ZIFF re-launches the Sembene Ousmane prize


The Zanzibar International Film Festival (ZIFF) has announced that it will be re-launching the Sembene Ousmane Film Prize 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 has also decided to award not just one, but three films to ensure that as many filmmakers as possible are encouraged to make creative films through the initiative.

The Sembene Ousmane Film Prize invites Africans and Africans in the diaspora to enter their short films into the competition before 31 March 2015. Thereafter, 15 films will be nominated to compete for the three prizes during ZIFF 2015.

Each of the three winning films will be awarded with US$2,000 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 and funds will then be released.

Criteria and Eligibility:

To be eligible for the prize, filmmakers must ensure their films meet follow the following criteria:
• Films can be fiction or documentary or animation;
• Films are not to exceed 28 minutes in length;
• Films have to be produced (or have had first public screening) after July 2013;
• Films to be available for screening on mp4. codec H264 – 10 Mbs – 1920 x 1080
• Films can be in any language but have to be subtitled in English.
• Films have to be directed or co-directed by an African or a person of African descent.


Films have to be uploaded to the festivals home platform alternatively, DVDs can be sent directly to ZIFF (Sembene Prize), P.O. BOX 3032 Zanzibar, Tanzania.

Visit the ZIFF website for more information.

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Chanelle Ellaya is the editor of Screen Africa. She completed her BA Journalism degree at the University of Johannesburg in 2011. While writing is her passion, she has a keen interest in the media in various capacities. Chanelle is an avid social media networker and a firm believer in the power of social and online networking. Between writing and tweeting, she finds time to feed her love for live music.


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