Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : August 2nd 2013 Contents Friday August 2, 2013 • Issue 99
I think if you mention the word Zanzibar to most Tri-
nis, they will respond that it is the upscale fast food joint
in Movie Towne. They would be correct. The wings there
are great but Zanzibar is also an island off the coast of
Africa, known to Europeans (and the hordes of tourists
who head to the island for its powdery white sand
beaches and the export of spices (cloves, cinnamon, car-
damom to name a few).
Zanzibar is roughly half the size of Trinidad with a popu-
lation of just under a million people. Every year, they put on
an amazing film festival, the Zanzibar International Film
Festival (ZIFF) and visitors and filmmakers from across the
region, (I was quite surprised at the number of foreign aid
workers from Sudan, Rwanda and Uganda who came to the
island just for the festival) arrived to take part and view the
This year, 80 films were chosen, and two were from
Trinidad and Tobago, Omari Jackson's feature "Between
Friends" and our short, " A Story About Wendy," The feature
films are screened at the 1500 seat amphitheatre, the idea
of the setting is fantastic, an old amphitheatre in the heart
of Stone Town, filled with history and vibe; in reality there
are some really (really) uncomfortable seats, add some rav-
enously hungry mosquitoes and locals having conversations
on their cell phones while the film is playing and you have
the true ZIFF experience. But I digress, and I am jumping a
bit, I think it is really important to take a look at the history
of Zanzibar, before going into the actual film festival.
In a nutshell, Zanzibar was ruled by Arab Sultans, so
today the majority of the population is Muslim. The old sec-
tion of Zanzibar Town, known as Stone Town (where the
festival is based), is a legacy of the Arabs, with its "stone"
buildings. The buildings have thick walls and the houses tall
with square and simple facades. Many of the buildings have
a central courtyard which goes up through all the floors, and
of course, this provides ventilation so the interior of the
buildings are cool.
The heart of Stone Town consists of a maze of narrow
alley ways lined by houses and shops. Since most of these
alleyways are too narrow for cars, the town is crowded with
bicycles and mopeds. Do you hear that bell? That's the
sound of a bicycle as it zooms past!
Stone Town's architecture has a number of distinctive
features, a result of Arab, Indian, European, and African tra-
ditions mixing together. The name "Stone Town" comes
from the use of coral stone as the main construction mate-
rial. As coral stone is not as durable as concrete (for exam-
ple), the majority of the buildings are decaying and
crumbling. This however, adds to the atmosphere. Throw in
the most well-known feature of Zanzibari houses; the finely
decorated wooden doors and as you wander the streets of
Stone Town, you are transported back in time, with voices
of children singing in their classroom's reverberating
through the streets. You could not ask for a better location
for a film festival.
Continued next week...
JURASSIC PARK IN 3D Released Date 21st August 2013
Epic 3D action-adventure
Sam Neill, Laura Dern, Jeff Goldblum, Samuel
L. Jackson and Richard Attenborough
Based on the Novel by: Michael Crichton
Michael Crichton and David Koepp
Kathleen Kennedy, Gerald R. Molen
Universal Pictures will release Steven Spielberg's groundbreaking mas-
terpiece Jurassic Park in 3D on August 21, 2013. With his remastering of
the epic into a state-of-the-art 3D format, Spielberg introduces the three-
time Academy Award® - winning blockbuster to a new generation of
moviegoers and allows longtime fans to experience the world he envi-
sioned in a way that was unimaginable during the film's original release.
Starring Sam Neill, Laura Dern, Jeff Goldblum, Samuel L. Jackson and
Richard Attenborough, the film based on the novel by Michael Crichton is
produced by Kathleen Kennedy and Gerald R. Molen.
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