The Africa Channel to present inaugural Zanzibar TV Series Festival 2018

Copyright 2017, Peter Bennett

The Zanzibar International Film Festival (ZIFF) and DISCOP Zanzibar have announced The Africa Channel, the largest broadcaster of Africa-themed content in North America, as the official sponsor of the inaugural TV Series Festival 2018.

ZIFF festival director Fabrizio Colombo said: “As the lines between TV, film and digital content blur, it is becoming more and more essential to recognise and promote the amazing work being done by TV producers and directors across Africa. Broadcast TV in Africa is still a rapidly expanding environment, and with the rest of the world eagerly looking to Africa for fresh and original content, platforms like The Africa Channel are ideally poised to share this content globally.”

With some of Africa and the world’s best known content producers and distributors on hand for ZIFF, taking place from the 7 to 15 July, and DISCOP Zanzibar, from 11 to 13 July, The Zanzibar TV Series Festival presented by The Africa Channel will be the official showcase for TV shows selected in competition for ZIFF.

Two days of competition screenings selected by ZIFF will screen from 12 to 13 July, and will be followed by a showcase day of screenings on 14 July where platforms such as The Africa Channel will highlight some of the their newest and most exciting content.

Open to the public as well as industry guests, The Zanzibar TV Series Festival will strive to create a stage on which the foremost creators in the world of TV series come together, where tomorrow’s talents are showcased and a prestigious international competition for a wide range of genres and for series of all shapes and forms is presented.

ZIFF’s Colombo has spearheaded this vision of celebrating the TV content genre within the traditional film festival format. “Across the world TV content is now acknowledged for its quality production and importance for the industry,” he said. “Here in Africa especially, many producers and directors get their start in TV production and it is a critical growth driver for the next generation of filmmakers. ZIFF is always innovating and looking to find ways to support the growth of the industry in Africa, and we are excited to partner with DISCOP and The Africa Channel in the important TV space.”

Narendra Reddy, executive vice president and general manager of The Africa Channel, said, “We are so proud to be the official sponsor of the inaugural Zanzibar TV Series Festival at this year’s ZIFF event. The Africa Channel has been privileged to present content from and about Africa to North American audiences for over 10 years. Through our production arm TAC Studios, we have worked with amazing producers and talent from across Africa to help them create globally accessible content. This festival calls the world’s attention to the incredible film and TV content coming out of Africa and is a fabulous opportunity for content creators from the continent to showcase their fine work and be recognised for their efforts.”

During this year’s ZIFF, the category for Best African TV Series will be open to any African produced or co-produced and broadcast within the last two years. Three episodes would need to be submitted for consideration via the on-line application process as below.

Deadline for submission has been EXTENDED to 18 April  2018.

Submission procedures:
  • All submission must be done through the ZIFF platform on
  • A signed and fully completed application must be submitted by e-mail at
  • Freight costs of any film will be borne by the producer.
  • Selection results will be available from 15 May on the ZIFF website.
  • No DVDs will be returned. They will be kept at ZIFF for archival purposes.
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Lara Utian-Preston
Lara Utian-Preston is a passionately committed marketer and strategist with a focus on promoting African content and events. Two decades of working across Africa have provided her with insights and experience that she puts to work for the projects she manages. In 2006, Lara founded, and still personally manages, Red Flag Content Relations, a full service below-the-line agency that also focuses on African entertainment and lifestyle brand marketing, strategy, and publicity.


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