AFDA Student to Participate in Zanzibar Festival Mentorship Programme

News, 05 July 2019

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AFDA Port Elizabeth Screenwriting and Directing major and 2019 CLVA Chair, Shaaheen Nell, has received the opportunity of a lifetime. This July, Shaaheen sets off to Zanzibar to take part in the mentorship programme at the 22nd annual Zanzibar International Film Festival (ZIFF).

The Zanzibar International Film Festival (ZIFF) is the largest film and arts festival in East Africa and will take place from the 6th to the 14th of July 2019. The festival showcases the latest and greatest of African cinema, and extends its call to countries in the Dhow region (Countries in this region include South East Asia, the Arabian Peninsula, The Persian Gulf, Iran, Pakistan, and the Indian Ocean Islands). The theme of this year’s festival is New Dawn and will prioritise African cinema and cinema from the African diaspora. Films entered can be of any theme or genre; fiction, documentary, animation or experimental, and shot in any format- In keeping with the festival’s intention of celebrating Pan-African ideals within the creative industries.

This year, the National Film and Video Foundation (NFVF), an agency of the Department of Arts and Culture, partnered with the Zanzibar International Film Festival to start the Zanzibar Student Mentorship Programme. The purpose of the programme is to expose students to the film festival and facilitate networking opportunities for students with experts in the Film and Television sector. As part of the programme, students are expected to pitch film concepts and produce short films using a 48-hour methodology, working together with other students from Tanzania and Saudi Arabia.

“With the Zanzibar International Film Festival being one of the largest cultural events in East Africa, it is highly likely that many creative individuals with the same hunger for the arts as I have, will be present. Thus, attending the festival would be the perfect opportunity for me to be exposed to culturally diverse stories through film, and to meet and foster bonds with kindred spirits, while keeping an eye out for potential future collaborations.” Says Shaaheen Nell, the only AFDA representative and only student out of the Eastern Cape to be selected for the programme.

AFDA Port Elizabeth would like to express our pride in Shaaheen’s accomplishment, and we wish him all the best with his travels and his part in the festival.



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AFDA is registered as the South African School of Motion Picture Medium and Live Performance, and is a private higher education institution which offers higher certificate and degree programmes. It is registered with the Department of Higher Education and Training (DHET) as a private higher education institution under the the Higher Education Act, 1997. Registration certificate no. 2001/HE07/012. Our programmes are accredited and we participate productively in the ongoing reaccreditation and quality assurance processes of the Council on Higher Education (CHE) and the South African Qualifications Authority (SAQA) to ensure the quality of our programmes.
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