Kwetu International Animation Film Festival (KIAFF) Award Winners

The Kwetu International Animation Film Festival (KIAFF) wrapped up this weekend with the announcement of the Award winning films. This East African based festival that focuses only on animation had its inaugural edition on April 2ND to 3RD, 2021 with 50 animation works from around the world. The 2021 edition of the festival was screened online via KIAFF partner, NuellaTV which enabled viewers from around the world to enjoy these high-quality animations that included features (longer than 45 minutes), shorts, TV commercials and a focus on Made in Africa, films made by African animators in Africa.


Various awards were presented by the jury, made up of, Prof Martin Mhando (Tanzania), Fred Lyons  (Australia) and Fibby Kioria (Kenya) on Monday, April 5 live on Zoom. In future editions, the festival will become a place of intercultural exchange and a platform for the critical animated cinematic exploration of social and development issues. It will discover and develop new animation talents to East Africa and the global and accompany them on their path into the spotlight and support their careers, visions, projects, dreams and works.

Edima Otuokon,  Jury Member 2021 had this to say of the winning films, “The festival results highlight and speak to the need to raise a  generation of Africans that will revive and thrive in the spirit of  Africa. These animations resonate in so many ways. Pride, greed and corruption in Africa, dominate our current narrative. Yet African social  systems, proverbs, tales and wisdom have always alluded and provided  solutions to the issues that surround power and corruption.  Hence, we  need to consistently remind our youth through stories such as these,  that we are a culture that is defined by respect, dignity, strength, collaboration, unity and truth.  A renewed vision of Africa needs to be  captured and entrenched, through the stories we tell.”  

Special Jury Mention

CITATION: the jury found this film tackling the subject in a very powerful and creative but exceedingly impactful manner. The style, the imagery and the impact of the film stays with one for a long time as the subject itself. As the saying goes, “an eye for an eye will only make the whole world blind.” 

Winner: This Side, Other Side, Iran –  Dir: Lida Fazli

Audience Award

Winner: 208, Kenya, Dir: Stanslaus Manthi

Best Commercial Ad

CITATION: this ominous description of a state of being comes with a reminder and a lesson that there are always consequences to any decision we make.

Winner: Water, Denmark, Dir: Jessica Laurent

Best Film in Sound

CITATION: the lyrical and dramatic sounds are brought together to narrate, emphasize and evoke emotional response and elevates the story dramatically to engulf the viewer in a never imagined mood as the story unfolds.

Winner: Memories for Sale, Costa Rica, Designer: Florian Calmer

Best Character

CITATION: a character whose quest for success instigates adventure and whose final revelation resonates with every viewer’s hopes and dreams through the thoughts, emotions and personality of the animated creature.

Winner: Benjamin, Iran – Dir: Mohsen Enayati

Best Story/Script

CITATION:  beautiful and intriguing films that reminds us of the capacity to forgive is probably the greatest gift given to human beings and that understanding the weaknesses of others makes us better people because we are also fallible.

Winner: Memories for Sale, Costa Rica, Dir: Manuel Lopez

Best East African Film

CITATION: this truly legendary quest for knowledge is an artful story steeped in african history, tradition and even politics whose sounds and visions takes us to places where only the brave go a come back with a sense of confidence and hunger for more african history.

Winner: From Here to Timbuktu, Kenya – Dir: Brian Msafiri

Best Film Made in Africa

CITATION: a classic story about vanity that teaches us all and reminds us not only of the purpose of art in society but also of our need for beauty and its perils among human beings.

Winner: The Legend of Lwanda Makere, Kenya – Dir: Kwame Nyong’o

Best Short Film

CITATION: a beautiful narrative of a moment as we journey on to life. As the character faces their fears and confronts reality, we realise that in us we hold the power to express ourselves in the best way possible.

Winner: Beyond the Trees, France – Dir: Pierre Burgoni

Best Feature Film

CITATION: a film that brings out the child in every one of us, and one that resonates with children, to whom adventure, travel and family are the best ingridients of life.

Winner: Benjamin, Iran – Dir: Mohsen Enayati

KIAFF is supported by Goethe Institut Dar es Salaam, CDEA and  NuellaTV.

For more information visit: or on Instagram follow @kiaff_festival

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