IN efforts to promote Kiswahili language in the East African Community (EAC), Azam Television has introduced an ‘International Film Festival’ on its Swahili Channel.
According to the Coordinator of the festival, Zamaradi Zowa, the festival is focused on Kiswahili panorama and scheduled from January 1st to February 28th, next year and the Jury Chairperson and festival mentor would be Prof Martin Mhando.
She said Prof Mhando was the festival director of Zanzibar’s fes tival ZIFF for 10 years. In addition, so he has good film experience and Elizabeth Michael popularly known as lulu will be the Brand Ambassador for the festival.
“The winners are categorised in three parts including the best picture film, short film and documentary films. The best film will be awarded 5 ml/-, short film 2 ml/- and 1ml/- for the best documentary films,” she said.
She further added that the aim is to grow the industry and enable audience to watch films of quality and cultural integrity. Prof Mhando explained that the films that will be involved in the competition are those from 2015 up to this year and will include the East African countries that speak Swahili.
The Festival Ambassador, Lulu said through the festival it will help in improving and promote the local film industry and encouraged many filmmakers to enter their films in competition.
“This is a great honour for me to be the face of the company, the festival, the industry and the nation. What is better is that the films will compete in confidence and that the international jury members will ensure justice is done,” she noted.
Festival Director Jacob Joseph reinforced that Sinema Zetu International Film Festival (SZIFF) is a competitive unique event where ‘Documentaries, short films, Animation and Feature film dubbed in Swahili language and screened in mini-screen.
“We will be working with our festival partners positioned in Morogoro, Zanzibar, Tanga, Arusha, Mbeya, Mwanza, Dodoma and Mtwara, Nairobi, Kampala, Kigali, Bujumbura and Goma. They will be responsible for raising awareness, motivating and be the collection point for the films,” he added.