The 19th Annual International Youth Media Summit

The First IYMS Summit in Africa

Stone Town, Zanzibar, Tanzania
July 21 – August 5, 2024

including the Zanzibar African Youth Arts Festival by Zaif

August 3 – 4, 2024

Apply now!
Application deadline: March 1, 2024

Two Weeks of Intensive Collaborative Media Production
With Young Visionaries from Around the Globe

Organized by the International Youth Media Summit (IYMS)
Hosted by the Zanzibar International Film Festival
And the Zenj Arts Initiative Foundation

Karibu Nyumbani: Home Coming

Honoring the UN’s International Decade for People of African Descent

The IYMS Summit is the only annual event which offers the dynamic experience of hands-on film production to young people from all over the world who collaborate on the creation of media that ignites change and impacts the future.

Over the past 18 years, 1,600 change-makers from 76 countries have participated in the IYMS Summit and created 126 short films, with one common goal: to tackle global issues and take action against them by implementing grassroots initiatives in different corners of the world.

For two weeks, the delegates work in seven film production teams. Each team focuses on a different urgent social problem: Discrimination, Environment, Health, Poverty, Violence, Women’s Rights, and Youth Empowerment. The teams meet to share how their core issue impacts their communities back home. With the help of an issue expert, they explore causes and solutions. Experienced professionals help them develop their stories and then production begins.

Our end products? Seven short films that deliver strong and powerful messages to raise awareness of these issues. The world urgently needs these efforts to advance in gender equality, social justice and take immediate action to limit climate disasters.

IYMS serves as a remarkable platform for peaceful collaboration among individuals from diverse cultures, religions, and backgrounds. During the Summit, the delegates form global partnerships and lifelong friendships while working together towards a shared objective.

After the Summit, our delegates set about the work of expanding their network of young storytellers and change-makers around the world. In workshops they organize in their communities, the delegates use their short films, along with Tool Kits for Action, to help others understand the issues and explore actions that can make a difference.


We are so excited to welcome you to IYMS 2024!

IYMS is a creative place where you will learn basic and advanced filmmaking and storytelling. You will learn how to make your message strong and powerful and how to tell a story in an effective way by making a short film with a strong message. IYMS is also a platform where you will find friends and partners across the globe to collaborate with, sharing your experiences and skills. It is a place for joy and commitments together with so many changemakers. Then, you will go back home and have new tools for your daily life as a changemaker. And you will have a great worldwide network to communicate with.

We want you to join that community!  Coming together in Zanzibar in 2024, 100 delegates from around the world will use their talents and determination to produce compelling films.  Be one of them. While working to inspire change in the world, you might also inspire change within yourself, joining others who say, “This experience changed my life.”

See last year’s
Summit in action!


A Historic Year for IYMS in Africa, Embracing Our Shared Ancestry

Honoring the last year of the UN’s International Decade for People of African Descent

When celebrating the contributions that came from the continent of Africa, we would include the use of fire, the first tools, astronomy, jewelry, fishing, mathematics, crops, art, use of pigments, and animal domestication.

But we can all take part in that celebration. Scientific evidence suggests that all modern humans are descended from an African population of Homo sapiens that spread out from Africa about 60,000 years ago.

We therefore would like all of our delegates to embrace their common ancestry as “people of African Descent”, and in our time together learn more about the continent that gave birth to human civilization.

Zanzibar is throwing open its doors to welcome the family home.

Delegate Categories

IYMS explores seven issues:  Discrimation, Environment, Health, Poverty, Violence, Women’s Rights and Youth Empowerment. Each delegate will be assigned to an issue group, and the group will research that issue with an Issue Mentor, and then write and produce a short film about solutions for that issue.

Youth Delegates: We welcome delegates 16+ years of age in one of two categories.

  • Filmmakers: you have experience creating videos, animations or films and are eager to work with others who share your passion.
  • Diplomats: you are a journalist, activist, writer or diplomat-in-training. You love researching the issues and articulating positions for positive action.

Experienced Advisors: We welcome filmmakers, diplomats and educators to apply to be an Advisor.

  • Advisors: Serve the youth in the issue groups in a variety of ways, depending on their area of expertise. Advisors are skilled at being able to listen, understand and let youth take the lead. They make their first priority the safety and success of their young delegates.

About ZIFF

The Zanzibar International Film Festival (ZIFF), also known as Festival of the Dhow Countries, is an annual film festival held in Zanzibar, Tanzania and one of the largest cultural events in East Africa. ZIFF is a non-governmental organization established in 1997 to develop and promote film and other cultural industries as a catalyst for the regional social and economic growth.

About ZAIF

ZAIF is a modern African training platform that works with storytelling through film. It was established in Zanzibar by the film and arts community in 2019 as a training and networking organization dedicated to developing creative talent, professionalizing filmmaking and connecting the industry in East Africa to the world.

