Amil Shiviji

Amil Shivji is based in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania, his homeland, as a freelance filmmaker and lecturer at the University of Dar es Salaam. He has set up an independent production house called Kijiweni Productions that is committed to telling local stories with an international standard. He also founded Kijiweni Cinema where African films are screened monthly followed by discussion. He believes Filmmaking is the strongest medium for bringing about social change by confronting social and political injustice. He has always felt the pull of media having experience as a news reporter and a radio host now as a filmmaker. Neocolonialism, cultural and political imperialism have been at the centre of his activist and media work. He is particularly interested in using his work to challenge historical and contemporary misrepresentations of the African continent, however, any representation without self-critique would be pointless. He has written, directed and produced two short fiction films Shoeshine (2013) and Samaki Mchangani (2014) that have addressed issues ranging from corruption and land grabbing to a commentary on the growing class divide. They have received worldwide recognition, participating in prestigious festivals such as International Film Festival Rotterdam and FESPACO in Burkina Faso as well as picking up many accolades on the way including winning People’s Choice Award in Zanzibar and Best Director and Best Short film in Africa. His debut as a feature film producer was with Aisha (2015) and has been screened in Los Angeles, Seattle, Washington, Tanga, Toronto, Singapore and picked up four awards at the Zanzibar International Film Festival in July 2016. He has just released his directorial debut for a feature film called T-Junction (2017) that opened ZIFF 2017 and garnered three awards on the closing night.