The Zanzibar International Film Festival is proud to announce that it will be re-launching the Sembene Ousmane Film Prize competition in 2015. The Award structure has been designed to reward excellence in short film production and to encourage the production of new short films, including short documentaries. The festival has also decided to award not just one, but three films to ensure that as many filmmakers as possible are encouraged to make creative films through the Sembene Ousmane Prize.

The Sembene Ousmane Film Prize invites Africans and Africans in the diaspora to enter their short films into the competition before March 31st 2015. 15 films will thereafter be nominated to compete for the 3 prizes during ZIFF 2015. Each of the 3 winning films will be awarded with 2,000 USD specifically earmarked to produce a new short film to be ready by ZIFF 2016. The scripts and a production plan for the new films will have to be submitted to the festival within 4 months of the award and funds will then be released. This on-going process will simultaneously acknowledge and reward filmmakers for their efforts, whilst contributing to the sustainability of the short-film format.

Criteria and Eligibility:

To be eligible for the prize, filmmakers must ensure their films meetfollow the following criteria:

  • Films can be Fiction or Documentary or Animation;
  • Films of 5-20 minutes and are not to exceed 28 minutes in length;
  • Films have to be produced (or have had 1st public exhibition) after July 2013;
  • Films to be available for screening on mp4. codec H264 – 10 Mbs – 1920 x 1080
  • Films can be in any language but have to be subtitled in English.
  • Films have to be directed by an African or a person of African descentor films co-directed with an African or a person of African descent.


Films have to be uploaded to our Festhome platform





or DVDs sent directly to:

ZIFF (Sembene Prize)
P.O. BOX 3032

Deadline March 31st 2015