A new year of film festivals has officially launched with the grand-daddy of them all (here in the USA anyway) the Sundance Film Festival, ending its run last weekend.

In February, however, all eyes will be on the Pan African Film Festival that takes place in Los Angeles, CA, which runs from February 6-172014, celebrating its 22nd anniversary.

Continuing on with highlights from this year’s event… from the documentary section, Brothers Hypnotic, an 86-minute feature doc from director Reuben Atlas, which follows 8 brothers who make up the Hypnotic Brass Ensemble, taking on the music business while trying to adhere to their father’s vision of music as a path to consciousness-raising. 

First-time director Atlas met the ensemble while they were playing on 42nd street in NYC, and followed them on tour, to meetings, in practice and at home in Chicago with their legendary musician father Phil Cohran – a loving family of one dad, three moms and 24 siblings. 

The film follows a long list of “musical documentaries” followed on this blog in recent years, including Charles Bradley: Soul of America, Muscle ShoalsViva Cuba Libre: Rap Is War, 20 Feet To Stardom, and Bayou Maharajah: The Tragic Genius of James Booker.

PAFF is celebrating its 22nd anniversary this year, screening a total of 172 films – 37 documentaries, 23 short documentaries, 55 narrative features, and 57 narrative shorts, as well as 11 webseries in the new category of new media – all representing 46 countries.

For more information about the official selections, visit the festival’s website at

Watch trailer for Brothers Hypnotic embedded below: