Amil Shivji takes the reins as ZIFF festival director  

What you need to know:

  • Shivji is known for his film Vuta N'Kuvute (Tug of War 2021) which was screened at numerous international film festivals.

Zanzibar International Film Festival (ZIFF) has announced award-winning Tanzanian film director Amil Shivji as the new festival director.

His appointment took effect on October 1, 2023.

Shivji is known for his film Vuta N'Kuvute (2021) Swahili for Tug of War, which was screened at numerous local and international film festivals, including the Berlinale, the Toronto International Film Festival and the Zanzibar International Film Festival (ZIFF).

He is also the founder of the Tanzanian film production company, Kijiweni Productions.

In his new role as ZIFF director, Shivji is expected to bring fresh energy and vision to the festival.

He has stated that he wants to make ZIFF more accessible to the Tanzanian public and to promote the development of Tanzanian cinema.

"Cinema for the People has been my rallying cry for years now. Films should be seen. When multiplex theatres are drowning in unmarvelous spectacles, film festivals become the building blocks of our industry, where art and artists are celebrated"Shivji wrote on his Instagram account.

Adding, "Zanzibar has always been close to my heart. I am deeply honoured to take on the momentous task of being the new festival director of the Zanzibar international film festival and to be part of an institution that gave me courage and hope for homegrown cinema. Viva Cinema. Viva ZIFF."

Shivji's appointment is a significant development for the ZIFF, which is one of the most important film festivals in East Africa.

The festival has a long history of supporting African cinema and has helped to launch the careers of many successful filmmakers.

With Shivji at the helm, ZIFF is poised to continue its role as a leading platform for African cinema and to play a vital role in the development of Tanzanian cinema.