Friday, October 3, 2008

Vancouver Pan African Film Festival (Canada), October 24-26!


Vancouver, B.C. September 29, 2008 ... U. Ebony Johnson, a Nanaimo native has combined her award-winning talent - and personal tragedies - to communicate, with a passion for her African roots, and to produce the second annual Vancouver Pan-African Film and Arts Festival to be held October 24 to 26 in Vancouver. With cutting-edge films, a moving concert of African music, panel discussions, workshops and dance, Ms. Johnson plans to make this year's Festival the best yet. Actor and filmmaker Danny Glover will make a guest appearance.

"With the Province of British Columbia and both the cities of Vancouver and Burnaby declaring October 24 to 26 as "Kinship Day" and the generous support of our sponsors, my goal of breaking down barriers between cultures is closer than ever" said Ms. Johnson, who also speaks French and Japanese and hosts her own world beat music show on-line Afrobeat. "The purpose of the VPAFF is to promote Canada's cultural diversity and to build community through the arts".

Last year's inaugural VPAFF (held October 26 & 27) was a great success - and an historic event. It was endorsed by all levels of government, including Her Excellency the Governor General of Canada, Michaelle Jean. Moreover, the event attracted international attention to Vancouver, and included government delegates from Africa and the U.S., as well as distinguished guests, Ambassador Andrew Young and entourage, renowned American filmmaker Charles Burnett, and Government of Namibia officials.

The 2008 VPAFF runs from Friday October 24 (United Nations Day) through Sunday October 26. The program includes:


Opening Night Festivities. An exciting evening of fun, food, music, dance and film. Hollywood star and human rights activist Danny Glover is expected to introduce his new film, Poor Boy's Game. Other entertainment includes famous African dancer/choreographer Bheki Ndlovu and DJ Diallo.

Raffle items include trips, Translink passes, Whistler/Blackcomb tickets, shopping gift cards, a beautiful Zimbabwean sculpture donated by Stone Age Art and more. 5:30 PM to 10 pm, Gallery Gachet, 88 East Cordova St. Tickets $25 on-line via

SATURDAY OCTOBER 25: Harbour Centre Simon Fraser University, Downtown
11 am to 6 pm

* Films

- Senator Obama Goes to Africa – Directed by Bob Hercules and produced by Keith Walker.

- African Women Join Hands Against Domestic Violence, Produced and Directed by Steven Hunt

- Moving Pictures, Moving Lives

- The Reel PanAfriCAN SoundsCAPE Videos: Stunning, Canada-South Africa co-production combining interactive film, music, dance and dialogue with participating audiences in both Canada and South Africa to explore issues of migration, multiculturalism and the role of the artist in promoting cross-cultural understanding. Director Sarah Van Borek divides her time between Vancouver and Johannesburg on this unique project. Ebony Johnson is proud to present the Canadian premiere of these videos through the VPAFF platform she has founded.

* Paintings

- 7 intriguing new works on the topic of Kinship created specially for the festival by international artist Garett Campbell-Wilson.

* Music & Dance – All Aboard the VPAFF Express on Sunday at 11 am – 12:30 pm


Simultaneous Broadcast With South Africa 11 am to 3 pm

o Using Internet video technology, this event links Vancouver audience members directly with people in Cape Town, South Africa in a creative conversation. First there is a two-hour workshop of African song and dance staged on both continents going from 11 am to 12:30 pm. At 1 pm five short films will be screened and seen by both Vancouver and Cape Town audiences. These films were made by artists who emigrated from other parts of Africa and who experienced severe animosity as they attempted to make a new home.
o This two-hour ground breaking event will be led on each side by a vibrant MC to create an interactive expression of African unity, understanding and international cooperation.

Panel Discussion 3:30 pm to 4:30 pm

Say NO To Stigma: a discussion of refugee rights, resilience and reconciliation with panel members that include academics, diplomats, educator, activist s and filmmakers.

Feature Film: God Grew Tired Of Us - 5 pm to 7 pm

The winner of both the Grand Jury Prize and the Audience Award at the 2006 Sundance Film Festival – God Grew Tired of Us, the story features The Lost Boys of Sudan. This powerful documentary tells the story of four boys ages 3 to 13 orphaned by a civil war.

Fleeing their villages, they formed a surrogate family, protecting and providing for each other, traveling together for 5 years, over thousands of miles, against all odds reaching a UN refugee camp in Kenya. Eventually they were selected to settle in the United States by a humanitarian aid organization.

Tickets for the Vancouver Pan-African Film and Arts Festival are on sale now at

Sponsors include: City Of Vancouver, Corus Entertainment TV Listings, Line One Computer Services, Simon Fraser University, Ethical Bean, the Law Courts Education Society of B.C.; Gallery Gachet, CBC Radio and TV, Omni Television, Shaw Multicultural Television, PublicityPlus and more.

FOR MORE INFORMATION:, Festival Office 604-422-8438.