Theodros Teshome Kebede

Theodros Teshome Kebede, sometimes spelt as "Tewodros Teshome, was born on January 7, 1970 in Jimma, Ethiopia.

He produces, directs, writes and often acts in his own films. Theodros tends to produce films that deal with social issues such as HIV, immigration, violence against women, etc. To date  he holds the two highest grossing Ethiopian films of all time, €œAbay vs. Vegas€ and €œKezkaza Welafegn€.

Theodros is the owner of Teddy Studios and Sebastopol Entertainment PLC with the Sebastopol Cinemas in Addis Ababa, as well as additional movie theaters in Awassa, Mekele, Jimma and Ambo.

Yidnekachew Shumete Desalegn

Yidnekachew Shumete Desalegn was born in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia in 1981. He has been active in the creation of local documentaries, fiction films, commercials, music videos, promotional and educational films as a writer, director, cameraman, and editor.

He currently runs his own production company Kurat Pictures Plc.

Hiwot Admasu

hiwot getaneh

Hiwot Admasu, who learned the art of storytelling from her grandmother's traditional stories, often takes an experimental approach to her filmmaking.  Born and raised in Addis Ababa, got her BSc from Addis Ababa University in Electrical and Computer Engineering.

Hiwot decided to follow her passion, filmmaking, and joined Blue Nile Film Academy where she got her diploma in Film Directing and script Writing. She participated in film writing/directing / financing workshops in Durban (South Africa), Amsterdam (Netherlands), Luxor (Egypt) and Cannes and Monaco (France).

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Yamrot Nigussie

yamrot nigussie cannes

Yamrot Nigussie is a graduate of Addis Ababa University in theatrical arts. She has worked for 2 years at Music Mayday as theater coordinator, 7 years at the Addis Ababa Theater and Culture Hall as a theater expert, and 4 years at the Addis Ababa Culture and Tourism Bureau as a film rating and training officer evaluating films. She has also been an actress in films by different private producers, and worked as a  director and coordinator in dramas and spots broadcast by Addis Television administered by Addis Ababa Mass Media Agency.

Yamrot currently works as the founder and deputy general manager of Espay multimedia, enabling her to produce her own films, produce documentary films  and advertising.

Yamrot has directed 7 television dramas and short documentary films and has recently traveled to 2014's Cannes film Fesitval to pitch in her movie.

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Daniel Debebe



Daniel Debebe is a young experimental award-winning filmmaker with a strong humanitarian engagement. One year after graduating from Addis Ababa University in Civil Engineering, he decided to pursue what really makes him happy. This life-long question of what truly makes him happy was answered when a friend of his handed him a camera and asked him to help him make a film. In the subsequent years after his life-changing discovery, he has dedicated himself to a better understanding of the craft by taking part in many workshops, master classes and film festivals all over the world. 

Five years down the road, his journey as a filmmaker continues to be an amazing adventure. So Online Casino far in his career, he has had the opportunity to generate content for clients like UNICEF, African Union, MTV-Staying Alive and Nike Foundation. His personal work has also received recognition from educational institutes and film festivals including Duke University - Center for Documentary studies, Harvard University, New York University-Tisch and the Rotterdam International Film festival. He has also garnered minimal experience in actual "film" by working on a super 16mm retrospective film on Robert Gardner. Daniel is also one of the selectees who recently traveled to 2014's Cannes Film Festival.  He is an independent filmmaker based in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia and he has a story to tell.

For more information on Daniel Debebe click here.

Adanech Admassu - Documentary filmmaker


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Adanech Admassu is an award-winning, freelance director who makes community focussed films for Ethiopian audiences.  She specializes in making films for NGOs working in Ethiopia as part of their education and outreach programs.

Over the last ten years, Adanech has directed TV commercials, documentaries and behavior change dramas. These films have addressed such issues as health, girls' education, women's' empowerment, early marriage and HIV/AIDS and have been made for DKT, Unicef, Oxfam, Water Aid, Austrian Development Co-operation, and many other leading NGOs working in Ethiopia.

Adanech, working with her network of camera operators, editors and other video professionals in Ethiopia, offers a complete script to screen service and can manage the entire production process.

In 2012, representing Gem TV, the Arts and Media NGO where Adanech was trained, Adanech received the prestigious One World Media Award in London sponsored by Channel 4 and the Guardian.

For more infomation on Adanech Admassu click here.



Hermon Hailay

 hermon hailaye cannes 2014

Hermon Hailay is one of Ethiopia’s leading female film writer/director, with several critically and commercially successful films to her name, is currently in production of her third feature film. She has participated on 2014's Cannes Film Festival where she was promoting her latest feature.

