Thursday, July 14, 2016

The Emerson’s Zanzibar Foundation Film Award

The board  of the Emerson’s Zanzibar Foundation is delighted to launch the first annual Emerson’s Film  Award for the best film produced by Zanzibar filmmakers to be presented at the Zanzibar International Film Festival 2016.
The mission of the Award is to recognize the unique and significant nature of the emerging local film talent on the island of Zanzibar. Thus the Award aims to inspire talented film makers in the archipelago, and encouraging them to celebrate their culture, history and stories about Zanzibar.
It is with great pride that the Foundation jury will be assessing films made locally and presenting the award of $1,000 which will be presented at the ZIFF Awards Ceremony at the Old Fort on July 16th.  It is hoped that the award will also help promote talented Zanzibari film makers and support them in their career in the future.
The Emerson’s Zanzibar Foundation Award is an important part of the sustained legacy, created on behalf of the great Emerson Dewey Skeens, by the esteemed board of the Foundation. 
In honour of this inaugural event The Foundation is also excited to announce the unique opportunity to publish the life, times and poems of Mzee Haji Gora, the octogenarian Zanzibari poet laureate.  The book was written by Ally Saleh, a renowned Zanzibari journalist. Emerson Skeen’s was a great supporter and friend of Mzee Haji Gora, and would be happy to know that we have embraced the laureate.
Emerson’s legacyEmerson Dewey Skeens (1948-2014) was well known in the Zanzibari and international community.  He co-founded and supported a variety of innovative projects in the Stone Town locality and in Zanzibar.  Twenty six years ago he embarked along with others on a creative journey, which lead to the establishment of the Zanzibar International Film Festival (ZIFF). This year’s theme, ‘This journey is ours’echoes his collaborative vision. He was also a founding board member of Sauti za Busara, the internationally renowned musical festival. He jointly set up the Stone Town Heritage Society and vigorously promoted it. Further to this he initiated Sasik, a women’s cooperative that makes beautiful patchwork, and supported Miguu Mitatu , Tuktuk, a project empowering disabled drivers. Emerson established three unique and award winning hotels which celebrated the art, culture and history of Zanzibar and also supported his passions to develop Zanzibar as a creative hub in East Africa.

For further information, please contact:   Said el-Gheithy, Chairperson   selgpsm@gmail.com