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ZIFF 2016 call for entries

The Zanzibar International Film Festival (ZIFF) recently announced that submissions for the 2016 edition are now open. Festival director Martin Mhando has confirmed that despite the fears that Zanzibar's two major festivals will be cancelled next year, ZIFF 2016 will be holding its 19th edition from 9 to 17 July 2016 in Stone Town, Zanzibar.

Following the announcement of the cancellation of the Sauti ya Busara music festival for 2016, many had feared ZIFF would follow suit in an attempt to encourage more government support for the two festivals.

Each year ZIFF exhibits more than 60 films made in Africa, Middle East, Europe, Latin America, USA and Asia. The theme of the 2016 Festival is This Journey of Ours: Ndiyo hii Safari Yetu.

The main competition for the Golden Dhow and Silver Dhow awards is open exclusively to filmmakers from the Dhow countries. These include countries of the Indian Ocean Rim and Indian Ocean Islands, including Iran, Iraq and Afghanistan; and all African countries. The Sembene Ousmane Award Competition is only for African and Diaspora filmmakers and partner producers.

ZIFF Official Competition 2016

ZIFF is accepting feature, short, fiction, documentary and animation film submissions, with a particular focus on films produced by African and Dhow country directors.
Online submissions from Tanzania are free, as well as music video entries from East Africa.

Films can be entered in a range of categories such as:

• Documentaries: Open to all countries in all formats
• Feature Films: Open to all countries in all formats
• Films in Development: Open to films by Africans, African Diaspora and partner producers.
• Music Video: This new category is dedicated to outstanding and creative production of music videos from East Africa.
• Short Films: Open to all countries in all formats
• Animation: Open to all countries in all formats

All films are judged by an independent jury panel.

ZIFF 2016 Awards

The ZIFF Jury will offer Dhow Awards in the following categories:
• Feature films
• Documentary
• Short films
• Animation
• Dhow countries
• East African films
• Music videos from East Africa

Other Awards ZIFF 2016

• The Bi Kidude Chairman’s Award
• Signis East African Talent Award and Signis Award
• Sembene Ousmane prize for development films for the three best short films
• European African Festival Network Award: Best African Feature Film
• Zuku Swahili Awards to Bongo films in competition
• The Emerson’s Zanzibar Foundation Best Film on Zanzibar Award
• Audience award

Submission information

Submissions for ZIFF 2016 should be done via the online platform where all rules and submission details can be found.

Participants can also visit the ZIFF website for more information, or the festival's Facebook page.

The deadline for submissions is 29 February 2016.

AfricaMagic announces new AMVCA categories + Head Judge

The Sarova Stanley Hotel in Nairobi, Kenya, was the venue of an engaging event where a panel of representatives from M-Net West and East Africa discussed preparations for the 2016 Africa Magic Viewers’ Choice Awards (AMVCAs) with East African filmmakers and members of the press.

The panel included the Regional Director, M-Net West Africa, Wangi Mba-Uzoukwu, the Channel Head, Maisha Magic East, Margaret Mathore and the Public Relations Manager for MultiChoice Tanzania, Barbara Kambogi. A surprise addition to the panel was respected Kenyan film producer, critic, and academic, Njoki Muhoho, who was also unveiled as the new Head Judge for the 2016 AMVCAs.

Opening the event, Mathore said: “The purpose of today’s session is to inform all stakeholders in the East African film and television industry of entries for the 2016 edition of the AMVCAs. This is particularly important, given that we have new categories for next year’s edition, and have also eased the entry process so that filmmakers across the continent can send in their works. For the upcoming edition, there are three new categories which are the best East African Movie, the best Southern African Movie and the best West African movie. All these are voting categories, and will exist side by side with the best overall movie in Africa. This is indeed an exciting opportunity for East African filmmakers to not only submit their films, but also actively contribute to the retelling of the East African story through their craft.”

The event also featured a lively question and answer session with participants commending the organisers whilst also posing questions on the AMVCAs including the entry, voting and judging processes, as well as questions on the AMVCAs’ future and the possible expansion of the event.

