Preparations are upbeat for the annual Zanzibar International Film Festival popularly known as the Tamasha which promises to be an even more glamorous affair at its 17th edition scheduled to take place as from 14th-24th June 2014.
While announcing this year’s edition Prof Martin Mhando, ZIFF Director confirmed that the award winning film Mandela: A long walk to Freedom directed by Justin Chadwick starring Idris Elba and Naomie Harris will headline the ZIFF 2014.The movie which complements 2014’s theme A Common Destiny reinforces commonness of the shared histories of communities, nations and cultures that the man, myth, legend Mandela embodies.
Lauding the Festival, Wananchi Group CEO, Richard Alden noted, “As a broadcaster, ZUKU is deeply invested in the growth and success of East Africa’s creative and content industries. It is therefore with pride that we continue our event sponsorship in association with ZIFF, which has for the last 17 years been instrumental in celebrating and enabling film making from the region and around the world.”
Even as plans are underway to lock in a Chief Guest, other aspects of the festival are slowly falling into place, as key stars from Mandela’s Film; Tony Kgoroge who stars as Walter Sisulu, Riaad Moosa who stars as Ahmed Kathrada and
Terry Pheto who stars as Mandela’s first wife, Evelyn Mase have confirmed attendance, “concluded Mr.Mhando
Notable new attractions to the festival include the presence of a whirling dervish dance group from Egypt. This trancelike dance with its origins in Sufism recognises the place of Islam, with its focus on tolerance, worship of God, community development, and personal development through self-discipline and responsibility. Other performance groups from India and the Seychelles are also being considered.
The festival will also include two conferences and a Women and the Media Workshop program to be run in collaboration with the College of New Jersey, USA. The Hakuna Kama Mama Workshops will take place in Nungwi, Jambiani, Paje and Kizimkazi. The Workshops will result in a large exhibition of participants’ photographs, stories, and drawings. Marla Jaskch, faculty member of the College will lead the team.
Under the Festival of Festivals program a major forum on environmental issues will be undertaken which will involve showing a series of documentaries of educational and political importance to Stonetown festival audiences and in the villages. Discussions are still going with the Rosa Luxemburg Foundation, Dar es salaam to undertake the program collaboratively.
The selection of films in competition is now being undertaken. While the festival often receives hundreds of films not many films from the local Bongo movies scene are being selected. This has been the lamentation of local filmmakers who complain that ZIFF does not give their films occasion to be seen. We await to see the Tanzanian films selected for ZIFF 2014.
The festival which is sponsored by Zuku under a 10 year, one million dollar event sponsorship is a beacon of innovative marketing for investors and entrepreneurs who have a vision for economic growth and employment creation in all sectors, especially tourism and entertainment. Working to promote the local creative industries, ZIFF and ZUKU will help create employment opportunities for filmmakers, producers and actors throughout the region.