Musicians at Zanzibar International Film Festival (ZIFF)

Zanzibar International Film Festival: Official Selection

Five years ago, I had the pleasure of attending the 15th edition of the Zanzibar International Film Festival (ZIFF).

Although I enjoy films, I wasn’t sure how much I’d enjoy an event that consisted of movies, night after night.

I should have known better. I had a great time!

Not only were the movies deep and engaging, but there were also musical performances and a slew of other activities to offer enough variety.

If you will be in Zanzibar this July and are looking for interesting things to do there, ZIFF might be just what you are looking for.

The selection of movies to be shown this year has already been made.

Continue reading to find out more.

ZIFF is the longest running film-festival in East Africa, with global credibility and instant Pan-African recognition.

ZIFF 2015 will take place from July 18-26, 2015 in Stone Town.

The Festival is proud to announce the films in the official selection based on a record 419 submissions.

The list contains 25 feature films, 44 shorts and 27 documentaries from over 30 countries across the globe.

Festival Director Dr. Martin Mhando had this to say about the submissions and selections for ZIFF 2015: “We would like to congratulate and thank all those who submitted their films. With so many films to choose from the selection process was especially difficult. This has been the largest number of films received to date. We are also pleased to say that the online submission process was a success, with 90% of all films being submitted online through the FESTHOME platform."

Dr. Martin Mhando (right) presents Best Actor Award at ZIFF 2011
Dr. Martin Mhando (right) presents the Best Actor Award at the Zanzibar International Film Festival 2011.

The entries came from 38 countries with the largest number of entrants coming from Germany. The Dominican Republic has its first entry this year.

(Have you heard about the new hotel in Zanzibar that will be opening in mid-2017 and is slated to be the greenest hotel in East Africa? No? Read more about that at Verde Hotels & Tanzania’s Bakhresa Group to Build Zanzibar’s Greenest Hotel.)

Speaking about this year’s edition of the Zanzibar International Film Festival, Mandy Roger, Zuku’s TV director, noted, “We have in the past 2 years of our sponsorship witnessed significant growth in content development rising from the festival. As a broadcaster, Zuku is deeply invested in the growth and success of East Africa’s creative and content industries. It is therefore with pride that we continue to partner with the Zanzibar International Film Festival, which has for the last 15 years been instrumental in celebrating and enabling film making from the region and around the world.”

The selection committee also noted a clear growth in the quality of short films from Africa revealing a refreshing creative input and experimentation with film language.

East Africa is well represented at the Zanzibar International Film Festival 2015 with 7 films from Tanzania to compete in the general competition.

Within the official selection, Kenya leads in the region with 9 films, while Uganda has 3, Burundi 2 and Rwanda 1.

South Africa has 7 films in competition this year.

Selected films for the Bongo Movies competition, which is backed by the satellite TV channel Zuku, will be announced at a later date.

Zuku is also the event sponsor of the festival.

It has also been announced that the Academy Award- and Golden Globe Award-winning film Selma will officially open the Zanzibar International Film Festival 2015 on the evening of July 18.

(Read more: Selma: Movie Suggestion for Martin Luther King, Jr. Day.)

As in previous years the Zanzibar International Film Festival will welcome dozens of professional and aspiring film directors, producers from across Africa, and the world for 8 days of film, music and cultural celebration.

Audience at ZIFF 2013
Audience at Zanzibar International Film Festival 2013

ZIFF Official Selection

Feature Films

FEATURE FILMS DIRECTOR (LENGTH IN MINUTES) COUNTRY
Algun lugar/On the Road Somewhere Guillermo Zouain (70) Dominican Republic
Beautiful Tree , Severed Roots Kenny Mann (70) Kenya
Diamond Tongues Brian Robertson and Pavan Moondi Canada
El mal trato/Maltreatment Daniel E.V. Yudin (68) Chile
Fievres/Fevers Hicham Ayouch (90) France
Habibie and Ainun Faozan Rizal (121) Indonesia
Jongo Love Emma Roger (98) Kenya
Kutakapokucha Simon Mwakifwamba Tanzania
Munnariyippu/ The deadline Venu N (114) India
Mr Kadamanja Adam Kuambiana (164) Tanzania
Nightrunners Rowan Nielsen (89) Kenya
Pishu Leah Mwendamseke (83) Tanzania
Pride Matthew Warchus (119) UK
Selma Ava DuVernay (128) USA
Single Zero Timoth Conrad (62) Tanzania
Strength of a Woman Gilbert Lukalia (91) Kenya
Sugarcane Shadows David Constantin (84) Mauritius
Superstition Paresh Gondaliya & Zziwa A. Alone Uganda
The Gods of Water Pablo Caesar (115) Argentina/Ethiopia/France
The Last Drive-in Theater Iberê Carvalho (98) Brazil
Wazi?FM Faras Cavallo (62) Kenya
Timbuktu Abdrehmanne Sissako Mali
Morbayssa Cheick F. Camara Guinea
City of Violence Jerome Salle South Africa
Price of Love Hermon Hailay (99) Ethiopia

