Sembene Ousmane film prize competition

Deadline: 15 March 2015 - 12:00am

Dates: 18 - 20 July 2015


Where: Zanzibar, Tanzania

Conveners: Zanzibar International Film Festival

The Zanzibar International Film Festival  (ZIFF)is proud to announce that it will be re-launching the Sembene Ousmane Film Prize competition in 2015. The Award structure has been designed to reward excellence in short film production and to encourage the production of new short films, including short documentaries.

The festival invites Africans and Africans in the diaspora to enter their short films into the competition before March 31st 2015. 15 films will then be nominated to compete for the three prizes up for grabs during ZIFF 2015. Each of the three winning films will be awarded with 2,000 USD specifically earmarked to produce a new short film to be ready by ZIFF 2016.

The scripts and a production plan for the new films will have to be submitted to the festival within four months of the award and funds will then be released. This on-going process will simultaneously acknowledge and reward filmmakers for their efforts, whilst contributing to the sustainability of the short-film format.

To be eligible for the prize, films must

  • be Fiction or Documentary or Animation
  • be 5-20 minutes, not exceeding 28 minutes in length
  • have been produced (or have had their 1st public exhibition) after July 2013
  • be available for screening on mp4. codec H264 – 10 Mbs – 1920 x 1080
  • be in any language but have English subtitles
  • be directed by an African or a person of African descent, or co-directed with an African or a person of African descent.

Films have to be uploaded to the Festhome platform, or sent as DVD’s directly to ZIFF (Sembene Prize), P.O. BOX 3032 ZANZIBAR, TANZANIA. (Please do not put any commercial value on the Customs form, and note that it is “FOR FESTIVAL ONLY”)

About ZIFF
The Zanzibar International Film Festival is the longest running film-festival in East Africa, with global credibility and instant Pan-African recognition. ZIFF is sponsored by ZUKU through a 10 year contract that runs through 2021. The ZIFF Festival of the Dhow Countries is organized by ZIFF, a non-governmental, non-profit organization founded in 1998 in Zanzibar to promote and showcase the culture of the Dhow Countries. Every cent raised from sponsors and donors ensures the widest possible accessibility of high- quality international screenings and cultural events to all sections of the Tanzanian population.

The ZIFF Festival of the Dhow Countries is a catalyst for the promotion and development of the region’s cultural industries. It encourages and supports the development of artistic skills and the infrastructure necessary for a vibrant and innovative arts environment. The festival programme gives particular prominence to the visibility and interests of women and children, including the youth. The main panorama features international film and video screenings, and international retrospectives along with music and performances, main stage events, exhibitions, workshops and seminars. Emphasis has been given to The East African Film Makers forum and this will continue in Festival 2014, as will dialogues with various filmmakers from across the region.

For more information visit

About GIZ and Partnerships
The Project is sponsored by The Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) as part of German Cooperation
ZUKU is the Event sponsor of ZIFF the Festival of the Dhow Countries (2012-2021). Partnerships with African and European television channels, which would like to show the winning films are also being considered and encouraged.ZIFF selectors and  Sembene Jury reserve the final decision on competing and winning films.

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