Moviegoers attending the 25th annual Pan African Film Festival (through Feb. 20) will be seeing a lot of Jimmy Jean-Louis. The busy international actor, best known for roles in “Joy” and the TV series “Heroes” and “Heroes Reborn,” is featured in three rewarding viewing experiences on the big screens at Baldwin Hills Crenshaw Plaza.
“Everything But A Man” (premiering Feb. 12 and 20) reunites Jean-Louis with his “Phat Girlz” writer/director Nnegest Likké in a role created specifically for him. The romantic film, co-starring Monica Calhoun (“The Best Man Holiday“) and Camille Winbush (“The Bernie Mac Show”), wins with unique look at the tribulations of love across cultures.
“These days it’s very difficult to surprise an audience,” Jean-Louis told Tasty Clips. “After a while, people have an idea where a movie is going. In this particular case, no one could have predicted the ending. Not one person. This for me is a great accomplishment.”
The film also features some amazing cinematography of his native Haiti.
“It was important for the director and myself to show a different side,” Jean-Louis said. “Haiti is not just poverty, bad politics and natural disasters. It’s also an island with beautiful beaches and water to showcase.”
“The CEO” (to be shown Feb. 17 and 19) was directed by one of the greatest Nigerian filmmakers these days, Kunle Afolayan.
“His intention was to unite Africa within one movie,” Jean-Louis said of the mystery-thriller co-starring Angelique Kidjo and Wale Ojo.
Also, through a partnership with Air France, it is the only film to have its premiere in flight — between Lagos and Paris!
Returning for the fourth time to the festival is the 2012 French two-part epic film, “Toussaint Louverture” (Feb. 11 and 19) detailing the life of the Haitian revolutionary who led the first successful slave revolt in world history by defeating the imperialist armies of Napoleon Bonaparte and setting up the first free black nation in the Western Hemisphere.
“This is a must see movie as far as I’m concerned,” said Jean-Louis of the film in which he portrays the title character from the age of 30 until he dies at 62.
Unfortunately, the movie is rarely available for viewing by American audiences.
“Whenever there is anything that can drive us out of darkness, whether a movie or person, they shut it down,” he said. “Things have changed in the last five years. Everybody’s fighting for content, so why can’t they get it? How many mini-series do we have coming from Europe or white America about The Crown and Queen Elizabeth? Tons! How many stories do we have about our own heroes? We don’t have them.”
“So yes, it deserves some kind of distribution,” Jean-Louis said. “We just have to face what happened so we continue to. If you’ve seen ‘I Am Not Your Negro,’ you also need to see this.”
Visit: www.paff.org for a complete listing of films and festivities.
CLIPPETTES (GRAMMY WEEK EDITION): Feb. 10 will find Lalah Hathaway plus Friends at The Troubadour; Louie Vega with Marques Wyatt, Ron Trent and Josh Milan at El Cid; The Robert Glasper Experiment featuring Chris Dave beginning a two-night stand at The Mint; and CeeLo Green hosting Kiss-n-Grind with DJ Vikter Duplaix at The Globe …
Feb. 11 begins with A Prince Tribute: ninth annual MojaMoja Brunch & Benefit Concert at Bardot, featuring performances from former protégés Támar Davis, DJ Rashida, Alex Isley and Sidibe; with bites by recording artist/chef Kelis …
Later that evening, the Branford Marsalis Quartet with Kurt Elling grace UCLA’s Royce Hall; Timbaland & Friends rule at Create Nightclub; Migos headlines at The Novo in downtown; and Stephanie Mills and Eric Darius top a dinner show at Long Beach’s Terrace Theater …
2 Chainz and guests promise a special Grammy after party on Feb. 12 at OHM; while vocalist Sevyn Streeter is in concert at The Roxy. The next night, Ro James plays the same venue …
Valentines will be gifted on Feb. 14 with a $5 Show from Warren G at The Novo DTLA, where on the 16th R. Kelly presides.
TASTY QUIP: “It would be naïve and very shortsighted to think this is the end of the challenges faced by people of color in relation to the movie industry. The infrastructure that enabled two years of #OscarsSoWhite is still very much in place. You could argue in relation to women (directors), it’s worse.” – DAVID OYELOWO, producer and star of Amma Assante’s “A United Kingdom” (opening Feb. 10) to USA Today
TC ON TV: Feb. 10 – “Smokey Robinson: The Library of Congress Gershwin Prize For Popular Song” (PBS): Samuel L. Jackson hosts this all-star tribute to the singer-songwriter.
Feb. 11 – “The 48th NAACP Image Awards” (TV1): Anthony Anderson returns to host this event broadcast live. “Oprah: Where Are They Now?” (OWN): Gloria Gaynor, John Amos and Montell Jordan are profiled in this season finale.
Feb. 12 – “The 59th annual Grammy Awards” (CBS): Beyoncé, Bruno Mars, Adele, John Legend, Chance The Rapper, Gary Clark Jr., the Weeknd, and Daft Punk are set to perform. “The Walking Dead” (AMC): The drums of war begin in this seventh season premiere.
Feb. 13 – “Martha & Snoop’s Potluck Dinner Party” (VH1): Mike Epps, Kathy Griffin and Iron Chef Morimoto get raw as they prepare sushi. D.R.A.M. performs his hit single ‘Broccoli’. “Independent Lens” (PBS): “Accidental Courtesy: Daryl Davis, Race & America”
Feb. 15 – “Madiba” (BET): The mini-series concludes. “Unsung” (TV1): After 7 “Star” (Fox): Missy Elliott guest-stars. “Black-ish” (ABC): Marla Gibbs and Faizon Love are featured in this return to the hood episode. “Doubt” (CBS): Maybe this Katherine Heigl drama will stick with support from a strong cast including Dule Hill, Laverne Cox and Elliott Gould. “Murder Chose Me” (ID): Retired Shreveport homicide detective Rod Demery, whose own mother and brother were murdered, tells stories from the violent crimes unit.
TASTY QUIP: “If you don’t want celebrities sharing their opinions you shouldn’t have elected a reality star. Stick to sitting down.” – WESLEY SNIPES on Twitter
As featured in the Los Angeles Wave and Independent, Tasty Clips is one of the leading entertainment newspaper columns on the West Coast, serving nearly one million weekly readers. To reach Bill Vaughan, send email to email@example.com or via Twitter @tastyclips.