Ethiopian Films News

Ethiopian Presence at Cannes Film Festival 2010



(Cannes – May 12, 2010) The International Emerging Film Talent Association in association with the Ethiopian Film Initiative (EFI) will be bringing a group of young filmmakers from Ethiopia to the Cote d’Azur to introduce them to the international film world gathered for this year’s festival de Cannes 2010.  There they will participate in dialogues with international filmmakers, industry press, distribution companies and film festival directors, while experiencing, for the first time, the feel, flavor and excitement of the world’s largest gathering of film professionals.  The purpose of this event will be to expand the filmmakers’ contacts beyond their borders as well as inaugurating these filmmakers as ambassadors of their vibrant and burgeoning new Ethiopian film market.  Following this exciting opportunity, the filmmakers will head to Monte Carlo where their short documentaries will be screened at a Gala event hosted by the University of Monaco on May 20, 2010.  The event starts at 6:00pm with screenings and a reception following.
In 2008, the IEFTA launched the Global Film Expression initiative supporting emerging filmmakers in developing nations.   The IEFTA co-hosted an international conference in the Ethiopian Capital Addis Ababa, in partnership with the Ethiopian Ministry Of Culture, the Addis Ababa University, and UNESCO.
The IEFTA has subsequently helped fund documentary training workshops where young Ethiopian filmmakers worked on how to shoot, write and produce a film with the mandate of creating socially responsible documentary films to promote tolerance and mutual understanding.
Marco Orsini, one of the founding directors of the IEFTA states: “part of our mandate is to get these films viewed by the Ethiopians as well as abroad. We believe film can be a profitable business for Ethiopia. If you look at how successful Nigeria and South Africa have been with their film markets, you can understand how that potential can be reached in this country.”
Also set to be announced at the May 20 event is a partnership with a new Monte Carlo based film festival presented by Hexagramme, Cinema For Environment.   Mobilize… Entertain... Surprise... Inform... React...
During this year celebrating biodiversity and following the actions of the Foundation Prince Albert II de Monaco in the fields of climate change, biodiversity and water, a monthly film series, Cinema For Environment, founded by Alexis Margowski & Paul-Nicolas Loesch, and dedicated to the environment will kick off in Monte Carlo.  The screenings will have an emphasis on biodiversity conservation.  12 international films, 12 directors’ views on our planet, treating the subjects of the environment and biodiversity with their own sensibility and knowledge.  Films such as “An Inconvenient Truth,” “The 11th Hour,” “The Cove,” “Encounters At The End Of The World” and “Mondovino” are among the initial titles proposed for the series.   The selection of the films is intended for all audiences, accessible and diverse. Short and documentaries, drama and animation films, all genres will be showcased.  Many of the screenings will be followed by a public debate in Monaco, or online debates accessible to all, gathering directors, experts, media and the public to shine a new light on those subjects.   The project will also be available through an information website and an online HD channels on the main content portals, in order to offer a multilingual access to all.  The IEFTA through its GFE Ethiopian initiative will produce content for the series.  Details of this will be announced at the May 20 event.
Among the films and filmmakers to be presented in Cannes and at the event in Monaco include four films produced during a workshop held by the EFI in Addis Ababa late 2009 and funded by UNESCO:
Beyond Tolerance, directed by Awet GebreEgziabher.  A street separates a church and a mosque. A story about religious tolerance.
Team Spirit, directed by Yeneakal Tamrat.  Garbis Korajian is a third generation Armenian born and raised in Ethiopia. His family first came to Ethiopia over 120 years ago. He is still passionate about his childhood memories of playing football with his friends in Ethiopia. Coming back to Ethiopia after many years, Garbis decides to help set up a football team for the children in his neighborhood to help provide an atmosphere of harmony and community spirit for the children so they can thrive on the sport and learn to support each other.
Dancing For Unity, directed by Moges Tafesse.  “Andinet” (Unity) is an emerging dance club that perfoms for local communities in Ethiopia, with various cultural dances representing the country’s rich ethnic diversity. Hiwot, a 17 year old talented dancer, and the other young members of the club, believe traditional dance leads to self-actualization and tolerance.
Breaking the Barriers, directed by Yamrot Negussie.  Ethiopia comes with many faces. It is a country rich with over 80 different ethnic groups, identities and cultures. Distance brings very weak interaction with those groups in remote areas.  Moses Riet DAK is an Ethiopian from Gambella region, currently living in Addis Ababa. In addition to his regional mother tongue, he speaks fluent Amharic, the vernacular language of Ethiopia. Yet, people ask him where he’s from and point to him as a foreigner. Moses shares his life experience and reflects on interethnic tolerance.
The International Emerging Film Talent Association identifies and supports film-related creativity in developing countries around the world. Our mission is to discover and promote emerging talent, to encourage dialogue between filmmakers, to promote cultural diversity and international understanding, and to engage the arts of cinema. A Monaco-based, non-profit, non-governmental organization, the IEFTA organizes, finances and promotes festivals, exhibition, education and development.  Central to the IETFF mandate is connecting new and emerging filmmakers with established members of the entertainment community. At our Film Pro Meetings, emerging filmmakers meet, learn from and are inspired and mentored by established industry professionals.  Among its initiatives are the Global Film Expression supporting emerging filmmakers in developing nations; and The Global Film Forum (GFF) a place where government leaders, film commissioners and representatives of national film industries can meet writers, directors, producers, studio executives and other creative partners. As a result of such introductions, discussions and conversations, the GFF provides delegates from the developing world the knowledge, tools, and skills necessary to attract feature film production to their countries.