Zanzibar International Film Festival 2016 Award Winners


This past weekend Zanzibar International Film Festival (ZIFF) 2016 awarded some of the best films from across the globe. ZIFF 2016 took place from July 9th to the 17th with more than a week of film screenings and special events enjoyed by thousands of locals, over 60 visiting filmmakers and hundreds of invited guests and international visitors.

East African films dominated the awards, with Rwanda’s ‘A Place for Myself ‘winning three awards; The Sembene Ousmane Award, The Signis Prize, and the Golden Dhow for Best Short Film. 

Kenya’s ‘Watatu’ also was recognised with three awards, including the coveted Golden Dhow for Best Feature Film, the Signis Prize and sharing the European African Film Festival Award alongside the Kenyan film ‘Zawadi’ that also won two awards. 

Watatu’ was directed by Nick Reding and made by SAFE Kenya—a local organization committed to funding arts for social change. Taking on a very timely topic, the story wrestles with the rise of radicalization amongst young Muslims in Mombasa. This film is part drama, part documentary, and partially written by the citizens of Mombasa. 

Richard Card and David Kinyanjui directed the other big winner at the festival, ‘Zawadi,’ a short film that tells a story in the Kenyan slums of Kibera where a ten-year-old boy hustles to provide for his family, taking him away from his crush on her birthday.

‘A Place for Myself,’ from Rwandan filmmaker Clementine Dusabejambo tells the story of a five year old albino girl, Elikia. Due to her skin color her classmates make her realize that her being ‘different’ is more a problem than a special trait. While the neighborhood treats her as a stereotype, her mother encourages her. Together, they fight back and raise their voice to find a place for themselves.

ZIFF 2016 winners list:

European African Film Festival Awards
Zawadi’ – Richard Card and David Kinyanjui – Kenya
‘Watatu’ – Nick Reding – Kenya

Emerson’s Foundation for Zanzibar Award
‘Daladal’a – Salum Stika – Tanzania 

Sembene Ousmane Award
‘A Place for Myself’ – Clementine Dusabejambo – Rwanda
‘Macarrao’ – Iyabo Kwayana – Brazil
‘Ugali’ – The Family Dinner – Tony Koros – Kenya

Jury Special Mention
‘The Suit’ – Jarryd Coetsee – South Africa
‘Zawadi’ – Richard Card and David Kinyanjui – Kenya

Signis Prize
‘Watatu’ – Nick Reding – Kenya
‘A Place for Myself’ – Clementine Dusabejambo – Rwanda

Azam Bongo Movie Awards:
Best Actress – Godliver Gordian (‘Aisha’)
Best Cinematographer – Freddy Feruzi (‘Kariakoo’)
Best Editor – Momose Cheyo (‘Aisha’)
Best Feature Film – ‘Aisha’ – Producer: Amil Shivji
ComNet Bongo Movie Awards:
Best Actor – Salim Ahmed (‘Safari ya Gwalu’)
Best Writer – Abubakar H. Guni and Devotha Mayunga (‘Queen of Masai’)
Best Director – Chande Omar (‘Aisha’)
Best Film in Sound – ‘Bongo na Flava’ (Joseph Myinga)

ZIFF Awards:
Golden Dhow – Best Feature – ‘Watatu’ – Nick Reding – Kenya
Silver Dhow – Best Documentary – ‘The Valley of Salt’ – Salaud Morisset – Switzerland/Egypt
Silver Dhow – Best Film from Dhow Countries – ‘Leeches’ – Payal Sethi – India
Golden Dhow – Short Film – ‘A Place for Myself’ – Clementine Dusabejambo – Rwanda
Golden Dhow – Special Jury Prize – ‘Me a Belgian, My Mother a Ghanaian’ – Adams Mensah – Belgium
Chairman’s Award – ‘Kalushi’ – Mandlakayise Dube – South Africa
Best Music Video – ‘Walk it Off’


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