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Ethiopia's Women Filmmakers

The 2014 International Cannes Film Festival has once again ended with an underlining issue- gender balance in the film industry. Though it is overwhelming- the subject is yet unresolved among those who have taken the film industry to next level. As it is worldwide, gender balance in Ethiopia's film making is still waiting for intervention. However it is without a doubt that women like Selam Mekuria are among those who have pioneered the Ethiopian film industry. Born in 1947, Selam is an independent Filmmaker and a Professor at Wellesley College, USA. She has received number of awards and has movies shown worldwide with the well know movie Deluge or 'Yewonz Maebel' to her name.

Following her lead others who have joined the industry are; Lucy Gebre-Gziabher, born in 1961, a teacher and filmmaker, has made an award-winning short film-At the Second Traffic Light, Maji-Da Abdi, born in  1970, wrote, produced and directed award winning documentary film, The River that Divides, Aida Ashenafi who was born in 1971- a well known director with more than 15 years of experience, has a documentary movie 'Guzo' (Amharic for Journey), which won first place at the 3rd Annual Addis International Film Festival and Nnegest Likke, born in 1970, has directed a movie that hit the box office- 'The Phat Girlz'.

Though many of the well known female filmmakers are mainly diasporas, recently some who are residing in Ethiopia are outshining in the film industry. Among these female filmmakers; Alemtsehaye Bekele - an actor and director of different movies, Tv dramas, and theaters - has directed the well known movie 'Baletaxiwe, Roman Befekadu- director of the movie City Boys and producer of 'Baletaxiw'; Mekedese Befekadu- who has produced and directed 'Yeadam Gemena'; Kedest Bayelegn who has directed Across the Atlantic in 2012 and Yetnayet Bahru a young Ethiopian film maker who has made the Feature film Aledewelem (He Didn'€™t Call); are worth mentioning.

Since 2003 up to 2010 about 273 movies were made. In these number of movies made, an estimation of only less than ten female filmmakers were involved. However against all odds, the recent 2014's 'from Addis to Cannes' selection has proved to have comprised of four female film makers among five selectees. Adanch Admassu being the most experienced from the group- Hiwot Admasu, Hermon Hailay and Yamrot Nigussie have traveled to and participated in the Cannes Film Festival. Medias from all over the world such as, TV 5, Daily Screen, BBC, African Women in Cinema Blog and others have reported their presentence on the Festival- highlighting the fact that though Ethiopia's film industry is still striving to grow- Ethiopian women are rapidly increasing their participation in the filmmaking industry of the country.

By: Saba Seifu Lemma

June 2014


Yared Zeleke

Yared Zeleke is a young Ethiopian filmmaker pursuing his Master of Fine Arts degree in directing at New York University's Kanbar Film Institute.

Yared immigrated to the United States from Ethiopia at the age of ten. After receiving his bachelor’s degree in International Development, his interest in global issues led him to study, work, travel and live in a dozen countries, including Namibia  and Norway.

Yared has directed a number of short films.

Yared Shumete

Yared Shumete was born in August 18 1982 in Addis Ababa Ethiopia.  He finished high school at Black Lion senior secondary school in 2001 and began his career in film as an editor for a short movie in 2003 after studying Video and photography at TOM VPTC. He continued studying post production at 4 Corners school of multi media.

Before Yared became a filmmaker, he used to be interested in literature and theater starting from elementary. He also was the organizer of the weekly literary evening at Russian science and culture for 6 years until 2004.

Yared founded the Alatinos Filmmakers Association with fellow filmmakers in 2004 and is currrently the president of this association which now is one of the active film associations in Ethiopia working in educating young filmmakers by giving constant weakly training and discussion programs besides working on improving the current challenges of filmmaking in Ethiopia.

Yared has worked on 4 feature length fiction movies as an editor entitled ‘’ Siryet” ,“Albo”,”Dezdemona” and “Enkoklish” in 2007, 2008, 2009,and 2010 consecutively. Additionally, he has worked as an assistant director on an international film entitled “ Abay Vs Vegas” in 2010.

While working with the legendary African independent filmmaker Haile Gerima on his latest film “Teza”, Prof. Haile noticed Yared's desire for directing and talked him in to making short films. Yared was inspired by Prof. Haile Gerima and began writing short movie scripts along with previously written feature length screenplays.

He immediately responded by making “Democracy is Fair Play” for the Democracy video challenge competition after he received phone call from American Embassy.

"I thought of creating an idea: “Even if you are not on the top, you are still in the game” came in to my mind while I was discussing with my friend. Then I reflect it like this…. " said Yared Shumete.