2 December 2016


Submissions open for 20th Zanzibar International Film Fest

Submissions are open to filmmakers from around the world for entry into the official competition at the 20th anniversary edition of the Zanzibar International Film Festival (ZIFF).

ZIFF is one of the highlights of the east African island nation's cultural calendar, with African and international filmmakers, film fans and tourists flocking annually to the nine-day event that celebrates film, music, the arts and the spirit of the island itself.

The festival's global reach continues to widen. This year, 80 films out of a record 490 submissions from 32 countries were selected to compete, with films from Albania and Estonia making their first appearance alongside productions from Bangladesh, Brazil, Colombia, Denmark, France, Germany, India, Iran, Japan, Spain, Switzerland and the USA, among others.

South Africa was represented by Mandla Dube's biographical drama Kalushi, which tells the story of freedom fighter and martyr Solomon Mahlangu, as well as the documentaries Coming of Age by Teboho Edkins and Lost Tongue by Davison Mudzingwa, and Jarryd Coetsee's short film The Suit.

Kalushi was chosen to open ZIFF 2016, and Dube, along with score composer Rashid Lanie, was in attendance both for the opening night screening of the film, and for a press conference on the following day, 10 July, which would have been Solomon Mahlangu's birthday.

Kalushi went on to win the festival's Chairman's Award, while The Suit - an adaptation of Can Themba's classic short story - was given a Special Jury Mention.

Films will be to chosen to compete under five different jury categories at ZIFF 2017, namely:

African Cinema (including the continent and the Diaspora); Dhow Countries (countries of the Indian Ocean Rim, the Arab Peninsular and the Indian Ocean Islands, including Iran, Iraq and Afghanistan); International (films from around the world that pay particular attention to African issues and realities); East African Film; and East African Music Video.

Filmmakers are invited to submit works in any genre, including features, documentaries, shorts, animation and music videos. The deadline for submissions is 15 March 2017, and submissions can be made through the ZIFF platform

The 20th edition of ZIFF will take place in Stone Town, Zanzibar from 8 to 16 July 2017 under the theme "Finding Joy - Kusikia Furaha".

"The island of Zanzibar is a crossroads where arts, visions and stories of hope for the future meet," newly appointed festival director Fabrizio Colombo said in a statement.

"In a world of terror and fear and discouragement, ZIFF 2017 dares to boost joy and hope. We do hope that the selection of this year will contribute to share happiness and hope as the goal for every human being," Colombo said.

"ZIFF once again will be the place where we celebrate cinema and art, and for those considered 'left-overs of society', ZIFF will be their voice and eyes. Together we will find joy and hope for all."

For more click here:


Applications now open for Realness pan-African scriptwriting residency 2017

Following the success of the inaugural scriptwriting residency, Realness announced the call for submissions for the 2017 edition.

Realness is a pioneering residency that provides filmmakers with the opportunity to hone and develop their creative scriptwriting skills. It serves to address the need for promising African film projects to be supported in their development phase to be able to realistically compete in global film markets.

This year five filmmakers - Amirah Tajdin (Kenya), Hiwot Admasu (Ethiopia) Luck Razanajaona (Madagascar), Sheetal Magan (South Africa) and Wim Steytler (South Africa) spent six weeks at the Nirox Artists’ Residency in the Cradle of Humankind under the mentorship of script consultants Selina Ukwuoma and Nadja Dumouchel, including attending the Durban FilmMart and Talent Campus at the Durban International Film Festival.

“The success of this residency is not only evident in the encouraging feedback from the participants, who welcomed the opportunity to be in a quiet headspace to tap into their creative sources, but it is also evident in the numerous awards they have received and the progress made following the residency,” explains Elias Ribeiro, creative director of Realness. “Luck, for example, had a project selected for the Durban FilmMart prior to the residency, where we met and worked with participants as a precursor to programme. Here he walked off with awards from CineMart (International Film Festival Rotterdam) and the International Organisation of La Francophonie to further develop his script. Hiwot has since won an award to participate at another residency programme in Switzerland the Internationale Kurzfilmtage Winterthur, and two of the projects have signed co-production agreements since completing the residency.”

As a result of the Realness programme, Ribeiro has been invited to present the initiative at five major international festivals since starting it earlier this year, namely Berlinale, Cannes, Locarno, Venice and Torino. “The continued interest is very encouraging and serves as a platform for the residents to maintain the momentum towards getting their films made. We have structured Realness in a very holistic and strategic way, engaging with heavy-weight partners and advisors in developing the framework for the programme. It is rewarding to see the genuine interest in developing synergy between African cinema and the rest of the world.”

Amirah Tajdin said: “Realness made me realise that…time and space really does make all the difference during script writing.” Wim Steytler said that Realness gave him the courage to “throw my script and eight months of work into the bin. I gained important insights into how to take my story from decent to good. After Realness my goal is to take the project from good to great.”

Realness is proud to announce that the partnerships established in 2016 will continue into the second edition, which means that the 2017 residents will also have the opportunity to further develop their projects through the awards offered by the Durban FilmMart, Locarno Filmmakers Academy, Torino Film Lab, Midpoint, EAVE and La Fabrique des Cinema du Monde.

The submission window opens on 28 November 2016 and closes on 31 January 2017:

Applicants must submit ONE PDF dossier containing:

The call is open to screenwriters from across the African continent and selection will be based on artistic merit. Realness will hold no legal claim over the work once the residency is completed.

All submitted material must be in English. A committee appointed by the Realness team and their partners will read the project entries and conduct interviews with a shortlist of candidates in April. The Realness selection will be announced at an event hosted by the pavilion Les Cinemas du Monde in Cannes 2017.

Dossiers must be submitted to realness@urucumedia.com. For further information and to download the application form visit the Urucu Media website.