveda Blvd. Culver City), featuring over 100 fine artists and craftspeople from around the world showcasing the best in Black fine art, sculpture, photography, unique handmade crafts, home furnishings, designer jewelry, designer fashions and accessories that highlight the artistry and beauty of the African aesthetic. For more information, please visit www.paff.org or call (310) 337-4737.

It is PAFF’s goal to present and showcase the broad spectrum of Black creative works, particularly those that reinforce positive images and help to destroy negative stereotypes.  The 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.

The 18th Annual Pan African Film and Arts Festival is an official event of Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa’s Black History Month Celebration and is supported in part by: the City of Los Angeles, the Department of Cultural Affairs,  and Los Angeles County Arts Commission with support from Los Angeles 8th District Council Member Bernard Parks Sr., Los Angeles 9th District Council Member Jan Perry, Los Angeles 10th District Council Member Herb Wesson Jr., Los Angeles County Supervisor Mark Ridley-Thomas, California State Senator Curren D. Price Jr., Assemblymember Karen Bass, and Assemblymember Steve Bradford.  The 2010 PAFF is an official recipient of the American Recovery & Reinvestment Act of 2009.

2010 sponsors include: Macy’s, Wells Fargo Bank, Mc Donald’s USA, Water Replenishment District of Southern California, US Bank, TV5 Monde, the French Consulate, Goethe Institute Los Angeles, PXP, AIDS Healthcare Foundation, United States Census 2010 Road Tour, AARP, South African Airways, Ethiopian Airways, Coca-Cola, Red Tea Rooibos, Ceres, Izze Sparking Juice, Time Warner Cable, The Africa Channel, KPFK, Our Weekly Newspaper, The Immigrant Magazine, LaHitz Media, African Trumpet, Directors Guild of America, Sony Pictures, and 21st Century Fox.