Tropical Leaves

Create a space for East African filmmakers to stay connected to the world

Build regional networks between filmmakers in East Africa 

Strengthen professional filmmakers in production and outreach 

Strengthen basic production skills among talented young filmmakers

Stimulate creativity, diversity and marketability in documentaries, TV fiction and Web series 

Encourage entrepreneurial capacity, income generation and enhance employment at all levels

Strengthen the use of film as a tool for freedom of speech and social and political change

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Documentary film is a bastion for new creative ideas with unexplored potential in East Africa and therefore, Film Lab Zanzibar will give high priority to this field. The format has great potential for use in the African context even when shaped through one-person production teams. 

Film Lab Zanzibar will start in 2020 with a pilot lab. Trainings will gradually increase, concomitant with funds raised, partnership agreements and securing a permanent space for the organisation. 

Due to their cinematic form, documentaries can offer a space for critical reflection on political, cultural and social matters, which is especially important in areas with restricted media freedom. 

 

Over the years East Africa has been increasingly exposed as a shrinking space for public dialogue, despite its valued cultural heritage and affinity, a vigorous film production environment and a Swahili language film audience.

FLZ therefore seeks to transform the industry by progressing filmmaker teams through incubation programs to focus on building small and medium enterprises. The training has potential to increase employment through improved practices and a supportive professional environment, access to regional markets and opportunities for international collaboration and networks. 

We encourage social change and respond to the sustainable development goals 4, 16 and 17 regarding quality education, justice and strong institutions and partnerships for the goals.

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Tropical Leaves

Sustainability

While donor support is integral to FLZ’s beginning, the lab’s designed strategy is to progressively reduce donor support to enable it to be sustainable within 7 to 10 years. The strategic plan involves enhancing national, regional and corporate sponsorship, a fee structure, secondary and collaborative actions, a volunteer program and international marketing and networks.

Tropical Leaves

Incubation

The Team incubation approach will pressure the cinema environment in the region to improve the production, distribution and marketing of Swahili language films through linkages with the private sector and international players. The Lab will also prepare filmmakers to understand the many ways of financing content as well as marketing, promotion and distribution aspects. This will include the use of diverse digital platforms, formats and links to virtual film labs, festivals, networks, markets etc.

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Implementing partners

With time FLZ will build links with other regional, continental and international partners through collaborative programming, the sharing of resources and developing innovative approaches to training, producing and promotion. This will contribute towards delivering relevant and enriching content and the development of a regional film identity and dignity.