Plans afloat to fete music video behind-the-scene heroes

The Zanzibar International Film Festival, in partnership with TRACE Mziki, has announced the East African Music Video Award, a new category that will honor the directors and producers who make East African artists look good. The award for best video will not only celebrate East African artists with the vision to create quality music videos, but also the behind-the-scenes teams that make these videos possible. For a number of years, ZIFF has recognized that music videos are, in fact, short films and should be treated as such within the confines of the film festival. “This award is a way to promote storytelling development in music videos and encourage the skills of producers and directors who might start out with music videos and then find their way towards featuring length films. Recent films like Oscar winning “La La Land” shows how much music and dance are part of the history of cinema,” says ZIFF Festival Director Fabrizio Colombo TRACE Mziki, East Africa’s popular music video channel, is also committed to growing the East African music industry and encouraging the production of high quality videos. TRACE CEO for Eastern Africa, Steve Agutu, says “The partnership with ZIFF to start this category, coinciding with the festival’s 20th anniversary, was a no brainer. The category will further cement our long-standing goal to not only improve the quality of music videos, but also to recognize the people who work to make this possible. The creation of this category is indeed as timely as it is important, and as TRACE we will inject the high standards in music video selection that has propelled TRACE MZIKI to its number one status.” A panel of judges from the TRACE Mziki selection committee will select the final nominees from all videos submitted and these videos will be screened throughout the festival ahead of the main evening’s show in the Old Fort Amphitheatre. A final winner will be announced on the closing night of the Festival. All East African artists, as well as video producers and directors are encouraged to submit their videos via the submission form on in the section East African Video Music Competition and then send the form and the video link to The deadline for submission is 30th May 2017 Videos must be for an East African artist and must have been created in 2016 or after.

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