From it’s inception over 20 years ago, the Zimbabwe International Film Festival has presented its attendants with an intrinsically Zimbabwean experience. For the 2023 edition and onwards however, the festival organisers have now chosen to take on a Pan-African outlook, inspired by the African Union’s Agenda 2063: The Africa We Want.

Africa’s strategic framework to drive its goal for inclusive and sustainable development and the pan-African drive for unity, self-determination, freedom, progress and collective prosperity.

In recognition and support for the AU’s initiative, ZIFF will with effect from the 2023 edition become a Pan-African Film Festival that showcases films from Zimbabwe, Africa, and the African diaspora.

The 2023 edition of ZIFF will be held from 2 to 7 October 2023 under the theme “ASPIRATION5”, the first in The Africa We Want Season of festivals the organization plans to run. The theme is inspired by Aspiration 5 of AGENDA 2063: The Africa We Want. ASPIRATION5 calls for an Africa with a strong cultural identity, common heritage, shared values, and ethics.

The festival will be preceded by a 2 day conference to unpack Aspiration 5 of the Agenda 2063 from 29 to 30 September 2023 at the Great Zimbabwe monument in partnership with Great Zimbabwe University. An institution with a strong commitment to the preservation of Zimbabwean heritage.

The conference will feature a number of speakers, including filmmakers, academics, policymakers, and youth. The speakers will discuss the role of film in promoting African culture, the challenges facing the African film industry, and the future of African cinema with a solutions based approach to the process.

The festival itself will be a showcase of films from Africa and the diaspora, including Afro-descendants from Latin America and the Caribbean. Representatives from East, West, North and Southern Africa, Latin America and the Caribbean have confirmed participation.

ZIFF23 will reach out across Zimbabwe in partnership with the National Gallery of Zimbabwe (NGZ), the institution dedicated to the preservation of Zimbabwean culture and heritage, with screenings and a critics workshop developed in collaboration with the NGZ and taking place at the NGZ locations in Harare, Bulawayo, Mutare and Victoria Falls. Main screenings in Harare will be delivered in partnership with Theatre in the Park. The ZIFFTHUB will be the home of the creative community during the festival with Workshops, Masterclasses and Screenings taking place in Kensington, Harare.

ZIFF23 will kick off with an Opening Night on the 2nd of October and conclude it’s regular events on the 6th of October. This will be followed by an awards ceremony on the 7th October, confirming the ASPIRATION5 by recognizing the best work created in the African film zeitgeist. The awards ceremony will showcase African film, fashion, and food in collaboration with the foreign embassies and other partners.