MARTIN Mhando who served successfully as Director of the Zanzibar International Film Festival (ZIFF) for 15 years, handed over the helm to Amil Shivji. Smiling, Mhando says he is stepping down from his role and letting the young and energetic filmmaker take over the wheel.
“This young and energetic filmmaker is just the tonic needed to rejuvenate the festival, which has shown signs of dimming in recent years,” Mhando asserts.
Shivji, an award-winning Tanzanian filmmaker, becomes the new Festival Director and Chief Executive Officer. The appointment marks a pivotal moment for ZIFF, injecting fresh energy and vision into the 26-yearold festival. Shivji voices his commitment, stating: “We need to position the festival at par with the best in Africa and the world.
Zanzibar possesses all the elements to make ZIFF the premier event in Africa and that will be my objective in the coming years.
“I call upon all Tanzanian film enthusiasts, government bodies and corporate leaders to rally behind ZIFF and ensure it retains its position as a cultural beacon in East Africa.” The distinguished filmmaker with acclaimed works such as ‘Vuta N’Kuvute’ (2022) and ‘T-Junction’ (2017), is a visionary who believes in leveraging the power of images to challenge prevailing norms and shed light on the strength and struggles of marginalised communities.
Studied at York University and a recipient of a Masters of Fine Arts in Film Production from Toronto, Canada, Shivji is the Founder of Kijiweni Productions, an independent production house committed to narrating local stories to international standards.
Understanding the potent influence of film on sparking necessary dialogues within the Tanzanian Film Industry, Shivji is eager to share specific narratives that can catalyse essential conversations and drive the industry forward. Chande Omar, the ZIFF Chairman and a veteran filmmaker expressed his confidence in Shivji, stating: “He brings a new vision perfectly aligned with ZIFF’s 2024 theme of ‘Rejuvenation’. His charisma and determination will inspire everyone to unite and bring ZIFF to new heights.”
It celebrates the rich arts and cultures of the African Continent, India, Pakistan, Gulf states, Iran, and the Indian Ocean islands, encompassing an international film competition, music, theatre, performing arts, workshops, seminars, conferences, and various artsrelated cultural programme