Colors of Zanzibar

“A short tribute to Zanzibar. This shows a brief glimpse into the daily life and culture of this beautiful haven. ”

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I shot and directed this short about the life in Zanzibar. This film was shot in 4 days with Kuwaiti Director and Photographer Abdulwahab Al Asbahi for Oud Media(Kuwait). We shot the film in 4 days. People in the video were not told to pose for us. They were just random people we met along the way. Some clips were random shots of interesting things we found here and there, other clips – we just asked permission if we could film them as they continue to go on with their daily routine work. Some of them just smile and continue doing stuff. I learned a lot from Abdul’s skills in street photography and documentary work and how to interact with people in the streets. We wanted to get a fresh and unobtrusive story by just documenting the essence of daily life in Zanzibar, and capture it in a cinematic kind of way. (I used mostly Canon 24-70/2.8 and Zeiss 50/1.4 with the 5D Mark III recording on FullHD). The connection we had with everyone over there made us feel very welcome and connected to the place. Considering the fact that these were people we just met a minute ago, i must say the experience was quite astounding. I hope you will enjoy watching this short tribute to Zanzibar as much as we did filming it.

We were also able to visit Zanzibar’s Queen of music, considered the undisputed queen of Taarab and Unyago music, the “Little Granny” herself – Bi Kidude. She sang for us a few of her songs. It was an amazing experience to be able to talk to her and listen to her voice. She was already over a hundred years old and still singing.

Last April 17, 2013, about a month after we visited zanzibar, we received very sad news that she passed away. We realized we were very lucky to be welcomed into her humble home, and probably the last 2 people not from zanzibar to hear her sing live. Granny will truly be missed. May her soul rest in peace.

This video was originally uploaded at the Oud Media Vimeo Account (URL):

For those interested, shooting was guerilla style – walk and shoot, the equipment I used
are written below

*Canon EOS 5D Mark III
*CF Card 30mb/s

*Zeiss 50 f/1.4 ,
*Canon EF 24-70mm f/2.8,
*Canon EOS 70-200mm f/2.8 L IS USM II (rarely used)

Other portable stuff:
*Kessler travel Dolly
*Zacuto Striker
*Lightcraft Workshop Fader ND Mark ii for 77mm only the 50mm Zeiss didn’t have 🙁


“Antigone” is a track from the CD “Rien Va'”

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