4 November 2016


Tributes for top KZN film-maker

Durban - Condolences from far and wide have been pouring in after the news of the sudden and tragic death of award-winning Durban filmmaker, Junaid Ahmed.

Professor Kriben Pillay – a spokesman for the family – said Ahmed’s death had come as a shock to the family. Ahmed suffered a stroke two weeks ago, but his kin thought he was on the mend.

The renowned producer/writer/director was laid to rest on Tuesday. He is survived by his wife, Liza, and his children, Tariq, Taegan and Jarred.

Reacting to the news, Lethukuthula Mtshali, manager for communications at the KZN Department of Arts and Culture said: “The MEC, Ntombikayise Sibhidla-Saphetha, has expressed great shock and wishes to send condolences to the family and friends of Junaid. This is a great loss. He had a promising career as a filmmaker. We were hoping that a lot of young people from KZN would learn and benefit from his experience and skills.” Read the full article here: Daily News 2 November 2016

ZIFF announces new festival director

As the Zanzibar International Film Festival prepares for its 20th annual edition, the board of directors officially announced the appointment of a new Festival Director. Fabrizoi Colombo will follow in the footsteps of Dr. Martin Mhando who stepped down in 2016 after nearly 10 years at the helm. The ZIFF Board of Directors has officially confirmed that Fabrizio Colombo will take over as ZIFF Festival Director from November 2016 and will be responsible for overseeing the festival as it enters into its third decade.

Fabrizio is no stranger to ZIFF or Zanzibar, having played a critical role in ZIFF for the past five years as Assistant Festival Director. Fabrizio’s passion for cinema, and particularly African cinema, has developed over many decade’s worth of development and media work across Europe and Africa.

Fabrizio has worked across various media platforms since the 1980’s with a particular focus on training and development within the sector. In addition to his work at ZIFF, Fabrizio was the Acting Director of the African Film Festival of Verona from 2006-2012, and also held the position of Programmer and Artistic Director at the KIKAKA African Film Festival in Florence Italy for a number of years. Fabrizio Colombo is director of the of office of the world association for media SIGNIS in Rome.

Fabrizio has an extensive knowledge of, and an unmatched passion for, African cinema and over the past few years at ZIFF he has become an invaluable resource in terms of his organizational skills, programming ability, as well as for his communication and management skills.

Former ZIFF Festival Director, Dr. Martin Mhando has this to say of his replacement, “ZIFF could not have found a better replacement for the position of Festival Director. Fabrizio's knowledge of world cinema, his flare for the arts, his experience in festival management and in the ZIFF festival ethos, makes him the natural successor. ZIFF is in very capable and safe hands.”

Fabrizio has committed to putting film at the centre of next year’s festival that will celebrate the theme, Finding Joy, Kusikaa Furaha. With Fabrizio officially leading the way to 2017, supported by a full team of dedicated staff, major announcements will be coming soon in regards to film submissions and programming.

The ZIFF board of directors thank Dr. Martin Mhando for his many years of devoted and committed service, and welcome Fabrizio into his role going forward.

For more information visit the ZIFF website.