Boys play about on the wall at the waterfront at Forodhani Garden, Zanzibar

Documentaries

DOCUMENTARIES DIRECTOR (LENGTH IN MINUTES) COUNTRY
21 Icons – A Journey to Democracy Adrian Steirn (45) South Africa
Abasezi (The Nightdancers) Aemile Dinneen (78) Ireland/Uganda
Bintou Simone Catharina Gaul (68) Germany
Croc in a Museum Rwanda
Daddy’s Wedding U.A.E
Dancing With Maria Ivan Gergolet (75) Italy/Argentina/Slovenia
Grandma Knows Best? Tamara Dawit (16) Ethiopia
Life In Progress Irene Loebell (99) Switzerland
Life is Waiting: Referendum and Resistance in Western Sahara Lara Lee (60) Western Sahara
Low Season Madeleine Dallmeyer (41) Germany
Maramaso Ashley Beckett (53) Kenya
Mbwa Mwitu Farid Uwezo (20) Tanzania
Moussa Diallo: The Man and the Music Helle Toft (72) Denmark
NAPPS- Memoire Of An Invisible Man Tami Liberman (31) Germany
Obohozi Caroline Odongo & Gitura Kamau (98) Kenya
Papa Machete Jonathan David Kane (11) U.S.A.
Prisoner 467/64: The Untold Legacy of Andrew Mlangeni Lebogang Rasethaba (53) South Africa
Red Over the Rainbow Baumont Vincent (27) Vietnam
Shadeism: Digging Deeper Nayani Thitagarajah Canada
Shadow Fighters Josefine Heimburger Denmark/Tz
The Beauty That I Saw Benjamin Abrams (51) U.S.A
The Broken Heart Fabian Püschel Germany
The Hustle Ashraf Said Mswaki (25) Turkey
The Rwandan Genocide: Reunited Through Polaroids Colin Crowley (5) Rwanda
The Springboard Joseph Ndayisenga (63) Burundi
Twende! Let’s go! Silvana Zancolo (52) Italy
Ady Gasy Nantenaina Lova (81) Madagascar

Zanzibar International Film Festival Banner in front of Old Fort, Zanzibar

Shorts

SHORTS DIRECTOR (LENGTH IN MINUTES) COUNTRY
92 Dreamin’ (animation) Escarla Abreu (4) United States
A Coeur Ouvert Ayekoro Kossou (16) France
A Promised Rose Garden Lisa Violetta Gaß (Gass)(33) Germany
Agi / Elegy Yousef Kargar Iran
Amor a Primera vista/ Love at first sight Mark Playne (14) Spain
Angles of my Face Manu Maina (22) Kenya
Artificio Conceal Ayoub Qanir (16) U.S.A.
As I Am Sihle Hlope (14) South Africa
Bahar in Wonderland Behrooz Karamizade (16) Germany
Camouflage Andreas Kessler (8) Germany
Castillo y el Armado (animation ) Pedro Harres (13) Brazil
Detour Michael Leong-Huat Kam Kam Singapore
Ella Kim Münster Germany
Every Day is a Small Life Lou-Brice Léonard (27) France
Faraja Nasir Al Qassim Tanzania
Green Gold/ Gruen Gold (animation) Barbara Marheineke (13) Iran/USA
Harsh Danilo Baracho (8) Brazil
Intellectual Scum Njue Kevin (14) Kenya
Islands Tajinder Hayer (16) United Kingdom
Italian Standoff Marcel Becker-Neu (12) Germany
Jaya Puja Maewal (18) India
Kilimo 2 (animation) Neema Reed (6) USA
King of Guangzhou Quester Hannah (14) China
Lahza El Waleed Gamal Egypt
Lami (animation) Christophe and Olivier Defaye (2) Japan
Mousse John Helberg (41) Sweden
Prelude to a Torn House Carlos Esteban Godoy Acosta (29) Colombia
Ram Miransha Naik (25) India
Red Card John Rabaud (3) Mauritius
Routine P. Sam Kessie (14) South Africa
Samaki Mchangani/Fish of the Land Amil Shivji (30) Tanzania
September Mark Wambui (5) Kenya
Shehnai Haroon Habib (16) Pakistan
Soko Sonko/The Market King Ekwa Msangi (22) Tanzania
Taweez- The Talisman Writer Ali Hakin (20) Germany
The Dinner Aylin Basaran (15) Germany
The Girl Shashwati Talukdar (8) India
The Last Will Dustin Loose (21) Germany
The Legacy of Rubies (animation) Ebele Okoye (28) Germany
The Road we Travel Aidan Belizaire (37) Uganda
Tjitji the Himba Girl Oshosheni Hiveluah (22) Namibia
Oritsha’s Journey Abdul Ndadi USA
Uthando Tulanana Bohela South Africa
With Best Regards Bernhard Wenger (5) Austria

Photo Credits: Joe Lukhovi; Mtoto wa Kitaa; Peter Bennett / ZIFF, via Wikimedia Commons; Peter Bennett/ZIFF; blogs.indiewire.com

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