Third Time’s The Charm for Ghanian Director Julius Amedume

His latest drama received a Pan African Film Festival Award

By Samantha Ofole-Prince/Photos 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.

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.

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.”

“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.”

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.

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 Saulter

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

27th Annual Pan African Film Festival Award Winners
(Pas Honteux - Audience Awards Narrative Short)
Adisa and Malik Barnhardy (Skin In The Game - Best First Feature Narrative Award)
Art L. Jones (Ali's Comeback The Untold Story - Audience Awards Doc Feat)
Ayuko Babu and Sophie Huber
Ayuko Babu and Veronica McKenzle
Jimmy Jean-Luois and Julius Amedume
Tosin Coker and Tope