Kenyan Filmmakers pose for a photo at the Zanzibar International Film Festival PHOTO COURTESY

Kenya Film Commission has taken the Zanzibar International Film Festival (ZIFF) by a storm after it sponsored a team of 11 filmmakers with over half a million shillings taking care of their return tickets.

The 9-day festival, also known as Festival of the Dhow Countries, officially kicked off last weekend in Stone Town Zanzibar, Tanzania and runs from July 7 to July 15.

The festival is aimed at developing and promoting film and other cultural industries as catalyst for the regional social and economic growth.

The festival is an all-arts affair, with 9 days of local and international discussion panels, workshops, 10 days of screenings of the best local and international cinema and evenings of musical concerts including a Gala each evening, which recognizes and awards the best in various nomination categories.

Kenya boasts of several films, which were submitted and accepted for screening at the festival. The submissions, in various genres, include Who Am I, by Wanuri Kahiu, Supa Modo, by Likarion Wainaina, Misfit, by Karanja Ng’endo, Keru, by Victor Gatonye, Clench, by Mark Ayabei, The Cut, by Peter Wangugi Gitau, New Moon, by Philippa Ndisi Hermann, The Flesh Business, by Denis Wanjohi Maina, 18 Hours, by Njue Kevin, The Yard, by Busaka Jackton, Fihi Season, by Carol Odongo and Ball’n Africa, by Silalei Owuor

“Having supported a team of 11 filmmakers comprising directors, writers and cast members of various Kenyan films to attend the festival, Kenya Film Commission will also be screening all the films at the festival one of them being Misfit, a short experimental film that speaks on the plight of living with albinism in the modern African Society,” read part of a statement from the Commission.

Misfit, a film nominated in the Student Category, was screened to a receptive audience which included a number of Kenyan VIP delegation of Members of Parliament: Hon. Dr.Korei Ole Lemein, Hon. Dr. Tecla Chebet Tum, Hon. Jane Chepkorir Kiptoo Chebaibai, Hon. Jeremiah Lomorukai  Ekamais as well as 22 year old Jairus Ong’etta who stars in the film and director Karanja Ng’endo.

With generous support from the Kenya Film Commission, ZIFF will be screening the inspiring and beautiful new Kenyan film, Supa Modo on Wednesday July 11, 2018. The film which had its much acclaimed world premiere at Berlinale in February has been heralded as a stunning debut for director Likarion Wainaina and its young cast.

The Festival organized by Zanzibar content market, Discop attracts more than 500 delegates from 50 countries representing over 300 companies including some 150 film, television, online content and adaptation right buyers representing over 100 broadcasters, satellite, cable, online pay-tv platforms, mobile operators, airlines and territorial sub-distributors.

In a separate statement Kenya Film Commission called upon filmmakers in the country to take advantage of the festival to market their work.

“We have made a call to filmmakers who will not be attending the market fair to bring their marketing material that we will show and screen at our pavilion, as part of a campaign to market Kenyan film and content on international platforms,” read part of the statement.

Kenya has long been a popular destination for filmmakers with readily accessible wildlife, spectacular landscapes and traditional cultures.


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