Countdown to Nine Days of Film and Dance Extravaganza Starts in Zanzibar…

…TRACE Mziki and ZIFF set to host the African premiere of the Broadway show – direct from New York.  


By TZ Business News Staff.


It’s a promise of spectacular entertainment in a tropical island; East African film and video music producers are set to converge in the historical Stone Town of Zanzibar between July 7 – 15, 2018 to compete for titles.

The exciting line up of events at the 2018 Zanzibar International Film Festival (ZIFF) Music and Performing Arts programme marks the 21st year of East Africa’s largest film festival, a ZIFF statement made available to TZ Business News says.

Organizers describe this year’s events as “exciting”, where some 20 video music producers will be competing for Zanzibar’s version of ‘the Grammy awards’, while East African film producers will compete for Zanzibar’s version of  ‘the Oscars’. Samples present irresistible East African love songs in vernacular languages, Kiswahili and English.

The video music channel TRACE Mziki and ZIFF will also host the African premiere of the Broadway show – direct from New York City, a first in Zanzibar and the region, the statement says.

On the other hand, the special opening night film will feature the scourge of corruption in Tanzania.  The film Bahasha is the story of an elected public official who betrays his family, friends and community when he takes an easy bribe. He learns the hard way and must now find the road to redemption.

With the theme of ZIFF 2018 being Speak Up and Be Heard, there could not be a better film to open the festival with in order to inspire and encourage constructive and open dialogue, the statement says in part.  BAHASHA was directed by Jordan Riber and featured some of Tanzania’s most talented actors including Ayoub Bombwe, Godliver Gordian, Omary Mrisho and Catherine Credo.

Organizers say they are excited and honored that this film has been selected as the opening film for one of Africa’s most important film festivals, adding that the Tanzanian film industry is passing through an exciting time, and that the talent of Tanzanian actors and film crew has been so well showcased over the last few years. They see a bright future in filmmaking for Tanzania. Ayoub, Godliver, Catherine and Omary are all world-class actors and their work in Bahasha is something that will no doubt make Tanzania proud.

Origins of the film Bahasha is traced to the premiere screening of Media for Development International’s (MFDI) popular TV series, Siri ya Mtungi, on the eve of December 2, 2014. Following which the Swiss Ambassador for Tanzania at the time, Olivier Chave, impressed by the series challenged MFDI to develop a film that confronted the issue of corruption considered one of the most serious underlying challenges facing social and economic development in Tanzania.

This exchange led to the Embassies of Switzerland and the Netherlands providing seed funding for MFDI to develop the script for a feature film that would help to encourage social dialogue around the theme of corruption. To make the project inclusive, MFDI created a number of partnerships with Tanzania’s major anti-corruption stakeholders from government, civil society and the private sector. The key partner in this project was the Prevention and Combating of Corruption Bureau (PCCB).

With generous support from the Swiss Development Corporation and The Embassy of the Kingdom of the Netherlands, BAHASHA was filmed on locations in and around Arusha, during November and December 2017.  The full schedule and film information can be found at Film screenings are free for local residents.

ZIFF and the video channel TRACE Mziki have also announced an exciting line up of events. Building on the success of the 2017 edition of the East African Music Video that was ultimately taken home by Eddy Kenzo of Uganda, the 2018 edition of the awards has heated up –with the music competition winner to be announced July 14th.

A short list of 20 music nominees which will be narrowed down to 3 before the ultimate winner is announced at ZIFF on the Awards Night. To celebrate these awards and the best in East African music talent, TRACE MZIKI & ZIFF, in partnership with Kilimanjaro and Jack Daniels have announced the line-up which includes  Darasa Classic – a leading Hip Hop artist in TZ and indeed East Africa, who will be launching his two new studio tracks, performing them for the first time at ZIFF.  This promises to be a powerful and emotional performance as the track pays tribute to his daughter.

Also in the line-up of events is East Africa’s King Empire record label that will field their wide array of artists including Aslay, Shetta, Rubi, and the Maffick just to mention a few. The 9 day event will also be graced by East Africa’s finest decks man DJ Ricky Mfalme who lit up Zanzibar Hennessy after party last year. He will be playing each night to support the main acts from the opening to closing of ZIFF and will be supported by Zanzibar’s eclectic DJ Cartel.