The Teen International Media Exchange

The Teen International Media Exchange (TIME) is a Los Angeles-based nonprofit organization created after the events of 9/11 to help young people from different countries bridge cultural, ethnic and religious divides by collaborating on film projects that reflected concerns about their lives.  Founded in the fall of 2001, TIME organized two in-country exchanges with So. Korea and Belize, and dozens of online projects with Scotland, Afghanistan, Armenia, Israel and Palestine.  TIME founded the International Youth Media Summit in 2006 and hosted the first and ninth Summits in Southern California.

Where: Stone Town, Zanzibar, Tanzania

Stone Town of Zanzibar, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, is a fine example of the Swahili coastal trading towns of East Africa. It retains its urban fabric and townscape virtually intact and contains many fine buildings that reflect its particular culture, which has brought together and homogenized disparate elements of the cultures of Africa, the Arab region, India, and Europe over more than a millennium.

ZIFF keeps alive the culture of Stone Town. Supporting IYMS means Finding Identity with the World!

Zanzibar African Youth Arts Festival (ZAYAF) is a celebration of young African talent, dedicated to advancing gender equality, social justice, and combating climate change. Aligned with the 2024 IYMS Summit theme, we honour the final year of the UN’s International Decade for People of African Descent by providing a platform for young Africans to impact the future.

The festival promises 2 amazing days of music performances, captivating dance showcases, thought-provoking art exhibitions, and a vibrant fashion show, all presented by talented African artists. Delegates also have the opportunity to participate in enriching art and dance classes, fostering creative skills and cultural exchange.

Preliminary Schedule

July 21 Arrival Day
July 22 Orientation and Opening Ceremony
July 23 Mini Excursion Day
July 24 Issue Group Explorations
July 25 Issue Group Scripts & Talent Show
July 26 Pre-Production Day 1
July 27 Pre-Production Day 2
July 28 Production Day 1
July 29 Production Day 2
July 30 Post-Production Day 1
July 31 Post-Production Day 2
August 1 Delegate Workshop Planning & Staff Post-Production Day
August 2 Excursion Day
August 3 Zanzibar African Youth Arts Festival
August 4 Zanzibar African Youth Arts Festival / Closing Ceremony
August 5 Until Next Time! / Safari…

Cost of Attending

Delegates will be charged 900 USD for the two-week Summit (arrival on July 21, departure on August 5). This payment will cover:

  1. Transportation to and from the airport.
  2. Housing (two to three delegates per room – those desiring a single room can pay extra)
  3. Three meals a day, with special diets available.
  4. The excursion.
  5. All special events: The Opening and Closing Ceremonies, and Talent Show and dance parties.

These are ‘hard costs’ and we cannot waive this fee. Delegates will be provided with official invitation documents to use for their fundraising efforts, as well as fundraising suggestions.  Beyond those things, IYMS cannot take any responsibility for helping delegates to raise their funds.

Delegates will need to pay their own round trip flights to Tanzania/Zanzibar from their home cities, and any passport or visa costs.

Please note: Delegates who have been chosen for the Summit will need to pay a $100 deposit to hold their spot no later than 14 days after they receive their selection letter.


Please check now and see how you can obtain a visa for Tanzania.  For delegates who are accepted, we will be providing a letter for your visa appointment, stating you have been invited to the Summit.

More information available at:

For further questions about visas, check your local Tanzanian Embassy or Consulate.

Before You Apply

We are so excited you want to join us at the 19th Summit! To help guarantee your success, we suggest following these steps before beginning your application:

Please read this webpage carefully

  • Look at the 7 issues; decide which 3 you are most passionate about
  • Decide what category of delegate is right for you
  • Research your travel costs and your visa needs

Get these attachments and links ready:

  • A 1-2 minute video (selfies preferred) telling us why you want to attend IYMS and what you expect to gain from this experience. Upload to YouTube (as an Unlisted or Public video) and have a link ready.
  • One sample (short story, video reel, script, photography portfolio, article, etc.) of what you believe to be the best example of your creative work.
  • Your CV, a letter of recommendation or anything else that will impress us

Good luck! We can’t wait to see you in Zanzibar – IYMS 2024!

Have a question? Check these answers first.

We will issue out invitations to the accepted delegates on January 15, 2024. The link for online payment of non-refundable 100 USD deposit to hold your spot via credit card, Apple Pay or wire transfer will be provided.

Whatever your application type is, we invite you to spend as much time on preparing your application to showcase your talent in the best possible way. There is a section in the application for showcasing your creative work.

Yes, the certificates are publicly handed out to all delegates during our Closing Ceremony.

We wish to involve as many people in our activities as we possibly can. At this time, we will be focusing on providing the best possible in-person experience. Certain IYMS events like the Opening Ceremony, the Masterclasses etc. might be available for watching live online.

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