The Zanzibar International Film Festival, in partnership with the Africa in Motion (AiM) Film Festival, the Afrika Filmfestival of Leuven and the Verona African Film Festival, is proud to announce the inaugural European African Film- Festivals Award, a special prize dedicated to East African filmmakers.

The award will provide financial support to East African filmmakers based in Africa and around the world, selected in competition every year at ZIFF. A special jury will be convened for the award during ZIFF 2015 composed of members from the affiliated European African Film Festivals.

The winning film will also be shown at the three European festivals in the following year, providing opportunities for the filmmakers to be promoted and profiled.  The award and subsequent screenings are also an important cultural exchange that will provide a boost to ZIFF and the entire East African film industry.

The award is also presented as a way to remember and honor a special friend of ZIFF, Guido Huysmans, who proposed the award in 2013 and unfortunately passed away on 1st August 2014. The European African FilmFestivals Award aims to celebrate the most innovative and emerging voices in filmmaking. Lizelle Bisschoff, Founder of Africa in Motion Film Festival explains further,

While the East African region has previously been underrepresented in local film production in relation to the rest of the continent, filmmaking in this region has expanded greatly over the last couple of decades. The Zanzibar International Film Festival has been at the forefront of showcasing this growth. We hope that this new award will further highlight the exciting developments in the East African film industries, help to connect these filmmakers with European film festivals as exhibition platforms, and encourage further film production in this region.

To compete for the award, a film must have an East African director or producer, it must be longer than 40 minutes, have been produced within the last two years, and must have selected among the ZIFF selection 2015 .  Any film category including feature, animation, documentary and other genres are eligible.

The Award is still open to Festivals and Funding partners in Europe who may be interested in supporting the prize.