WMU News

Nwulu's "Starting Over" screened at L.A. film festival

Feb. 17, 2005

KALAMAZOO--A film by a Western Michigan University professor is being screened this month at the prestigious Pan African Film Festival in Los Angeles.

Dr. Paul Nwulu's short film "Starting Over" is being shown on four separate occasions Feb. 11-21. Written by Nwulu, WMU assistant professor of communication, the 58-minute film tells the story of a young man who has everything going for him. He is loved by his parents, active in his father's church, engaged to the woman of his dreams, and has a good job waiting for him at his uncle's bank after he graduates from college, but then tests positive for HIV after a one-time fling.

Nwulu has been invited to attend the festival during two of the four scheduled showings. He will give a brief talk about the film and also take questions from the press and the public.

In another WMU-related twist, a special screening of HBO's "Lackawanna Blues" was shown on opening night. The drama was created by New York actor Ruben Santiago-Hudson, who performed his play at WMU in September 2002 as a visiting artist.

Established in 1992, the Pan African Film Festival is the largest film festival in the United States devoted to films about African Americans and diaspora Africans. It is run by a non-profit corporation dedicated to the promotion of cultural and racial tolerance and understanding through the exhibition of film, art and creative expression. It is PAFF's goal to present and showcase the broad spectrum of black creative works, particularly those that reinforce positive images and help to destroy negative stereotypes.

Festival organizers believe film and art can lead to better understanding and foster communication between peoples of diverse cultures, races, and lifestyles, while at the same time, serve as a vehicle to initiate dialogue on the important issues. Each year, PAFF presents more than 100 quality films from the United States, Africa, the Caribbean, Latin America, Europe, the South Pacific and Canada, all showcasing the diversity and complexity of people of African descent. The festival also includes one of America's largest fine art shows and attracts local, national and international poets, musicians and storytellers.

More information about the festival is available online at <www.paff.org>.

Media contact: Mark Schwerin, 269 387-8400, mark.schwerin@wmich.edu

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