Tanzania Films Listed for Sembene Ousmane Awards

The Zanzibar International Film Festival (ZIFF) has announced that it will re-launch the Sembene Ousmane Film Prize competition in 2023.

The Sembene Ousmane Films for Development Award Competition is a ZIFF initiative that awards three African short films for 3000 Euros each.

The Awards have been presented at ZIFF since 2011 following the demise of the Senegalese director Sembene Ousmane, regarded as the “Father of African Cinema”.

Throughout the years, this section has showcased some genuinely inspirational works in the fields of short fiction and documentary by figures such as Ramata-Toulaye SY (Senegal), Samir Ahmed (Egypt), Ekwa Msangi (Tanzania), Marie-Clementine Dusambejambo (Rwanda).

Through their website, ZIFF noted 17 film projects are to showcase at the competition this year. They added Tanzania leads in the lineup category with four films vying for the awards.

“The competition has greatly impacted Tanzania in recent years, with one of the first winners being Ekwa Msangi with her comedy Soko Sonko (in 2009).

“This year, we have Mwandishi by Juma Saada, a horror genre film which has won best film in the Tanzania Film Awards in 2021.”

Through the website, it shortlisted those movies, including Katope, Mwana Hiti, Haikaeli and Nia.

Katope is a new film directed by Walt Mzengi. Mzengi is a Netflix award winner in 2022. It is a film with high production values shot in Dodoma and comes only a few weeks after its premiere by Netflix International.