Film Submissions NOW OPEN The 21th Zanzibar International Film Festival 7th – 15th 2018

The team of the 21st annual Zanzibar International Film Festival announce is in attendance at DISCOP Johannesburg 2017 and has made a series of announcements.  The Festival has officially announced the opening of submissions for competition and screening for 2018.


ZIFF has also launched two new categories for 2018, Best TV Series and Best Web Series. With the increased focus on content for TV and digital, and the breaking down of barriers between content types, ZIFF has identified the need to support producers and directors who are working in these mediums.


The category for Best African TV Series will be open to any African produced or co-produced and broadcast within the last two years. Three episodes would need to be submitted for consideration via the on-line application process as below.


The Best African Web Series Award category will have the same eligibility requirements and will recognize excellence in the rapidly expanding area of digital content.


Festival Director Fabrizio Colombo has these words to inspire filmmakers, “ZIFF 20th marked a turning point in the history of our festival. We are geared up and focused on both the business and and the passion of what we all love: CINEMA.  With the big step this year of ZIFF’s partnership of DISCOP ZANZIBAR, we are ready and excited to welcome all the players in the business of film, television and content production. TV and digital communication will gather transforming ZIFF in a great platform to boost East Africa industry.”


Every year ZIFF has a theme that helps drive programming, with the theme for ZIFF 2018 being SPEAK UP AND BE HEARD! As Colombo explains, ZIFF’s new partnerships and competition categories will provide the opportunities for African cinematic voices to be seen and heard, “Our theme this year Speak Up and be Heard – Sema na Usikike is so appropriate, as it is often the artist, the filmmaker, who has the courage raise a voice to defend, to denounce and to provoke societies when human dignity and life is attack under systems of power and injustice.”



In acknowledgement of the role that films play in contemporary society, festivals bestow film awards as a measure of the value that the industry accords festivals, and offers filmmakers a tribute to their creativity, innovation, and craft.


The official prize list for ZIFF 2018 include:


Best Feature Film

Best Short Film
Best Documentary

Best Feature – Dhow Countries

Best Short – Dhow Countries

Best Film – International

Best Animation

Best East African Film

Best TV Series

Best Web Series



These film are judged awarded by independent jury panels


  • Chairperson’s or Bibi Kidude Award (from ZIFF Board)
  • ZIFF Lifetime Achievement Award.  (From ZIFF Board)
  • Sembene Ousmane Prize: GIZ and ZIFF will award the SEMBENE OUSMANE PRIZE FOR DEVELOPMENT FILMS for the 3 best short films made by an African or an African in the Diaspora.
  • Bongo Movies Awards: Popular culture films in Kiswahili
  • Emerson of Zanzibar Prize Films: Films of all genres about Zanzibar, made by or made in Zanzibar.
  • SIGNIS Awards (Best African Film and Best East African Talent Award) The SIGNIS Jury will present its Award to a film that is deemed to exemplify universal and spiritual values that enhance human dignity, justice and tolerance through the art of cinematic expression.
  • EAFF Award (European African Film Festival)
  • Adiaha Award for BEST DOCUMENTARY by an AFRICAN female Filmmaker


Deadline for submission is 15th March 2018.

Submission Procedures:

  • All submission must be done through ZIFF platform on
    (link is can be found on the website of the festival)
  • A signed and fully completed application submitted by e-mail at
  • To be eligible for programming, the entire application MUST be completed and signed. 
  • The submission deadline is 15th March 2018.
  • Freight costs of any film will be borne by the producer.
  • Selection results will be available from May 15, 2018 on our Website:
  • Any film at ZIFF may have five (5) public screenings at the most, including one press viewing. However, further screenings could be organized if the producer so agrees.
  • No DVDs will be returned. They will be kept at ZIFF for archival purposes.
  • ZIFF is committed to preserve the copy of film from any act of piracy and illicit business.



Ngome Kongwe (Note: this is the physical Address)


Tel: (+255) 773 411 499


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