Tropical Leaves

ZANZIBAR ARTS INITIATIVE is a modern African platform that works with storytelling through film. It is a non for profit organisation established in Zanzibar by the film and arts community in 2019, the purpose of its formulation is to provide quality services for the betterment of Zanzibar film community. The Organisation will involve members from deferent places in Zanzibar and Mainland Tanzania regardless their religious, colour, race and political views.


The idea of The Zenj Arts Initiative Foundation, operating year-round, is building on the founding members' reputations and the vision to expand Zanzibar into a cine-magic island. ZANZIBAR ARTS INITIATIVE will be independent from the festival and work as an incubator for East-African filmmakers. The Lab will initiate networking activities across Africa and reach out to the global film environments. Experienced industry-experts from the region and beyond will work with and mentor upcoming professionals and young aspiring filmmakers. The training will be focused on professionalisation of all aspects of filmmaking, team incubation and creativity in East African documentary and fiction film.


The founders of this organization have recognized the existence of various professional and educational challenges facing Zanzibar film community with regard to their capacity to engage confidently and professionally with the film industry in Tanzania and in the East Africa region.

The location of the film lab will be Stonetown, Zanzibar, which is the center of Swahili culture, an exponent of multiculturalism often regarded as a legendary destination due to its magic pull. With the establishment of Zanzibar International Film Festival (ZIFF) in 1998, Zanzibar became well known for its yearly event exposing film to a national and international audience.