"As I Am", official selection at Zanzibar International Film Festival

 

Film director and screenwriter Sihle Hlophe’s short film, “As I Am” has been selected for the Zanzibar International Film Festival (ZIFF). ZIFF is the longest running film festival in East Africa, with global credibility and instant Pan-African recognition. The festival will take place from the 18th to the 26th of July 2015 in Stonetown. Festival Director Dr. Martin Mhando had this to say about “As I Am”, "Sihle Hlophe’s control of the craft and integrity of theme portend a new voice and force in African cinema".

This will be the African premiere of the film, which had its world premiere at the Pan African Film Festival in Los Angeles, USA and it’s European premiere at the Fribourg International Film Festival in Switzerland. As I Am” is Hlophe’s fiction directorial debut, the talented filmmaker has directed and written a handful of documentaries. The film is about a soft, sensitive man who has to learn to assert himself when his chauvinistic younger brother tries to hijack their father’s funeral arrangements.

The film is unique in that it is in SiSwati, a minority language that is largely underrepresented in the local film industry. “I would go so far as to say it is probably one of the first SiSwati films of cinematic quality”, says Hlophe, who is very excited about promoting the use of her mother tongue in the local and international film industry. The film was funded by the National Film & Video Foundation (NFVF) and produced by veteran filmmakers Ramadan Suleman and Neville Josie.

ZIFF received a record 419 submissions this year. The list of official selections contains 25 feature films, 44 shorts and 27 documentaries from over 30 countries across the globe. The entries came from 38 countries with the largest number of entrants coming from Germany. The opening film will be Ava DuVernay’s Oscar-nominated film, “Selma”. Hlophe is excited about her upcoming trip to Zanzibar where she will promote her film and fly the South African flag high.

For more information about the Zanzibar International Film Festival, one can visit:

http://www.ziff.or.tz/

For more information about Sihle Hlophe and her film “As I Am”, one can visit:

http://passionseedcommunications.co.za/ https://www.facebook.com/asiamsihlehlophe

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