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LETTERS: A Selection From Our Mailbag : AFI Fest Has Shown African Films

February 10, 1996

In Robert Koehler's story "Pan African Fest Gets Magic Assist" (Calendar, Feb. 6), he implies that the American Film Institute's Los Angeles International Film Festival has consistently failed to include African films. This implication is completely false. In fact, the AFI Film Festival has consistently featured African films.

The 1995 AFI Film Festival was the site of the premiere of the film "The African Child," from Guinea. In 1994, the AFI festival included the acclaimed African film "A Child From the South," from Mozambique. And in 1993, the AFI festival showcased the heralded African film "Sankofa," from Ghana, a film Koehler discusses at length in his story, implying that this film's premiere occurred at the Pan African Film Festival. It did not. "Sankofa's" Los Angeles premiere was actually at the AFI Film Festival.

AFI has a great amount of respect and admiration for the Pan African Film Festival. In addition, the AFI Los Angeles International Film Festival hopes to include even more African films in the years to come. But to say, or even to imply, that African films "can't seem to find their way in" to the AFI festival is completely untrue.

SETH OSTER

Director of Communications

The American Film Institute

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