By Sydney Levine | Sydneys Buzz March 22, 2011 at 2:30AM
Zanzibar International Film Festival has been a participant of the course I teach yearly at Deutsche Welle Akademie. Film festival directors from Africa and Asia come for five weeks to learn the business and are taken into the Berlinale fold to help them overcome obstacles they always hit, like how to get sponsorship, how to find the right films, how to find financial resources, how to make alliances internationally.
ZIFF is East Africa’s largest film, music and arts festival and will take place June 18 - 26, 2011 in Zanzibar, Tanzania and represents the Dhow countries of East Africa. Serengeti, Ngorongoro, Kilimanjaro, Zanzibar…The names roll off the tongue like a roster call of Africa’s most alluring destinations, all packed into one country. One of East Africa’s great trading centres, the Zanzibar archipelago has been a crossroads of culture for centuries, a melting pot of influences where Africa, India and Arabia meet, a complete change of pace mainland Africa, a place where life’s rhythms are set by the monsoon winds and the cycles of the moon. Stone Town’s spires of St Joseph’s Cathedral, Forodhani Gardens, the Old Fort, a jumble of rooftops and then the harbor itself – an earthy, timeless mix of grime, touts, dockyard workers and ships. And then, after negotiating passport controls and taxis, you’re there, walking through cobbled alleyways, past women clad in bui-bui, small shops smelling of spices, children playing ball, elderly men dressed in kanzu and kofia playing bao and chatting. Ancient Persia mixes with the old Omani sultanate and India’s Goan coast. Mainland life seems far away as island rhythms take over and you’re hooked. Zanzibar. (Thank you Lonely Planet)
Their guests this year show the seriousness of the film festival agenda in both documentary and international filmmaking along with insightful ways of analyzing news of the day as history unrolls in Africa. Read more below the jump.
STAR GUESTS FOR ZIFF 2011
Nicholas "Nick" Broomfield is arguably the best documentary filmmaker in the UK. A multiple award winner with a string of controversial and exciting documentaries to his name Broomfield is an asset that ZIFF is proud to welcome.
Broomfield works with a minimal crew, just himself and one or two camera operators, which gives his documentaries a particular style. Broomfield is often in shot holding the sound boom.
Broomfield was awarded the BAFTA Lifetime Achievement Award for Contribution to Documentary, and was given honorary doctorates from Essex and Surrey University. He was awarded the Californian State Bar Award for his contribution to Legal Reform.
Broomfield will be running a couple of workshops on documentary filmmaking during ZIFF and will be accompanied by line producer for his next production, line producer, Donall McCusker.
DONALD RANVAUD FOR ZIFF 2011
Donald Ranvaud is a British film producer and film journalist.
He has had producing roles on a number of Oscar nominated films including the Constant Gardener (2005) City of God (2002) Central Station (2002) and Farewell My concubine (1993)
His presence at ZIFF will add to the knowledge base of ZIFF participants this year as he participates in a number of workshops and events. Ranvaud has continued to discover filmmakers, helping them to access world markets. He is an ambassador for Latin American cinema, setting up joint ventures with Cinergia in Costa Rica for Centro America, and with the Puerto Rico Film Fund.
Since early 2005, first as Head of International Relations with Rain Networks, Brazil and later independently, he has focused on what he considers to be the central question for the future of a possible cinema - a cost effective distribution platform that becomes the new digital paradigm for the fruition of the cinema that matters.
DANNY SCHECHER AT ZIFF 2011
Danny Schechter, nicknamed "The News Dissector," is a television producer, independent filmmaker, blogger, and media critic who writes and lectures frequently about the media in the United States and worldwide. Schechter's media experience in the major U.S. corporate media is considerable. His career began as the "News Dissector" at Boston radio station WBNC, Later, Schechter was a producer for the ABC Magazine 20/20 . He later produced 50 segments for ABC and won two national Emmy Awards and was nominated for two others. Schechter joined the start-up staff at CNN as a producer based in Atlanta. In all, Schechter has reported from 49 countries.