By Nigel M Smith | Indiewire February 18, 2010 at 6:29AM
Winners at the Pan African Film & Arts Festival (PAFF) were announced on its closing night Festival Awards Ceremony, February 17, in Los Angeles. 40 films were in competition at this year's festival, and a total of 135 films were screened.
At the ceremony, hosted by actress CCH Pounder ("Avatar"), the night's big winner was Wanuri Kahiu's Kenyan drama "From A Whisper," which took home the Best Narrative Feature prize. The film, which has already gone on to win Best Picture at last year's Africa Movie Awards, centers on a Kenyan family caught in the middle of the American Embassy bombing by Islamic terrorists, that occurred a few years ago.
Best documentary feature went to Violeta Ayala and Dinel Fallshaw's harrowing "Stolen," which had its U.S. premiere at the fest. Set in the Sahara amidst the Polisario-governed refugee camps, the filmmakers profiled the Black Saharawis and their enslavement.
Three feature films tied for the Audience Favorite Narrative Award: Odera Ozokas American drama "Soul Diaspora," Shirley Frimpong-Manso's dramedy "A Sting In Tale," and Joseph A. Elmore Jr.'s raucous romantic comedy "Speed-Dating."
Gregory Everett's "41st & Central: The Untold Story of the L.A. Black Panthers" meanwhile went on to win the Audience Favorite Documentary Award.