This important film festival (ZIFF) returns to Zanzibar this year with the theme Waves and Visions of Hope.
There are 80 films from 41 countries showing at four locations around Stone Town as well other villages on the island and in Pemba. As usual there are shorts, documentaries, animations and long features. The 2015 festival opens on 18 July with the US award winning film Selma about the civil rights leader Martin Luther King.
The festival has new backing this year from Europe with the first European African FilmFest Award designed to support East African film makers both at home and abroad. The winning film will be shown at three European film festivals, Scotland's Africa in Motion (AiM), the Afrika Film Festival in Leuven and the Verona Africa Film Festival. To qualify for the award the film must have an East African director and producer, be not more than 40 minutes long and be part of the ZIFF selected films.
Much of the festival funding comes from the Ford Foundation which this year is backing the empowerment for women workshop on ways to stop domestic abuse and sexual violence, which is high also among boys. The festival also includes concerts each night, workshops, a women's parade and the famous dhow race.