The International Emerging Film Talent Association (IEFTA) and the Ethiopian Film Initiative (EFI) will bring three filmmakers to Monaco and Cannes for a week-long visit timed to the Cannes Film Festival.
The workshop and programme participants are Henok Mebratu [pictured], Olisarali Olibui Tongolu and Yidnekachew Shumete Desalegn.
“We’re very proud of our 2012 Ethiopian Film Initiative finalists,” said Mitch Levine, IEFTA Executive Consultant. “These filmmakers have demonstrated a passion for their art, excellence in filmmaking and a commitment to the advancement of Ethiopia’s – and Africa’s – filmmaking community. We are thrilled to host them for a week of education, workshops and screenings at the Cannes Film Festival and at the IEFTA’s base in Monaco.”
During the programme, the filmmakers will meet with distributors, sales agents, producters, directors and international film commissioners.
The participants are all Ethiopian nationals living and working in Ethiopia at least six months of the year. Each has produced or directed a short or feature film, and those will be shown at a benefit in Monte Carlo.
Mebratu is well known in Ethiopia and has made several documentaries; he will pitch a new drama in Cannes, about two young men who return to Ethiopia to say goodbye to their dying father.
Tongoluco-produced Shooting with the Mursi and in Cannes will pitch My Enemy, My Brother, about the issues facing neighbouring tribes of the Mursi.
Desalegnhas credits including Siryet, and in Cannes he will pitch Nishan, about a young girl who gets an opporutinty to better her life by moving abroad.
“This is the second time the IEFTA has brought filmmakers from Ethiopia to Cannes, and we are extremely excited about the caliber of this year’s finalists,” said Marco Orsini, current President of the IEFTA. “It demonstrates that there is a growing film market and community in Ethiopia that should be taken seriously. We are also very pleased in the partnership we have had with the Ethiopian Film Initiative which provids on the ground training in Addis Ababa and are looking forward to expanding our programs into other parts of the developing world.”
Ambassador Tadelech Haile-Michael, a founding member of the EFI, added: “This is a great opportunity for Ethiopian filmmakers to establish themselves in the international marketplace,” she said. “I am also delighted they will be able to present some images of our beautiful Ethiopian landscapes and culture, and show the rest of the world what an attractive location Ethiopia can be for international filmmakers.”