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PCC to raise curtain on 15th African film festival
Photos and Story by James Hill
CASCADE CAMPUS – Three acclaimed directors and a special symposium will headline the 15th Annual Cascade Festival of African Films, sponsored by Portland Community College and partners. This year’s festival will place a spotlight on more than 20 award-winning films from every region of the African continent. The film festival, held in honor of Black History Month on the Cascade Campus of PCC, runs from Feb. 3 through March 5. It is organized entirely by volunteers and is free and open to the public. For complete listings of the films and events of this year’s festival, visit The Official Web SiteIn celebration of the 15th year, three outstanding filmmakers will attend the festival to showcase their films. Souleymane Ciss’ from Bamako, Mali, West Africa, one of Africa’s leading film directors, will be in Portland for the opening week festivities. Cisse’s latest film "Waati/Time" will open the festival at 7 p.m., Thursday, Feb. 3 in the Hollywood Theatre (4122 N.E. Sandy Boulevard). There will be screenings of Cisse’s other films, which will include his best-known film "Yeelen/Brightness," throughout the week as well as a symposium in his honor from 1-3 p.m., Friday, Feb. 4, in Room 6 of the Multimedia Classroom Building at Washington State University in Vancouver (14204 N.E. Salmon Creek Ave.)Norman Maake of Johannesburg, South Africa, one of Africa’s most promising young directors, will present his film "Soldiers of the Rock" as the festival’s centerpiece film at 7 p.m., Friday, Feb. 18 at the Hollywood Theatre. For Women Filmmakers Week, Beti Ellerson, Howard University professor and documentary filmmaker, will present her film "Sisters of the Screen: African Women in Cinema" at 7:30 p.m., Thursday, March 3, in Terrell Hall, Room 122, at the Cascade Campus (705 N. Killingsworth Street). Other festival highlights include the screening of the film "Cosmic Africa" for Science in Africa Night on Thursday, Feb. 10, starting at 7:30 p.m. in Terrell Hall 122 and for Family Film Day at 2 p.m., Saturday, Feb. 19. "Moolaade," the latest film from the great Senegalese film director, Ousmane Semb’ne, will show on Feb. 11 and 12. The remaining festival films will come from every region of the African continent. PCC’s Partners and sponsors include Albina Community Bank, Columbia River Peace Corps Association, KBOO radio, Hollywood Theatre, McMenamins Kennedy School, Oregon Arts Commission, Oregon Public Broadcasting (OPB), Providence Health System, Portland State University Black Studies, Regional Arts and Culture Council, Oregon Council for the Humanities, Washington State University in Vancouver, Wash. and Washington Mutual.The complete listing and descriptions of films can be found in the brochure and on the festival Web site at www.africanfilmfestival.org. The Web site also provides a searchable archive of past festivals and a variety of resources related to African films.