Kenya shone brightly at the recently concluded annual Zanzibar International Film Festival (ZIFF), one of East Africa’s premier cultural events, taking home four awards. The festival aims to promote and develop film and other creative industries as a driver of the region’s social and economic development. It features local and international discussion panels, workshops, ten days of screenings of the best local and international cinema, and evenings of musical performances, including a Gala each evening.
Kenya’s ‘If Objects Could Speak’ won the Special Award category, ‘Softie’ the movie won Best Documentary. In addition, actor Melvin Alusa bagged the Best Lead Actor for his role in the film ‘Mission to Rescue’. ‘Mission To Rescue’ was also named Best East African Film during the festival. Melvin expressed his delight at receiving the honour. Remarking that winning the award was a “sensation unlike any other.”
‘Softie’ is a documentary on Bonniface Mwangi’s advocacy. The film has been nominated for several international accolades, including the Peabody Award. ‘If Objects Could Speak’ follows the story of two filmmakers as they embark on a journey prompted by a Kenyan relic from a German museum, after creating a 3D scan of it, seeking to go back to its origins. ‘Mission to Rescue’ is based on the true story of a French woman kidnapped by Al-Shabaab and the Kenya Special Operations Forces’ efforts to rescue her.
The Zanzibar Intactualtional Film Festival now gives out 12 International Awards presented by 5 International Juries. Every year, around 7000 tourists visit Zanzibar.