Zanzibar International Film Festival 2018 Now Open For Submissions

The 21st annual Zanzibar International Film Festival is now open for submissions!

The Zanzibar International Film Festival (ZIFF), also known as Festival of the Dhow Countries, is an annual film festival held in Zanzibar, Tanzania. It is one of the largest cultural events in East Africa, uniting film industries across the globe.  This year’s event will take place in Stone town, Zanzibar from 7th -15th July, 2018.

Various categories will be considered for this year’s award, they include: documentaries, full length features, student film, TV series, Web Series and other special prizes.  The festivals will be accepting entries from filmmakers from across the world, but with more focus on films from Africa and by Africans, including the African Diaspora. All films submitted must be produced between 2016 and May 2018.

Submissions can be made on FilmFreeWay and deadline for submission is March 15, 2018.

The theme of this year’s festival is “SPEAK UP AND BE HEARD“

Click to make submissions:

Awards include:


  • Best Feature film
  • Best Short film
  • Best Documentary
  • Best Feature from Dhow Countries
  • Best Short from Dhow Countries
  • Best Film from International
  • Best African Animation
  • Best East African Film (with Trace TV)
  • Best TV Series
  • Best East Africa Video Music
  • Best WEB Series


  • Films awarded by independent jury panel and judged by Independent Jury Panels.
  • Chairperson’s or Bibi Kidude Award
  • ZIFF Lifetime Achievement Award.

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.

Swahili Movies Awards:

  • Films in Kiswahili

Emerson of Zanzibar Prize Films:

  • Films of all genres about Zanzibar, made by or made in Zanzibar.


  • 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

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