Zanzibar International Film Festival 2014

by / Comments Off / 223 View / 7th June 2014

The Zanzibar International Film Festival 2014 will present and exciting range of special programmes, workshops, world premieres, director forums, discussions and awards. With its biggest and most impressive line-up to date, ZIFF 2014 promises more than ever for fans of film, music and culture.

World and African Premieres

79 films will be screened in the 10-day festival foregrounding films from Africa and the Dhow countries and spiced up by award winning film from international film festivals.

The films come from 35 countries with 38 short films, 23 feature length films and 18 documentaries.

Included in this line up, the Oscar nominated film Mandela: A Long Walk to Freedom will be the opening film of the festival.

There will also be two World Premieres taking place during ZIFF with Sean Hodgkinson (Trinidad & Tobago) hosting the World Premiere of his film A Story About Wendy 2. This film is the follow up to the first short comedy that gained international acclaim.

The 2nd premiere reflects the undying links of culture that ZIFF has with the East African Community, with Malawi’s Bela continuing in the path forged some years ago with Malawi’s first major feature film Seasons of Life.

ZIFF Welcomes Top Filmmakers

ZIFF will welcome over two dozen filmmakers from around the world who will present their works as well as host workshops. A special Script Writing Workshop to be facilitated by UK’s top filmmakers Special Guest Director Nick Broomfield (Big and Tupac) will also take place.

Visiting directors will also include Biyi Bandele the Director of the acclaimed Half a Yellow Sun which premiered in 2013 at the Toronto Film Festival and was included in the Official Selection for festivals including Dubai, London and Gothenburg.

Also attending ZIFF this year and joining Biyi ina running Script Writing Workshops will be Don Edkins from South Africa. Edkins is a well-known documentary filmmaker and producer. The 15 workshop trainees will come from the 5 countries of the East African community.

ZIFF is also proud to welcome Sadegh Daghighi from Iran. His 2013 film, Little Hero about the Iran / Iraq war is the latest in over 300 documentary and short films he has produced.

Sembene Ousmane Award

The Ousmane Sembène Films for Development Award film prize is to be awarded for the fifth time at the ZIFF to a film focused on development policy  issues.  The Deutsche Gesellschaft für Technische Zusammenarbeit (GTZ) GmbH is the main sponsor of the prize along with ZIFF.  It carries prize money worth US $5,000 designed to help the winner in his or her future filmmaking career.

Bongo Movie Screenings & Award

This year, ZIFF will also screen a series of Swahili language films at our new venue, the Double Tree Hilton. Daily screenings from the 15th – 22nd will see 8 nominated films compete for the 6 ZUKU Bongo movies awards for technical excellence in the industry. ZUKU awards include Best Male and Female Actors, Director, Cinematographer, Music and Producer.

Workshops & Forums

With its continuing commitment to developing filmmakers and encouraging dialogue, this year ZIFF offers a range of workshops and forums.

MAISHA Screenwriting Lab: June 7th to 16th

MAISHA is Film Lab was founded in 2004 as a way to train and empower East African filmmakers. Since then over 400 participants have produced over 30 short films.  For the ZIFF MAISHA Lab, 15 participants were selected from a pool of applicants based on their short screenplay ideas.  The screenwriting lab participants will have networking opportunities with their fellow filmmakers and their community, as well as with their mentors. This is the first time the Maisha lab will be run in Kiswahili language.

The Zuku Scriptwriting Workshop June 19 – 21st

In April 2014 ZUKU announce its desire to commission feature length Swahili films for broadcast on Zuku Swahili Movies, the only TV channel dedicated to showcasing the best of Swahili films 24/7.  Zuku Swahili Movies is a premium movie channel tailor made for all audiences within the East African region.

The 5 selected scripts will undergo development with renowned film directors and script writers including

  • Mitchell Peck (Hollywood Producer of 3 studio movies)
  • Nick Broomfield( Big and Tupac)
  • Martin Mhando (Maangamizi)

Storytelling And Film Script Writing: June 18 – 21st

Filmmakers from East Africa (3 from each country- Kenya, Uganda, Burundi, Rwanda and Tanzania) will attend this workshop. The workshop is funded by the East African community in collaboration with the GIZ.

Critical Journalism Workshop June 15th – 18th

Collaboration Of Tanzania Media Fund (TMF) And Ziff

This workshop aims at bringing together practicing media journalists around issues of common interest in advancing critical and investigative journalism.  This time around we invite 10 journalists to ZIFF and provide them with a critical and cultural context for them to practise a range of multimedia journalism within the creative media industries available during ZIFF.

NASS Research Centre Cultural Diplomacy Research Conference: Creative Practice, Context and Commentary: a Dialogue on Inspirational Production.

In the unity of commentary and creative practices we see the seeds of inspirational production, where philosophizing is not seen as a separate activity from production itself. In these circumstances the completed film (or a creative) work can potentially provide and inspiration for another creative work without the verbal or written commentary.

The Madiba Legacy: The Struggle Continues on Thursday 19th June, from 7.30-8.30pm. This workshop will look at the struggles still facing South Africa today, as Danny Schechter, filmmaker and media critic, argues  “what we do know, though, is that the ANC, when it came to power, was more preoccupied with political change than with economic change. And I think the problems that we’re facing in South Africa today and in many other countries are because movements for change don’t focus on economics. They mostly focus on politics.” The forum will be chaired by Shirley Gunn Executive  director of the Human Rights Media Centre South Africa. 

Women’s Panorama

Over the years, ZIFF has used the platform of the Women’s Panorama to highlight and address pertinent gender, – health and social issues. The Panorama therefore becomes a medium of Women’s Power and Visibility. The Women’s Panorama commonly comprises of a series of workshops, seminars and symposia organized and centred on the visibility of women in and through the medium of cinema, the arts and the media.

Village Panorama Press Conference on 16th at 17h00

The Village Panorama is a chance for all Zanzibaris to participate in the ZIFF. A panorama of films is taken out to the villages of Zanzibar combining an assortment of educational and entertainment films. A mobile video unit van tours the villages creating an evening in each where the whole community is able to watch a program of films. The panorama visits 5 villages, which are well distributed over the island and will screen the Why Poverty films which have been dubbed into Kiswahili.

Public Events / Exhibitions

Difficult Dialogue Forum:  Land & The Environment June 18th 19L20, The Old Fort Ampitheatre

This forum is open to the public and presents a chance for experts and the lay-person to engage in critical discussions about topical issues. This year’s issue looks at land and the environment.

Sisygambis – Old Customs House

An exhibition from France, the Tryptic by Les 7 Portes/Sisygambis will be on offer for 7 days of the festival while popular art and fashion exhibition Afrika Tumefika from Uganda will also be featured


Music & Performance

Music-wise the festival will feature 13 performing groups with Didier Award, the Senegalese maestro performing on the opening night on 14th June. The closing night will see the Habib Koite and his band perform in the Mambo Club.  Groups from Tanzania, Kenya, Uganda, Malawi and South Africa are scheduled to entice audiences over the 9 nights of the festival