The Zanzibar International Film Festival (ZIFF), also known as Festival of the Dhow Countries, is an annual film festival held in Zanzibar, Tanzania.

It has been described as the largest cultural event in East Africa. ZIFF is a non-governmental organization established in 1997 to develop and promote film and other cultural industries as catalyst for the regional social and economic growth.


The annual multi disciplinary arts and cultural festival is ZIFF’s major activity; the festival is an all-arts affair, with 8 days of local and international discussion panels, workshops, 10 days of screenings of the best local and international cinema and evenings of musical concerts including a Gala each evening.

All festival programs are a culmination of the realization of the capacity of film to fuse together the best of each art-form, offering a wide range of Entertainment, Educating and Networking options for world audiences. The festival is arguably the largest multi disciplinary art and cultural festival in Africa, and continues to lead as a tourist attraction event in the region. ZIFF now gives 12 International Awards presented by 5 International Juries.

It is estimated that 7000 western tourists came to Zanzibar to attend the festival and the total festival audience was in excess of 100,000 with wide appeal across race, class and religions. Its impact on the economy of Zanzibar is unquestionable

Est.: 1997
Country:  Tanzania
City: Zanzibar City
Type: International