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


Emerson’s Zanzibar Foundation Film Award (EZMA) At Zanzibar International Film Festival (ZIFF), July 2018

The board of the Emerson’s Zanzibar Foundation is delighted to announce the third award for the best film made by a Zanzibari up and coming filmmakers during The Zanzibar International Film festival (ZIFF), July 2018.

The theme this year will be Zanzibari Production and this award will focus on fictional films. The award comprises $1000, a trophy, framed certificate and a post-award celebration hosted by Emerson Spice Hotel. Our esteemed team of judges will be assessing films submitted through ZIFF. The worthy recipient will be honoured at ZIFF grand Award Ceremony on the Amphitheater in the Old Fort.

The Emerson’s Zanzibar Foundation is a leading organisation honoring local film artists and the poet laureate, Mzee Haji Gora. The award is an important part of the on going legacy of the visionary Emerson Skeens, who co-founded the Zanzibar International Film Festival and Sauti za Busara music festival. He also co-established the Dhow Country Music Academy. Emerson also created the world famous boutique hotels, Emerson Spice and Emerson on Hurumzi.

The mission of the Emerson’s Zanzibar film Award is to recognize the unique and significant nature of the local film talent, which has emerged from the cosmopolitan island of Zanzibar. The award aims to inspire and promote Zanzibari film artists, who are pursuing their artistic vision in the archipelago, as well as promoting the culture and history of Zanzibar.

It is exciting to see the impact that the Emerson’s Zanzibar Film Award has had on the recipients ’professional lives and what they used the award money for. Salum Stika, the first recipient for his short film, Daladala went on to direct Binti Zanzibar, a Kiswahili feature film, which scooped four trophies, and 4,000,000 TSH from Azam TV Sinema Zetu Award. In an interview he gave on Zaima Television, Stika mentioned the Foundation huge influence on his success

Mbarouk Mussa, a forester and the second recipient for his inspiring documentary about Kokota island in Pemba has used the award to increase awareness of the important work he is doing on the island. Mbarouk was nominated for the prestigious BBC Outlook Inspiration Award:

The award will continue to help talented Zanzibaris gain more recognition and the opportunities they need and deserve.

Additionally, The Emerson Foundation will present a Master Class for practising professionals and ‘’amateurs’’ alike within the creative sector, producers of creative/intellectual knowledge/property, cinematographers, editors, writers etc.

The goal of the class is to help practitioners protect and manage their creative/intellectual property rights, and therefore recognise their value for the growth of their business. The workshop will provide an overview of the copy right law and will draw on the participants’ experiences within the creative sector.

Co-ordinator: Said el-Gheithy, Chairperson, Emerson’s Zanzibar Foundation

Consultant: Salum Stika, Zanzibar Association of Film Artists

Facilitator (s): Ms Mtumwa Ameir, Executive Director of the Copy Right Society, Zanzibar


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


Kenya Film Commission Supports “Supa Modo” At Ziff

The Zanzibar International Film Festival, taking place in Stone Town Zanzibar from July 7th – 15th, with generous support from the Kenya Film Commission, is proud to announce the screening of the inspiring and beautiful new Kenyan film, Supa Modo.

The film which had its much acclaimed world premiere at Berlinale in February, has been heralded as a stunning debut for director Likarion Wainaina and its young cast.

Acquired by Rushlake Media, the film was produced by Ginger Ink Films Africa in partnership with One Fine Day Films (OFDF). OFDF has released other award-winning African films including Kati Kati and Nairobi Half Life. It was at the One Fine Day Films BrainRoom – a two-week masterclass that allows writers to pitch and develop their ideas – where Wainaina’s story idea for Supa Modo was pitched and selected for production.

The Kenya Film Commission will be hosting the screening of the film on Wednesday July 11th at ZIFF’s main venue of the Old Fort Ampitheatre with various members of the cast and production team in attendance.

The screening of the film will also be attended by dozens of high profile international film and TV industry professionals as it will form part of the official opening event for DISCOP Zanzibar. DISCOP Zanzibar, in its inaugural year, will be taking place from July 11th – 13th in partnership with ZIFF, creating East Africa’s largest and most important film and TV content gathering.

As supporters of this regional industry, The Kenya Film Commission has come on board to support this important screening and to take part in both ZIFF and DISCOP Zanzibar.

Kenya Film Commission Ag. CEO, Mr. Timothy Owase had this to say of the importance of the film’s screening at ZIFF. This is part of our commitment to support local film makers, we are pleased to premiere Supa Modo outside Kenya and ZIFF provides a better platform for this purpose. We laud the organizers for consideration to screen Supa Modo and reaffirm our commitment to continue supporting Kenyan film makers and exporting local content.

“Supa Modo” tells the inspiring story of a young girl whose dream of becoming a superhero is threatened by terminal illness, inspiring her village to rally together to make her dream come true. It stars newcomer Stycie Waweru in the lead role, alongside a host of veteran Kenyan thesps, including Maryanne Nungo and Nyawara Ndambia.

In a statement, Rushlake’s Philipp Hoffmann described the genre-bending “Supa Modo” as “truly unique.” “It’s all at once a film with a strong female lead, a superhero film, a film about grief and dying, and about community and people coming together,” he said. “I immediately saw great potential for a touching story that attests to beautiful, universal human values and appeals to both young and grown-up audiences.”

ZIFF Festival Director Fabrizio Colombo has this to say of the film and its selection for ZIFF,

“Supa Modo once again shows just how important and professional Kenya film industry has become. It’s a film that will resonate strongly with ZIFF audiences, for locals especially as a Swahili movie, and universally, at it touches people with heart and deep meaning.”

Supa Modo is just one of the amazing films from the region that will be featured at this year’s ZIFF. For a full line-up and schedule of films please go to