Solomon Bekele

Ethiopian filmmaker who directed the feature film Aster.

"Born in 1945 in the part of Addis Ababa known as Lideta area, Solomon went to the then Tafari Mekonnen and Haile Selassie I secondary schools. In the early 1960s we find him first in Germany, then in England and France at the University de Paris VII where he graduated in literature and linguistics with distinction. Shortly afterwards his childhood obsession resurfaced and led him to the famous Ecole National de Cinematography Louis Lumiere Paris, where Solomon studied the techniques of script writing, camera, editing and feature film directing, Professor Allain Aubert, a serious mentor, exerted a strong influence on the young Ethiopian student whom he encouraged to study feature film directing. His study in literature ad linguistics was of much help in story telling and dialogue, two vital ingredients of movie making.

Meanwhile, Solomon directed his earlier productions such as Rotten Existence (1970), The Situation of African cinema(1972). He also wrote four film scripts not filmed until now, namely Leben zu durfen, ein Gluck: (1973) Hellopia (1974) Speak to Me Tomorrow (1976), Abeka (1985). He participated in more than a dozen film festivals where he presented his films and served as a member of the jury in many countries such as the United States, Iran, Burkina Faso, Belgium and Czechoslovakia. He is also founding member of the Pan-African Federation of Film makers and was its official representative in Germany from 1970 to 1972.

1983. Solomon Bekele, the fully formed and mature film director and script writer returns to his country after a 22 years absence.

He started with a series of documentary films based on local themes. He experimented with Beruh Tesfa (1984). Women in Ethiopia (1985), struggle against Drought (1984-85) and many others. He thus found his own niche at the Ethiopian film corporation from where he launched the up hill struggle to direct “ASTER” the first 35 mm color, feature film produced by the Ethiopian film Corporation.

The shooting of ASTER which is based on Solomon’s screenplay started in 1990. The film was finally premiered in Addis Ababa in  on August 4th 1992."

Written by Mulugeta Gudeta see