Saturday, February 09, 2013

Pan African Film Festival, AAFCA Night of Tribute

Hollywood is buzzing this weekend! The Pan African Film Festival and The Grammy Awards are occurring at the same time. There's more than the usual number of musicians, actors, and wanna-be's in town. Oh my! It's great weekend to be out and about so last night I attended the Pan African Film Festival and the African-American Film Critics Association (AAFCA) combined night of tribute to Hollywood legends and some fabulous up-and-comers.

Despite the chill outside, inside Hollywood's Taglyan Complex the red carpet warmed up quickly as the night's honorees and guests arrived. Of course, I've got some pictures and videos, but me and the smartphone are still figuring out each other. And honestly, I wasn't trying to work just enjoy the event. So, the photos aren't picture perfect, but you'll definitely get a sense of my position on the press line.

Being petite has it's curses and it's privileges when you and bigger people with bigger equipment vie for the same shot. Getting in where you fit in is the key, even if that an armpit!

You'll see no interviews from me, but there's video on my SocialCam channel of celebrity arrivals.  In fact, as a good mult-tasking blogger and social media maven, I put the smartphone to WORK--Tweeting, Facebooking, taking photos and videos.  Here's a little video of PAFF's Lifetime Achievement Award Recipient, Lynn Whitfield, shared to the blog's YouTube Channel.

If you follow my channels you'll see what I'm seeing sometimes in REAL TIME or close to it. Well, not everything, because THIS entertainment blogger knows errrthang I see at events doesn't need to be broadcast to the world. But I do aim to bring you along with me as I experience events, thus the blog title.

So squeeze in next to me on the crowded red carpet press line at the Pan African Film Festival-slash-AAFCA event.  Get your camera or recording device ready. If you're a newbie don't get all geeked when the celebrity stares you right in the face. They're people too,  just with some extras! And most are nice, sometimes even fun to talk to.

One of the first to arrive was the director of the fabulous "Versailles 73" documentary, Deborah Riley Draper. Fashionistas then is a doc YOU MUST see!!! After viewing the pics click that hyperlink to the official website. You may not recognize her face, but get to know her work.

Sallie Richardson-Whitfield arrived next as pretty as she wants to be as this year's PAFF celebrity ambassador. If you haven't seen her in Ava DuVernay's "I Will Follow," get ye to iTunes or Amazon and see Sallie wonderfully do her thing as an actress.

Once Deborah and Sallie broke the carpet in, moments later more celebs and honorees arrived to awaiting press. So down the red "vein" (my nickname for red carpets) flowed all kinds of handsomeness including actors Nate Parker, David Oyelowo, Jesse Williams, Richard Roundtree, and singer, Kem.

But it's the ladies like actress and PAFF co-founder, Ja'Net Dubois, that really do keep the red vien of a celebrity event flowing warmly with style and fashion.  And fellow actresses and honorees for the evening, Emayatze Corinealdi, Nicole Beharie and Lynn Whitfield kept press elbows pushing, bulbs flashing, and cameras panning as they arrived. 

Inside the dining hall more of Hollywood's great talents had already been seated including Danny Glover, Jordin Sparks and Holly Robinson-Peete.  And as an attendee, not just press, it's always interesting how these events become like reunions.   People you haven't seen in a while tap you on a shoulder and after the long embraces you forget the event and begin reminiscing or for some networking.

For the full list of PAFF's Night of Tribute honorees visit And for the full list of African American Film Critics Association's 2012 honorees visit its website.

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