ZIFF is open to all African films and films from the Dhow Countries region- South East Asia, the Arabian Peninsula, The Persian Gulf, Iran, Pakistan, and the Indian Ocean Islands. This festival screens Film and Video that incorporate the themes of cultural diversity, individual integrity, social justice, women, children, diaspora culture and conservation in both Dhow Awards competition and non-competition categories.
The festival official film selection includes the following sections:
* Official competition: This section is reserved for feature and short films, fictional or documentary films shot on film or DV, by African AND Dhow Country directors.
* Documentary section: This section is open to video films by African directors and Dhow Country directors.
* Films on Slavery: This Section is Open to all countries in all formats and genres.
As ZIFF continues to reposition film at the center of its festival thinking, music still enjoys a comparatively important position in the programming of the festival. However in order to enhance the thematic value of the festival (Cultural Crossroads) the festival intends to further improve the utilization of music towards that goal. For that reason the invited groups of performing artists from overseas will be encouraged to work with local groups in workshops prior to the festival to create a cultural fusion through music exchanges. They will then perform both separately and together at the festival. Under the theme of Cultural Crossroads fusion music will further enhance ZIFF’s role as a cultural hub.
The Prize List
In acknowledgement of the great role that films play in contemporary society ZIFF offers a total of 15 Prizes (and growing) during the festival. Awards are a measure of value that the industry accords and offers filmmakers as acknowledgement of their creativity, innovation and status.
• The ZIFF Jury will offer the Dhow Awards in the following Categories:
Feature films, Documentary, Short/Animation, East African Films
• The ZIFF Board will offer the following Awards:
Lifetime Achievement 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 artistic application of cinematic expression.
• The FIPRESCI Jury will award “ The International Critics Prize (FIPRESCI PRIZE) for the best feature film of the festival and consists also a Diploma.
• UNICEF will present a “UNICEF Children’s and Human Rights” Award for the best film that expresses issues of children.
• The ZIFF/SACOD/GTZ partners will present the Sembene Ousmane Film Prize ($5000) to the best Development Film in competition directed by an African national or in partnership.
• THE VERONA JURY AWARD: Awarded to a film deemed the best African feature film in competition.
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