Shining Start to ZIFF 2015

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The 18th annual Zanzibar International Film Festival got off to a star-studded start with an evening of magical and memorable entertainment.  The evening played host to two South African icons, the legendary singer Dorothy Masuka and the beloved star of Sarafina, Leleti Khumalo.

Masuka had the crowd enraptured with her acapella performance that included a tribute to the late Nelson Mandela on the occasion of his birthday, Mandela Day.

The day’s festivities started earlier with the official sponsor launch of the event at the DoubleTree by Hilton Conference Centre that was attended by the Second Vice President Ambassador Seif Ali Iddi as well as by, Zanzibar’s Minister for Culture, Information, Tourism and Sports Said Ali Mbarouk and the Deputy MD of Zuku, Mandy Rogers.

The film Selma was followed by a entertainment with the likes of Tanzania’s own Damian Soul, as well as the spectacular Kepemchim Kirnnam group from India.

Festival Director Martin Mhando officially opened ZIFF 2015 and had this to say,“Bringing Mama Masuka to Zanzibar is not only historical in that Mama Masuka returns to Zanzibar after 53 years, but also that it marks ZIFF’s maturity as it turns 18.”

Sunday the 19th was no less packed with incredible events and performances.

The annual ZIFF Dhow race took place with hundreds of people turning up to cheer on these traditional boats and to celebrate the craftsmanship of the local boat-builders and sailors. Winners this year were WIOMSA, the Western Ocean Marine Science Association, followed closely by ZATI, Zanzibar Association of Tourism Investors.

The evening programme saw the star of Sarafina, Leleti Khumalo taking the stage to introduce the film.  The music programme included Dorothy Masuka who wowed her audience repertoire built up over five decades of performing.

ZIFF runs through July 26th with a full range of film screenings, workshops, exhibits and musical performances.  From performances by Dorothy Masuka and Moussa Diallo to the premiere of films from across the globe, ZIFF 2015 is not to be missed.

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