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Zanzibar International Film Festival (ZIFF) of the Dhow Countries

Each year ZIFF organises and runs the Festival of the Dhow Countries, which draws participants and visitors to Zanzibar from around the world.

The Festival of the Dhow Countries celebrates and promotes the unique culture that grew as a result of Indian Ocean trade and the wooden sailing dhow. All nations in the shadow of the diaspora are included in the celebration, ranging from Africa mainland to the Indian Ocean. Contemporary artists, musicians, cultural troupes, photographers and film makers from the dhow countries are showcased and their work is promoted, discussed, awarded and explored.

The highlight of the festival is the Zanzibar International Film Festival itself, a film competition that draws prestigious entries from the dhow countries of the Middle East, Africa and Asia. The competition is judged by a panel of international figures and attracts more than one hundred entries in its separate categories. Film screenings take place around Stone Town, in various historical landmarks. Music, drama and dancing performances also take place around the island and attract a large audience. During the festival, workshops, seminars, conferences and a variety of cultural and arts-related programs are open to the public, with specific forums to attract and creatively empower women and children.

The Festival of the Dhow Countries is Tanzania’s major annual cultural event and one of the only eight major festivals in sub-Saharan Africa. It occurs every year in the first two weeks of July. To find out more about ZIFF and the Festival of the Dhow Countries, visit their website at www.ziff.or.tz or e-mail ziff@ziff.or.tz.


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