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The Zanzibar International Film Festival is currently accepting applications for all African films (including African Diaspora) and films from the Dhow Countries’ region- South East Asia, the Arabian Peninsula, The Persian Gulf, Iran, Pakistan, India and the Indian Ocean Islands.  Films must be have been produced after 2018.  ZIFF reserves the right to accept any films with a specific interest to the festival.  

Films should preferably depict the Festival theme; Sharing Our Heritage which conveys the idea of merging concerns in a global village, cultural encounters, engagement and exchange. Films reflecting the theme of global cultural interaction, cultural encounters or sociocultural commentary will be given priority. Films must have been completed no later than March 15, 2020. We will accept submissions of works in progress only after agreement with ZIFF management. The Submission Deadline is 30th April 2021. The festival reserves the right to also invite films for screening at ZIFF.


The main competition (the Golden Dhow and Silver Dhow) is only for filmmakers from the Dhow countries. These include Countries of the Indian Ocean Rim and Indian Ocean Islands, including Iran, Iraq and Afghanistan and India; All African countries.

ZIFF competition categories are: Best Feature films, Documentary, Short/Animation, East African Films, and The ZIFF Board will offer the following Awards: Chairperson’s Award and Lifetime Achievement, Other competitions are open to the specified categories of entries and includes the following sections: 

With the exception of Lifetime Achievement Award, all films are judged by independent jury panels. 

The Juries



The Prize List

In acknowledgement of the great role, that films play in contemporary society ZIFF offers 12 Prizes during the festival. Awards are a measure of value that the industry accords and offers filmmakers as acknowledgement of their creativity, innovation and status. 

Feature films                                              Documentary Zanzibar Films

            Short/Animation                                         East African Films Bongo Movies

Chairperson’s Award     Life Achievement Award

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Submission Procedures:


The submission deadline is 30th April 2021.


Press kit including technical and artistic data, synopsis in English, photographs, posters, press articles, etc.

Bio-data of the director




Ngome Kongwe (Note: this is the physical address)


Tél: (255) 773 411 499

Fax: (255) 777 419 955 

Email: ziff@ziffestival.org


Please include synopsis, photographs, director’s bio-data 

Keep this page for your reference. Please do not return it with your application.