Although its name suggests that film is the main focus of the Zanzibar International Film Festival (ZIFF), music still enjoys an important position at the annual event, currently taking place at the Old Fort in Zanzibar until Sunday 17 July under the theme 'This Journey of Ours'.
Among the musical highlights on offer during the festival, musicians from the Dhow Countries Music Academy will showcase traditional Zanzibari music, fusing taarab, kidumbak, jazz and other influences. On Wednesday 13 July the focus will shift to reggae at the Mambo Club. Among the reggae artists expected to perform at ZIFF are Dabo from Dar es Salaam, Ras Katongo, Mash Marley and USA’s Black Lion.
On Friday 15 July ZIFF will pay a tribute to the late Taarab legend Bi Kidude with a host of female acts, including Snura Mushi (who has recently released a new single ‘Shindu’), DJ Sinyorita and Baby J.
On Saturday 16 July hip-hop music will take centre stage with various artists including Fid Q, a favourite on Tanzania's hip-hop scene since his 2005 hit 'Chagua Moja'. Others expected to perform at the Saturday concert include Juma Nature, Ben Pol, Stamina and Young Killer. ZIFF's music programme will also include dance, theatre and a range of top local and international DJs.
More than 490 films are expected to be screened over the nine-day festival, of which 80 will compete in five different competition categories, including six in this year’s new jury category, The Emerson of Zanzibar Award, which recognizes films about Zanzibar’s culture and history. A competition for Music Video production will also reportedly take place this year.