Swahiliwood Filmmaking for Change

Tanzania has a booming local film industry. Every week, an estimated ten new low budget movies are produced, and six are released into the market – a market consisting of 132 million potential viewers spread across East Africa and reaching into Central and Southern Africa. Dubbed “Swahiliwood” – Tanzania’s version of America’s “Hollywood,” India’s “Bollywood” and Nigeria’s “Nollywood” – this growing, private sector industry presents a tremendous opportunity for the sustainable production and distribution of local language entertainment-education films. Yet despite its size and potential for impact, this growing industry had received little formal training or direction. The Tanzania Capacity and Communication Project's Swahiliwood Filmmaking for Change Project, spearheaded by Media for Development International (MFDI), was designed to harness the power of the growing local Swahili feature film industry to produce and distribute feature films that effectively address social themes, build the technical skills of Tanzanian filmmakers, improve the production value of Tanzanian feature films, enhance the growth of Tanzania’s film sector, and create employment opportunities for thousands of Tanzanians.

Read more about the capacity assessment of Swahiliwood, the capacity strengthening process, the produced films and their reach and recognition, and the overall impact of the Swahiliwood Filmmaking for Change initiative.