Mashariki AFF 2019 dates and submission deadline unveiled

Former Miss France and French actress Sonia Rolland (second left) graced last year’s film festival in Kigali. Courtesy photos.

The deadline of the 2019 Mashariki African Film Festival, (MAAFF) has been confirmed.

In less than two weeks after the call for entries for next year’s Mashariki African Film Festival was made, organisers have received over 40 film submissions from Rwanda and across the continent.


The 5th edition of the annual festival is slated for March 24-31, next year at the Kigali Conference and Exhibition Village under the theme; “Cinema to Enlighten Humanity”.


Submissions are now open for feature and short films. The deadline is December 24, 2018 June 15, 2018. Successful film entries will be announced on January 31, 2019.


Some of last year’s nominees pose on the red carpet as they arrive at the Kigali Conference and Exhibition Village for the gala night.

In competition are film categories like, African category, East African category, National category, Iziwacu (Rwandan films), and Out of Competition (open to filmmakers across the globe).

Renowned local actor, Kennedy Mazimpaka, who previously has worked with MAAFF in an advisory role and as MC, assumed the mantle of festival communications manager beginning with the 5th edition. He said that a total of eleven awards will be given out this time, a slight increase from previous editions.

“We’re giving out more awards this time because we’re recognising lots of people. Cinema is not done by only one person. In the near future we will be giving out awards for production design, makeup, costume… just like in the Oscars. We want to go up to as many as 30 or 40 awards,” revealed the veteran actor, who has been affiliated with the festival since its inception in 2015.

MAAFF 2019 categories

In Competition (open to all African filmmakers)

African Category

Best African Feature Fiction

Best African Short

Best African Documentary

East African Category:

Best East African Short

Best East African Documentary

National Category:

Best Rwandan Short Film

Best Promising Cinematographer

 Iziwacu (Rwandan Films)

Best Feature Film

Best Actor

Best Actress

Best Original Screenplay

The last film category is dubbed Out of Competition, and is open to filmmakers worldwide. Eligible for this category are short fiction films and documentaries of 52 minutes or less, and feature length (fiction and documentary films) of 52 minutes or more. All films submitted under this category must be directed by an African filmmaker, and the storyline must relate to Africa.

The films should neither have been completed before 2017, nor submitted in previous editions of MAAFF. The films should also be in English, or have English/French subtitles.


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