Zanzibar International Film Festival, Tanzania
31 May 2015


Still from Ousmane Sembene's

The Zanzibar International Film Festival will re-launch the Sembene Ousmane Film Prize competition in 2015. The Award structure has been designed to reward excellence in short film production and to encourage the production of new short films, including short documentaries..

The festival has also decided to award not just one, but three films to ensure that as many filmmakers as possible are encouraged to make creative films through the Sembene Ousmane Prize.

In recent times,the growth in the short film genre and short creative documentaries, often made for television, has provided a viable training ground for African or African diaspora filmmakers. The short film genre is a powerful way to communicate serious issues without sacrificing production quality and aesthetic value.

The Sembene Ousmane Film Prize invites Africans and Africans in the diaspora to enter their short films into the competition before March 31st 2015. 15 films will thereafter be nominated to compete for the 3 prizes during ZIFF 2015.

Each of the 3 winning films will be awarded with 2,000 USD specifically earmarked to produce a new short film to be ready by ZIFF 2016.

The scripts and a production plan for the new films will have to be submitted to the festival within 4 months of the award and funds will then be released.

This on-going process will simultaneously acknowledge and reward filmmakers for their efforts, whilst contributing to the sustainability of the short-film format.


DeadlineMarch 31st2015 


Criteria and Eligibility:

To be eligible for the prize, filmmakers must ensure their films meetfollow the following criteria:

·       Films can be Fiction or Documentary or Animation;

·       Films of 5-20 minutes and are not to exceed 28 minutes in length;

·       Films have to be produced (or have had 1st public exhibition) after July 2013;

·       Films to be available for screening on mp4. codec H264 – 10 Mbs – 1920 x 1080

·       Films can be in any language but have to be subtitled in English.

·       Films have to be directed by an African or a person of African descentor films co-directed with an African or a person of African descent.



Films have to be uploaded to the Festhome platform or DVDs sent directly to ZIFF (Sembene Prize), P.O. BOX 3032 ZANZIBAR, TANZANIA

(Please do not put any commercial value on the Customs form-  and note FOR FESTIVAL ONLY)


About ZIFF

The Zanzibar International Film Festival will take place from 18th – 26th July 2015.

The Zanzibar International Film Festival is the longest running film-festival in East Africa, with global credibility and instant Pan-African recognition. ZIFF is sponsored by ZUKU through a 10 year contract that runs through 2021.

The ZIFF Festival of the Dhow Countries is organized by ZIFF, a non-governmental, non-profit organization founded in 1998 in Zanzibar to promote and showcase the culture of the Dhow Countries. Every cent raised from sponsors and donors ensures the widest possible accessibility of high- quality international screenings and cultural events to all sections of the Tanzanian population.

The ZIFF Festival of the Dhow Countries is a catalyst for the promotion and development of the region’s cultural industries. It encourages and supports the development of artistic skills and the infrastructure necessary for a vibrant and innovative arts environment.

The festival programme gives particular prominence to the visibility and interests of women and children, including the youth.

The main panorama features international film and video screenings, and international retrospectives along with music and performances, main stage events, exhibitions, workshops and seminars.

Emphasis has been given to The East African Film Makers forum and this will continue in Festival 2014, as will dialogues with various filmmakers from across the region.


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