South Africa Day Tribute To Winnie At ZIFF 2018

The Zanzibar International Film Festival, taking place in Stone Town Zanzibar from July 7th – 15th, in collaboration with the South African High Commission in Tanzania, is proud to present a tribute to Winnie Mandela as the culmination of South Africa Day, taking place on July 15th 2018.

South African films will be screened throughout the day, leading up to an evening of special screenings including that of the multi-awarded documentary, Winnie, sponsored by RE/MAX Omela.

James Prevost – RE/MAX Omela explains their support, “We are proud as REMAX Omela to be part of the screening of “Winnie.” Mama Winnie Mandela was a South African struggle icon and powerful woman.  Our sponsorship is founded on the belief that everyone should know the story of the heroine and the sacrifices she made for the liberation and freedom of her country.  We can’t think of any better way to express our corporate social responsibility than to share a film that displays the selfless actions of a woman that resulted in a free democratic country.”  Amandla!

There is a long and proud history of friendship and collaboration between Tanzania and South Africa’s liberation movement and current government, and by hosting South Africa Day, in, ZIFF will honour this history.

The South African High Commissioner to Tanzania, H.E. Thami Mseleku, will be in attendance along with other dignitaries from the Zanzibar government and has this to say of the event, “The South African government is in full support of the screening of “Winnie” at ZIFF 2018. We looking forward to having more South African film in Zanzibar to create a platform for education, dialogue, and discussion.  We also would like to extend an invitation to Zanzibar to attend our Durban Film Festival (South Africa) in an effort to exchange ideas and depict our shared liberation history. It is the pleasure of the South Africa High Commission to be apart of this cultural exchange and we commend your continued drive to have an avenue to tell our African stories in Film.  ZIFF can count on our support in future festival dates.”

The ZIFF Chairman, the Hon. Mahmoud Kombo alongside the SA High Commissioner will introduce the much lauded documentary Winnie, after a series of live performances featuring South African traditional music and dance.

The film Winnie, directed by Pascale Lamche, has won awards across the globe and with the recent passing of Winnie Madikizela Mandela, the film’s relevance is stronger than ever. Following this screening, the film “Laugh Out Loud with President Mandela” will be screened and introduced by Firdoze Bulbulia and Faith Isiakpere.

Festival Director Fabrizio Colombo expressed his view on the importance of this event, “ZIFF has always celebrated and given importance to liberation movements, and the struggle for freedom that South Africa has embodied through historical figures like Nelson and Winnie Mandela. ZIFF 2018’s theme about speaking out for truth, freedom, and justice finds in the South Africa Day its best fulfilment and a wonderful way to close the 2018 edition of the Festival “

South Africa Day at ZIFF on July 15th will be the closing day of the festival that will have seen 9 days of film screenings, workshops, concerts, and special events. The evening will conclude with the customary lowering of the Dhow sail, the symbol of ZIFF by the Honorable Chairman of ZIFF Mahmoud Kombo.

For more information and to purchase tickers for ZIFF, please visit or contact Daniel Nyalusi +255754940094


Trace Mziki Presents Music & Performing Arts Line-up At ZIFF 2018 – Announce Short List Of Nominated Videos

The Zanzibar International Film Festival (ZIFF), and East Africa’s No: 1 music video channel TRACE Mziki, has today announced an exciting line up of events at the Music and Performing Arts (MPA) programme for this year’s ZIFF that marks the 21st year of East Africa’s largest film festival.

Building on the success of the 2017 edition of the East African Music Video that was ultimately taken home by Eddy Kenzo of Uganda, the 2018 edition of the awards has heated up –with the competition winner to be announced at ZIFF on July 14th.

A short list of 20 nominees is listed below, which will be narrowed down to 3 before the ultimate winner is announced at ZIFF on the Awards Night, July 14th 2018.

To celebrate these awards and the best in East African music talent, TRACE MZIKI & ZIFF, in partnership with Kilimanjaro and Jack Daniels are excited to announce a hot line-up of live music and performances taking place at ZIFF from July 7th – 15th.

The exciting line-up includes Darasa Classic – a leading Hip Hop artist in TZ and indeed East Africa, who will be launching his two new studio tracks, performing them for the first time at ZIFF. This promises to be a powerful and emotional performance as the track pays tribute to his daughter.

