The just ended annual Zanzibar International Film Festival at Stone Town’s Old Fort Amphitheater lived up to its reputation and had more female-led shows and films to make up for the canceled event last year.
Both Tanzania and Kenya received a number of awards at the festival from July 21-25.
Nyara, a feature film debut from Wanene Entertainment, was recognized. The crime thriller is about Rehema, the daughter of the wealthy businessman Adam Mbena, who is kidnapped by a notorious gang of criminals. Adam is blackmailed and only has 24 hours to pay the ransom or lose his only daughter.
Binti, that was also the opening film and is a Swahili film made by women, from the point of view of a woman , bagged title “the best feature film”.
The film was directed by Seko Shamte and produced by Black Unicorn Studio, a Tanzanian production company jointly owned by the two sisters Angela and Allinda Ruhinda. Binti explores a contemporary look at the feminine, a searing introspection into the sometimes painful world a woman can find herself in.
There was no doubt that Binti was the ideal film to make one of East Africa’s greatest Cultural films to open festivals.
The Sansibar International Film Festival wanted to create more space for women in the film, music and visual arts industries.
The special prizes from Sembene Ousmane went to Mozizi Tanzania, a short animated film by Kijiweni Productions and Kenya’s If Object Could Speak films.
Kenyan actor Melvin Alusa was named Best Actor in One for his role in Mission To Rescue, which was screened at the festival Feature film chosen. The film revolves around the true story of a French woman who was kidnapped by Al-Shabaab and how Kenya’s Special Operations Forces saved her.
Softie, a film about Boniface Mwangi’s activism, was named Best Documentary . The film has been nominated for several international awards, including the Peabody Award.
The Zanzibar International Film Festival is one of the largest cultural festivals in East Africa. Also known as the Festival of Dhow Countries, the festival aims to develop and promote the film and other cultural industries as catalysts for the social and economic growth of the region. The 24th edition of the festival started on July 21st and featured other activities such as dhow races, music performances and soccer games for women.
The celebrations began around noon each day with music and dancing outside of Ngome Kongwe im Inaugural Garden Forodhan.
The Zanzibar International Film Festival enabled local and international night owls to come together despite the global pandemic to share and share their culture and heritage through film, music, visual arts and more. < / p>
The theme of this year’s festival was “Sharing Our Heritage”. The Zanzibar International Film Festival is one of the highlights of the island’s cultural calendar.
Films from more than 30 countries were shown. Local films made up the bulk of the screenings. There were nine from Kenya and six from South Africa.
In order to comply with the Covid-19 protocols, there were two movie theaters, one in the Old Fort and the other in the Mambo Club. This year, more documentaries and screenings were offered to the public at open air events.
Each year each festival has a different focus with local and international screenings, panel discussions, workshops and music performances.