Film Festivals in Africa

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Film Festivals in Africa have brought up world class actors and actresses. If the reeling Marvel’s Black Panther got after the release of its official trailer is anything to go by, it is clear that African Films, and films set in Africa, are the next big thing. Black Panther is a film set in the mystical Wakanda Kingdom, a mysterious hidden African country with advanced technology.

In this piece, we look at 3 major film festivals in Africa which have acted as a stepping stone for African actors, directors and producers.

  1. Zanzibar International Film Festival

The 2017 edition of the Zanzibar Film Festival marked the 20th Anniversary of one of the greatest film festivals in Africa. This year, the Zanzibar Film Festival saw thousands of tourists flock the island of Zanzibar for a common purpose, the love of great films. Majority of the films showcased were films from Africa and by Africans. The theme of the Zanzibar Film Festival this year was ‘Finding joy’, which, most newcomers and returning visitors can attest to.

ZIFF 2017 awarded filmmakers who had contributed exemplary in various categories in the past year, making it one of the top most rewarding film festivals in Africa.

zanzibar fiilm fest

  1. Rwanda Film Festival (Hilly Wood) (September 02-09 2017)

Founded back in 2004, Rwanda Festival has grown to be one of the most attended festivals in the country. The Rwanda Film Festival runs for seven days, with the purpose of bringing laughter, beauty, entertainment and education in the remote hills of Rwanda. For the seven days, films will be shown in seven different spots in Rwanda, making it the perfect gig for backpackers to go exploring Rwanda.

90% of the films showcased in Hillywood will be in acted in Kinyarwanda by Rwandan filmmakers. Travel to Rwanda for the 2017 edition of Hillywood and join fellow film lovers and filmmakers in one of Rwanda’s most important cultural event.

Some of the Traditional Performances during the Rwandan Film Festival.

Some of the Traditional Performances during the Rwandan Film Festival.

  1. NBO Film Festival

Currently the baby in the film festivals in Africa family, the NBO Film Festival was inaugurated earlier this year. The purpose of the NBO Film Festival was to grow cinema going audiences in Nairobi. The festival featured major Kenyan films such as Nairobi Half Life, From a Whisper and new works like Mad Love.

The main feature this year was Kati Kati, by Kenya’s own Mbithi Masya. Kati Kati has won numerous awards across the globe such as MSPIFF emerging Filmmaker Award and the FIPRESCI (International Federation of Film Critics) prize for the Discovery Programme at the 2016 Toronto International Film Festival 2016.

NBO Film Festival 2017 main feature: Kati Kati.

NBO Film Festival 2017 main feature: Kati Kati.


In case you missed out on the Zanzibar International Film Festival and the NBO Film Festival, you can still catch some African action this September during the Rwanda Film Festival. Join thousands of film lovers as they look into African culture though the film festivals in Africa. Book your preferred hotels and flights on Jumia Travel’s platform early in advance and enjoy discounted rates on hotels in Rwanda!

You can check out the respective film festivals on their social media pages in order to plan for next year. Your culture is your brand. Lets celebrate it in all ways possible!




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