Also in the line-up of events is East Africa’s King Empire record label that will field their wide array of artists including Aslay, Shetta, Rubi, and the Maffick just to mention a few. The 9 day event will also be graced by East Africa’s finest decks man DJ Ricky Mfalme who lit up Zanzibar Hennessy after party last year. He will be playing each night to support the main acts from the opening to closing of ZIFF and will be supported by Zanzibar’s eclectic DJ Cartel.

TRACE Mziki and ZIFF will also host the African premiere of the Broadway show – direct from New York City. This will be a first in Zanzibar and the region. Lady Tousaint has partnered with local production company Pili Pili Entertainment and managed to secure the multiple award winning actor, director and producer Gabo Zigamba in the cast. Gabo won the Action and Choice awards 2003/2004 and also ZIFF award for best male actor in 2015/2016 just to mention a few. He hails from Tanga Tanzania.

Also joining this amazing list of entertainers is the TRACE MUSIC STAR Africa Winner – Mayunga Nalimi winner of the inaugural Airtel Trace Music Star star search competition. Following his win, he was given a chance of a mentorship with Akon, leading up to the duo doing a collaboration that garnered an amazing 1.1M views on Youtube.

The live performances at ZIFF will take place every night after the main film screenings at the Old Fort in Stone Town Zanzibar. Music is scheduled to start nightly from 10:00pm and tickets information and costing can be found at

Short List of Nominated Videos: East African Music Video Award

Vinka & Voltage Music – Overdose

Jose Chameleone – Champion

Radio & Weasel Feat. B2C – Gutamiiza

Winnie Nwagi – Oli Kirabo

Dazlah – My Love

Rosa Feat Naiboi – Inside

Nameless Voloyoom

Gilad – One Wish

Nawekeza – Mayunga

Nu York “Da Style” & Eddy Kenzo – Twende Sasa

Barnaba Classic – Tunafanana

Lameck Ditto Nabembea

Bebe Cool – Want it

Angel Bernard – Siteketei

Matonya – Kiherehere

Bright Feat Nandy – Umebadilika

Bright – Sina

Christian Bella – Si Ulisema

Christian Bella – Pambe

Slim prince & Winnie Nwagi – Fire Dancer




ZIFF Announces Opening Night Film

Every year the Zanzibar International Film Festival bestows the honour of the Opening Night film on a new and noteworthy African film, and this year is no different. ZIFF is proud to announce that for Opening Night 2018, the festival will present the World Premiere of the Tanzanian film Bahasha.

The origins of Bahasha can be traced to the premiere screening of Media for Development International’s (MFDI) popular TV series, Siri ya Mtungi, on the eve of December 2, 2014. Following that screening, the Swiss Ambassador for Tanzania at the time, Olivier Chave, impressed by the series challenged MFDI to develop a film that confronted the issue of corruption, considered one of the most serious underlying challenge facing social and economic development of Tanzania.

This exchange led to the Embassies of Switzerland and the Netherlands providing seed funding for MFDI to develop the script for a feature film that would help to encourage social dialogue around the theme of corruption. To make the project inclusive, MFDI created a number of partnerships with Tanzania’s major anti-corruption stakeholders from government, civil society and the private sector.

The key partner in this project was the Prevention and Combating of Corruption Bureau (PCCB).

With generous support from the Swiss Development Corporation and The Embassy of the Kingdom of the Netherlands, BAHASHA was filmed on location in and around Arusha, during November and December 2017.

The film was the directed by Jordan Riber and featured some of Tanzania’s most talented actors including Ayoub Bombwe, Godliver Gordian, Omary Mrisho and Catherine Credo.

“I am very excited and honored that Bahasha has been selected as the opening film for one of Africa’s most important film festivals. I am proud to be a part of the Tanzanian film industry at such an exciting time. The talent of Tanzanian actors and film crew has been so well showcased over the last few years, and I see a bright future in filmmaking for Tanzania. Ayoub, Godliver, Catherine and Omary are all world-class actors and their work in Bahasha is something that will no doubt make Tanzania proud.”

