Tanzania Daily News (Dar es Salaam)

Tanzania: Local Filmmaker Wins Award in Burundi

IT was fitting for the Tanzania Film Federation's (TAFF) Secretary General, Bishop Hiluka, to receive a trophy in Burundi on behalf of local filmmaker Amil Shivji.

Shivji's film 'Shoeshine' won the Best Short Film Award at the just-ended International Festival of Cinema and Audio Visual of Burundi (FESTICAB) 2014 and in his absence Hiluka received the tall silver statue. The festival started on June 13 and ended with a bang on June 20.

Hiluka told the 'Daily News' after a brief ceremony at the TAFF offices in Kinondoni that he had gone to Burundi for the official launch of the East African Film Network (EAFN) founded in March, this year in Arusha.

They wanted to register the organisation in Burundi, which will stand as its headquarters. "After handling all the issues concerning the registration of EAFN, including choosing leaders, we attended the festival," he said.

"It was while sitting amongst the spectators that I heard Shivji's name being announced as the winner of the award.

"When I went up to receive the award on Amil's behalf, I made it clear that I would ensure he gets it with a little fanfare for the world to know that he got this award."

Hiluka also noted that the judges had said the film had won the award because it reflected the life of ordinary people. "Further, this was done with good sound, colour, which is wrapped in a simply story content that was attractive and easy to identify with," he said.

Shivji explained that this was the third award he had received for the film. The first was at the Zanzibar International Film Festival (ZIFF), followed by the African Development Films Award in South Africa and now in Burundi.

He also explained that latest production, a 30-minute film called 'Samaki Mchngani' (Fish of the land), is currently on the final stages of colour grading before launch. "The film looks at the reality that Africa is waking-up but poses the question as to who benefits from this growth," said Shivji.

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