Saturday, July 2, 2016


ZIFF 2016 is about to begin with a host of film screenings, workshops, exhibitions, performances and more. From July 9th – 17th across Stone Town Zanzibar ZIFF is excited to announce the details of our special events and related exhibitions.

This year ZIFF’s theme “This Journy of Ours” sees the festival also welcome special guests and filmmakers from around the world. One of ZIFF”s Chief Guests for 2016 is top Bollywood producer Kunal Kapoor.

Kapoor will be attending ZIFF based on the support of The Zanzibar Tourism Promotion Centre (Z.T.P.C), India that was set up in March 2015 under the Presidential initiative & vision between the Ministry of Information, Culture, Tourism & Sports - Government of Zanzibar, The Zanzibar Commission for Tourism & JHIL Enterprises, Mumbai, India.

Film screenings at ZIFF will take place at three main venues, The Old Fort Ampitheatre for evening screenings, The Maru Maru Hotel and the Double Tree by Hilton Conference centre.

With a record 490 films submitted from 32 countries, this year’s competition promises to be the most exciting to date.

Over 80 films will compete in 5 different jury categories; 59 General Competition, 15 Sembene Ousmane; 15 Bongo movies, and 6 films in this year’s newest jury category, The Emerson of Zanzibar Award recognizing films about Zanzibar’s culture and history.

The last competition for Music Video production will also take place this year with videos nominated for competition will be revealed on July 7th during the plenary sessions of ZIFF in the Old Fort Amphitheatre.

ZIFF 2016 will also be hosting over 30 filmmakers from across Africa and the globe including Nigerian director of Gbomo Gbomo Express Walter Taylaur, South African filmmakers Davison Mudzwinga of Lost Tongue, as well as the South African director of the opening night film Kalushi, Mandlakayise Dube.

Guests from further afield include Bermuda’s Michelle Baiyina Khaldun (Respice Finem: The Story of Berkeley Institute) and India’s Payal Sethi (Leeches) and Varun Tandon (Syaahi).

This year ZIFF is excited to welcome Trust Health and Wellness Clinic as the main sponsor of our music programme as well as the Village and Women Panoramas. Trust is a DKT International Tanzania family planning brand.The Trust brand promise is building successful, healthier and wealthier families.

This year’s MPA will include a wealth of Zanzibari and Tanzanian talent with a few special guests added into the mix. Wednesday July 13th will be reggae night at the Mambo Club, with Thursday the 14th being Zanzibari Night with Sultan King. Friday the 15th will see a tribute to Zanzibari legend Bi Kidude and Saturday the 16thseeing Hip Hop take over the venue with artists including Fid Q, Juma Nature, Stamina and Young Killer.

The music programme will also include dance, theatre and a range of top local and international DJ’s. ZIFF’s website, Facebook page and twitter will have the final schedule once announced.

Saturday July 9th Old Fort Ampitheatre
Opening Ceremony presented by Zanlink
Join us on this auspice day as we launch “this journey of ours” by raising the tanga (flag) for the opening of ZIFF 2016. We will welcome special guests including Bollywood producer Kunal Kapoor and hip hop artist and activist Yasiin Bey (Mos Def). The opening film Kalushi is the moving story of South Africa’s freedom fighter Solomon Mahlangu and will be followed by a party at the Mambo Club.

Sunday July 10th 6:00am – 10:00 am Old Fort
First Lady Marathon presented by Trinity Group East Africa
Join Zanzibar’s First Lady Mama Mwanamwema Shein for the inaugural event that aims to raise funds for media campaigns to empower girl children in Zanzibar.
The marathon which will start from Ngome Kongwe (The Old Fort) will include the following:
- A walk around the Stone Town
- A long run to Amani Stadium and Back
- Cycling to Amani Stadium and back

Participants can choose to participate in any of the three and certificates and prizes will be awarded.

Sunday July 10th Dhow Race – 1pm Serena Beach
The Dhow Race is a cultural landmark of the seafaring peoples of this Island. With this corporate event we join our major sponsors as they cheers their dhows come across the winning line on the foreshore of the Tembo Hotel in celebration of the waters that make Zanzibar such a world hub and meeting place.

Wednesday July 13th 4pm – 6pm Emerson on Hurumzi
Heritage Reception presented by Farouque Abdela
Please join us at this reception that will celebrate the culture and heritage of Stone Town and Zanzibar. The event will see the official launch of the Emerson Award to be presented at ZIFF, the launch of Farouque Atelier, Farouque Abdela’s newest venture, as well as other highlights.

Wednesday July 13th 7:20 – 8:50pm Old Fort Ampitheatre
Difficult Dialogues supported by ACRA
The Difficult Dialogues program is our marquee and unique program of the festival. This is a public Forum held during the festival and beamed live via Zenj TV. It is a great way to get Tanzanians involved in social issues. The discussion is conducted in both English and Swahili giving all Festival visitors opportunity to join in the conversation. We will be discussing the status of Stone Town’s World Heritage Site status being put in danger by development on the island.