Bahasha is the story of an elected public official who betrays his family, friends and community when he takes an easy bribe. He learns the hard way and must now find the road to redemption.

With the theme of ZIFF 2018 being Speak Up and Be Heard, there could not be a better film to open the festival with in order to inspire and encourage constructive and open dialogue.

ZIFF 2018 will take place from July 7th – 15th 2018 in venues in and around Stone Town. A full schedule and film information can be found at

Film screenings are free for local residents, all others can book and pay online for Festival and music passes here:

Also follow us on Facebook and Twitter @ZIFF_Zanzibar


9th Durban FilmMart “Open For Business”

20 – 23 July 2018 during the Durban International Film Festival

Echoing government’s reassurance to investors into South Africa’s economy, the Durban FilmMart, one of Africa’s premier film industry events will be “open for business” when it begins its four day event on July 20 during the 39th Durban International Film Festival (DIFF).

The DIFF in partnership with the eThekwini Municipality’s Durban Film Office, the City’s film industry development arm under the Economic and Development cluster, has, for nine years, presented this important gathering for filmmakers from across the continent and further afield with the specific aim at growing the African industry.

“The DFM attracts an array of film-makers including directors, producers, scriptwriters, investors and financiers, distributors and broadcasters as well as curators for festivals and other markets, and is globally renowned for providing an important springboard for African stories and ideas, collaborations and investment into film projects,” explains Toni Monty, Head of the DFO and DFM. “Essentially this is how film projects are given a leg up to help them on their way.”

Speaking on behalf of the DFO, Monty says, “As a government entity, in partnership with the DIFF, we take our role very seriously in working on a highly professional level with filmmakers to ensure we provide an environment that is enabling for them.”

“The Mart brings in over 400 experts, people and organisations interested in potential film projects for further development. Here they are able to meet film-makers from Africa, discuss and engage and then it’s over to them to conclude their business independently. The event ultimately seeks to build Durban as an important hub for doing film and television business in Africa.”

The DFM includes a series of masterclasses, seminars and panel discussions to help filmmakers keep up to date on trends, innovations and policies. There are also many networking opportunities for them to build strong business connections on both a continental and international level.

New for DFM is the appointment of local arts and culture administrator, Russel Hlongwane as the curator of both the DFM and DIFF’s industry programme, which has enabled a consolidation that speaks to the DIFF’s theme “leave no filmmaker behind.”

Hlongwane explains, “We have sought a programme that provides delegates with innovation and new thinking, and thought-leadership that we believe will provide insightful and meaningful engagements that can be taken forward.”

Key speakers this year include Dayo Ogunyemi a Lagos-based creative entrepreneur and investor who will give presentation that foregrounds African markets as lucrative territories. Stephen Follows, from the UK, is a leading trainer and thought-leader in how storytelling can be used to change hearts and minds. Follows, who is also a data researcher in the film industry, will present a high level session which unpacks key shifts and trends shaping the market from an international perspective. LA-based Peter Russell is a screenwriter and story doctor in Hollywood who will present a session in which he will share the secrets of how film storytelling can be adapted into the red hot television storytelling market.

Another major highlight, which is sure to have filmmakers interests piqued, is that Richard Ray Perez, Director: Creative Partnerships at the Sundance Institute’s Documentary Film Programme will address a gathering for delegates entitled Stories of Change: A Collaborative Model for Impactful Storytelling.

Sessions at DFM will look at the aesthetical and fundamental values that will define films from the African continent; insights into ways African filmmakers can source and work the often hard and tricky world of financing structures on the continent; how to work towards a more ‘’entrepreneurial approach’’ to filmmaking without compromising creative content; distribution, and what makes a successful documentary.

Speaking to current issues, the South African Screen Federation will lead a discussion entitled, Are there any Sacred Cows in Filmmaking? following the recent public debates around handling of sensitive social and cultural issues within film, and Sisters Working in Film and Television (SWIFT) will lead discussions on issues of sexual harassment, race and transformation in the industry. Other important discussions taking place include The practicalities and importance of Co-Production Treaties and Copyright vs Copyleft – where to from here? The National Film and Video Foundation will also present a series of workshops and discussions on policies and local industry trends.

