Zanzibar International Film Festival 7th – 15th July 2018

Just the name Zanzibar conjures up positive and mythical images – long known as a hub of trade, communications and a true cultural melting pot – Zanzibar is one of Africa’s top festival destinations – and for good reason. ZIFF is one of the highlights of the island nation’s cultural calendar with thousands of people attending every year. Films, filmmakers, film-lovers and travellers all flock to the 9-day event that celebrates music, the arts and the spirit of the island itself. The ZIFF Festival of the Dhow Countries is organized by ZIFF, a non-governmental, non-profit organization founded in 1998 in Zanzibar to promote and showcase the culture of the Dhow Countries.

ZIFF 21 has marked a turning point in the history of the Zanzibar festival. ZIFF is set now to be more professional and centered on the passion we all love: CINEMA. This year’s theme will be ‘Speak up and be heard’ (Sema na usikike’). This theme was selected in recognition of DISCOP Zanzibar being included in this year’s festival – DISCOP markets film, TV, digital content and adaption rights businesses across Africa, Europe, the Middle East, Asia and the Caribbean. ZIFF has won international acclaim for showcasing the best of African cinema, with thousands of filmmakers, film lovers and industry experts descending on Stone Town each year to watch, discuss and celebrate this year’s film submissions. The festival seeks to recognize the best of African cinema with a number of awards, of which the most prestigious is the Golden Dhow for Best Feature Film. This year’s festival also introduces two new award categories – Best TV Series and Best Web Series in recognition of the expanding TV and digital content industries.

            SEMA NA USIKIKE!

Kuna wakati ukimya una kishindo kikubwa, lakini pia tuwapo kimya tunapoteza zaidi ya sauti. Tunaposimama tukasema, ni kwa sababu tunaona ukimya haufai tena. Tunakisimamia na kusemea kile tunachokiamini na pia tunawasemea wengine. Mara nyingi tunasimama na kuupinga ukandamizaji au udhalimu unapodhihiri. Lakini kusema kunataka moyo wa kishujaa, uhakika na uamuzi. Kupitia filamu tunawajuza wale waionayo filamu na kuisikia, kuwa hatuwezi tena kunyamazishwa. 
Hivyo simama, useme na usikike!

Cinema and arts have the courage very often to raise the voice to defend, to denounce and to inspire societies when human dignity and life is attacked and sometimes crushed under systems of power and injustice. ZIFF 2018 wants to celebrate also that kind of cinema engaged and with no fear… There are times when silence speaks very loud but most of the time when we do not speak we lose more than sound. When we speak up it is because we feel that silence will not do. We speak up to stand for what we believe in and we speak up to stand for others. We often speak up because we can no longer stand silent when we see oppression taking place. But speaking up requires courage, consistence and taking position. Through film we can speak up and let all those who see and experience a movie know that we can never be silenced.

Every year ZIFF has a theme, with the theme for ZIFF 2018 being SPEAK UP AND BE HEARD. This year ZIFF will be screening the submitted films for competition for 2018 official ZIFF Awards for: Best Feature Film, Best Short Film, Best Documentary, Best Feature from Dhow Countries, Best Short from Dhow Countries, Best Film for International, Best African Animation, Best East African Film (with Trace TV), Best TV Series, Best East Africa Video Music, Best WEB Series. ZIFF has also announced two new categories for 2018: Best TV Series and Best Web Series.  With the increased focus on content for TV and digital, and the breaking down of barriers between content types, ZIFF has identified the need to support producers and directors who are working in these mediums.

In addition, ZIFF also offers the opportunity for Special Awards by sponsors for Films awarded by an independent jury panel and judged independent jury panels. The awards include: 1. Sembene Ousmane Prize which is awarded by GIZ and ZIFF as a prize for DEVELOPMENT FILMS for the 3 best short films made by an African or African in the Diaspora. 2. Swahili Movie Awards is awarded for Films in Kiswahili. 3. Emerson of Zanzibar Prize Films is awarded to Films of all genres about Zanzibar, made by or made in Zanzibar. 4. SIGNIS Awards (Best African Film and Best East African Talent Award) – The SIGNIS Jury will present its Award to a film that is deemed to exemplify universal and spiritual values that enhance human dignity, justice and tolerance through the art of cinematic expression. 5. EAFF Award (European African Film Festival) 6. Adiaha Award for BEST DOCUMENTARY by an AFRICAN female Filmmaker.

ZIFF is the largest multi-disciplinary cultural festival of its kind in East Africa. The longest running film festival in the region. Listed in the top 5 film and music festivals in Africa. The celebration is tourism friendly and has acquired the reputation of a top Cultural Tourism experience. Internationally, on average over 40 countries are represented. In addition, music–oriented programme that features local, regional and international acts. Social aware with ties to cultural, civic, film and social NGOs across Africa. Developmental initiatives – with a strong focus on workshops and outreach. Business friendly – with various partners, sponsors and a market driven approach to films, tourism & culture.

Earlier this year 2018, ZIFF’s Chairman Hon. Mahmoud Thabit Kombo (MLA). The board members of ZIFF were buoyant with delight upon the nomination of the ZIFF Chairman as the new Minister for Information, Tourism and Archives of Zanzibar. We know of this champion of the arts and culture from up close and this nomination could not have been better. It has always been known in the Information field that Honorable Mahmoud Kombo is possibly the best placed politician in the country with the knowledge and skills in the Information and Tourism industries. He brings to job not only an impeccable profile but a wealth of knowledge and best of all recognized communication skills befitting a person of such a government ministry to serve the people of Zanzibar for the growth, development and the benefit of the country’s Information, Tourism and Antiquities fields using his vast experience and ingenuity.

At Tima Tours we have a suitable Zanzibar holiday package for film lovers and travel enthusiasts who will enjoy combining a 5 Nights / 6-Day getaway to the Spice Island during the period when the film festival will be happening in Stone Town (7th -15th July 2018). The price per person will be $706 per adult and $300 per child. The holiday package includes: *All transfers from/to ZNZ airport and within Zanzibar in a minivan with a driver-guide. *All accommodation and breakfasts at the Tembo Hotel. *A complimentary Stone Town discovery guided walk *Dhow sunset cruise experience. *North Coast Tour to Nungwi village and Peninsula area. *South Coast Tour to Zanzibar’s Jozani Forest & Kizimkazi Village. We believe that you will experience one of the greatest cultural crossroads, where Africa meets Arabia and meets the Indian Ocean here at Zanzibar.