The people of Zanzibar and International visitors last night witnessed the spectacular opening of the 16th Edition of the Zanzibar International Film Festival, one of the most diverse and impressive cultural and film programmes to date in the entire East Africa.

First Vice President Hon. Maalim Seif Sherif Hamad, celebrity guest Tonya Lee Williams, high-profile international filmmaker Mira Nair, renowned documentary film maker Danny Schechter and others from the film fraternity graced the red carpet event. Speaking at the opening, Hon. Maalim Seif Sherif Hamad praised ZIFF for its efforts and said it is thrilling to see our industry initiatives assisting the creation of the filmmakers of the future and the thriving African film industry making a true impact on the international festival circuit.”

Also speaking at the opening was Mr. Mahmoud Kombo, ZIFF Chairman: “ZIFF’s 16th edition delivered a true spectacle of cinematic multiplicity and a showcase of unbridled talent, achieving our goal of increasing awareness of African and International cinema both at home and abroad, while simultaneously developing regional talent to ensure its sustained future. “We look forward to rolling out the carpet for our 16th year to celebrate the richness of African and International cinema and further introduce audiences to fresh new talent and original, intelligent and distinctive filmmaking said Mr. Kombo.

Mira NairPremiering in Africa for the first time was the opening film “The Reluctant Fundamentalist” directed by Mira Nair.

Since its inaugural edition in 1996, ZIFF has emerged as the leading Film Festival in the region, providing an important platform to promote African and International film and talent to the world. This year’s edition will showcase the best of cinema from East Africa and around the world, offering an opportunity to reflect on the monumental accomplishments and global impact which the Festival has achieved in the past years.