Additional insightful sessions will include the Department of Trade and Industry’s launch of the Industries Film Incentives Guidelines and Emerging Black Filmmakers’ Fund Guidelines. The programme will include a set of discussions, led by the Department of Arts and Culture, on current and future collaborations within the BRICS member countries. Filmmakers will have the opportunity to network with member country filmmaker delegations in attendance.

The official pitching forums will include representatives from sixteen pre-selected African film projects that will be pitching film projects to leading financiers, broadcasters and other potential funders and investors at the DFM’s finance forum.

Running parallel to the DFM, and supported by the experts and visiting speakers, is the Durban International Film Festival’s open industry programme, Isiphethu, aimed at introducing entry level, emerging filmmakers, micro-budget film-makers as well as interested members of the public to the inner-workings of the world of cinema.

Manager of the DIFF, Chipo Zhou says, “Our strategy for Isiphethu, is to support filmmakers in developing quality content. We want to be able to offer these filmmakers opportunities to incubate projects, be mentored by experts, network with seasoned and experienced peers, and be included in the overall vision of the DIFF and DFM, to grow quality African content. In short to include this sector of the industry into the greater industry fold, “leaving no filmmaker behind.”

“The “economy” of film, is central to the objectives of the Durban FilmMart to encourage African filmmakers to look within to collaborate, finance and develop content,” says Toni Monty. “We are very excited to see so many DFM alumni projects that have come to fruition, doing very well on local and international festival and cinema circuits and many with good distribution deals: these include films like DIFF’s closing film Rafiki, Inxeba: The Wound and, Five Fingers for Marseilles, as well as Silas which is also screening at DIFF to name a few. This is exactly the strategy created by the DFO and DIFF nine years ago, and it is heartening to see the long-term value it provides for the African film industry. This year’s programme is rich in diversity and complexity, and we are looking forward to seeing Durban come alive with a real buzz of the business of filmmaking.”

The 9th Durban FilmMart takes place in Durban, at the Tsogo Sun Elangeni from 20 to 23 July 2018, during the 39th edition of the Durban International Film Festival (19 to 29 July 2018).

Online registration closes on 29 June, 2018, but there is still opportunity to register from July 19 from 2pm manually at the event. For more information on the Durban FilmMart and to register as a delegate visit  or for Durban International Film Festival www.durbanfilmfest.

Facebook: Durban FilmMart SA

Twitter: @durbanfilmmart



Durban International Film Festival (DIFF) Announces Programme For 2018 (19-29 July)

Durban International Film Festival Launches 39th Edition
19 – 29 July 2018 – various venues around Durban

This year, the Durban International Film Festival, the leading event of its kind on the African continent, is once again bringing film lovers and filmmakers from across the globe to the shores of Durban for a feast of the latest and best that cinema has to offer from 19 to 29 July.

In 2018, ahead of a 40th bumper anniversary next year, the festival offers a focused fare of 180 features films, documentaries, and shorts, along with an insightful industry programme that includes Isisphethu for emerging and micro-budget filmmakers, the 11th Talents Durban, in partnership with Berlinale Talents, for pre-selected, semi-established  filmmakers as well as the co-production and finance forum the 9th Durban FilmMart, the festival’s partner programme with the Durban Film Office.

Opening the festival is the first feature film from South African director Jerome Pikwane, the horror flick The Tokoloshe. The LGTBI love-story Rafiki, directed by Kenyan Wanuri Kahiu, will close the festival.

The Tokolosche, directed by Jerome Pikwane
Rafiki, Sheila Munyiva and Samantha Mugatsialr

Manager of DIFF Chipo Zhou, explains the choice of these two diverse films that have women as their focus. “We wanted to book-end DIFF with films that tell stories about women, their strength and their resilience. We also want to showcase the fact that there are many ways to tell these stories from a cinematic point of view,” said Zhou.

“We are in a time of diversity, where women, racial minorities and LGBTI communities who have traditionally been underrepresented in film are having their voices brought to the fore,” says Zhou. “Referencing this global narrative, the films in this year’s festival will reflect these new voices as much as possible.”

