ZIFF is celebrating its 25th Anniversary in style. Between 18th and 26th June, ZIFF will celebrate Zanzibar’s long history, culture, and a welcoming people. The festival’s theme this year is “Let’s Talk About Film”.
101 movies are to be screened on 10 screens in Zanzibar at the Old Fort, 3 venues in the Maru Maru Hotel, a screen in the Michenzani Mall and the Mnara wa Makumbusho Kisonge, and more screenings in Warumbi, Paje, Makunduchi (Unguja), Pujini, Wete and Mkoani (Pemba). That is before ZIFF will move to the Mainland in September and October.
ZIFF will also screen films to schoolchildren at Michenzani Mall with 100 children ferried from two schools each day. They shall encounter animated life in all its beauty presented by an incredible group of young artists from the Tai Studio in Dar es Salaam.
“ZIFF will also screen films from Hollywood,” notes festival Director Martin Mhando. “For 3 nights at Kisonge we shall screen Black Panther (2017), Harriet (2019), Remember Me: The Mahalia Jackson Story (2021) and Coming to America (1988) to audiences that will discuss afterwards how the African cultural contribution to the world has been presented in the American film.
The feature documentary on Marcus Garvey, African Redemption: The Life and Legacy of Marcus Garvey will have its African premiere on Sunday, June 19, 2022, in Stone Town, to celebrate the first Juneteenth celebration in Africa. Juneteenth is a holiday commemorating the end of slavery in the United States. 21st June, is South Africa Day aiming to see the world from a South African perspective, of a history of a people with whom we share a heritage of pain and new energy.
“From Kenya, on 23rd of June, the focus will be on stories of a country that has built a freedom loving people and shared that ethos to all their neighbours, revealing to how neighbors can be- just good neighbors- because no one can choose who we border in this planet,” remarks Florence Mwendapole, ZIFF Marketing Coordinator.
“From the European Union we learn of a culture of unity and freedom. The diversity that defines that group of nations is a microcosm of our world. As we celebrate the union of European nations, we celebrate also our global union. We have much to learn from this resilient group that has lasted because they need each other and they know it”, added the young upcoming arts administrator. Thanks to the Delegation of the European Union and the embassies of France, Belgium, Germany, and Spain in Dar es Salaam for their support not only of ZIFF but also of the arts in Tanzania.
The festival is also supported this year by Nafasi Space of Dar es Salaam as well as Ajabu Ajabu, a film and art space in Dar es Salaam, which in its infancy has shown how committed artists can achieve great things with passion.
ZIFF is about filmmaking. Filmmakers from across the region will come to take part in discussions and workshops that will add to their palate of tools to communicate through film. Docubox of Kenya will present a number of workshops and panel discussions on documentaries.
Fred Bailiff of Switzerland will teach film directing through reflecting on his own work, as will Lois Patino from Spain and Sam Soko of Kenya, Seko Shamte of Tanzania and many others.
Workshops and Masterclasses by the DW Akademie will congregate 15 filmmakers from Ethiopia Uganda, and Tanzania who all have received film development funds from a fund announced last year at ZIFF.
Panel discussions by the East African Screen Collective, Generation Africa, Great Lakes Creative Producers, and the Difficult Dialogues Talk Show will be aired live through Azam Media. The debate about the state of cinema in Tanzania will invite input from the viewers from across the globe to say something about how to save the Tanzania film industry.
Finally, ZIFF will also be welcoming music artists to perform at what has become the place to discover new talent, the ZIFF Music and Performing Arts (MPA) platform. Artists at ZIFF 2022 include Wezi of the Heartsound from Zambia, Bahati, the all female band, and Siti and the Band from Zanzibar. Other artists include Kisingeli, Dula Makabila and Mkali wa Bwax. The two Kisingeli protagonists will underline their rivalry on the stage at ZIFF.
The festival is being sponsored by the European Union, the Embassy of France, the Embassy of Spain, the Embassy of Switzerland and the Embassy of the USA. Others include Azam Media, Maru hotel, World Mobile, Comnet and Rahisi.