Third Time’s the Charm for Ghanaian Director Julius Amedume

Tosin Coker and Tope

Tosin Coker honored at the 27th Annual Pan African Film & Arts Festival at Cinemark on February 18, 2019 in Los Angeles. (Photo by Shola Orolugbagbe/Royalty Images)

Julius Amedume’s sinister thriller “Rattlesnakes” took home the top prize at the 27th Annual Pan African Film Festival, which wrapped in Los Angeles on Monday.

Ayuko Babu with Veronica McKenzle honored at the 27th Annual Pan African Film & Arts Festival at Cinemark on February 18, 2019 in Los Angeles. (Photo by Shola Orolugbagbe/Royalty Images)

Produced by Jimmy Jean-Louis who also has a starring role in the project, the film which is based on Graham Farrow’s 1997​ stage-play received the Audience Award – Narrative Feature at the festival and earned Amedume his third PAFF accolade.

Ayuko Babu with Sophie Huber honored at the 27th Annual Pan African Film & Arts Festival at Cinemark on February 18, 2019 in Los Angeles. (Photo by Shola Orolugbagbe/Royalty Images)

The Ghanaian-British filmmaker previously received a Pan African Film Festival award for Best Feature in 2007 for his gripping film “A Goats Tail” and in 2011 he also won PAFF’s Best Short Film award for “Precipice.”

Art L. Jones honored at the 27th Annual Pan African Film & Arts Festival at Cinemark on February 18, 2019 in Los Angeles. (Photo by Shola Orolugbagbe/Royalty Images)
Jimmy Jean-Luois and Julius Amedume honored at the 27th Annual Pan African Film & Arts Festival at Cinemark on February 18, 2019 in Los Angeles. (Photo by Shola Orolugbagbe/Royalty Images)

“I have been here quite a few times before. This festival has been very supportive of my work and I am happy to have been able to come to America and share this feature film and world premiere it here at PAFF,” said Amedume whose credits include “The Phone Call” which screened at PAFF in 2003.

52 narrative features, 24 feature-length documentaries, 87 short narratives and 30 shorts from 38 countries in 28 languages were screened at the festival which kicked off Feb 7th with a screening of Aretha Franklin’s rare concert documentary, “Amazing Grace.”

27th Annual Pan African Film Festival Award Winners
27th Annual Pan African Film Festival Award Winners

PAFF’s Best Narrative Feature went to the Storm Saulter helmer “Sprinter“, a Jamaican drama about a high-school kid with aspirations to become a first-class world athlete while Melissa Haizlip’s “Mr. Soul!” received the Best Feature Documentary.  The PAFF Programmers’ Award – Narrative Feature went to the Nigerian drama “​Lara and the Beat” directed by Tosin Coker and “Ali’s Comeback: The Untold Story” received Best Documentary Feature.

Adisa and Malik Barnhardy honored at the 27th Annual Pan African Film & Arts Festival at Cinemark on February 18, 2019 in Los Angeles. (Photo by Shola Orolugbagbe/Royalty Images)
Julius Amedume
Julius Amedume

Other PAFF award winners included Best First Feature Narrative which went to director Adisa’s “Skin in the Game,” a film which explores the underground world of human trafficking.

Check Out The Complete list of Winners Below:

Best Narrative Feature: Sprinter (Jamaica) Directed by Storm Saulte

Honorable Mention: Ellen (South Africa) Directed by Daryne Joshua

Best First Feature Narrative: Skin in the Game (US) Directed by Adisa

Honorable Mention: Veronica’s Wish (Uganda) Directed by Rehema Nanfuka

Best Feature Documentary: Mr. Soul! (US) Directed by Melissa Haizlip

Honorable Mention: Oliver Tambo Have You Heard from Johannesburg (South Africa/Netherlands/ UK/US) Directed by Connie Field

Best Short Documentary: 120 Years (US) Directed by Matt Nadel & Lukas Cox

Honorable Mention: The Infamous Future (US) Directed by Richard Butterworth

Best Short Narrative: Twelfth Round (Australia) Directed by Nir Shelter

Honorable Mention: Time 2 Surrender, Directed by Elvis Nolasco

PAFF Programmers’ Award-Narrative Short: The Fisherman (Ghana) Directed by Zoey Martinson

PAFF Programmers’ Award – Documentary Short: Sincerely, The Black Kids (US) Directed by Miles Iton

PAFF Programmers’ Award – Documentary Feature: Blue Note Records: Beyond the Notes (UK) Directed by Sophie Huber & Boss: The Black Experience in Business (US) Directed by Stanley Nelson

PAFF Programmers’ Award – Narrative Feature: Lara and the Beat (Nigeria) Directed by Tosin Coker

PAFF Directors’ Award – Feature Documentary: Oliver Tambo: Have You Heard from Johannesburg (South Africa/Netherlands/ UK/US) Directed by Connie Field

PAFF Directors’ Award – Feature Narrative: Nine Nights (UK) Veronica McKenzie

PAFF Directors’ Award – Narrative Short: Bail (UK) Directed by Kwame Lestrade

PAFF Directors’ Award – Documentary Short: Power to Heal (US) Directed by Charles Burnett & Daniel Loewenthal

Audience Award – Short Documentary: Bakosó: Afrobeats de Cuba (US) Directed by Eli Jacobs-Fantauzzi

Audience Audience Award – Narrative Short: Pas Honteux (US) Directed by John D. Tucker

Award – Documentary Feature: Ali’s Comeback: The Untold Story (US) Directed by Art L. Jones

Audience Award – Narrative Feature: Rattlesnakes (UK/US) Directed by Julius Amedume

By Samantha Ofole-Prince. Photos by Shola Orolugbagbe/Royalty Images

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