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

Algun lugar/On the Road SomewhereGuillermo Zouain (70)Dominican Republic
Beautiful Tree , Severed RootsKenny Mann (70)Kenya
Diamond TonguesBrian Robertson and Pavan MoondiCanada
El mal trato/MaltreatmentDaniel E.V. Yudin (68)Chile
Fievres/FeversHicham Ayouch (90)France
Habibie and AinunFaozan Rizal (121)Indonesia
Jongo LoveEmma Roger (98)Kenya
Kutakapokucha Simon MwakifwambaTanzania
Munnariyippu/ The deadlineVenu N (114)India
Mr KadamanjaAdam Kuambiana (164)Tanzania
NightrunnersRowan Nielsen (89)Kenya
PishuLeah Mwendamseke (83)Tanzania
PrideMatthew Warchus (119)UK
SelmaAva DuVernay (128)USA
Single ZeroTimoth Conrad (62)Tanzania
Strength of a WomanGilbert Lukalia (91)Kenya
Sugarcane ShadowsDavid Constantin (84)Mauritius
SuperstitionParesh Gondaliya & Zziwa A. AloneUganda
The Gods of WaterPablo Caesar (115)Argentina/Ethiopia/France
The Last Drive-in TheaterIberê Carvalho (98)Brazil
Wazi?FMFaras Cavallo (62)Kenya
TimbuktuAbdrehmanne SissakoMali
MorbayssaCheick F. CamaraGuinea
City of ViolenceJerome SalleSouth Africa
Price of LoveHermon Hailay (99)Ethiopia

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


21 Icons – A Journey to DemocracyAdrian Steirn (45)South Africa
Abasezi (The Nightdancers)Aemile Dinneen (78)Ireland/Uganda
BintouSimone Catharina Gaul (68)Germany
Croc in a MuseumRwanda
Daddy’s WeddingU.A.E
Dancing With MariaIvan Gergolet (75)Italy/Argentina/Slovenia
Grandma Knows Best?Tamara Dawit (16)Ethiopia
Life In ProgressIrene Loebell (99)Switzerland
Life is Waiting: Referendum and Resistance in Western SaharaLara Lee (60)Western Sahara
Low SeasonMadeleine Dallmeyer (41)Germany
MaramasoAshley Beckett (53)Kenya
Mbwa MwituFarid Uwezo (20)Tanzania
Moussa Diallo: The Man and the MusicHelle Toft (72)Denmark
NAPPS- Memoire Of An Invisible ManTami Liberman (31)Germany
Obohozi Caroline Odongo & Gitura Kamau (98)Kenya
Papa MacheteJonathan David Kane (11)U.S.A.
Prisoner 467/64: The Untold Legacy of Andrew MlangeniLebogang Rasethaba (53)South Africa
Red Over the RainbowBaumont Vincent (27)Vietnam
Shadeism: Digging DeeperNayani ThitagarajahCanada
Shadow FightersJosefine HeimburgerDenmark/Tz
The Beauty That I SawBenjamin Abrams (51)U.S.A
The Broken HeartFabian PüschelGermany
The Hustle Ashraf Said  Mswaki (25)Turkey
The Rwandan Genocide: Reunited Through PolaroidsColin Crowley (5)Rwanda
The SpringboardJoseph Ndayisenga (63)Burundi
Twende! Let’s go!Silvana Zancolo (52)Italy
Ady GasyNantenaina Lova (81)Madagascar

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


92 Dreamin’ (animation)Escarla Abreu (4)United States
A Coeur OuvertAyekoro Kossou (16)France
A Promised Rose GardenLisa Violetta Gaß (Gass)(33)Germany
Agi / ElegyYousef KargarIran
Amor a Primera vista/ Love at first sightMark Playne (14)Spain
Angles of my FaceManu Maina (22)Kenya
Artificio ConcealAyoub Qanir (16)U.S.A.
As I AmSihle Hlope (14)South Africa
Bahar in WonderlandBehrooz Karamizade (16)Germany
CamouflageAndreas Kessler (8)Germany
Castillo y el Armado (animation )Pedro Harres (13)Brazil
DetourMichael Leong-Huat Kam KamSingapore
EllaKim MünsterGermany
Every Day is a Small LifeLou-Brice Léonard (27)France
FarajaNasir Al QassimTanzania
Green Gold/ Gruen Gold (animation)Barbara Marheineke (13)Iran/USA
HarshDanilo Baracho (8)Brazil
Intellectual ScumNjue Kevin (14)Kenya
IslandsTajinder Hayer (16)United Kingdom
Italian StandoffMarcel Becker-Neu (12)Germany
JayaPuja Maewal (18)India
Kilimo 2 (animation)Neema Reed (6)USA
King of GuangzhouQuester Hannah (14)China
LahzaEl Waleed GamalEgypt
Lami (animation)Christophe and Olivier Defaye (2)Japan
MousseJohn Helberg (41)Sweden
Prelude to a Torn HouseCarlos Esteban Godoy Acosta (29)Colombia
RamMiransha Naik (25)India
Red CardJohn Rabaud (3)Mauritius
RoutineP. Sam Kessie (14)South Africa
Samaki Mchangani/Fish of the LandAmil Shivji (30)Tanzania
SeptemberMark Wambui (5)Kenya
ShehnaiHaroon Habib (16)Pakistan
Soko Sonko/The Market KingEkwa Msangi (22)Tanzania
Taweez- The Talisman WriterAli Hakin (20)Germany
The DinnerAylin Basaran (15)Germany
The GirlShashwati Talukdar (8)India
The Last WillDustin Loose (21)Germany
The Legacy of Rubies (animation)Ebele Okoye (28)Germany
The Road we TravelAidan Belizaire (37)Uganda
Tjitji the Himba GirlOshosheni Hiveluah (22)Namibia
Oritsha’s JourneyAbdul NdadiUSA
UthandoTulanana BohelaSouth Africa
With Best RegardsBernhard Wenger (5)Austria 

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

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