The next edition of Zanzibar International Film Festival (ZIFF)’s Festival of the Dhow Countries is scheduled for July 18-26, 2015. It shall be held on the theme, “Waves and Visions of Hope”.
Began in 1998, the aim of ZIFF is to contribute to regional socio‐cultural growth and global cultures of tolerance through creating spaces and events in which film, music, performances and other art forms are engaged with in promoting, developing, showcasing, exploring, and informing regional culture and especially as these relate to dhow culture.
ZIFF aims to increase the creative capacities and incomes of artists and other participants in the community through improving the market systems and fast adoption of improved quality of technical and physical infrastructure services.
ZIFF is also a truly local festival with exhibitions, workshops, and cultural tours that take you to the heart of the community as it promotes local talent in film and music, showcasing new and old creative achievements.
Visited by more than 6 000 foreigners each year, the festival is a major tourist and economic event that is said to generate more than US$15million worth of business in the art and culture and tourism sectors to Zanzibar.
1. ZIFF, the Festival of the Dhow Countries, has been running for 17 years. The festival supports the development and showcasing of films from Africa with special interest in films from the Indian Ocean rim whose people have been having cultural exchanges for thousands of years. For the past 17 years the festival has provided a platform that supports and encourages Creativity and Innovation in the arts and culture sector.
2. ZIFF Festival is a vibrant and culturally rich event, providing artists with an enriching experience for a better quality of life overall. Creativity leads to innovation, to problem solving, to new products, and improved services. Creativity is an arts driver as well as the foundation on which ZIFF is built.
3. ZIFF offers 15 programs during the 10 days including Film, Music, Arts Exhibition, Children Film Awareness and Peace Camps, Village Outreach film shows, a live Public Forum on Difficult Dialogues, a Women Panorama of Workshops to enhance the lives of women and their struggle for justice, an Outreach Program which reaches over 200,000 viewers in the 10 day period of its film shows. It shows 70 films in total at 3 key venues in Zanzibar and 15 Outreach Venues in Zanzibar and Pemba Islands and in Dar es Salaam and Bagamoyo in Tanzania mainland.
4. School children benefit from training during ZIFF and beyond. Some now practice writing as journalists during the year after training from the UNICEF Young journalists training offered at ZIFF each year.
5. The children panorama’s links with the Peace movement has led to the development of 15 peace groups in Zanzibari schools.
6. Musicians vie to perform at ZIFF because it offers a platform where they can be heard beyond the radio or TV screen. This is where they get found and where they learn skills from their established colleagues.
7. Filmmakers use films not only to advocate for their growth but to sell films with the increase of international buyers coming to ZIFF now.
8. ZIFF spends 80% of the festival budget locally. This is money which is invested by the partners of the festival which returns to a large extent to the local economic circuit.
9. ZIFF is credited for the creation of other cultural institutions that are also renowned around the world, such as the Dhow Countries Music Academy (DMCA) and Sauti za Busara Music Festival in Zanzibar.