Wednesday July 13th 9pm: Old Fort Amphitheatre
Dramatic Adventure Theatre, NYC presents: Shangaa: Shock and Awe, An Eclectic Mix of Devised Work Inspired on-Location in Tanzania
Shock. Bewilderment. Rapture. Awe. In English, the Kiswahili word—shangaa—can mean any of these things. Or all of them at once. Join New York-based Dramatic Adventure Theatre for a transcendent collage of devised theatre inspired by a month working and creating beside the diverse peoples of Tanzania. From the personal stories of everyday Tanzanians to the sweeping themes that resonate through the country as a whole, four casts of DAT artists seek to find and share the—shangaa—of today’s East Africa.

July 15th Swahili Day Presented by ComNet and Azam TV – All Venues
On this day we focus on films produced in Kiswahili and preferably by local filmmakers. The day is an opportunity to recognize these filmmakers whilst also giving Swahili speakers the chance to enjoy films in their own language. The day also recognizes the importance of family and encourages families to watch films together.

July 16th Old Fort Ampitheatre
ZIFF Awards Night presented by Zanlink
Join us as we close the festival and bring this journey of ours to an end, we celebrate the achievements of filmmakers. Who will take home the coveted Golden Dhow awards?

July 9th – 17th Forodhani Gardens
NAFASI Exhibition presented by ACRA
Artist in residencey programme and exhibition in partnership with NAFASI Art Space.

July 9th – 17th Africa House
Through The Swahili Lens
This photography exhibition of photos by students of the State University of Zanzibar will be on exhibit and for sale throughout the festival.

July 9th – 17th In selected schools in Stonetown
Children’s Panorama
In collaboration with the Danish Film Insitute of Denmark and Salaam Film and Dialogue Festival, we present an integrated film and children’s programme including facilitated discussions.

Cinematography: Double Tree Hilton Conference Centre
Monday 11- Saturday 16th-10.00am -4.30pm
Many East African filmmakers have become adept at using the high quality production afforded by current digital cameras like Canon 5D and 7D. However many camera people do not push the capacities of the cameras. The workshop is intended to give professionals in the industry skills and knowledge in how to best utilize digital cameras beyond mere recording. Participants will be required to pay a subsidized fee of Tsh 200,000. The workshop will be run by Barry Braverman.

Animation: Customs House-DCMA
Tuesday 12- Friday 15th- 9am- 3.30pm
This workshop will have two components; the first one will be a Train the Trainer component where experienced animators from Tanzania will work with trainers from Germany to enhance their techniques in preparation for training young people in animation methods. The second element will be a major workshop for children and youth (10-19 years). This workshop will be develop basic and empowering skills in animation as well as cartoons. The workshop will be run by Ebele Okoye and Anaeli Kihunrwa, with the support of the Goethe Institute Dar Es salaam.

Documentary Production- The Bent Marble Workshop
Double Tree by Hilton Conference Centre
Tuesday 12- Friday 15th 10.00am- 5.30pm
This workshop is for beginners and untrained documentary story-teller’s. It is intended to develop story-telling skills to any person. Bent Marble’s mission is to teach people to make creative documentaries using the digital tools (cameras, smartphones, tablets, computers, etc.) they already possess, and then share their stories with the world!

Participants, working individually or in small groups, are led through the process of making a short, typically 3 to 5-minute, documentary film on a topic from their personal world of experience, be it their life, their community, or their thoughts. The workshops have an emphasis on creativity and fun, and give participants an opportunity to discover their unique storytelling voice and style and also serves to increase participants’ digital media literacy, while promoting a sense of world citizenship and greater cross-cultural understanding. The workshop will be run by Steve Clarke.

Maisha : Island Paradise- Mlandege
Tuesday 7th - Thursday 14th 9.00- 5.30pm
The Maisha Lab is the most prominent screenwriting and film production lab in East Africa. ZIFF has collaborated with them over the last 7 years and another workshop will again be held during ZIFF 2016. This workshoo is open to 15 scriptwriters from Tanzania. ZIFF has again assisted Zanzibari scriptwriters and 3 have been picked one more than last year’s two Zanzibari participants.

UZIKWASA Community Change Workshop- Customs House/Old Dispensary
Wednesday 13th 10.00am-5.30pm
The current film project AISHA is UZIKWASA’s third feature film. Aisha’ s story is about a young woman who becomes the victim of gang rape.

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 tourism 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 tourists 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 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
· Tourism friendly - has acquired the reputation of a top Cultural Tourism product
· International- on average over 40 countries are represented.
· Music –oriented programme that includes over 30 local, regional and international acts
· Social aware with ties with cultural, civic, film and social NGO’s across Africa
· Developmental – with a strong focus on workshops and outreach
· Business friendly – with various partners, sponsors and a market driven approach to film, tourism & culture.

Find out more details on the ZIFF website,

Also make sure to like us on Facebook:

Follow us on twitter @ZIFF_2016 and on Instagram ZanzibarInternationalFilmFest

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