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July 25, 2011

Local movies make waves at Zanzibar film fest

at ZIFF 2011 (photo: Peter Bennett)

Films from Trinidad and Tobago and the Caribbean were a huge success at the recent Zanzibar International Film Festival (ZIFF).

The films screened as part of an ongoing exchange initiative between ZIFF, the largest film and music festival in East Africa, and the trinidad+tobago film festival (ttff), presented by Flow. The initiative, which is supported by the Commonwealth Foundation, saw two ttff representatives—Editorial Director Jonathan Ali and Community Relations Director Melvina Hazard—attend ZIFF, which ran from June 18-26.

Four films screened in the ttff’s programme at ZIFF. They were the T&T short films Quiet Desperation and Caribbean Skin, African Identity, the Bahamian drama Children of God and the documentary Why Do Jamaicans Run so Fast?

There was standing room only at the event, which was followed by a cocktail reception. The popularity of the films led to a feature article on Caribbean film in Tanzania’s Daily News newspaper (see here), and an interview with the BBC’s East Africa Service.

In addition to introducing ZIFF audiences to new, socially relevant films, the ttff representatives took part in panel discussions and networking events. Arising out of these are new partnerships with a number of other film festivals, all of whom are keen on screening Caribbean content.

These include the Kenya International Film Festival, the Africa in the Picture Film Festival in Amsterdam, and Italy’s Verona Africa Film Festival, the longest-running film festival in Europe screening African and African diaspora films.

A selection of films from ZIFF’s 2011 programme will screen at the ttff/11, which runs from September 21-October 04. ZIFF’s director, Prof Ikaweba Bunting, will attend the ttff, and host a workshop in Tobago on participatory filmmaking.

The ttff, which is in its sixth year, receives leading sponsorship from RBC Royal Bank and is supported by the Trinidad & Tobago Film Company, the National Gas Company, bpTT, the Tourism Development Corporation and the Tobago House of Assembly.

ttff entries:


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  1. The new site is informative… when willl the complete scedule of screenings be available for the public? also workshop/learning modules ? Thanks much Catherine.

  2. Jonathan

    Hi Catherine, all the info you request is on the site. Go to the “films” and “workshops” tabs (in the bar just under our logo at the top of the page) and click away!

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