Los Angeles, CA – January 14, 2015 – Actor, Humanitarian, Author, Health and Wellness Ambassador and Philanthropist, Hill Harper, named Celebrity Ambassador for the 2015 Pan African Film & Arts Festival, to be held February 5 -16, 2015 in Los Angeles, CA.
Hill Harper is most recognizable for his starring role in the hit television drama, “CSI: NY,” where he played eccentric Dr. Sheldon Hawkes from 2004 until early 2013. During that time, Harper won three NAACP Image Awards for Best Lead Actor in a Drama Series for his portrayal of Dr. Hawkes. He most recently starred on USA Network’s “Covert Affairs,” as CIA station chief Calder Michaels. Prior to “CSI: NY,” Harper co-starred as an ambitious undercover FBI operative on the CBS series, “The Handler,” which earned him a 2004 Golden Satellite Award nomination for Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Drama Series. In 2014, People Magazine named Harper one of their Sexiest Men Alive. Additionally, Harper was awarded the best actor prize at the First Time Fest for his starring role in “1982,” which debuted at the 2013 Toronto Film Festival. He will next be seen alongside Jennifer Lopez in the Universal Pictures film, “The Boy Next Door,” releasing January 23, 2015. Harper recently wrapped production on his next film, “Concussion,” alongside Will Smith.
In addition to his performing career, Harper has authored four New York Times bestsellers: “Letters to a Young Brother,” “Letters to a Young Sister,” “The Conversation” and “The Wealth Cure,” which chronicled his diagnosis with thyroid cancer and his journey to health. “Letters to a Young Brother” won several awards and was named “Best Book for Young Adults” by the American Library Association in 2007.
“I am honored to be the Celebrity Ambassador for such a prestigious and global film festival. PAFF has supported me in my career journey from the beginning and I look forward to giving back and supporting up and coming artists, as well as my peers,” says Harper.
In an effort to stop the high school drop out rate of underserved youth, Harper created the Manifest Your Destiny Foundation, dedicated to empowering, encouraging and inspiring youth to succeed through mentorship, scholarship and grant programs. In August 2012, President Barack Obama appointed Hill Harper as a Member, President’s Cancer Panel; a key Administration post seeking to combat cancer and its devastating effects.
PAFF Founder and Executive Director, Ayuko Babu states, “Hill Harper’s talent and devotion to his community made him the perfect choice as the 2015 PAFF Celebrity Ambassador. We are looking forward to an amazing festival.”
The Pan African Film & Arts Festival has premiered a host of top black films including Think Like a Man, Free Angela and All Political Prisoners, About Last Night, Love & Basketball, and many more. Each Year PAFF presents awards of recognition to key industry players and rising stars who have soared in the film industry. Previous recipients include Forest Whitaker, Loretta Devine, Charles Dutton, Alfre Woodard, Idris Elba, Billy Dee Williams, Sidney Poitier, Nicole Beharie, Omari Hardwick, Phylicia Rashad, David Oyelowo, Nate Parker, Taraji P. Henson and a host of other extraordinary industry professionals both in front of and behind the camera.
PAFF collaborates with other festivals around the world, giving us an audience that is truly international. Not only are we the largest and most prestigious Black film festival in America, but PAFF-LA is the largest Black History Month event in the United States, during the month of February. The Pan African Film & Arts Festival is the quintessential Black festival.
The Pan African Film & Arts Festival is sponsored by Baldwin Hills Crenshaw Plaza, Cinemark, City of LA, Los Angeles County Arts Commission, Los Angeles Department of Cultural Affairs; Bank of America, HBO, Macy’s, Turkish Air; Union Bank, Film LA, Revolt TV, Water Replenishment District, South Africa Airways and Final Draft.
Festival passes and tickets are on sale now. For more information on PAFF, including screening schedule and events, please visit www.PAFF.org.
Established in 1992, The Pan African Film & Arts Festival (PAFF) is a non-profit 501(c)(b) corporation dedicated to the promotion of cultural understanding among peoples of African descent. PAFF is dedicated to racial tolerance through the exhibition of film, art and creative expression.
The Festival showcases over one hundred fifty (150) quality new films and over one hundred (100) fine artists and unique craft persons from the United States, Africa, the Caribbean, Latin America, South America, Europe, the South Pacific and Canada, all showcasing the diversity and complexity of people of African descent. The Festival also features special red carpet screenings and receptions, as well as a variety of other special events, including panels & workshops headed by industry professionals on various topics surrounding acting, directing and other film industry related topics.