(May 6, 2011, Zanzibar, Tanzania) "“World class films with an African focus, international music presentations, and stunning natural settings are in store for those cinema and arts lovers attending the 14th annual Zanzibar International Film Festival (ZIFF) June 18-26, 2011 in Tanzania. The Festival headliners include an array of great film makers such as Oscar Nominated Producer, Donald Ranvaud and documentary film maker, Nick Broomfield. ZIFF, East Africa's largest cultural event celebrates the unique cultural heritage of Africa and the Dhow countries of the Indian Ocean region and their global diaspora. The 2011 festival theme is A Season of Visions.
In addition to showcasing the world's most captivating and cutting-edge talent in music and film, the Zanzibar International Film Festival also offers a dynamic program of Film Workshops that have been developed to cater to the interests of everyone "“ from local children to industry professionals. This year's focus will be on Documentary Film Making, with award winning British Documentary Maker Nick Broomfield lending his expert knowledge to a Master class. Broomfield is ranked as one of the best documentary film-makers in the world. Other star guests include British film journalist and producer Donald Ranvaud who has produced Oscar nominated films such as City of God and The Constant Gardener.
Stone Town, the Festival's venue in Zanzibar, is part of the United Republic of Tanzania and aÂ UNESCO World Heritage Site. This colorful port provides an exotic setting for the 9 days of festivities. No film festival in the world can compete with the spectacular setting of Stone Town's historic amphitheater known as the Old Fort and watching movies under the stars. ZIFF has captivated serious followers of International film and music, students of African culture past and present, and travelers interested in arts-centered fun for over a decade. Originally called the Festival of the Dhow Countries, ZIFF is now not only the largest annual event in East Africa, it is truly one of the most unique in the world. The Festival events in Stone Town typically attract 45,000 foreign visitors and more than 123,000 localÂ guests; while the total number of people attending all the Festival eventsÂ held throughout Zanzibar and Pemba is 150,000.
According to Dr. Aloyce Nzuki, Managing Director of the Tanzania Tourist Board, "the annual ZIFF event, which grows in popularity from year to year, also attracts visitors because of the unique opportunity to combine a rich cultural experience with a safari to some of Tanzania's world-renowned game sanctuaries and archaeological sites.Â Short flights from Zanzibar can connect visitors to Arusha, the gateway to the northern safari circuit including the Serengeti and Kilimanjaro as well as the Ngorongoro Crater; and to Dar es Salaam (only a 15 minute hop) the gateway to the South, including Ruaha National Park and the Selous Game Reserve.Â All these create great pre or post Festival tour options."
In addition to the Old Fort amphitheater other ZIFF performances take place in the House of Wonders and Zanzibar's Museum of History and Culture. There will also be street performances, including story telling, live music and dance, art exhibits, and a range of film and video industry workshops, seminars, screenings, and social events.Â Stone Town is a place of festivals, from music to movies to dance.
The official tour operator for ZIFF is Zanzibar Festival Tours. The tour offers a 9-night program to the Festival from June 21 – 30, 2011 including expert guides, VIP passes to festival performances, exploration of Stone Town, and some of the best beaches in the world.
For more information on the tours, visit www.zanzibarfestivaltours.com.