Aida Ashenafi

Producer, Director, and Editor Aida Ashenafi has been in the film business for the past 15 years. She has been working in New York, United States, for 6 years, and here in Addis Ababa for 9 years. She is a graduate of Ithaca collage with a degree in Film, photography and visual Arts.

She began her career by working for a music business at Jive Records in New York City, overseeing music videos for big artists. Later, she co-founded Sauce Entertainment, a New York-based production and post-production company. She has produced various TV commercials for companies such as Nike, Panasonic, Coca-cola, Dark and lovely, and Toys ‘R’ Us – companies located in the USA and in Ethiopia. She supervised music videos for R Kelly, Back Street Boys, Tribe called Quest, Joe, and many others. Aida also produced various feature films and the romantic comedies “I THINK I DO” and “MEDIA NOCHE”.

She was executive producer for “The Naked Man”, an Oscar Nominee script, and the Oscar winner “Ethan Coen”, which was released by Universal Pictures.

Aida returned to her homeland in 2000, and joined Cactus Marketing and Advertising Company. She made a big difference in the productions of the company as creative director and operations manger for three years.

She left Cactus and founded Mango Production in 2003 with her business partner Feleke Deneke. Mango Productions is a communication company which aims for a better and qualified television, radio, and corporate communication, create print communications and film production. She is currently Mango Production’s Managing Director.

On March 8, 2009, Mango Production launched its first 138 minute feature documentary film, named “Guzow” (The Journey), directed, co-produced, and edited by Aida Ashenfi. The film cost around 1.2 million birr to produce.

The film revolved around two middle-class young Addis Ababa residents, Lidya and Robera, who went to a small village near Debre-Berhan called Tseda, and stayed there for 20 days at a house owned by Belgenesh and Shewangizaw. Lidya and Robera had to live the way the villagers lived. They did what Belgenesh and Shewangizaw did, ate what they ate, and coped up with every circumstance that arose during their stay.

The feature film showed the hardship as well as the fresh and natural day-to-day rural life of Tseda. It shows how Robera and Lidya coped with the new living in rural Ethiopia. “Guzow” or “The Journey” feature film has no dialogue to rehearse – the characters just lived their life for 20 days in Tseda. The film crew recorded the activities of the actor and actress and their ups and downs as they happen every day. The completed film is refreshing and has many funny and touchy moments.