On her part, Mba-Uzoukwu said: “We are delighted to be here, engaging directly with the stakeholders from East Africa. This region is an extremely important contributor to the African film and television industry and we continue to see an increase in the quantity and quality of works from here. We have come to encourage the filmmakers present to not only enter their works, but to also encourage their peers to do the same as the AMVCAs, besides being Pan African in nature, also celebrates the best of African entertainment content for the world to see.”

To enter for the AMVCAs, filmmakers who have produced and broadcast, or publically exhibited their works from October 1st, 2014 to September 30th 2015, should prepare a two or three minute long showreel for an online submission. They must then log on to www.africamagic.tv and click on the AMVCA submission banner which redirects to a submission page and is then filled, with the showreel uploaded. Once successfully done, a unique reference number will be generated and allocated to each completed submission. Quoting this unique reference number, filmmakers can then send a hard drive of their submitted work to any one of three different addresses, depending on their regions. For East African entries, filmmakers should send in their entries to the Head of Production, second floor, M-Net office, Local Productions Studio, Jamburi Grounds off Ngong Road, Nairobi Kenya. South African submissions should be sent to the Head of Production, Magic Centre, 137 Bram Fischer Drive, Randburg, South Africa while West African submissions should be sent to MSSL Local Productions, 1652, Olosa Street, Victoria Island, Lagos, Nigeria.

Also speaking at the event, the newly announced Head Judge, Njoki Muhoho, spoke from the perspective of having participated in the judging process of the three previous editions whilst challenging East African filmmakers to take advantage of the new entry process and show the rest of Africa just how rich and exciting the region’s content is.

“The recognition that the AMVCAs bring to nominated and winning works cannot be quantified or overstated. The quality and quantity of the works entered have improved dramatically from the first edition in 2013.  When you are nominated for an AMVCA, then you know you have gained continental and global recognition. But you cannot gain this if you do not enter your work and this is why I urge all East African filmmakers who meet the criteria to enter their films and show the rest of Africa the amount of talent and creativity abundant in this region,” added Muhoho.

Entries for the AMVCAs are open until the 30th of October, 2015.

For more information, please visit www.africamagic.tv

Call for Projects for 2016 Durban FilmMart

The Durban FilmMart (DFM) has opened submissions for projects for the 7th edition, which will take place next year.  It is important to note, that the deadline for submissions has been being shifted earlier to December 14, 2015 to allow for the selection committee to have more time to assess projects, and for more time to create opportunities for marketing and promotion of the projects and film-makers at the DFM.

A joint project of Durban Film Office, the eThekwini Municipality’s industry development unit, and the Durban International Film Festival (DIFF), the DFM aims to raise the visibility of African cinema, stimulate production on the continent, and facilitate project collaboration between African filmmakers.

The DFM has become an integral part of the fast-growing South African film industry and since its inception in 2010, has helped facilitate more than 90 African co-production projects, many of which have subsequently been produced as acclaimed films.

Selected DFM projects will undergo a two-day packaging and mentoring programme followed by two days of one-on-one meetings with a panel of film financiers, buyers and distributors.

The programme is open to full length feature and documentary films with Africans in key creative roles (writers, directors and producers) that are looking for co-producers, financiers, sales agents and funders. A selection committee will review all submissions for consideration, and will select 10 fiction feature and 10 documentary feature projects that are in development to participate. African filmmakers, from writers to directors, are encouraged to submit their projects by 14 December 2015.

“We would like to encourage African film-makers to take advantage of the opportunity to submit their projects to the DFM, as we have seen how valuable the programme is to helping filmmakers get their projects off the ground.” says Durban Film Office’s Toni Monty. “The networking with film-makers from around the globe at the DFM also provides opportunities for film-makers to grow their networks further afield. Over the years we have seen many alumnis secure further funding grants for their films, and their works screened at film festivals around the world. It is really a great springboard for developing projects.”

Film-makers must note that it is important that all projects must have both a producer and director attached to them.

To find out more about the DFM 2016, project submission criteria and how to submit your project, please visit www.durbanfilmmart.com

Source: NFVF