Among the features in competition this year are South African films Farewell Ella Bella directed by Lwazi Mvusi, which follows a young woman on a journey to bury her father; High Fantasy directed by Jenna Bass, in which a group of young South Africans have to navigate a personal-political labyrinth when they wake up to discover they have swapped bodies; Sara Blecher’s Mayfair, a gangster film about a father and son; and The Recce by Ferdinand van Zyl, which explores the pain and suffering families endured during and after South Africa’s 20-year border war.

High Fantasy – Gabriella Cchadinha
Farewell Ella Bella

International features in competition include The Tale (USA) directed by Jennifer Fox, which chronicles one woman’s powerful investigation into her own childhood memories as she is forced to re-examine her first sexual experience; Clint (India) by Hari Kumar, which tells the story of prodigious artist child who died before his seventh birthday, leaving behind 25000 pictures; and the closing film Rafiki (Kenya), directed by Wanuri Kahiu, which is set in Nairobi and tells the touching tale of two very different girls who fall in love.

The Tale, Laura Dern

Competition titles in the documentary section include the South African film Silas, a global tale directed by Anjali Nayar and Hawa Essuman which warns of the power of politics and celebrates the capacity of individuals to fight back, and Whispering Truth to Power, directed by human rights lawyer Shameela Seedat, which tracks Thuli Madonsela, South Africa’s first female Public Protector, as she builds her second case against President Jacob Zuma.

International documentaries in competition include New Moon (Kenya), directed by Phillippa Ndisi-Herrmann, who explores her journey to Sufi Islam; Amal (Lebanon, Egypt, France, Germany, Norway, Denmark), directed by Mohamed Siam, which follows a teenager as she comes to terms with her identity and sexuality in a post-revolutionary police state; Shakedown (USA) directed by Leilah Weinraub, which chronicles explicit performances in an underground queer club in Los Angeles; and The State Against Nelson Mandela and the Others (France) by Nicolas Champeaux and Gilles Porte, which offers archival recordings that include Mandela’s co-accused at the Rivonia Treason Trial hearings, and which transports the audience back into the courtroom battles.

Other South African films on the billing include Durban filmmaker Michael Cross’ award-winning The Fun’s Not Over, about the life of musician James Philips, and Eubulus Timothy’s warm, coming-of-age surf love story Deepend. Sisters of the Wilderness is Karin Slater’s inspiring film which is set in the iMfolozi Wilderness and follows five young Zulu women on a journey of self-discovery. Then there is Oscar-nominated director Darrel Roodt’s horror Siembamba, Stephina Zwane’s comedy Baby Mamas, which revolves around the daily lives and loves of four women and their own real-life baby mama drama, Leli Maki’s comedy Table Manners, in which  a wife and mother finds solace and hope in cooking, learning that all she needs is life’s three courses – family, food and love.

The Fun_s Not Over -James Phillips at home in 1994 by Ruvan Boschoff
Baby Mamas

Prior to each screening, public service announcements will be shown. These are themed around an industry campaign #thatsnotok created by SWIFT (Sisters Working in Film and Television), the SA-based non-profit that works to protect and advance the cause of women in the industry.

In 2018 DIFF continues its endeavours to grow cinema audiences and this year free community-based screenings will take place at Solomon Mahlangu Hall (New Germany/Clermont), KwaMashu Fan Park, Umlazi W Section Library and The Workshop Amphitheatre. Other screenings take place at Community ZA (formerly Artspace Gallery in Umgeni) and KZNSA Gallery, Musgrave Ster Kinekor, Suncoast Cine Centre and Elizabeth Sneddon Theatre, as well as Ushaka Marine World, where the popular free ocean-focused film festival Wavescapeswill take place in the public area.

“With about 400 film-makers in attendance, the public can look forward to a feast of film and some fascinating insights into the world of cinema,” concludes Zhou.

The DIFF is organised by the University of KwaZulu-Natal’s Centre for Creative Arts in partnership with the eThekwini Municipality, KwaZulu-Natal Film Commission, National Film and Video Foundation, Durban Film Office and other valuable partners.

DIFF opens at The Playhouse on July 19 and runs until July 29. The closing film will be screened on July 28, after the competition awards.

For more information visit  or any one of DIFF’s social media pages.